I guess one of the main / only decisions to make when it comes to your wedding music is whether you want to go with live music or not. Obviously being a musician, I would love to think that everybody would want live music at their wedding. However there are several factors to consider and ultimately you've got to go with what you want because...well...it's your wedding?!
So #1 - What do you want?
By the time your wedding comes around I would have hoped you'd have a pretty good idea about what you and your partner enjoy when it comes to music. Do you enjoy going to live gigs, or do you prefer clubbing or being in a bar with a good DJ? What style of music do you enjoy?
Of course on your wedding day you have to take your guests into consideration; I'm not suggesting if you and your partner are into techno music you turn your wedding reception into a rave. However you need to enjoy the day/night too and if your idea of a nightmare is hearing a DJ knocking out cheesy pop music, don't book a cheesy wedding DJ. It seems obvious, but it's amazing how many couples have booked a particular band or DJ because their parents suggested it or because their friends said that's what they should do.
#2 - How much is it going to cost?
Organising a wedding isn't cheap (I know) and although you can cut a few corners here and there to save some pennies, there are some corners that you just shouldn't try and cut. Music is one of them. I was amazed to read in a recent article how poorly music ranked on a Bride's priority list; below stationary?! Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure wedding stationary has its merits, but I'd love to see it keep your guests entertained all evening. They would have to be some pretty impressive place cards!
If you really want a live band but your budget does not allow for it, consider a duo. I play in a few duos and we can get the party started as good as any band I have seen (perhaps I'm being biased). I guess at the end of the day, it's like most things in life...you get what you pay for and considering for the most part, it's the music that is going to be keeping your guests entertained for most of the night. Is it really something you want to take a chance on?
Which brings me to #3 - Check it out for yourself.
I have been booked countless times through recommendations which I think is often the best way to book a musician. However, I would strongly suggest going to check it out for yourself. I always encourage couples to come along to one of my public gigs to make sure I'm right for their wedding. Granted a lot of wedding bands do not play pub gigs, but at least have a good nosey on their website and check out some of their videos before making a decision.
#4 - On the day.
On the day of your wedding the last thing you want is to be worrying about certain elements (i.e. is the musician going to turn up? Is the music ready for the bridal entrance? Did I just see my new wife disappear into the toilets with the lead guitarist???)
I suppose the best way to combat this is to book a professional musician who regularly performs at weddings and/or prestigious events. You want somebody there on the day who is competent at their job and who will not crumble under pressure. It's a wedding; not everything runs to plan and I think it's priceless to have somebody on hand to oversee the music and completely take that stress away from the bride and groom.
I suppose what I'm trying to say is ... book me. I'm experienced, reliable and I wont run off with one of the bridesmaids!