These 5 tips from Sally Mitlas will help make your wedding entertainment sensational!
1. We’re not sure if we want a band or a DJ. What are the pros and cons of each?
The main difference is in cost. A DJ is going to be much less expensive than a band. I would take a good DJ any day over a mediocre band… however, when the band is great, there is nothing like it. The music is three-dimensional, emotion-driven, human, artistic and very exciting. The DJ can play the same music, but I compare it to seeing a photograph versus the real deal. The photograph is lovely – but does it come alive with emotion, and artistry?
Visually, to see smoking horn section of trumpet, trombone and tenor saxophone with a full rhythm section of keyboard/bass, guitar and drums – and then topped off with outstanding swing, rock, pop and R&B vocalists? Doesn’t get any better in the room!
2. We’ll have guests of different generations, including kids and grandparents. How do we engage everyone at the party?
Everyone wants to leave the party knowing the band played music they love to dace to, for sure! It is important to have very ‘good taste’ when it comes to choosing music from different eras that will have a universal appeal in the room. Sometimes, it’s a matter of following what ‘older’ songs are getting revived in movies, tv shows, even commercials, so the younger generation feels as if it has discovered a classic ‘retro’ melody. It is also very important to stay current with great dance music. Great music is great music – period. It will pack a dance floor if it is played authentically and with talented players. ‘When Harry Met Sally’ made a song like ‘It Had to Be You’ hip again…. Appealing to a very wide range of ages.
3. My Dad hates to dance. How do we create a memorable Father-Daughter dance?
If Dad hates to dance, pick a song where he holds you and loves you – and let the melody tell the story. Songs such as ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, ‘What a Wonderful World’ and ‘You are the Sunshine of My Life’ are perfect choices. The tempo is easy to sway to… and soon the bandleader will inviting everyone up to share the moment… and your guests will join you because these songs are ageless and timeless. They will have universal appeal.
4. Our wedding reception will be four hours total including cocktail hour. We want plenty of time for dancing. How should we structure our time?
The first hour is mix and mingle time… giving guests time to transition from the ceremony. If you have a three hour limit for the dinner/dancing reception (usually it is four), then everything must be paced with the courses. Limit your celebration to three courses, and you will have plenty of time for dining and dancing. Work backwards. A plated dessert should come out 45 minutes before your scheduled ending. It takes 15 minutes to dine on dessert, so this allows a strong half hour ending set. The most important thing is not to have your first course present. The first course should be served 45 minutes after the doors open from the cocktail hour, giving guests time to find their tables, witness the first dance, party and then settle in for the first toast and blessings. Always have dancing in between courses to allow the wait staff to pick up finished courses and place the next.
5. What are the three songs we must have on our playlist?
You are the Best Thing
Shake Your Body Down
Anything Stevie Wonder
Contributed Guest Post by Sally Mitlas
Sally Mitlas is the owner of Mitlas Productions, LLC located in Jenkintown, PA. Mitlas Productions provides multi-award winning film production and event entertainment for social and corporate events. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, Ms. Mitlas is well respected in the performing arts and media production community. She brings years of expertise and creativity to this field. Her specialty is in creating sensational events for social and corporate clientele, as well as producing films for an international audience..