Why We Didn’t Hire a Wedding Planner but Wish We Had!

dissapointed bride who didn't hire a wedding planner for her Colorado weddingI came across this great article “Why We Didn’t Hire a Wedding Planner… But Wish We Had”  and wanted to share it with all our Denver wedding band brides!  It is a different way of approaching the “Should we hire a planner?” debate and I think you may find it helpful.

Narrow Gauge has performed our country and classic rock hits at hundreds of weddings!  I have seen first hand, over and over again, how important a planner can be.  However, at my son’s wedding I saw it from a different perspective:  As the Father of the Groom!

My sons fiancé chose not to hire an event planner.  As the big day got closer, I could see how utterly stressed out she and her mom were over little things.  On the day of the wedding, her mom spent the whole reception supervising all the vendors and doing the work of a planner.  She missed the party!  Talking about the wedding a few weeks after that awesome day,  she told me “I wish I had hired a planner, I just thought I could do it all and save money.”

6 months later, at my daughters Colorado wedding, we hired a day of planner and it made all the difference in the world.  Even though the band performed at the wedding reception, I was able to enjoy everything and my wife and daughter were much less stressed!  The wedding coordinator was worth every penny and more!  Now, I help plan and pull off about 30 weddings every year, so I have a lot of experience doing this stuff.  You probably don’t have that same experience, so you have to weigh how much you think you can take on.  If your budget will allow you to hire a wedding and event planner for the whole time, my counsel is to do that.

Of course, when you hire Narrow Gauge to turn your wedding into the party of a lifetime, I am going to help oversee things at your reception.  I will work with your other vendors to help keep things on track so you can focus on being a bride and groom and enjoy the party!  But there will be a lot more moving pieces than just the party.

I hope the article is a helpful resource for you!

If you need any help with anything, reach out to me via email

Jim

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3 Proven Tips to Help You Plan an Amazing Wedding Reception

Narrow Gauge Colorado Wedding and Party band

“That was the most amazing wedding reception I have ever been to!”

Our clients hear that.  A lot!

I have emceed and performed at over 300 Colorado weddings and I have learned a LOT about what it takes to have an amazing wedding party.  Narrow Gauge has been honored to be a part of so many unforgettable celebrations.  Recently, at a Denver wedding the entire dance floor of 200+ people danced and sang along to every single word of “Sweet Child O Mine”.  The friends of the bride and groom lifted them over their heads and crowd surfed them over the whole dance floor.  It was an amazing sight and an incredible party. Afterwords, this is what the bride said in a Wedding Wire review:

“The music was AMAZING. Every dang song was completely dance worthy. and the dance floor was packed with people every minute of the evening, even when the band took their breaks and played DJ music. If I did it over again, they’d be the first step in my planning process, and I’d hire them repeatedly any chance I got. Dozens of people told me our wedding was the best wedding they’d ever been too, and I’m quite certain it’s because we had Narrow Gauge!”

This bride and groom implemented the three tips I am about to share with you.   But I have also seen some weddings that failed to reach that “wedding party of the year” status that so many wedding couples hope to achieve.  Every single one of those weddings failed to do the things that dramatically increase the odds for a fantastic wedding party.

Chances are good that you are looking for some advice for your own wedding. That is why you are here. You have come to the right place!  I am going to share these three key tips I have learned over the years that are absolutely critical to having an amazing, unforgettable wedding reception.  So if you  want to have the most amazing party at your wedding, continue reading.

Let me list my top three tips here:

Serve Alcohol.

Have amazing entertainment.

Have the party at night.

Everything else is secondary.

If you get these three things right, chances are much higher that you will have a great party.  The food you serve is important, but not more important that these three things.  The decorations are important, but not as important.  Why is that?

Tip #1: Serve Alcohol:   First of all, if you don’t serve alcohol, people won’t dance.   If people don’t get into the dancing part of the night, they leave early.  If they leave early, the party is over.  Very few people leave great parties early!  I have seen this over and over and over again.  So it you want to have a memorable party, it is important to make sure alcohol is available. Open bars work best, but as long as there is a bar of some kind, you will be fine.  This is such a key component to an amazing wedding party that Narrow Gauge won’t perform at weddings if alcohol is not served.

Tip #2:  Hire Amazing Entertainment:  Now you need to add good entertainment to get them out on the dance floor.  It could be a great DJ or a proven wedding band like Narrow Gauge, as long as it is one of those, people will have a great time.  As a rule, proven entertainment will be more expensive than mediocre entertainment. The adage “You get what you pay for” really does seem to apply here. A good rule to follow is that you should be willing to spend 10% of your wedding budget on entertainment. Sure, you can spend less than that on a Craiglist DJ or a bar band.  Chances are that they won’t have the experience needed to read a crowd and make the party.  You won’t be able to fire them in the middle of the reception and bring in a better entertainer.  You don’t get a second chance here.

What I am trying to say is that if you want your guests to have an incredibly fun, unforgettable experience at your wedding, AND you don’t have an unlimited budget, make sure you budget for the things that really matter. Spend a little less in the other areas so you can get the alcohol / entertainment component right. If you get these two right, the chances for a unforgettable party sky rocket!  But there is a third tip…

Tip #3:  Have the Reception at Night!  For some reason, people don’t get wild and crazy at daytime wedding receptions.  You can have a great band, serve the best free alcohol and the vast majority of your guests  still won’t cut loose like they will at an evening reception.  This seems to be one of those  unchangeable rules, at least in our experience.  Because of that, Narrow Gauge no longer performs at daytime wedding receptions. We do perform at corporate events and concerts /festivals that are held in the daytime, but that is about it.

So there you have it, our top three tips for having an amazing wedding reception:  Have the reception at night, serve alcohol and have great entertainment.  If you do these three things, the odds of your wedding reception being the party of the year will dramatically improve.

jimbo

Jim is the lead guitar player and manager of Narrow Gauge, the Denver Colorado based country and classic rock wedding band.  He is also the owner of Narrow Gauge Sound, a sound system and lighting rental company that focuses on weddings. He has helped plan and emcee over 300 weddings in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, South Dakota and Texas.

 

Get Jim’s Proven Wedding Reception Planner download free.  Get the Planner!

If you are looking for an award winning Denver wedding band to perform at your wedding reception, find out more about Narrow Gauge at NarrowGaugeCountry.com.

How To Partner with Your Wedding Band to Make Sure the Dance Floor is Packed All Night Long

Dance All Night at Your Wedding with Narrow Gauge, Colorado's Premier Party Band
Dance All Night at Your Wedding with Narrow Gauge, Colorado’s Premier Party Band

We know a thing or two about Colorado wedding receptions! We have worked with over 400 brides in 10 years, helping each one pull off an amazing wedding reception.  In that time we have learned the secret of how to pack a dance floor:  Play GREAT music that everyone knows and likes.

You may find this very hard to believe:  there will be a lot of people attending your reception that don’t like the same music as you. If you tell the band to only play the kind of  music you like, the dance floor will be empty and your guests WILL leave early.  Nobody wants that.

I’m the one in the band who works very closely with the bride to help design the reception, especially the dancing part. We have one piece of advice we give ALL our brides:

Tell us the songs you like and don’t like.  Give us permission to read the dance floor and make changes we think we need to get your guests on the dance floor and keep them there.

Over the years, 95% of the brides we have worked with followed this advice.  The result? A fantastic time by all.  The reason?  Narrow Gauge puts together our play list based upon several factors:  the clients input and our experience.  During our actual performance, we use it as a guide.  If it’s working we keep it going and if the dance floor is not as packed as it should be, we change it up. It ALWAYS works.  We are very good at finding out what any group of people want to dance to on any given night.

Surprisingly, not every bride accepts our advice.  A handful of time in the past 10+ years we have worked with brides who insisted that we only play the songs they want, regardless of what their guest may want.  It has been a disaster every single time.

The Bride that Ruined Her Wedding Reception

“It’s my wedding and I don’t want any other style of music except country.”

Like every bride, she was so excited about the wedding.  She knew we had a great reputation as a dance band and she couldn’t wait to celebrate with her family and friends.  I encouraged her to give us the freedom to read the dance floor and play what the crowd wanted to dance to, just in case they were not all into county.

She insisted.

We did exactly what she wanted.

Very few people danced during our first 45 minute set. Continue reading