Wedding Music

Wedding Music

The music that you choose for your wedding will give all your guests a peek inside of your soul. What sort of feeling do you want your family and friends to have while at your wedding? Do you want a classic feel like the movie "Father of the Bride" or a Dean Martin, Sinatra feel? The answer to this question will determine the choices that you make regarding wether you choose a big band or a DJ. The critical question is how much money do you have to spend? If you want to save money in this area, you are in the right place. I will provide you with plenty of ideas for cheap wedding music. From pop to classical, there are lots of solutions to meet your budget. If you decide to go with a DJ at your wedding, I will give you the tools you need so that you will not be disappointed. I will help you take control, so that you can have beautiful (cheap) wedding music?

Step-by-step for the Ceremony

Step 1: Ask the ceremony site for their policies on the wedding music. Do you have to use certain music?
Step 2: Meet with the music director at least two months in advance, and make all final arrangements at least one month in advance.
Step 3: Get everything in writing, make sure if you are using a band or DJ and they don't have a contract you print the one on this page and ask them to use something like this.

Step-by-step for the Reception

Step 1: Decide on the type of music you want played and decide on wether you want a DJ or a band.
Step 2: Ask the band or DJ that you are considering if you can hear them play on a video, or at a band practice/rehearsal.
Step 3: After you have a couple finalists, give them a specific list of the music that you would like played, especially for key points in the reception like the first dance. If you have an unusual request for a song that they do not know ask them if they could learn it, most of the time good bands can and will accommodate. Ask them if they can play a CD during there breaks.

Here are some wedding music money saving tips:

Here is a good idea if you are having your reception at your parents or a friends house.
One of the best ways to save on your wedding music is to use an MP3 player with all your favorite music. For my sisters wedding, I set up my iPod and then I just downloaded additional music they requested. I set it to play all their favorites at just the right moments. It ended up being really cheap as we borrowed a friends equipment (cables, amp and speakers). It gave us control over the tracks we wanted to play. This is even something you could assign to one of your attendants, all you would have to give them is the tracks that you want played and when you want them played. This will take a lot of stress off your shoulders. For my sisters wedding, we had an hour of our favorite classical music, (the ones that everyone knows). Then had a couple of hours of Dean Martin & Sinatra over dinner and then our favorite pop classics and dance tracks. It was perfect and I think everyone danced. Picking our music this way also ensured that we had no corny stuff.
If you are having it at a nice reception hall, or you don’t know anyone with the right equipment it is probably going to be much better to hire a DJ, this will save you a lot of money and you won’t have to worry about electrocuting yourselves, plus you won’t have to worry about setting it up or breaking it down. Here is a nice resource for finding a DJ in your area: Click here to go to

More Great Tips

If you really want to have a lot of fun and save big time, download some Karaoke songs and have a few, very well chosen friends sing at the reception, this is of course only for the brave, but it can be great fun for smaller weddings. If you want to find some great Karaoke that does not sound like Karaoke Sound Choice has a fantastic selection and you won’t believe your ears, it sounds like a real band, that is because most of their songs are made with real instruments, it really makes a difference.
If you have a musician in the family and want them to perform at your wedding, fantastic then all you need to do is get them the sheet music that you want them to perform and here is a nice place that offers unlimited Classical Sheet Music to download instantly at Virtual Sheet Music ® for $37.

Click here if you are getting
married in the Catholic Church and would like to link to the page that has detailed guidelines on setting up your music selections.

Local Talent

Another good option for cheap wedding music is to have a local band play at your wedding. Giving them the practice they need in front of a live audience. Bear in mind though, that a band will take up a lot of space so watch out if you’re using a small reception hall.

Local Orchestra

A music school or music teacher may be perfect for you. More often than not, you’ll find that they’re willing to play for a nominal fee. Start at your local music store and then check out schools or in the paper for people advertising music lessons.

Get married on Sunday instead of Saturday

If you have your wedding on Sunday you will save a bundle on everything for your wedding. Another good idea is to get married during non-peak wedding season.

Hire a DJ

By hiring a DJ you will save 50% to 60%.


If you choose to use a musician you definitely want a written contract that clearly spells out all their obligations. If anything goes wrong you'll want to make sure your rights are protected. Even the simplest of musicians should at the very least have a one page standardized contract written up.
The classy thing to do for the band as far as food and drink is concerned is:
If you have buffet style catering, just let them go through the line like everyone else and if you have open bar you should allow them to have a few drinks but make sure the contract spells out that you do not want them to take advantage of your generosity, they will play better if they are having fun.
If you are paying $75 per head, chances are you are not willing to fork over this much but please do feed the band, you can have sandwiches catered and if the bar is no host be sure to provide the band with beverages, it does not have to be alcohol but they do need refreshments.
The bottom line here is to take good care of the band or DJ and they will take good care of you.


I have included in this page a nice handy (free) list of all the possible contracts that you could see.

Keys to the contract.

1. Who your wedding DJ will be.
2. Additional equipment you want, if any.
3. The number of hours they are hired for, any overtime fees.
4. What food or drinks they are allowed to consume at your wedding.
5. And any special requests, such at a certain song list that you have drawn up.
6. Go over the list with your DJ before you hire him, so that is he does not agree to anything you can move on to the next DJ.
7. You are going to have far too many things to worry about in the last few weeks before your wedding so please assign this to one of your bridesmaids or groomsmen.

Interview Checklists

Ceremony Musician Interviewing Checklist

1. Date of Interview:
2. Musician:
3. Contact Person:
4. Phone Number:
5. E-mail:
6. Do you have a sample tape or video that you can send to us?
7. Will the musicians on the tape or video be the ones playing at the ceremony?
8. Can you send us a photograph of the musicians?
9. Have the musicians worked at this venue before? If not, will the leader have a short meeting with the person in charge?
10. Can the musicians give us some direction on musical choices for various parts of the ceremony?
11. If we want a particular piece of music, can the musicians configure it for our ensemble? How long will that take and for what fee?
12. If we hire a soloist or other group for the ceremony, will the musicians have a rehearsal with them?
13. How many hours are included? If the ceremony goes over the expected time, is overtime available?
14. What will the musicians wear?
15. Do the musicians have any special requests — armless chairs, music lights, tenting for outdoor ceremonies?
16. Can the musicians be available for a rehearsal?
17. If you are having an elaborate ceremony and feel that the cues are complicated, you might want to negotiate a price to have the group (or at least the leader) be present at the rehearsal.

Band Interview Checklist

1. Date of Interview:
2. Band:
3. Contact Person:
4. Phone Number:
5. E-mail:
6. Can you send use an audiotape, video, and photograph of the band?
7. Does the contract stipulate that the performers you have listened to will be the ones who will perform at your wedding?
8. Is the audiotape or videotape recorded live? Is the sound technically enhanced?
9. Do they have a play list they will supply you with?
10. How many pieces are in the band you’ve heard?
11. How many vocalists, guitars, and so on are in the band? Is it possible to hire more or fewer? (If you wanted a big band sound, for example, you might ask for more brass pieces.)
12. Does the band supply its own sound system? Who sets it up and when will they arrive (If not, are you responsible for the contracting of a sound company or are they?)
13. What is the cost and for how many pieces, how many hours? How is overtime calculated? Is overtime available for your date?
14. Is continuous music part of the agreement? If not is it negotiable or do they play tapes during breaks?
15. What does their equipment look like? Do they have music stands, for example? (If you have an aversion to the band or company’s name on the music stands, mention it now.)
16. Who is the bandleader? If that is not who you are meeting with, can you have a pre-wedding meeting or phone conversation with him or her?
17. Can they play certain ethnic songs you might wish to have performed?
18. Will they learn/arrange any special requests in advance? Is there a charge for this?
19. What will they wear?
20. Have they worked at the venue before, are they familiar with the acoustics, load-in arrangements and other details? If not will they either visit the space or have a conversation with the site director before the wedding?
21. Do they have a rider that has special requests?
22. How much time do you have to make up your mind? Will they give you right of first refusal or do you need to leave a deposit to insure that they don’t get booked by someone else?

DJ Interview Checklist

1. DJ:
2. Contact Person:
3. Phone Number:
4. E-mail:
5. Are you talking to an agent or the person who will be at your wedding? (If it’s an agent, ask if it’s possible to have a conversation with the actual DJ.)
6. How do they charge? Is overtime available and at what rate?
7. Do they come with an assistant?
8. How do they handle taking breaks?
9. Do they have a play list?
10. If you have special requests, will they get the CDs?
11. Have they worked at the space before? Do they know load-in requirements, electrical capacity, and logistics? If not, will they visit the space beforehand?
12. How do they usually see music for a wedding progressing?
13. What do they wear?
14. What does their equipment look like? Do they need tables draped or other equipment supplied by the caterer?
15. Do you need to leave a deposit now? How much?
16. How much time do you have to decide?

Artist Engagement Contract

Artist Engagement Contract
AGREEMENT made this ______day of ________ 20_________
Between__________________________________(hereinafter referred to as “ARTIST”)
and ________________________________(Herein after referred to as “PURCHASER”)
It is mutually agreed between the parties as follows:

The PURCHASER hereby engages the ARTIST and the ARTIST hereby agrees to perform the engagement hereinafter provided, upon all the terms and conditions herein set forth, including those hereof entitled “AdditionalTerms and Conditions.”
1. PLACE OF ENGAGEMENT______________________________
2. DATE(s) OF ENGAGEMENT____________________________
3. SHOW SCHEDULE_____________________________________
4. REHEARSAL(s)________________________________________
5. FULL PRICE AGREED UPON $__________________________
All payments shall be paid by certified check, money order, bank order,or cash as follows:
(a) $_________________shall be paid by PURCHASER to and in the name of the
ARTIST agent. Not later than ____day of _________ 20_____.
(b) $_________________shall be paid by PURCHASER to ARTIST not later than
_____day of _________ 20_____.




Full Address_________________________


Band Contract

It is hereby agreed by and between the undersigned that ______
orchestra will provide music for the function as indicated below.
Number of musicians_________________________________________
Price $_______________________________________________________
Overtime per ½__ hour or part
Special Provisions

Client agrees to consult organization prior to engaging any additional
entertainment such as Dancers, Disc Jockeys, etc., to ensure proper
coordination and quality control. This contract shall be paid in three (3)
installments. The first payment, due upon signing, shall consist of 25%
of the contract price, 75% of the balance shall be due not less than eight
(8) weeks prior to the engagement date. The remainder shall be payable PRIOR TO
THE PERFORMANCE by cash, certified check, or money order. Failure to pay the
balance according to terms the terms of this contract shall make the purchaser
liable for all court costs and attorney’s fees necessary to satisfy any indebtedness.
Deposits non refundable

Name: X_______________________________
Home Phone__________________________

Music Contract

This contract is for the musical services of singer(s) and musician(s), on the
engagement described below, between the undersigned purchaser of music
(herein called “PURCHASER”) and the undersigned artist(s)
(herein called “UNIT”), on the terms and conditions stated below.
Name of Unit/Group:______________________________________________
Unit Leader:_______________________________________________________
Number of Vocalists:_____________
Number of Musicians:____________
Place of Engagement:______________________________________________
Type of Engagement:______________________________________________
Exact day(s), hours, duration and options of
Compensation agreed upon for services: $______ Overtime charge
(if any) $_______________
This contract is void if not signed and returned, along with a deposit of
$_______________ to the submitting party by ________________20______.
This contract cannot be cancelled except with the mutual consent of all
parties. Upon such cancellation the deposit shall nevertheless remain
non-refundable. In witness whereof, the parties hereto have hereunto
set their names on the day and year appearing opposite their respective
Full name (printed):________________________________________________
Street address:_____________________________________________________
City, state, zip:_____________________________________________________
Unit leader:
Full name (printed):_________________________________________________
Street address:______________________________________________________
City, state, zip:______________________________________________________

DJ Services

WHEREAS_____________________ (known hereafter as ARTIST), has offered to
perform services, and WHEREAS, the undersigned, has agreed to employ ARTIST
to perform the services explained herein, and by its signature below or signature
of its authorized agent hereby accepts the terms or this offer, now therefore.
IT IS HEREBY AGREED between the parties that ARTIST on the _____
day of ______20____, perform for the below signer between the hours of
_______ and ________ at _____________________(hereafter referred to as VENUE).
ARTIST will provide the use of his equipment, cds, lights and the performance of
a disc jockey. The type of engagement for the performance by ARTIST shall be as
follows: Wedding Reception. The wage and/or cost of the performance of ARTIST
shall be $__________as a retainer or deposit for faithful performance of said duties
IT IS FURTHER AGREED that the above scheduled event shall take place at VENUE.
IT IS FURTHER AGREED that after payment of the binder upon acceptance of this
by ________________ (hereafter referred to as CLIENT) the remaining balance of
$________ is payable at completion of Wedding Reception and if applicable excess
hours to be charged at $________per hour or portion thereof.
IT IS FURTHER AGREED between the parties that unless after accepting this Contract
this Contract is cancelled by client within (30) days prior to the performance date,
then at the option of ARTIST the binder as above stated may be retained by ARTIST.
IT IS FURTHER AGREED and intended by both parties that the terms and conditions
as set forth herein are the total terms and conditions of the Agreement and that
they shall be binding upon both parties and interpreted under the laws of State of
______________ that any additional terms, conditions, modifications not expressly
stipulated herein shall be null and of no force and effect unless said stipulation or
additional terms or conditions shall be in writing attached hereto and executed
with the same authority as this document.
We the undersigned, do agree to accept the terms and conditions of this offer made
by the ARTIST.
CLIENT SIGNATURE______________________________
ARTIST SIGNATURE______________________________

Sample Band Agreement

FOR: _________________, 20____
PIANO: A grand piano, preferably Baldwin (Steinway or Yamaha also acceptable) in
excellent condition; 5’8” if possible. Piano must be tuned to a perfect A-440 pitch
after it is placed on stage as per the stage plot.
SOUND: A first class, professional sound system (including delivery and set up) for
engagement shall meet Service’s requirements foe the performance. This sound
system shall be capable of giving distortion free, balanced sound mix to all areas
of the performance site (suitable for size for room and number of guests in
attendance) at all times during the band’s performance.
TEN (10) Microphones with stands.
TWO (2) Speakers (placed one on each side of the band stage).
ONE (1) Mixing board with operator (operator shall start with levels down and bring
up slowly).
TWO-THREE (2-3) monitors, one for lead guitarist and one or two for either
additional vocalist or horn section & 1 – 2 monitor mixes.
ONE (1) power amplifier.
A minimum of FOUR (4) outlets close to the stage for band’s equipment, and one
comfortable (preferably padded) without arms for each musician (total number of
musicians stated in contract).
STAGE: A stage for band and leader with platforms which approximate the
dimensions outlined in stage plot. (Stage plot will follow)
LIGHTING: Client shall provide Service, at Client’s sole cost and expense, with a
high quality lighting system and adjustable spotlights to meet Service’s reasonable
requirement for stated engagements.
6. MERCHANDISING: It is truly understood that there will be absolutely no
merchandising of any product(s) directly or indirectly related to Musical Orchestra
without a written permission from Artist to Artist’s representatives. This
merchandise shall include but not be limited to Records, Pictures of Musical
Orchestra alone or with another person or persons, any instant photographic
reproductions, T-shirts, Pennants, Program Books or any other materials bearing
the Musical Orchestra name or resemblance.
7. A hot meal, identical or equal to the meal being served to the party guests.
_________________________ _________________________
Please note: If there are any difficulties meeting any of the rider requirements,
please contact my office at the above telephone number to discuss possible
alternatives. Also, please call to discuss details associated with rider to ensure that
technical requirements meet those specifications best suited for your engagement.

Play List Template

For the wedding of:

Start time:
Event and Approximate Time

Full band sound check: (time)_______________________________
Music being played:_______________________________________

Cocktail hour: (time)______________________________________
[please have musicians in place by (time)____________________
Music being played:_______________________________________

Guests entering ballroom: (time)____________________________
[please have musicians in place by (time)_____________________
Music being played:________________________________________

First dance: (time)_________________________________________
[please have musicians in place by (time)______________________
Music being played:_________________________________________

Second dance: (time)_______________________________________
[please have musicians in place by (time)______________________
Music being played:_________________________________________

Ethnic dances: (time)________________________________________
[please have musicians in place by (time)_______________________
Music being played:__________________________________________

Special requests: (time)______________________________________
[please have musicians in place by (time)_______________________
Music being played:__________________________________________

Cake cutting: (time)__________________________________________
[please have musicians in place by (time)________________________
Music being played:___________________________________________

Dancing in between courses all night:____________________________
[please have musicians in place by (time)________________________
Music being played:___________________________________________

[please have musicians in place by (time)_________________________
Music being played:____________________________________________

Last dance: (time):____________________________________________
[please have musicians in place by (time)_________________________
Music being played:____________________________________________

Do not play list

For the wedding of:

Note to Bandleader/DJ: Please do NOT play the following songs at the reception:
Thank you.

Example musician proposal:

PROPOSAL SUBMITTED TO:_________________________
PHONE: _________________________________________
JOB NAME:_______________________________________
CITY, STATE, and ZIP CODE:________________________
JOB LOCATION:___________________________________
SOUND ARCHITECT:_______________________________
DATE OF EVENT:__________________________________
JOB PHONE:______________________________________
We hereby submit specifications for estimates for:
Sound System for Wedding on:______________________


1- 8 ch Mixer
1- Carver amp
1- 1/3 oct EQ
4- Small “ Headlamp” type speakers
2- 3 Wireless Mics (Hand-held or Levalier)
All necessary spares

Cocktail Reception

1- 24 Ch. Mixer/ amp
2- Full Range Speakers
3-4 Wired Mics

Wedding Reception

1- 24 Ch. Mixer
4- Full Range Speakers
2- Sub Woofers
4- Monitors
2-3 Wireless Handheld Mics
1- CD Player for First Dance
1- Spare CD player for back-up
1- Cassette

All nesc. Microphones, stands and cables
We shall deliver, set-up and remove the above equipment on _______(date).
(2)- Technicians will be on site (in Tuxedo) to operate and oversee the
equipment for the duration of the event.
Labor $_________________________
We propose hereby to furnish material and labor – complete in accordance with
above specifications, for the sum of: $______________
Total $__________________________
Net (n) Days upon Completion
All material guaranteed to be as specified. All work to completed in workmanlike
manner according to standard practices. Any alteration or deviation from above
Specifications involving extra costs will be executed only upon written orders, and
will become an extra charge over and above the estimate. All agreements
contingent upon strikes, accidents or delays beyond our control. Owner to carry
fire, tornado and other necessary insurance. Our workers are fully covered by
Workman’s Compensation Insurance.

Authorized Signature__________________________

Note: This proposal may be withdrawn by us if not accepted within______days.

Acceptance of Proposal
The above prices, specifications and conditions are satisfactory and are hereby
accepted. You are authorized to do the work as specified. Payment will be made as
outlined above.
Date of Acceptance___________________________________

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