By Stacy Schnetzka with ECE

Your wedding weekend will arguably be the biggest celebration of your life, and the type of entertainment you choose can make or break the events you have planned. With a large selection of bands, DJs, and specialty musicians, take care to match your vision with professional entertainers in order to exceed your wedding dreams.

Whether it’s a DJ for the engagement party, a classy jazz band for the rehearsal dinner, a string trio for the wedding ceremony, or the most amazing party band that will have your wedding reception guests dancing the night away, don’t underestimate all of your wedding-related entertainment needs. From the Welcome Party to Sunday Brunch, make your wedding weekend a truly unforgettable experience.

Your welcome party or rehearsal dinner sets the tone for the entire weekend. Different from the rehearsal dinner, welcome parties typically involve all guests or, at least, all out-of-town guests and the wedding party. You want the entertainment to be amazing but different from what you have in store for your reception. Instead of a variety band, use the welcome party as an opportunity to hone in on a particular type of music that you and your fiancé love such as Motown, Americana, Bluegrass, Yacht Rock, Country, or decade specific.

For the Prelude, Pre-Processional, and Processional consider hiring a soloist or duo to keep the atmosphere serene. The instrumental entertainment builds suspense for the anticipated moment the bride walks down the aisle.

The short pause before the bride entrance song is an ideal time to transition from instrumental-only to a song that includes vocals. The addition of a vocalist immediately shifts the attention in the room.

The Recessional is played as the newlyweds and their wedding party exit down the aisle. Here, change the tempo to create a celebratory and uplifting atmosphere. You might even consider adding an organ, piano, harp or for a fun twist, a saxophone.

Since you’re not at the dance party yet, try to keep the volume turned down and the vibe mellow. This allows people to easily chat and mingle. Yet, this doesn’t mean play cheesy elevator music. Rather, think about matching the music to the mood and your taste. Try hiring a jazz trio, a bluegrass quartet, or an acoustic guitarist to complement the mood.

Whether it is a high-energy live band or all genres of music provided by a DJ, music is the heart and soul of a reception. Having a band gives you the dynamics of a live performance. It’s traditional and distinctive, and the band you choose can set the tone for your reception – from big band glamour to beach music funkiness. The performance, diversity of style, and playlist can complement any wedding event. Today’s disc jockeys offer a balance of eclectic mixes of musical styles for all ages. The songs played encourage sing-alongs and improvisation. Also, depending on the amount of equipment a DJ brings, they typically take up less dance floor real estate and can be relocated with relative ease.

Post-wedding brunches provide you some sweet, quieter time to spend with out of town guests, separate from the hectic blur of your wedding day. With morning naturally setting a more mellow tone, brunch can still be festive (think brightly colored flowers and mimosas), but it probably won’t include a crazy dance party. Try a fun a cappella group or a unique harp, flute, and viola trio for this more casual event.

Photos By: Sarah and Dave Photography 

ECE is the largest, full-service entertainment agency in the country, arranging unforgettable entertainment and producing custom events from coast-to-coast and around the world. From weddings and social galas to college concerts and business entertainment, we make your event a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Learn more at