Cleveland Wedding Bands

Cleveland Wedding Bands - Picture of Outside Stage Setup at a wedding.

Typical Outdoor Wedding Setup

How to Book the Perfect Cleveland Band

Choosing one of the best Cleveland Wedding Bands might not make the top of your wedding to-do list, but getting the right music for your wedding reception is vital if you want the evening to go well. After a touching ceremony, a sumptuous meal and some hopefully well-judged speeches, the reception is where you and your guests get to let loose and really celebrate.

What’s more, it’s where you and your new spouse will dance your first dance. You don’t want these inaugural steps to be accompanied by anything less than the perfect song, played by the perfect Cleveland wedding band.  Here’s how to book one.

Types of Cleveland Wedding Bands

The first thing to consider is the type of band you want to book. Wedding bands come in a few different flavors: do you want a straight covers band to belt out classic pop hits? A bluegrass outfit that will give those hits a twist? Perhaps a ceilidh group with a band leader calling the dance?

You may even be tempted to save some money and book your friend’s band. This is a dangerous road to go down, but if you choose to, you need to be sure they’re objectively great, and that you don’t simply gloss over their flaws because of your friendship. Bear in mind also that, unless they’re a covers band, no one will know their songs, and it’s unlikely they will have enough material (or enough good material) to play the length of set required for a reception (unless you happen to be friends with Bruce Springsteen).

If you’re not absolutely positive your friend’s band is up to the task, it’s better to go with the professionals.

Bands that play mainstream hits in alternative genres are good fun, but you need to be sure it’s a genre your guests will be receptive to. It’s also worth remembering that hearing the odd classic in a bluegrass style (for example) is diverting, but there’s a real danger that, after three hours of songs in the same style, they’ll all start to sound the same. Make sure a band like this can switch it up a bit.

Soul bands are very popular at weddings, and for good reason. While soul classics may be slightly more obscure to some listeners, they almost never fail to get people strutting their stuff on the dance floor.

And this is the rub: whichever Cleveland wedding bands you pick, your aim should be to get even the most reluctant guest gleefully cutting up the rug before the end of the night.

Put Your Own Taste Aside

It might be your wedding but, unfortunately, the band aren’t there just to entertain you. You and your new spouse are hosts, and it’s your responsibility to make sure your guests are fed, watered and entertained. Part of this involves making sure the music played is suitable for a broad audience.

This means that a lot of your favorite music may not be suited to the evening, especially if you like downbeat or even slightly obscure stuff. People are reluctant to dance to songs they don’t know unless the groove is irresistible (this is why a soul band can be a good choice).

Your wedding reception is the wrong place to ask people to listen to new music, because they’re not there to listen to the music at all. More than anywhere else, the music at a wedding is simply there to facilitate people letting loose and getting to know one another. That’s why well-known classics are best. If there are songs you refuse to have played at your wedding, you can still veto them.

Word of Mouth

Once you’ve figured out the type of band you want to book, you should research the best ones in your area.  While there are many Cleveland weddings bands to choose from, it’s worth remembering that the most reliable indicator that a band are the business is positive word of mouth.

A good wedding band can elevate a wedding reception to a higher level, and when that happens you can be sure the guests will remember them. Ask around to see if your friends have attended weddings where the band raised the roof. They’ll be happy to pass on any recommendations.

Hear Them Live

cleveland wedding bands liveYou’ll pay good money for a decent wedding band, so once you’ve drawn up a shortlist, it’s a good idea to hear the contenders play live. Unfortunately, you can’t really crash a wedding just to listen to the band, but many Cleveland wedding bands will also play in local pubs on Friday and Saturday nights, and will list these dates on their website. Try to attend at least once.

If you can’t get to a gig, the next best thing to do is root out videos of them playing. Unofficial ones shot by wedding guests are best, if you can find them. They will give a more accurate account of the band’s abilities than any polished promotional video. The camera work may not be great, and you’ll have to make concessions for the sound, but you should be able to tell how well they’re going down. A good metric for any wedding band is how much energy there is in the room. Also check if the groove of the song feels right, if the group looks good on stage and, most importantly, if they’ve managed to get people up and dancing.

Professionalism

When you get in contact with your chosen band, you should make sure they’re professional and that they communicate well. Affecting the demeanor of a disaffected drunk might play okay at the local dive bar, but you don’t want that at your wedding.

Never book a band if it seems they might lower the tone of the evening. While there’s no need for them to wear three-piece suits or dresses, they should be appropriately attired, sober and polite.

Also, if your chosen bands are slow getting back to your emails, take this as a red flag. You should avoid booking a band for your wedding if they seem the least bit unreliable–finding a decent replacement act at the last minute may well be impossible.

Be Clear About What You Want

You should be clear about what you expect from the band. Get it down in writing, how long, and at what times, you want them to play.

Also, it’s your responsibility to check with the venue if there’s a noise curfew in place. In some places, live music is not allowed after a certain time. If this is the case, the band must finish up before then. You may need to look into getting a DJ for the rest of the night.

If you want the band to play a specific song, now is the time to ask them. Most will gladly learn one new track for free, especially if it’s for the first dance, but if you want them to play more than a few songs outside their usual repertoire, be prepared for them to ask for extra money. It takes time to learn new material, and if they’re gigging every week they may not normally spend a lot of time in the rehearsal room.

Be Clear About What They Want

The band will have a few requirements of their own. While it’s unlikely they’ll demand a bowl full of exclusively red M&Ms, they will expect to be fed and watered, and if the wedding is in a remote location, or far from their home town, they may ask for a bed for the night.

Get a Contract

Cleveland Wedding Band - Signing ContractThe above should all be put into your contract with the band. Pay your deposit and get this contract signed as early as possible. The best Cleveland Wedding Bands are booked anywhere up to twelve months in advance, so once you decide a group is for you, you need to move quickly.

After that, you’re done. The band is booked. Now you can concentrate on organizing the rest of the day, all the while looking forward to finally hearing them. Not just because getting the right band can help turn a good wedding into a great one, but because by the time their first note rings out, you’ll be married. Now that’s something to look forward to.

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Danny Todd
Danny Todd – Founding Member of “Like the Record”I was an army brat growing up. When I was about 13, my family and I were stationed in Germany. That’s where I first met a high school senior who lived downstairs. His name was John Door – a professional jazz drummer who would practice every day. And I wanted to play just like him … I wanted it badly!We soon became friends and he began teaching me with theory reading percussion music (which I hated practicing, but knew I had to in order to progress). I soon started on snare drum in the school marching band then moved on to stage band and orchestra. My high school band mates and I formed numerous groups and played at our high school dances every Friday night. Those were the days!
Danny Todd

@liketherecord

Representing professional #musicians in the Cleveland, Northeast Ohio areas. #ClevelandWeddingBands & #DJ Combo Packages. #ClevelandBands Call: (216)-309-2009
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/GM79vjLjz0 Should I Cycle Carbs on Keto? - 1 week ago
Danny Todd
Danny Todd
About Danny Todd

Danny Todd – Founding Member of “Like the Record”

I was an army brat growing up. When I was about 13, my family and I were stationed in Germany. That’s where I first met a high school senior who lived downstairs. His name was John Door – a professional jazz drummer who would practice every day. And I wanted to play just like him … I wanted it badly!

We soon became friends and he began teaching me with theory reading percussion music (which I hated practicing, but knew I had to in order to progress). I soon started on snare drum in the school marching band then moved on to stage band and orchestra. My high school band mates and I formed numerous groups and played at our high school dances every Friday night. Those were the days!

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