10 Steps to Hiring a Music Professional in the Akron-Canton Area
By Kristen Castillo
Hiring professional musicians is not an everyday occurrence for most brides and grooms. And yet, music can make or break a great party -- it's an important decision. If you're overwhelmed with the task of hiring entertainment for your reception, you're not alone. Most couples aren't sure where to start or what questions to ask. Here are the basics you need to make an informed decision.
1. Get Referrals.
Don't be afraid to ask the band leader, booking agency or DJ for a list of references. Look for entertainment choices with good referrals. Ask friends and people in the industry for tips. Once you get a referral, meet with the actual DJ or band that will be performing at your event to ensure that you're comfortable with them. If you don't have a referral, call different bands and DJs and meet with them in person for an interview. A booking agency or production company is a good source for your entertainment needs because they have access to numerous bands and DJs -- you're sure to find one that's a good fit.
2. Experience counts.
When interviewing potential DJs or bands, find out how much experience they have. The more experience, the better. Be sure to hire an entertainer or agency that you trust. If you can't trust them to show up on time, play the appropriate music and say the appropriate things, then you shouldn't hire them at all. Your entertainments' experience is very important since they are one of the few vendors who will be interacting with all your guests. Experts agree it's wise to hire professionals who have been in the business a while and who have a good reputation.
3. See the band or DJ in action.
No doubt the best way to make a selection for entertainment is by watching them in action, seeing how they interact with the crowd. Ask if you can catch a performance or attend a wedding where the group is playing or the DJ is mixing music. If you're not able to see their work in person, most bands, DJs and booking agencies have sample tapes or DVDs for you to view. It's a good idea to see your entertainment perform at a function ahead of time if possible, so you know what to expect.
4. Map out the music.
You and your fiancé should decide what type of music you want and ask the band or DJ about their style. Do you want a more subdued atmosphere or is an energetic, dance-oriented reception more your style? Talk about every aspect of the day's itinerary by reviewing music for the entire reception -- from the introductions, to the first dance, to the last song as guests go home. A good DJ or band will pace your event so the reception will have a good flow to it. If the itinerary is flawed, guests may get bored and leave early.