January 2015

ELA's Tips for Wedding Music


Our second favorite thing about weddings, besides the food of course, is the music! The ELA’S Blu Water Grille family has been known to cut many a rug on the dance floor—often the first ones to jump up, the last to leave, and with a musician in the family, often known to jump on stage!

With each of the ELA’S kids (Erin, Lauren, and Alex) marrying their loves in the last five years, we’ve learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t. Stick to our list for an easy-breezy approach to hiring and implementing your wedding music.

Analyze the acoustics
On a beach, string instruments might be drowned out by the crashing waves or may require some beefier speakers (and thus, access to electricity!). Similarly, a classic formal event will lend itself to big-band sounds, which you would have a tough time fitting under a small tent for 100 people in your backyard. If you’re marrying in a public place, like a park, noise restrictions may apply (also true for at-home weddings).

Hear them first
It’s a necessity to see and hear your musicians before you book them: Prior to signing any papers, be sure to ask for a videotape and/or sample, or if you can, see them perform live. If you’ve been given a demo CD, make sure you find out who exactly is on the recording—which singers, how many instruments. If they’re showcasing the all-star 12-piece band, and you’re interested in the nine-piece ensemble, the sound may not be an accurate sample.

Dot the i’s and cross the t’s
You must get everything in writing. This includes the names and contact information of your performers; the wedding date and location; and the hours the musicians should play. Agree on a total price (minus any deposit you may have already submitted) and costs for overtime. Document requests for the number (and length) of breaks.

Select your songs
Naturally, you’ve got your first-dance song settled as well as a song for father/daughter mother/son dances. But what about other custom tunes for events throughout the evening? Like cake-cutting, bouquet toss, or one for your exit dance? Beyond that, you’ll get the best out of your musicians if you leave it to their experience and expertise to read the mood and adjust their set accordingly on the day.

Just as important is the do-not-play list. It’s your day after all, and no one wants to hear songs they don’t like or songs that remind them of old boyfriends/girlfriends on their wedding day—no matter how much Uncle Joe promises to tip the band.

Prep ahead
Go over cues with your music point man. Make everyone’s life easier and copy the song on a blank CD so there’s no mistake and they can just hit play. Just bring a back-up CD in case there’s a problem with the cue.

Confirm and connect
Call the musicians at the start of the week of the wedding to reconfirm everything. It’s a great idea to supply a contact phone number (e.g. the best man’s) in case of a problem on the way to the wedding. You’ll be far too busy the day of to deal with MapQuest mishaps.

Take care of the performers
Remember, musicians are people. If you look after your musicians—for example, providing a bite to eat and a comfortable room for their breaks—they’ll go the extra mile for you in their performance. 

At ELA’s Blu Water Grille, we pride ourselves on the caliber of local musicians that play at our restaurant. Weekly, renowned recording artists John Wasem, Reid Richmond, Bill Peterson, and Tim Malchak entertain diners with their unique individual style and extensive repertoire.

Private function space is available for receptions of 8 to 188 people. Our chef and catering professionals are available to guide you utilizing numerous resources and years of industry experience when planning your special day.For more information, call at (843) 785-3030 or visit online at elasgrille.com.

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