So far, choosing a band to play at the reception has been the most difficult part of wedding planning (finding sites for the ceremony and reception was actually suprisingly painless, the rabbi was a no brainer, cake shopping was a blast, dress shopping was labor-intensive but not frustrating and we got some Camacho Cigars out of the deal, and through a bit of searching and asking for recommendations we found an awesome photographer and an equally awesome videographer).
It’s particularly difficult for a few reasons:
- Most bands don’t [need to] advertise. They get their business through word of mouth or by people hearing them at weddings they attend. For those of us who have been to very few weddings in Seattle (and don’t have many friends who were married here) this is hard.
- By definition, most wedding bands play really crappy music. In fact, I don’t think you’re allowed to call yourself a wedding band unless your repertoire consists of songs that anyone born after 1970 hates.
- Hiring a non-“wedding” band is an option, but has proven to be a more expensive option. And I have this fear that a band that doesn’t generally play weddings won’t do a great job at the emcee role…
The repertoire factor is one of the hardest ones. Kenny and I attended a beautiful wedding last year. We had a lot of fun there, but we each noticed that the other would cringe with almost every song that the band started playing. When we got home, we started a “blacklist” (not for our own wedding, of course, but for some hypothetical wedding that either of us might have if we ever got married). Not surprisingly, the blacklist had a few wedding “favorites” on it:
- Brick House
- Play that Funky Music White Boy
- Freak Out
- I Will Survive
- You Can’t Hurry Love
- I Got You Babe
- What I Like About You
Any many many many more. I don’t think the fact that we hate these songs makes us music snobs. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want a band to play covers of a few songs written after 1980 instead of these old recycled “songs that will get people of all ages up and dancing.” With one of the bands we were talking to, we even got to the point of creating a mix CD, and asking them to learn some of the songs on it (and as you might have guessed, we didn’t get too far in the discussions with them before they told us to take a hike — yes, they rejected us).
Since then, we’ve gotten a few more leads (the best ones so far have been recommended by our photographer and our videographer), and we might be closing in on one (we’re going to check them all out before we leave for South America). I sure hope that one of them works out — I’ll be very glad when this part of the process is over.