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Music can set the mood for romance, conversation or dancing, wonderful components of a wedding reception. Music is the very first thing that greets your guests and the last thing they’ll hear when they leave the reception.

Your music literally makes or breaks the function depending on the selection of musical entertainment ranging from Bouzouki to Bluegrass to a full Orchestra. If you can do something different with your music to catch the attention of the guests, you will win them over.

A recent client wanted a cocktail hour that was serene but which will have “wowed” the guests. I brought in traditional Indian musicians to play a sitar and tabla on a platform decorated with Indian rugs. It was such a spectacular cocktail hour that people are still talking about it. The music did not disturb the conversation but was itself a conversation piece.

When planning a musical arrangement that is out of the ordinary, think about the tastes of your guests as well. If the bride does it for herself without taking into consideration her guests- it will not work.

One bride I worked with loved “Gone With The Wind” and arranged to have music inspired by the film played during the cocktail hour and at the start of the reception. Guests were thrilled. If the music in the style of “Gone With The Wind” was played for the entire reception there would have been a negative responsive. A taste of the style at the beginning sets the mood.

If you are both avid fans of Rhythm and Blues, a blues singer might be right up your alley. If you have German roots why not hire an Octoberfest Band in full lederhosen attire. If the two of you met on an island vacation or are planning a tropical honeymoon, a Caribbean Steel Drum Band in Calypso attire is a great way to start off your wedding at the cocktail hour. Greek Bouzouki performing the songs of the specific sections of Greece the families are from or Irish music from County Claire (or any other county in Ireland).

This can be mixed with American Dance Music. Your personality is the cue and the music should be customized to your wishes.

If this is too specific for your taste then decide on the style or mood you want for your reception and plan from there. Do you want to create an elegant, romantic affair or a more casual  gathering. The music makes all the difference in the direction your reception will take. You can spend a tremendous amount of money, but if the music does not fit the ambiance, it is not going to work. More is not necessarily better. Having the right thing makes all the difference. You do not have to spend more to have something different that reflects your personality.

My next article will cover a few of the common   types of receptions and some uncommon musical suggestions to bring those settings to life.
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STAN WIEST is recommended for Wedding Music in the book

“The Perfect Wedding Reception”

By Maria Mc Bride Mellinger – editor at BRIDE’S MAGAZINE in New York

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