5 Pro Tips from The Wedding Singer

GFR CO-Founder/Director Jonathan Huvard talks FAQs & gives insight into booking the right act for your event- check it out!

I’ve been a professional musician for over a decade. My crew and I have performed everywhere- from the dingiest, darkest bars to some of the world’s biggest stages. I’ve crossed the United States by car, van, bus and plane more times than I can remember. I’ve played shows to audiences on multiple continents. Oh yeah… I also happen to be a kick ass wedding singer and I LOVE what I do… When the party needs to get turned up to 11, I’m the guy you call. Why me? Because, I’ve seen it all! Drunk uncle dusted off the old trumpet and wants to sit in with the band… Sprinklers pop on mid- ceremony on the outdoor lawn to give the guests a nice spritz on a warm summer day… I’ve witnessed first-hand, a former US President break dance with the bride to a slammed-out version of “You Spin Right Round” … Yup, that happened (so surreal).

About three years ago (can’t believe how fast time flies!), my partner Jordan and I consolidated our collective of ace musicians and assembled a team of production masterminds to create one of a kind wedding experiences for people. With engagement season well underway, I hope to share a small bit of insight that might help couples try to determine the best entertainment options for their event, as well as attempt to answer some FAQs that I commonly encounter. I believe the entertainment is the single most important aspect to any wedding, event, or celebration. Here are my five key insights to consider before you book your band or DJ.

  1. Check the label carefully before you buy. What do I mean by this? There are certain crucial promo materials that any solid band should have. Current photos and MOST importantly relevant video are key! Do the videos match the pictures? Is the YouTube link from 2005? Regardless of their tenure or experience, good bands always create fresh material. It shows they care, it shows a higher regard for their craft. It’s common for any band both in the private sector and in the ticketed arenas, to sometimes change or alternate a line up. However, there should always be the video/ promotional proof to back it up. It’s your band for the night, there should be no surprises!
  2. Don’t Fall for The Stinky Cheese! Pay attention to common “catch phrases”, or “one liner” in your initial discussions with the band/ DJ. If it starts feeling like you’re being sold a used car or if at any point a phrase like: “We’re not cheesy like the other bands” is mentioned… That’s a pretty clear indication that you’re about to get the gorgonzola! A solid band/ DJ doesn’t need to compare themselves to any other act or organization. They should be able to explain their process confidently and professionally. Like in any field, one’s work should stand on its own merit. Try and pick up on those signals as you get to know your potential talent(s) options.
  3. Feel the Flow- Your Band/DJ is “The Party Vibe Guru”- As I mentioned before, the band/ DJ will make or break your event. A solid act should feel honored and excited to be entrusted with that responsibility. For example, a great wedding band should work in unison with the clients and planners to create a seamless flow for the entire event- not just the reception. The best bands/ DJs maintain fluid communication throughout the entire planning process, no matter how far in advance the event is booked. Make sure you work with talent that will take the time to get to know you. The more familiar we become with our clients and vice versa, the better we create a seamless production flow and performances that exceed your wildest expectations. Vibe between client, planner and band is key and helps to create the ultimate experience.
  4. Appreciate the Importance of Tier 1 Level Audio Production- Solid, professional level audio equipment and an experienced production staff are a must. People often underestimate the importance of quality audio production at their events. How many times have you been to an outdoor wedding ceremony, only to hear the sound of wind blast through the speakers as the couples say their vows? How often have you seen a band waaay too loud in the front two rows, only be to be muffled, distorted and quiet in the back of the room? Your band/ DJ or third-party production company should provide you with the best available sound equipment (i.e. Mics, Speakers, etc…) and competent staff to work the event. Those “I Do” moments are important, it’s the reason all your friends and family traveled from all over to be there for you- make sure everyone has the joy of hearing it!
  5. Sit Back, Take A Deep Breath, Enjoy the Moment! I live for the moment at the end of the night, when I see those huge smiles on the faces of our couples after the team delivers a next level experience. Most couples we work with often spend a year or more planning their wedding. I understand at times it can be stressful and there are so many details to keep in line. However, the first words most people say to me at the end of the night is: “Wow, that was incredible, and I can’t believe it’s over already”.  As musicians we live for experiences and understand it’s more about the journey and less about the destination. Just as a wedding is not only a celebration, but a symbol for the start of a new chapter in life. Whether you’re in the process of choosing napkins, flower arrangements, venues, bands, DJs, etc… Enjoy the ride- it’s full of joy and excitement.

Hopefully I was able to shed a bit of insight. Good luck with the planning process and remember to check back in with GFR for more great write-ups and tidbits to help you along the way. Talk soon!

-The Wedding Singer

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