Planning with Pepper – Creating a Successful Reception

View From The Stage

Midnight Hour

‘Success’: forming our client’s vision into a detailed plan which we execute flawlessly, ensuring that the client’s vision is realized, their dreams come to life, their guests have the time of their lives, and their expectations are all exceeded.

You won’t find this definition of the word ‘success’ if you go looking for it in your dusty old dictionary, but I assure you, this is the very definition of what my fellow bandleaders and I endeavor to deliver to every single one of our BVTLive! clients. Before we play a note of music for our clients, we spend hours working to build a plan to ensure we hit the mark and bring our client’s vision for the event to life. Every time… No exceptions.

As a BVTLive! Bandleader, I have worked with thousands of clients to plan and manage their wedding receptions, and I can say without hesitation that no two are the same. This is true because we tailor our services to the unique vision each of our clients has for their party.

So, for me, planning always begins with listening.

When I first meet a new prospective client – which is often at one of our monthly showcase events – I do my very best to keep my introduction short and to get them talking about themselves, and their vision for their wedding reception. I often ask, “When you look back on your reception ten years from now, what would you like to remember about it?” Most agree that they want their families and friends to have the time of their lives, an unforgettable night of dancing and fun to cherish for the rest of their lives … and this, of course, is why they’ve come to the BVTLive! showcase to hear my band, Midnight Hour, or to hear one of the other great BVTLive! bands.

Once a client chooses my band for their party, I try to establish right away that we have clear and open paths of communication. Often our clients book us a full year or more in advance of their wedding date, and this gives us lots of time to email and chat about the music they hope to hear, or the feeling they hope to generate at their big event.

As the reception draws closer, BVTLive! makes two key tools available to our clients to ensure the planning continues on in a highly organized way. First, we engage our clients to complete the BVTLive! Wedding Worksheet, which captures the majority of the details that will drive their plans – their bridal party announcements, decisions about toasts, blessings, traditional dances, announcements, meal timings, and many other things. In addition, the client is granted access to our web tools, which allow them to indicate key song choices for their event, and this information is sent automatically to their bandleader.

I then meet with the client 60 to 90 days prior to the reception to review their worksheet with them and to walk them through the flow of their plan and their music preferences. The output of this meeting is a written reception timeline, which includes every detail of the reception timed down to the minute as best as it can be estimated. Once the client approves our timeline, the bandleader reaches out to the client’s reception venue and to any other key partners to ensure the timeline is supported by all parties.

All the while of course, the musicians in my band and I are constantly working to stay on top of the hottest trends in dance music, and of course we’re also working on learning any special requests our clients have for their events. The music, after all, is at the core of what we do … and our best plans would fail if we were not vigilant about maintaining our status as one of the top dance bands in the area. So, while we are working on plans and timelines, we are also always working on the music that keeps your guests dancing from the beginning of the night to the very last song.

So, how important is planning for a wedding band? It’s everything to us. If we’re privileged enough to play your wedding, we feel entrusted and responsible for delivering our services in a way that exceeds all of your expectations, on what just might be the most important night of your life. Every wedding is unique, because the visions and dreams of our clients are the drivers of our plans.

I hope I have the chance to work with you to plan your big event – whether it’s a wedding, a Mitzvah, a corporate party, or any other celebration, rest assured we will engage you to understand your vision fully, and we’ll then design a plan that ensures your vision comes to life.


“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” ― Gloria Steinem

Kurt Titchenell is the founder and President of BVTLive! He is also the bandleader, and co-creator of the award-winning dance band, Jellyroll and has been performing with the band since 1980. With thousands of private performances under his belt, his experience has lead Jellyroll to become the most in-demand party band in the tri-state area and BVTLive to become one of the areas foremost leaders in wedding and private event entertainment. Kurt's dedication to his profession is evident in every aspect of his professional life. As President of BVTLive, Kurt is committed to making your event a success.