What are some strengths that you would say some of your DJs have?
Our DJs personally have a lot of experience. That is the most important thing to look for. A DJ with a lot of experience will know exactly how to keep a dance floor full and blend one song into another.
What are some strengths that live bands tend to have?
There is a lot more preparation for the musicians in a band. These musicians spend years and years perfecting their craft. So for bands I would say experience is even more important. With our bands, you get a lot more personality and energy and that comes from the frequency of their performances.
What are the perks that DJs have over live bands and vice versa?
I'm really biased because I play in a live band (Jellyroll) and because our company is based on the whole "live" component. Like I mentioned, some people prefer a DJ because they play the exact track of songs with the original artist and style. But Bands bring a unique, interactive energy to their performances. I strongly emphasize the impact of a live performance so we even try our best to incorporate some live music into our DJ packages.
What makes BVTLive unique from some of the other entertainment services in the area?
Well first of all, we think our bands are the best! You have to think you're the best in order to be the best! Our bands play together all the time as a unit and continuously work on their craft. They make sure that they stay current with their music, and they are always rehearsing and performing. Simply put, our bands really work hard and really care about you and your event and that is what sets us apart from others. We just want our clients to be comfortable and I always say just enjoy the process! We think it's important to see our bands, to have fun and to enjoy ourselves. ...
What is your personal favorite thing about your business and the live wedding services you provide?
What we do is make people's dreams come true through the gift of music. So we are blessed! At the same time, we are able to keep musicians who have spent their whole life preparing and perfecting their craft, we give them an opportunity to perform at great events. They have the opportunity to make money doing what they truly love and what they are passionate about. It's a two way street, so we get to take care of our client and take care of our musicians. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that there is a peak Saturday where we might have 120 musicians out there performing and making people happy. That is what motivates us and that is another thing that makes us unique as well.
How new are the songs that BVTLive bands perform?
We do stay current and our clients are our biggest source of input. As you can imagine, when we play weddings and other events, people continue to request all types of material and the more current stuff is definitely in there. We also keep an eye out and look at the Billboard Top 100 so we can take note of the newest and most popular songs as well as the most requested at events we perform.
What is the minimum number of events that reliable bands play at each year? Is there a maximum number that might show signs that a band will be bored or worn out?
I think it varies but most successful bands probably play at least 40 events per year, this way, they stay fresh and rehearsed. All of our bands (averaged out) probably play around 70 events per year. Some might play at least 45 and then there is a band like Jellyroll which works 100+ events. I don't think there is a maximum number. I believe that the more a band plays together, the better they become at performing as a team. The more successful a band is the less likely they are to lose members and are more likely to attract and retain the best members. Our bands all have a good solid relationship with each other and it makes them even better as a group. Several of our bands have even been together at least 25 years.
Will I get to see my band live prior to my wedding?
Yes! In fact, we encourage you to see a live band if you haven't before. The better companies do showcases and the ones that don't will most likely have videos of the bands performing live. You want to be comfortable with the band and band leader so I always recommend seeing them live. We have had people book us from out of town or state and they are comfortable trusting the videos and reviews/referrals, so it all depends on the client. We do try our best to make it easy to access our bands live. Jellyroll is the only band that does not showcase because we do so many events a year that we can get you out to see us live.
What is the first thing I should do after I book a band?
Take a deep breath and check it off your to-do list!
It depends on how far out your wedding is. If you just booked a band and your wedding is only three months from now, you should really get to work coordinating. As far as the next step with us directly, we schedule the date and then 90 days before the wedding, we send out all the paperwork like the wedding worksheet. That's something we suggest you complete and send back as soon as possible, but, no later than 45 days before your wedding. We also encourage our clients to talk to us anytime! Make sure that you get all of the band leader's info like his/her email and phone number. Then you can go on our website and fill out the song list as well.
How long will the band or DJ play for? Is there a maximum amount of time?
No! In fact, we once played a wedding for six hours with the full band. Most weddings are five hours; one hour for the cocktail hour and four hours of dinner and dancing. However, there has been a recent trend with the Cescaphe and Finley catering groups where they provide an hour and a half of cocktails and a four and a half hour reception. So we will just match whatever the event timing is.
So your bands will always continue to play, you won't say no, it's time for us to go?
No, of course not! We love to play but there is a small fee for overtime. I do like to suggest that we end on a high note with everyone dancing instead of waiting until the crowd is thin to end the night.
What other services do you offer? Is it a better idea to book everything within the same Company?
We made the decision a long time age that we can't be everything to everyone, and we're more than OK with that! We just want to be the best at what we do and that is music. At one point, we did consider bringing in people to provide photography and video through BVTLive but, we researched other companies who do this and found their plate seemed too full so their band quality suffered. We then looked at successful companies and they were the ones that focused solely on their passion. These people put 110% into their craft and that's what makes them great and that's why we made the decision to focus on our music. We are more than happy to refer you to the best photographers, videographers, the best lighting people, you name it! We even provide suggestions on our website. We want our clients to have the best of the best and I doubt you're really going to get that all in one place.
What kinds of packages does BVTLive offer?
It all depends on the event. If an event is all at the same place, then sure! We actually just booked an event where the string quartet is doing the ceremony and cocktail hour and then the band will play 4 hours of dinner and dancing. The couple received this music as a package, so we can definitely work with you.
What will the band wear? Can I ask them to wear something specific for my theme?
We always wear black tie. The men wear tuxedos and the women wear formal gowns but if somebody wants us to wear something different and we have it, then we can.
We had one event that wanted everyone in white so we said sure! We can always tweak the color scheme and look but if somebody wanted an outrageously different look then it would be on them to provide the attire, but we would be happy to oblige.
Interview and Blog: by Brianna Haley