Select Special Music For Your Ceremony. “Ceremony music should always have special meaning to the bride and groom, and almost any song can be reinterpreted and fit to the moment.”
Choose Professionals. Look for a band with, "a professional sound crew that can isolate important parts of an audio mix, such as a clarinet, and make sure everything is perfect."
From The Bride
Real estate agent Laura Greenberg met her future husband, Jeffrey, a CPA, through a mutual friend. “Our first date was dinner and then to see a Pink Floyd tribute band called The Machine.”
Jeff proposed at a restaurant where one of his childhood friends was the chef. “We don’t usually go out to eat during the week,” says Laura, “so I should have known something was up when Jeff even got a little dressed up for the occasion, but I missed all the clues. When he got down on one knee, after the initial shock, I obviously said yes.”
For their wedding, they wanted to have a party “where we just happened to get married! Music is an important part of our lives, so we knew the band and the music had to be perfect.”
While driving home from meeting another band, Laura found The Love Revival Orchestra online and began reviewing their playlist. “When I told Jeff there was no limit to the amount of Grateful Dead songs the band could play, he was sold! I watched a YouTube video that made me send not one, but two emails, requesting their availability. A few weeks later, we saw them perform at City Winery. Choosing them was the easiest choice we made during our planning.”
They asked the band to learn Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” as the song they would dance to with their parents. “My father took me to my first concert when I was 12. It was Simon and Garfunkel and Jeff was 15 when his parents took him to the same concert, so we wanted to incorporate that into the wedding. The Love Revival learned the song and performed it perfectly.”
Laura tells us that David and the band were easy to work with. “They listened to what we were looking for and took it from there. Knowing our taste in music and the vibe we were looking for, the band played arrangements, like an amazing Beatles medley, that turned out to be the highlight of the evening.”
From The Band
“Laura and Jeff are huge fans of classic rock and jam band music,” says David Mendelsohn of The Love Revival Orchestra. “But sometimes that material is not the most danceable. So it was important to strike the right balance.”
David recommended incorporating some of the less danceable music into the cocktail hour. “Instead of going with tasteful jazz background music, performed by either a solo piano player or trio, as we usually recommend, I suggested a solo acoustic guitar player/singer. We appealed to the couple and their guests by performing classic rock you typically wouldn’t hear during cocktail hour.
“Ceremony music should always have special meaning to the bride and groom, and almost any song can be reinterpreted and fit to the moment.” Laura and Jeff opted for solo piano music for the ceremony, picking a selection of Beatles songs that the band re-imagined in classical style for piano. “It takes a little bit of extra thought to do something like that, but it’s worth it!” says David. “It’s one of the things we really enjoy doing and take pride in.”
As a Jewish wedding, its musical centerpiece was the traditional Hora dance. It’s very lively and the bride, groom, and parents are hoisted up on chairs while the guests dance in a circle. “The key to a great Hora is having an amazing clarinet player and making sure the clarinet is loud enough in the mix to cut through.”
The final piece is having a professional sound crew that can isolate important parts of an audio mix, such as a clarinet, and make sure everything is perfect. “Many wedding bands don’t travel with a sound technician and instead use one of the musicians actually performing, to mix the sound from the stage. This definitely saves money, but ask your band if they have dedicated professional audio engineers.”
You want your band to cater to your musical tastes. "For Laura and Jeff, Jackie Wilson’s ‘Higher and Higher,' and a great upbeat Motown song, was a favorite. The Grateful Dead’s ‘They Love Each Other,’ while an excellent sentiment, was a pretty obscure choice for their first dance. Surprisingly, this song has come in very handy with couples and we’ve played it more than a few times since then.”
Hire a Real Band ... “The most essential tip I can give when hiring a wedding band,” says David, “is to hire an actual band. Large companies that book multiple bands for the same date often assemble musicians from their database, who may not even get a chance to rehearse together before the wedding.
“We book only one wedding for a given date, ensuring that you’re going to get musicians who have played together, that the material will be well-rehearsed and treated with love and professionalism, and that all your questions will be addressed directly with the bandleader, who will be at your wedding.”
David tells us it was a true joy to be part of Laura and Jeff’s wedding. “The party continued after the reception with a roaring campfire. Members of the band played music till the wee hours of the morning. Everything went so well that Laura’s sister booked us to play her wedding this spring!”