Photo by Tec Petaja via TresSugar.com
Choosing the music for your rustic wedding can be one of the most difficult aspects of planning your big day. Do you book a live band? Do you sacrifice some of the atmosphere of live music for the security of a DJ? Do you cajole a number of your friends into providing live music AND DJing? Do you go DIY and provide the music yourself via your iPod or your trusty singing voice?
Each option has its advantages, depending on your budget, tastes, venue and guest list. Whether you’re yearning for Top 40 hits or dreaming of a live local blue grass band, we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons to help you decide.
First the pros:
Atmosphere There’s nothing like live music to lend a touch of sophistication and an instant dose of energy to a reception. Listening to a talented singer croon “What a Wonderful World” or a saxophonist play Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” right in front of you is an all too rare treat.
Sound quality Bands often invest in higher-quality equipment, though this isn’t a hard and fast rule.
Adaptability Live musicians can jack up the tempo of a song if your guests are really getting into a groove, or slow it down to accommodate tired feet or a fading groom. They can also, ahem, clean up questionable lyrics without a conspicuous pause or bleep.
Theme potential A Celtic band can really amp up an Irish wedding, while a swing band could beautifully complement a vintage dress and a 1930s aesthetic.
Now the cons:
Price Again, we’re generalizing, but bands tend to cost more than DJs, which rules them out for some couples. If you’re spending $2,000 on up, make sure you thoroughly research the band and communicate your needs.
Space A three-member band may be easy enough to accommodate, but you’ll never squeeze a 20-piece orchestra into an intimate B&B. And you wouldn’t want to, after all there’s no volume control on live musicians. Plan ahead to be sure your band doesn’t drown out your guests’ conversation.
Adaptability Yep, it’s a con too. DJs have thousands of songs to choose from, while bands tend to perform a more limited playlist. But keep in mind that many of those thousands of songs are tunes you’d never want to hear at your wedding. Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” anyone?
Predictability The songs you request will be played as their familiar, original versions. No matter how good a live singer may be, he won’t sing “I Get a Kick Out of You” like Old Blue Eyes.
Variety DJs have live bands beat when it comes to their library of playable songs. From pop hits to jazz standards, they can accommodate the tastes of everyone from your college pals to your grandma and grandpa.
No breaks Live musicians need occasional breaks from singing their hearts out and tickling the ivories, but a DJ can typically play all night without interruption.
Easier setup A DJ and his or her equipment generally take up minimal real estate, which can seal the deal for couples tying the knot in smaller venues. Still, a smaller band might fit the same amount of space.
Personality pitfalls We’ve all witnessed how a DJ with a cheesy or over the top persona can really kill a party. This could apply to band leaders, too, if you’ve asked them to emcee, but it’s DJs that have earned the rep. Still, many disc jockeys are talented mix masters who’d never touch a clip-on bowtie.
Boredom DJs sometimes have their routines down so well that they slip into autopilot an hour into the reception. You want a DJ who won’t accidently announce you as “Mr. and Mrs. John Patterson” if the bride’s keeping her name, or hit play on “YMCA” if you’ve added it to your do-not-play-on-pain-of-death list.
No backup A band can play on if one of its members gets stuck in traffic, but if your DJ gets held up, you’re stuck with no tunes. Be sure to ask your DJ how he or she handles these situations and discuss contingency plans.
Jillian & Dawson, who are engaged to be married this July, had a rustic, fairytale inspired engagement photo shoot. The choice of exotic orchids mixed with other unusual blooms coupled with the majestic background of Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park resulted in a truly dreamlike experience. The deep blues of the tablecloth along with the quirky, old goblets, and moss covered books completed the trip to wonderland. Such an unconventional photo shoot really helped to show off the couple’s big personalities. Thank you to Brilliant Imagery for the eyecandy images! To see more photos from Jillian & Dawson’s engagement session, see their real wedding album on LulaWed!
Photography by Brilliant Imagery
Venue: Silver Falls State Park
Beauty: Kelsey Glassow
Cupcakes are becoming more and more popular at weddings, especially at rustic themed ones in which they serve as a playful element of vintage-inspired dessert bars. Cupcakes are easy to distribute to your guests (no more waiting forever for a slice of the beautiful but inaccessible cake), fun, and often much less expensive than a traditional cake while still being easy to meld with your color scheme and overall theme (and did we mention, absolutely scrumptious!?). One way to help personalize them for your wedding (and an easy way to provide a tiny scrapbooking item for you or your guests) is through cupcake toppers. Enter: Thick & Thin Designs. John & Christine Carney, a husband and wife power team, started Thick & Thin just last year out of the IMRC maker space at University of Maine, Orono. Their business quickly took off, and now the couple makes thousands of personalized, laser-cut cupcake toppers throughout the year. These are just any run-of-the-mill toppers, either. Some of the couple’s best sellers are zombies, gears, and hipster glasses! Their repertoire also includes many outdoors-themed toppers that caused rustic weddings to come unbidden to our minds, such as antlers, bunnies, state outlines, and pine cones. John & Christine are also happy to create custom toppers to perfectly fit your wedding decor.
Photos via Thick & Thin Designs