Tips & Ideas
Save money by having one or a few musicians for your cocktail and dinner music with the full band for the dance portion of the evening.
Begin Quote I just wanted to thank you and your band for providing us with such excellent music during our company's recent Country & Western cocktail party. . . everyone enjoyed the music and we had a great time. End Quote

Tips & Ideas

You're planning a wedding, a special party for family or friends, or a holiday or company dinner dance. Or maybe you're in charge of your church or child's school fund raising event.

Don't PANIC!. . .

Just remember the old adage, "a little bit of common sense goes a long way in making it happen!" Here are a few helpful hints to guide you in securing the most important element of any successful event - the music and entertainment.


Decide on the format or style of music you envision for your event. This will help you determine what kind of entertainment you require.

  • Are you having a formal or informal party?
  • Are you having a theme party?
  • Is it a cocktail party, dinner dance, or a combination of the two?
  • Are you having the event in multiple or adjacent rooms or in the same area? An example would be cocktails in a foyer of a hotel with dinner and dancing in the main ballroom.
  • Is a continuous music format (Band and DJ) important for your event?
  • How large is your space?
  • Do you need specialty music (i.e., ceremony music for your wedding)?


Determine a basic budget range. Set a cost per person for entertainment just like you do for food & beverages. Don't expect to spend $50.00 per person for dinner and $0.50 per person for entertainment! Remember these points:

  • The more hours and people involved the more expensive it will be.
  • A live band or orchestra is more costly than a DJ.
  • DJ's are not better because they play anything you want and they are just less expensive.
  • "Big Band Music" does not require a big band.


Work with professionals. Pick professionals who understand the kind of event you are planning, and who have a strong business and musical reputation with plenty of referrals. Following are some recommendations based on my twenty years in the entertainment business:

  • Save money by having one or a few musicians for your cocktail and dinner music with the full band for the dance portion of the evening.
  • "Dress-up" your DJ services with live musicians for cocktail/dinner entertainment (solo piano or duo) with the DJ for dancing afterward.
  • Save money on your wedding ceremony music by having it be part of a total package.
  • Let the musicians do their job.
  • They know how to do the gig!
  • Hiring a "bar band" or a transient band may create problems.
  • In most cases they play a very linear or limited repertoire that is only appropriate for select situations.
  • Hiring by committee does not always give the best results. Trust your instincts. The fewer people involved the better the results with less stress and pressure.


And most important of all, remember: IT'S A PARTY! HAVE FUN!