It is said that ‘good performers create a vibe... but great performers curate an atmosphere.’ The difference then between the entertainment being good and great at your wedding, like most decisions you make in the lead up to your nuptials, comes down to research, planning and timely preparation.
Nothing quite conjures, conveys or captures emotion like music. Whether you are wanting the romantic ambience of an acoustic solo as you walk down the aisle or a 12 piece band belting out much loved bangers late into the evening, here are our expert tips to help decide on the best Brisbane based musician and DJ's for your wedding day.
Style, budget, space and versatility will all play a role when deciding on who, when and what music you want played or performed at your wedding. Playing a Spotify playlist may be a great option for your ceremony or garden party but to entice guests out of their seats and onto the dance floor you simply can’t go past a live band or DJ at your reception.
But where to start when making the decision between the two?
Firstly, begin by defining the style of wedding you want and decide what musical genres best reflect you as a couple while also capturing your intentions for the evening. If opting for an eclectic range of songs from varying genres, including guest requests, then a DJ may be the best entertainment of choice. A formal, black tie wedding on the other hand may lend itself more towards a jazz band or swing ensemble for the evening's entertainment. Secondly, take care to set out clearly what you ‘DON’T’ want to hear in your contract. If you don’t want an impromptu rendition of ' ‘Cotton-eyed Joe’’ to be played, make sure you stipulate these requests clearly beforehand. Have a list of ‘must plays’ and definitely ‘must not play’ ready to share with your artists.
To help with your decision making process ask your prospective artist questions like:
- What wardrobe options do you have for playing at our wedding?
- How long have you been doing this professionally?
- Can you assist in curating a playlist or setlist for our wedding?
- What style of weddings best suit your repertoire?
Budget is the next important consideration, typically a DJ will cost less than a band. Bands can have anywhere between 2 and 10 members and contract inclusions will often involve additional charges for travel, drinks and meals for each member. Be sure to ask to see the bands ‘rider’ before booking to avoid hidden costs or surprises.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions like:
- Can I get a discounted rate if I book a midweek wedding?
- Do you perform at more than one event in a day?
- Do you take any breaks, how many and when?
- Do you (and each band member if booking a band) require a meal? Do you have any dietary requirements?
- What is your policy on consuming alcohol during the wedding?
Space at your wedding venue, while not the most glamorous consideration, is an essential one. A DJ behind his desk may feel dwarfed in a large ballroom space, or alternatively, a full piece band may take up valuable real estate on your dance floor. Be sure to chat to your wedding venue or event coordinator as to their recommendations for your day. An accomplished venue will be able to supply you with a list of trusted and recommended vendors, which can help you whittle down your search, along with providing suggestions as to what types of entertainment and configurations can work best at their venue.
Ask your band or DJ or choice questions like:
- Have you done events at my wedding venue before?
- Are there any noise restrictions at the venue?
- Will you supply your own audio equipment or will the venue need to supply it?
- What time will you arrive at the venue?
Lastly, the versatility of an artist is central to the success of your evening’s entertainment. A good band leader or DJ will act as a MC of sorts for this part of your reception, interacting with and playing on the mood of the crowd to lure them onto the dance floor. While nothing can really replicate the energy dynamic that live musicians provide, a DJ doesn’t need to take breaks between songs and can provide a seamless transition, creatively blending one song into the next. A band also may also be limited by their repertoire, if you want a spontaneous rendition of a song they may not be able to accommodate the request.
Be sure to enquire:
- What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?
- Do you take requests from guests?
- Will the DJ/Bandleader be personally playing at your wedding?
- Do you also play an MC role for the evening?
Regardless of which way you decide to swing (pun intended) be sure to thoroughly vet your candidates and start looking sooner rather than later, anywhere between twelve and eighteen months out from your date. While it is not always possible, it is preferable that you can see your band or DJ perform live. Alternatively, request a ‘live sample’ of their performances and take note of how they present themselves and engage with the crowd. Take the time to read verified reviews and even speak to couples who they have previously performed for.
With an opening punchline of ‘Weddings are our Jam’ you know you are in for a good time when hiring this customisable three to fourteen piece band. With extensive industry credentials, Baker Boys Band can tailor-make your entire entertainment experience, from the moment you walk down the aisle until the last notes are played at the end of the evening. Taking pride in delivering high energy and flawless performances they also offer a unique online planning system which allows you to customise your day-of schedule and playlist - with the option of updating it as many times as you like in the lead up to your wedding.
They were outstanding! We cannot recommend the Baker Boys highly enough. They were so accommodating and they learnt specific songs that we wanted played throughout our wedding and they absolutely nailed it. I couldn’t have been happier and they definitely exceeded my expectations. All our guests were up dancing all night! Including my grandma. The Baker Boys read the crowd so well and we’ve received so many wonderful comments from our guests saying how great the band was and how sore their feet were from so much dancing.
Larna & Dave
Specialising in Soul, RNB, Hip-Hop and 90’s classics this dynamic Gold Coast group, with their high energy performance and choreographed breakdancing routines, will get your guests up and dancing in no time. Accomplished MC’s and performers who have toured both nationally and internationally their 5 piece showcases percussion guitar, keys and saxophone. Placing a focus on creating a wedding entertainment experience ‘like no other,’ they pride themselves on being able to cater to all ages and curate an unforgettable evening for you and your guests.
“The boys made my dream wedding a reality. Khan even MC’d the night and made everyone laugh throughout the night.”
Bronwyn & Ben
Specialising in covering all entertainment bases, from the moment your wedding begins to the moment it concludes, the Nick Trovas band is as talented as it is customisable. Whether you are wanting to start with a live acoustic performance for your ceremony (Nick is more than willing to learn all your key moment songs), have a live duo perform in your garden party during canapes or utilize the full 5-8 piece band for your reception Nick can comprehensively accommodate all of your wedding day entertainment needs. Impeccable presentation alongside rave reviews, a helpful FAQ page and live videos on their website - including one filmed in the Gabbinbar Homestead ‘Old School House’ - the Nick Trovas Band is undoubtedly one of Brisbane’s best wedding day entertainment options.
The best. Nick & Naomi sang at our wedding ceremony and we had so many compliments on how beautiful it was. The rest of the band joined them for the reception. They made our wedding so much fun and Nick was so relaxed and lovely to work with. He worked with the MC and the wedding planners perfectly, and nothing was too much trouble. Nick met up with us before the wedding for a drink to discuss everything and we felt more like mates than clients. We totally trusted him and just let him do his thing and it was amazing! He got everyone on the dance floor and it was the best night ever! Highly recommend. Can't wait to use Nick Trovas Band again - just need another excuse for a party…
Anna & Owen
With over 15 years of industry experience and having had the pleasure of performing at over 1500 live events Dan McGahan will beautifully weave his musical artistry into your wedding day to provide an accomplished and flawless evening of entertainment. Priding himself on being able to work with some of the best musicians and performers in the country, Dan offers a variety of packages to suit varying budgets and styles. Above all else Dan says he is about ‘creating meaningful, emotional, relevant music that is focused on the listeners experience.’
Dan played a massive part in making our wedding memorable not just for us but for our guests as well! We had a few unusual song requests, asked if a friend could play our processional song using Dan’s sound equipment and a run sheet that ran right over and cut into some of the hours allocated to dancing but Dan and his bandmates went with the flow of the evening and nothing was too much trouble. Dan is an amazingly talented musician and he really added to our ceremony music and ensured everything went off without a hitch. Later on the dancefloor Dan and the band really got the party started. When the wedding finished everyone said they wished Dan had been able to play for longer.
Chloe & Ollie
Whether you prefer sipping champagne whilst listening to smooth, inviting acoustic tones in the gardens or dancing the night away to flawless and inspired renditions of popular hits, local artist Jacques Van Lil will ensure you have an evening of unparalleled musical entertainment. Boasting a captivating presence, engaging style and an impressive repertoire of songs Jacques specialises in playing inviting tunes and covers that will beckon even the most hesitant guests onto the dancefloor.
With more than 20 years of collective experience in the industry and a commitment to offering an exceptional, personalised entertainment experience for couples you know you are in safe hands with Bassline Studio and Band. Being genuinely excited and passionate about working with you to create your ideal day, the team pride themselves on their diverse repertoire and flexibility.
Bassline Studios we’re exceptional playing at our wedding. Every person commented on how great the music was and everyone hit the dance floor at one point or another. They played a wide variety of music and knew how to keep the energy up. Bernadette and the team were an absolute dream to work with. Bernadette was very quick getting back to us when we had queries and very accommodating as we had to postpone our wedding twice. I would 100% recommend them to anyone planning a function - you won’t regret it!
Promising that they ‘ don’t do ‘standard’ or ‘average’ and that they ‘rock weddings for the coolest couples in town,’ Cut a Rug’s DJ Aaron knows that music can make or break your wedding day celebrations. Ensuring that no-one is left out of the celebrations they skilfully mix a little something for everyone ensuring a seamless flow for the evening's entertainment, feeling the room to select the perfect song for the moment. Featuring a comprehensive mix-tape selection on their website, allowing couples to get a feel for Aarons creative genius behind the decks, they also provide footage of live mixes at ‘real weddings’ so you can see for yourself what a Cut a Rug wedding looks like.
Insider tip: Be sure to check out their blog posts for expert entertainment wedding day advice and real wedding features.
At the end of our wedding, my feet were so sore from hours of tune after tune! Aaron NAILED it. We are so beyond thrilled he was our master of music for our ceremony and reception. He is exceptionally talented at reading the room, thinking on his feet, unexpected mashups and remixes, confetti cannons, co2 guns, hands in the air moments. An organically epic party that some of the best nightclubs I’ve ever been to would struggle to beat. Planning wise, they have all the systems set up to make you feel organised and aware of what’s happening. For anxious and busy engaged couples, it’s perfect. If you’re after a romantic ceremony, “Sunday session” relaxed vibes during dinner/mingling, then a party afterwards that has you smiling for days... choose Cut a Rug. The best.
Jess & James
Fun, creative and engaging Annie or ‘Lady Love’ is an engaging celebrant, MC and DJ all rolled into one. Promising to side-step cringy, cliche definitions of love at your ceremony and to get guests ready to celebrate and party, Annie effortlessly segways from celebrant to DJ to keep the evening flowing. As MC, Annie ensures that your unique flavor and flair is captured throughout your reception whilst also priming guests for an evening and partying on the dance floor.
Annie … We are so ridiculously grateful for everything that you did for us .. Before .. during .. And after the ceremony . You blew us, and everyone else away. Obviously without you we would not be married right now, but it was just so beautiful. You surprised us in all the right ways. And brought out emotion in all the right places. You are amazingly good at your job and any couple would be blessed to have you along for the ride. A million thank you’s for allowing us to have some of the best memories possible. Love you to bits xxxxxxx
Jasmine & Darcy
Graham Hobson is an award winning artist offering an incredible ‘Solo Live Music and DJ Package’ which provides couples with over 8 hours of entertainment. With the person who plans your wedding music also being the one who brings it to life on the day, Graham and his team will be able to curate and design a unique music experience for you. Having personally performed at over a 1000 weddings, Graham can assist with everything from song selections for the special moments at your ceremony and reception, to tips on how to transition seamlessly from ‘romantic dinner’ to ‘party mode.’
Graham was incredible at our wedding. He learnt and sung multiple songs for our special moments. He performed on the piano with Tom, on the guitar during our reception and it was absolutely magical. We highly recommend Graham.