Do You Need Live Music During the Cocktail Hour?
The sound of music makes a big difference.
Music is an important element of every wedding—everything from the harpist at your ceremony to live band at the reception impacts the feel of your celebration, filling the space with celebratory sounds that underscore the importance of the event. After the I dos, guests will head to the reception venue for the cocktail hour. They'll eat, chat, then eat and chat some more. Do they need live music to enjoy themselves? No, but can't we all agree that everything is better with it? Playing any music during the cocktail hour creates a relaxed ambience and fills a room with beautiful sounds, but there's something decidedly memorable about listening to a live musician. It also sets the tone for the rest of the evening ahead.
Hiring live performers like a jazz combo (saxophone, drums, upright bass, piano, and sometimes a trumpet) or a string quartet (violin, viola, cello) to play during the cocktail hour is very popular and a great way to start the reception. (A DJ or full band usually takes over for the rest of the party.) But hiring professional musicians for an hour doesn't come cheap. Depending on how large the group is, you'll pay a few hundred dollars for the music.
Remember there are more affordable options, too.
While there's nothing to equal live music, if you can't stretch your budget by taking advantage of other musical ideas. If you're hiring a DJ for the dinner and dancing, ask about setting up some cocktail hour music, too. Pick songs that are indicative of your tastes but wouldn't be appropriate on the dance floor. (Why waste a great dance number during the cocktail hour?) Go with tunes that will keep everyone's energy up, and avoid ballads, which can turn the mood melancholy. An alternative is to use a music service like Spotify to create the perfect cocktail-hour playlist and Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to speakers.