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In The Mood
The entertainment you select will play a major part in the success of your special event. Therefore, carefully consider what will please both you and your guests.

It is important to determine whether you want live entertainment, a DJ, a top dance band, strings, quartets, harps, vocalist, karaoke, comics, magicians or clowns. The decision is relatively easy to make once you decide on the tone of your event. Once you have determined what type of entertainment you desire, contact the necessary entertainers using the following guidelines.

Entertainment agencies are available to assist you in finding the perfect band or individual musician, as well as any other talent you may be looking for. They are familiar with the abilities and availability's and can provide helpful suggestions. They will have photographs, cassette demonstration tapes and song lists. They will also provide the necessary contracts for booking your event. An agency can save you a great deal of time and money, as their services are very convenient.

Personally interview each entertainer. Ask if they are available when you need them. Discuss their abilities and listen to a demonstration tape. Try to see them perform.

If looking for a musician, discuss your music preferences. Ask what kind of music they play and if they will play special requests. If they do not currently play them, ask if they could learn them prior to your event.

Select musicians who have the experience you need for your type of event. Ask for references. Follow-up by calling each one. Many entertainers will serve as a master of ceremonies (or MC) at your event. As an MC, they will make introductions and all other announcements. Before deciding, personally meet with the entertainer, serving as your MC, to see if you like his style and personality.

Disc jockeys provide continual, high quality music at an affordable price. They can play a wide variety of styles in their original form, so that your favorites sound exactly how you remember them.

After locating a reliable mobile disc jockey, ask the following questions:

Are you available on my date?
What experience do you have?
Can you act as my Master of Ceremonies?
Do you have any references?
What type and quality of musical equipment do you have?
Do you use records, cassettes or CD's?
Do you use a home stereo system or professional equipment?
Will you bring a spare amplifier and speaker in case yours breaks during the event?
Do you have a written list of songs you can play?
Will you search for a recording of a song I especially want played?
Do you have a brochure of information explaining your services?
Which disc jockey will actually be present at my event?
It is important for you to meet directly with this person to see if you like him.
Will the DJ be appropriately dressed for my function?
How much do you charge for a four hour event?
How much do you require for a deposit?
When will the balance be due?
What are your overtime fees?
Will you be available if overtime is required?
What is your cancellation policy?

Ask to have every detail of your agreement written in a contract. Sign a contract and leave a deposit when you make your booking. Include the date, setup time, playing time, hours they will play, length and time of breaks, their attire, restrictions including volume of the music and alcohol consumption, musical selections, number of musicians, and the price and payment schedule, including overtime. Include alternatives if a musician is not able to play. Be sure there is a backup musician.

For weddings you might want to personalize your ceremony. Therefore, the music should be provided that best expresses your feelings. You can vary the selections played during your ceremony including the processional, recessional, your entrance and walk down the aisle. If musical selections will be sung, carefully note the words to make sure they are appropriate for this occasion. Many churches and synagogues only allow religious music. They may also restrict the number of selections.

A variety of instrumental combinations are available. The most popular are organ, harp, guitar, piano, organ/vocal, guitar/flute, guitar/vocal, string quartet and string and woodwind combinations. Select the one that best depicts the mood you wish to convey.

In regards to your reception, remember there will be a variety of ages to please. Hire a band or disc jockey that can play a variety of songs so every guest is happy.

Ask your ceremony musician to meet with your officiator and your reception entertainer to meet with your reception site manager to discuss cues, equipment placement and volume restrictions.

Be sure to book your entertainment at least six months prior to your event or sooner if your event will take place during popular months.

Your entertainment can make an event memorable-plan well.

Submitted by Sharon Sack, EventBlvd.com

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