[Dixielandjazz] making weddings work

Jim Kashishian jim at kashprod.com
Thu Nov 8 02:35:34 PST 2007

Not meaning to be repetitive with my comments...since I have made this
revelation in the past..., there is a solution to those that feel they might
get asked to play things they don't know or wish to play at a wedding:
I always tell my contact that we do weddings all the time, while he (or she)
probably gets married only once (?), so "let me make a suggestion as to how
the band can be a success at your wedding!".
Then, I make sure the band is hired to play the "cocktail hour" before the
sit down meal.  That, of course, only works when there IS a sit down meal,
but there always is in Spain.
The norm here is a church wedding around 6 or 7pm.  Guests will start
arriving at the wedding reception (hotel, gardens, even the ruins of a
convent where we do several weddings a year!) beginning around 8:15pm.
Cocktails go on until about 9:30 or 10pm while the wedding couple arrive
from the church, have pictures with friends & family, etc.  
During this period, we're happily honking away with lively jazz, colorful
vests adding to the cheer.  When everyone goes in for dinner (10pm) we pack
up & go home!    :>  
We get the same money we used to get for playing the dinner & dance, and
we're back home before 11pm!  Neither dinner or dance ever worked out well
since 5 guys on the stand can make diners (at least Spanish diners) feel
they can't talk, and the dance.....well, you have to come to a Spanish
wedding dance to understand the kind of songs required.  We can do it all,
but we don't want to.  There are bands that do that style, we do ours!
Besides the dance is from about 1am to 4 or 5 am!
Anyway, the cocktail/reception rule has worked out perfectly for us.  The
thing to do is go in as a "specialty", not just any old background music
band.  In our case, we have a great selling point as being the "Royal
Wedding Band"!     :>
I'm sure that at least the "high society" weddings in the U.S. must be run
in the same manner as ours, albeit at an earlier hour, perhaps, so selling
the band for livening up the reception period should work out just as well
over there as it does for us.
Of course, you're more likely to get comments such as "the music was just
splendid" instead of (quote) "You guys are F***ing amazing", but then that's
ok, too!

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list