How to Pick the Perfect Musician for Your Wedding

Wedding Music

Picking your wedding entertainment is a tall order.  Whether you pick a live musician/band or a DJ, you want someone who will keep your guests entertained and make your wedding day one to remember forever. 

If you’ve decided to go with a musician, small group, ensemble or band, there’s plenty of work left to do !  To help, we’ve developed a list of steps to follow when picking out musicians for your wedding. 

How to Pick Live Wedding Entertainment

1. Consider your budget.  As with everything else on your wedding day, music expenses can quickly add up.  If you’re getting married away from the city, you may have to pay a travel fee.  

In general, the bigger the band, the higher the costs.  The reason: In addition to paying for the time, talent, and experience of each individual member, you’re also paying for the transportation of all instruments and any necessary sound equipment. 

Research from The Knot found that the average wedding band costs more than $4,000.  With that in mind, it may be more affordable to search for smaller bands or even a quartet to keep your wedding day under budget. 

2. Consider what sort of music you want to hear for your wedding entertainment.  You have multiple moments to consider when picking music for your big day:

  • Wedding Ceremony
  • Cocktail hour
  • Introductions
  • Dinner
  • Reception

Each moment demands a different sound, and your ideal wedding musician or band should be capable of performing for each part. 

Another factor to consider: Many musicians specialize in a genre.  During your wedding music research, you may find:

  • Big bands
  • Cover bands
  • Traditional musicians and groups, including solo violinists, string duos, string trios, and string quartets

Some musicians specialize in specific styles and may not be comfortable outside of their musical zone, so keep that in mind when picking out a live act for your wedding.

Married couple at their wedding reception

3. Do your wedding entertainment research before making phone calls.  Your wedding band or performer will set the tone for the entire evening, so make sure you have someone you trust.  Internet reviews on WeddingWire, The Knot and Google are a good starting point.

But don’t stop there.  Check with your wedding planner or the venue for your wedding reception to see if they have someone they recommend.  These individuals often have trusted industry connections to help you find the perfect fit. 

4. Get specific with your questions.  Once you’ve narrowed it down to your favorites, ask specifics:

  • What’s on your play list ?  The song list will give you a better idea of what the band already knows—and it could give you new ideas for picking out your wedding playlist. 
  • Will you learn new songs for our wedding ?  This is a great question to ask even if the band or musicians already know all the music you want. 
  • How many singers and instruments are available ?  This question gives you better insight into what your wedding ceremony and wedding reception may sound like. 
  • Can someone in the band be our emcee for the evening ?  Having a great emcee is a must for your wedding, and many bands have a frontman or frontwoman who is charismatic enough to do an excellent job emceeing. 
  • How many breaks does the band need ?  This will give you a better idea of how much down time your evening will have. 
  • Can the band provide extras, like uplighting or photobooths ?  If so, you may be able to use their resources at a lower cost than through another vendor. 
  • Have you played at the venue before ?  If so, they are more likely to understand how the sound will travel in the space, letting them make any necessary adjustments before entertaining. 

Picking the right musician for your wedding doesn’t have to be difficult. By following a few simple steps, you can streamline the process and find someone your guests will love as much as you do.


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Steven Vance has provided high-quality corporate entertainment and wedding music for over 20 years and more than 10,000 special events in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, DC, Virginia, New York, and surrounding areas.

Steven Vance Entertainment

YES, we are doing micro-weddings and mini-ceremonies. Ask us to put together a special package for you to get married NOW with all the style, class and fun our music can add.


This Week:


PopRock Electric Violin and DJ Package for a Wedding Ceremony at Mansions On Fifth and then the Reception at Lemont. 

We will also have performers at Phipps Conservatory. 


New Years Eve at Rivers Casino from 5-10 PM in their new restaurant. More specifics soon.

Online Shows

FACEBOOK LIVE  and IGTV                                                                                                                            

Sunday December 6.  My plan is to play for an hour on Facebook Live and then do another hour on Instagram IGTV.  Late afternoon or early evening.  Times to be announced soon.

Electric Violin live from my home. Go to my Facebook page (link below) and my Instagram page @StevenVanceEntertainment to watch. LIKE my page so you can check announcements and see invites. SHARE with your friends are my new friends. In the meantime, you can also watch all of the sessions (15) we've done so far.  Many of them are now posted on our YouTube Channel.  Click the icon above. The next one will be  posted here and on our Facebook and Instagram pages. 


Steve plays Electric Violin on  "Circles" by Post Malone                                                                                PopRock Electric Cello plays  "Best Day Of My Life" by the American Authors                                        Cadillac Jazz Trio (Sax, Keyboards and Bass) plays "All The Things You Are"                                          PopRock Violinist Charles May plays Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself"                                                Steve plays Electric Violin on the new Duo Lipa song "Don't Start Now"

See over 450 videos on our YouTube Channel. Enjoy !


"Juan was amazing! He communicated with us and helped us to pick more contemporary songs that would work well for the solo violin we booked. Our guests loved the acoustics of the violin in the smaller church we used and it helped to make our day that much better. I would definitely recommend!"                                                                                                                                                      Ashley & Matthew 10/17/20 Old Stone Church Solo Violin                                                                    "We used the Steven Vance String Trio for our wedding ceremony and it was AMAZING. We received so many compliments on how lovely it made the ceremony. They did an incredible job and were very easy and professional to work with."                                                                                                            Courtney & Marc  10/10/20  St. Margaret Mary Church  AAA String Trio                                                  "Would recommend Steven Vance’s company to anyone! We booked their DJ package for our wedding and I’m so glad we did! Steve was extremely courteous through the whole process and helped us book the appropriate package for us. We worked with DJ Vanessa for our wedding and she was so wonderful. Awesome personality and truly cares about giving you the perfect day. She took time to get to know us and really listened to our music preferences and played the perfect mix of songs/genres. She had great energy for announcements and really ensured the reception transitions ran smoothly. It was an awesome experience from start to finish with Steven Vance and I’d absolutely work with them again!"                                                                                                           Jordan & Matt 10/17/20  Southpointe Golf Club DJ Vanessa                                                                   "I’d like to pass along my sincerest gratitude to DJ Mike Greca. He made our wedding experience so wonderful and was truly a delight. He was professional, on time and prepared, and a fabulous MC for our wedding! We appreciate everything and could not have asked for a better DJ."

Chris & Amanda Vos  9/26/20 Red Barn Inn Swanton MD DJ Mike G

"I’m on my way to my honeymoon, but I wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you. Tiffany and Lorenzo were both fantastic and made sure my wedding was wonderful. Tiffany’s music was stunning, and it was easy to work with her. But what I really wanted to let you know was how wonderful Renzo was! He went above and beyond for me the entire time I was working with him. He was very communicative and easy to talk to in advance.  He made sure he had all the info he needed. He was professional, and fun to work with. And he was a great DJ! Set everything up very well, kept the guests entertained, on the dance floor, and kept my timeline going.  I know he will do excellent work for many more of your brides in the future!"

Stephanie & Dustin  9/12/20 Tranquility Farm Purcellville VA Electric Violinist & DJ Package

Wedding Shows

Tuesday 12/8/20 Virtual Rainbow Network Wedding Show in Columbus. 7:00. Open to all. FREE Registration.

Several coming up pending health restrictions.  Updates soon.