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I’m a big believer that music can make or break a wedding. For example, if I have to hear “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” one more time I might puke. But imagine not just having to hear “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” 500 times, imagine having to sing it. I spoke with one Charlotte wedding singer about drunk dads, “Free Bird” and playing on a stage made of hay.
What makes for a good wedding song line-up?
Now I can’t give away all our secrets… BUT the best way to have a killer wedding song line-up is to appeal to all ages and generational tastes. I’ve been to a wedding where the band played strictly 90’s one-hit wonders. And, don’t get me wrong, while I was thoroughly enjoying the set list… Grandma did not seem to be.
What’s the most annoying song you have to play?
I’m going to go with the obvious answer here… “FREE BIRD!” You’d think people would save yelling, “Play Free Bird!” for bar shows or fraternity parties… but you’d be wrong. Since we rarely turn down a request at a wedding, we humor the guests with a small sample.
Tell me about the worst wedding you’ve played at.
About a year ago we were asked to play at a farm wedding (which are all the rage right now). What we didn’t know was that our stage was literally on a bed of hay. The couple had large fans set up to keep the guests cool… which did not pair well with the hay. Inhaling hay for four hours made for some lovely mid-song cough breaks.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at a wedding?
We played a wedding a few years ago where the father of the bride had a bit too much to drink and decided to dance on a chair in the middle of the dance floor. Needless to say, his balance was a bit shaky (as was the chair) and he ended up toppling to the ground.
Do you ever drink while performing?
While we mostly play weddings and private events (and stay sober while doing so), we do also play a couple of late-night shows at local venues where we like to have a little fun with the crowd. It’s a band tradition to start those shows with a round of my absolute favorite: Prairie Fire shots (tequila and hot sauce). Really warms up the vocal cords!
Can you ever tell if a couple isn’t going to make it?
It’s always interesting to have a bird’s eye view of the wedding day. We have played weddings where I swear the bride and groom were not seen together once after the reception entrance! We did play one wedding where the groom was nowhere to be found for the sparkler exit that we were supposed to announce which was… odd. After some very thorough social media research, I’m happy to report that all of our couples are still happily married. I’m not saying it’s because they had an awesome band at their wedding but I’m definitely not NOT saying that either.
How often do you get hit on?
All the time. I’ve found the best way to handle this is to say “Thank you,” politely decline the drunken proposals and keep on with the show. 🙂
What’s the best song to get people out on the dance floor?
Since there are usually all ages of people in attendance at a wedding, we find that a good Bruno Mars bop like “Uptown Funk” or Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” usually do the trick. Another one sure to bring your grandparents straight to the floor is The Temptations’ “My Girl.” For a late-night bar show we just play the opening notes to “Africa” by Toto and every former frat bro will be on the floor faster than he can chug his Bud Light.
Do you ever forget the words to songs?
All the time. I’m known to make up words here and there for certain new songs we decide to add to our list the day prior. (It happens.) The good part is that people usually don’t know the words themselves, and the only one who knows the words are wrong is me.
Any other confessions?
Being a wedding band is far more stressful than one would think. You usually end up emceeing the entire event, making important announcements that move the reception along and you have to correctly pronounce the most difficult names you’ve ever heard that you just learned five minutes ago on a microphone in front of hundreds of people.
Be nice to your wedding vendors; they are more stressed than they seem.
Part of the challenge is making everything look like it’s going smoothly even if a train wreck is happening behind the scenes. If everyone is having a great time and unaware of any problems that may be happening, then we’ve done our job!
Love confessions? Here’s the entire confessions series collection. If you’d like to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise to keep you anonymous.