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Grace O: Band vs. DJ

 I always imagined having a live band, and then I saw the price.

By Grace O’Neil

To know me is to know that I love music. Summer concerts, my Pandora iPhone app and long drives with the radio on are a few of my favorite things. Even when I was much younger, I can remember creating CD mixes for practically every occasion. Needless to say, when it came to wedding planning, finding the right music was high on my priority list.

Initially, I was set on having a band. When Paul and I spoke about our vision for the wedding, we both wanted everyone to be on the dance floor all night long. But, finding the right band was a lot harder than we anticipated. First came the price tag shock factor. A few of the bands we regularly go listen to quoted us at rates much higher than we had budgeted for — thousands and thousands of dollars higher. I actually remember my jaw dropping while opening an email attachment.

 

When we branched out and went to see other bands play, we had a hard time finding music we thought all of our guests would enjoy. While some bands played awesome high energy music, we couldn’t picture some of our relatives getting out of their seats. Other bands played traditional music that sounded lovely, but wasn’t quite the “dance all night” music we knew would make our wedding the celebration we had in mind.

I reached out to one of my mom’s best friends who plans events, and she suggested that I contact Luke Renchan Entertainment. While I was hesitant about hiring a DJ, I contacted Luke and scheduled a conference call so that Paul and I could get to know him and his business a little more.

Any hesitation I had about hiring a DJ for our wedding disappeared within minutes. Luke laughed as we told him that we definitely weren’t looking for a gimmicky DJ that would shout to our guests on the mic the entire night. He explained that his specialty was making sure people were moving on the dance floor and was extremely professional and accommodating in regards to all of our concerns. He also shared that all brides and grooms that book through his company have access to an online wedding planner, where they can record all wedding party names, special song lists and a “do not play” list. After talking things through with Paul, we agreed that hiring Luke was an easy decision.

Next came the question of what type of music to have during our cocktail hour, which is planned for outside The Towers on the beautiful Casino Courtyard patio. For this hour, we wanted something a little different that matched our rustic-elegant theme and beachy vibe. We found the website GigMasters, which specializes in connecting performers to those planning events. I typed in the specifics of our wedding and came across Rob Ranney, an acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter from Providence.

When we had the opportunity to speak with Rob, he was so helpful and informative. He had a lot of experience performing in the area, playing everything from weddings to cookouts to schools. He also had an amazing list of songs to choose from, ranging from James Taylor to Hootie and the Blowfish. We crafted a playlist of songs we love that will be sure to kick off our night on the right foot.

While we may not have signed a contract with a band as we had originally planned, Paul and I are so happy with our choices for music. We found a way to stay within our budget and have a mix of music that we know will help give us the unforgettable night we hope to have.

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