Follow these steps to up your entertainment's aesthetic and stage ambience.
wedding band
Credit: Jose Villa

Aside from your emotional ceremony and your big-day food, the music at your reception is what your guests will remember most about your wedding. If you're bringing in a live band for the occasion, it's good to up the ante so your entertainment feels special and integral to the overall event atmosphere.

That means making sure the sound is of the best possible quality—and finding a way to make your band (and stage!) look really good for the audience. Here are a few ways to ensure your band gives off the best possible energy on your big day. 

First Things First: Get the Sound Right

Wedding bands are a mixed bag when it comes to what they include for a sound system. Before you even get to the point of signing a contract, you should know exactly what is and isn't included in their pricing. If you have to bring in an entire sound system, you'll likely want to work with a company to manage the sound on-site throughout the entire event. Keep in mind that this is one detail you don't want to skimp on—the surest way to clear a room is by bringing in a band with really bad acoustics. Depending on the business you hire, a reputable sound company will likely want to do a site visit prior to the wedding to get a sense of what equipment works best in the space.

reception wedding band on stage
Credit: Rachel Havel

Provide Good Lighting

After the right sound system is in place, focus on the lighting. Bringing in good lighting is important; if your band can be heard, but not seen, that's a problem. But you also don't want crazy, flashing rainbow-hued lights, either. Your lighting manager should be able to suggest a scheme that will work well with the space and the group that will be performing. Just keep in mind that you'll need decent, complementary lighting for the dance floor, too—opt for a chandelier overhead and some dappled light on the ground. 

Elevate the Band Stage

When a band is on the same level as the dance floor, they tend to feel less impactful, so it's important to bring in the right stage. Depending on the look of your reception, you might be able to work with your rental company to come up with a stage skirt that blends well. So, rather than using the traditional black cotton-poly skirt that comes with the stage, you may be able to rent wood slats or something that pairs seamlessly with rustic floors of a barn or glossy white marble in a ballroom. You can also work with your floral team to create a bloom wrap to enhance the stage's look.

wedding band on the stage

Request Appropriate Band Attire

Most wedding bands know just how to dress the part, but you'll want to double-check their attire to make sure it speaks to the venue and style of your wedding. For instance, if you're hosting a black-tie wedding in a museum, the male musicians should dress in black suits and ties, while the women should be in full-length dresses. If the band is flexible, they may give you a few options to choose from. 

Create an Impactful Backdrop

It may be tempting to tuck your wedding band into a small corner of the room, but the more space and attention you allow for their setup, the more of a backdrop you'll create for all those dancing photos. If your venue has a beautiful existing backdrop, like a wall of greenery or tall barn doors, you won't need to add much—but you might consider working with your florist to create something that makes the setting really pop.

Streamline the Technical Setup

Depending on the instruments your band is using and the way each musician prefers to work, there may be sheets of music or iPads that need stands. Take this into consideration when planning the overall look of the stage. You want your stage to have a minimal setup, so it appears neat and tidy. Your sound company may be able to help plan and streamline this area; some event designers will even go so far as creating customized stands for aesthetic reasons.


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