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.


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.

Guitar Players: Should You Turn up?

We’ve always suspected this to be the case, but now we have proof!

Should I turn Up?

Narrow Gauge is an award winning cover dance band that specializes in country rock dance hits. We’ve been performing at weddings, corporate parties, conventions, county fairs, festivals, private parties and other events throughout Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nebraska, and South Dakota since 2001. We play a variety of great country and classic rock dance songs from AC/DC to Zac Brown, Allan Jackson to ZZ Top, and everything in between

Whether it is performing for President George W. Bush, or the owner of The National Hockey League Columbus Blue Jackets, a large corporation like Hewlett Packard or an intimate wedding, Narrow Gauge has the experience it takes to make your event a spectacular evening! We have been performing in Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota since 2001. Please read our many reviews located on our website http://www.NarrowGaugeCountry.com to get a feel for how we could serve you!

The Reviews Are In: Narrow Gauge Truly Is A Great Country Band for Weddings and Events

We know that hiring a band for your wedding or party can be a difficult task.  We have included several of our clients testimonials to help you evaluate Narrow Gauge.  Whether it is for your wedding, private party, corporate event, street dance, fundraiser or festival, Narrow Gauge has the talent and experience to make it a success!

“Thank You!  You guys are great!” Jenna Bush Hager (daughter of former President George W. Bush)

“Dustin and I want to extend our sincere gratitude to Narrow Gauge for making our wedding celebration the best event ever!! We were very impressed with the repertoire of music selection and were pleased that you guys took the time to learn and play ‘Look At You Girl’ by Chris LeDoux.

A huge thank you for making our wedding absolutely unforgettable and perfect! All of the music from dinner to the reception was incredible. You were an excellent ‘MC’ — you weren’t kidding when you said you know how to read the crowd and choose the right song based on the energy of the crowd! Your selection of songs, combined with the energy on stage, made for a fantastic party! You have a professional approach and I appreciated the time we spent communicating throughout the planning process.

I personally wanted to thank you and your band for an unforgettable performance.  It was the most amazing night and you made it as fun as it could possibly be.  Just wanted to thank you for everything and let you know that people are still asking me about you and your band and raving about how fabulous you all were.  A BIG thank you again for making our wedding the best and most fun night of our lives!!”

Dustin and Sarah, Crested Butte, CO

“This was our first experience with hiring a band for a social event – our daughter’s wedding. They helped walk me through the entire evening, kept our timeline going when I was too busy to notice, and absolutely “made” the evening with their GREAT music and the ability to work with the crowd. Our guests age’s were from 5 to 90 and everyone loved the band and had a great time. They accommodated our special requests in songs, learned 2 new ones for the wedding, and humored our guests that wanted to sing along! Many guests complimented us on our choice of band and told us it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to. We’ll definitely use them again.”

Karen D, Littleton, CO

Hi Jim!

Narrow Gauge is a fantastic band!  Your performance at my daughter’s wedding was a smash!  Everyone enjoyed listening and dancing to your music.  I had several guests come up to me asking who the band is and saying that they so enjoyed your music!

I want to thank you for the phone calls and emails in regard to scheduling, set-up and planning of the music from the cocktail hour through the very last song.  You really took the time to ensure that all the music was carefully selected — along with the music during the breaks.  The combination of country and rock was quite a hit.

Next, I would like to thank you for your professionalism.  It was quite evident during the set-up of the band equipment, the conversations with our family during the event to ensure that “all” was going as planned, and making sure that the the guests were engaged in the music and having a great time.

Most of all, we are most appreciative of the fact that all our guests had a wonderful time due to the atmosphere Narrow Gauge created.  I’ve never seen so many people dancing, laughing and enjoying themselves so much on the dance floor.  Many said that this was the best wedding they have ever attended!

I wish you continued success.

Thanks again Jim, for all you did for us,”

Ahna Steiner  Breckenridge

“We hired Narrow Gauge for our wedding. They showed up early even with a huge Colorado snowstorm. The music was excellent and all of the guests were very happy. They really helped make the night a memorable experience for everyone.”

Pamela D.Sapphire Celebrations Voted Denver’s Top Wedding Coordinator

Dear Jim,

We were very happy with your services.  You took care of all the set up and tear down as well as any issues during the night.  This goes for the cocktail/dinner music as well.  All of your musicians were really friendly and flexible ( i.e. having 6 girls up on stage to sing) and your fun attitude was much appreciated.  You also did an excellent job keeping the wedding on track (i.e. getting the dancing started) without pressuring us to follow a time line exactly.  Most importantly though, the music was great and there was never an empty dance floor….or even a sparsely populated one!  It was by far one of the best parties I’ve been to, and to have it be our wedding too was more that we could have asked for.”


Kyler and Emily Brown Alamosa

“The Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce hosts several events every year including two Old Fashioned Country Dances for the community as fundraisers for the chamber.  This year we found Narrow Gauge online and were impressed with their vocal and musical talent from the very beginning.  Gene, Jim, Bart and Danny offer a high energy performance that will not disappoint.

Leslie; Kremmling Chamber Director was overheard complimenting Gene for his beautiful rendition of Bob Segar’s, Turn the Page.    We appreciate their timely arrival, professional attitudes and willingness to be flexible with the special requests from our guests.  If you are looking for a responsible multi-talented band for your next event, you won’t go wrong with hiring Narrow Gauge.  Thanks guys, you are always invited and welcome to play in Kremmling anytime.”

Kacey Beres,.  Event Director Member Relations,  Kremmling Area Chamber of Commerce

To Whom it May Concern:

On September 20 and 21 we hired a band of unknown, (to us), quality called Narrow Gauge, for a family get together at my J BAR M Ranch in Ridgway, Colorado. To say the least – they did a magnificent job for us.  Their music and songs gave us two days of enjoyment and friendship.  At one point, during the first evening, I turned to my cousin on my left ( a doctor and musician), and commented, “These guys are very good”.  His answer, “They are not good, they are great!”

That was the opinion of myself and all our guests.  “They were great!”


John H. McConnel Owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets (A National League Hockey Team)

“Jim and the Band were perfect! Their attention to detail and their ability to work with us was great. This event was a huge success, the guys from Narrow Gauge are flawless and a joy to work with. I would recommend them to any and all!”

Gary M. Hewlett Packard

“Narrow Gauge was the perfect fit. We had looked all over and could not find a band that we thought would fit our guests. We love country music and so did many of our guests, but there were also people who liked a variety of different genres of music. Narrow Gauge played to the crowd and kept the dance floor packed all night. We had so much fun that we even hired them for an extra set! Narrow Gauge was easy to work with! Jim was so helpful in helping us plan our reception. We had all the details worked out weeks before the reception, so I could try to relax! He even MC’d the event for us. They let several of our guest sing on stage with them, and even let Steve, my new husband play bass on one song. He does not even know how to play bass, but somehow it sounded great. During their breaks they had DJ music pumping through the dance floor, so even when they weren’t playing, our guests kept dancing! It was truly a night to remember. Thank you Narrow Gauge for your professionalism and talent. You were so phenomenal! We couldn’t recommend you more highly!

Steve and Alyssa Colorado Springs, CO

‘Narrow Gauge was extremely professional. They worked well with our DJ to make the transition between the two smooth. The music and vocals were very impressive. When Narrow Gauge was finished, the removal and exit of their equipment was hardly noticed. We had several comments from guests wishing we had reserved the band to perform for a longer period of time. We would highly recommend the group. Thank you for a great performance! ”

–Berni S. Issacson Rossenbaum Law Firm Denver, CO

Needs more information?  Check out The Top 10 Reasons People Hire Narrow Gauge, Colorado’s Premier Country Band

Ready to get a detailed quote?  Fill out our Quote Me form

When You Really Want to Party, Bring Narrow Gauge, The Colorado Country Band

Narrow Gauge is a full service band that can provide everything you need for your event:  acoustic guitar or a PA system for a wedding ceremony, a rehearsal dinner performance, live cocktail hour/dinner music and even officiate your wedding!  Of course, when it comes time to party and dance, there is no better country band in Colorado than Narrow Gauge!

Narrow Gauge has several different packages to choose from to help fit your budget and we  accept* credit cards through Paypal.  When you send us your quote request, make sure you let us know which packages you are interested in.  We typically will have your quote back to you within 24 hours.

The Narrow Gauge SILVER PACKAGE: This is the perfect package for those who want the best band for their event, but who are also on a tight budget. We have taken out many of the “extras” but left the best: Narrow Gauge Live! The Silver Package includes:

1. Our 1000 watt PA system

2. Two (2) forty-five minutes of live music.

3. DJ music capabilities.

4. The ability to customize the play list. (You can choose some of the songs we play)

The Narrow Gauge GOLD PACKAGE includes:

1. Our 3000 watt PA system, which includes one sub-woofer to help get people dancing and makes things sound even better for those who just want to listen.

2. Three (3) forty-five minute sets of live music.

3. Event Consultation: We have played hundreds of events and can help you plan the sequence of the event if you desire. We know what works, and our advice is available to you as much or as little as you need/want when you opt for the Platinum or Gold Package.

4. DJ music during the cocktail hour, dinner hour and our breaks. Narrow Gauge performs with a complete DJ set up. This allows us to play any style of music your guests want to dance to during our breaks. If your brother wants to dance to some rap music, or your friends want to dance to the latest “club” music, or grandma wants to dance to some old Frank Sinatra, we can provide it! This helps guarantee that everyone has a great time at your reception!

5. A microphone for toasts and speeches.

6. The ability to customize the play list. (You can choose some of the songs we play)

7. Stage Lighting.

The Narrow Gauge PLATINUM PACKAGE is our best package and includes everything:

1. Our 4000 watt PA SYSTEM, with our best sub-woofers. This is a great PA and is guaranteed to get people dancing. It also greatly enhances the sound experience for those who just want to listen to the band. This is the best system to use if your event is going to be outside.

2. The ability to customize the play list. (You can choose some of the songs we play)

3. Four (4) forty-five minute sets of live music. We can use one of these for the cocktail hour and the rest for dancing, of use them all for dancing!

4. Event Consultation: We have played hundreds of events and can help you plan the sequence of the event if you desire. We know what works, and our advice is available to you as much or as little as you need/want when you opt for the Platinum Package!

6. Master of Ceremony Duties. Narrow Gauge can MC the event if you would like us to at no additional charge.

7. DJ music during the cocktail hour, dinner hour and our breaks. Narrow Gauge performs with a complete DJ set up. This allows us to play any style of music your guests want to dance to during our breaks. If your brother wants to dance to some rap music, or your friends want to dance to the latest “club” music, or grandma wants to dance to some old Frank Sinatra, we can provide it! This helps guarantee that everyone has a great time at your reception!

8. A microphone for toasts and speeches.

9. Dance floor lighting and stage lighting to make things look spectacular and maximize the fun on the dance floor.

The Narrow Gauge ACOUSTIC PACKAGE – Perfect for the Cocktail and/or Dinner hours includes:

1. One or two professional acoustic guitar players/singers.

2. One (1) or two (2) forty-five minute sets of live music

The Narrow Gauge CEREMONY PA PACKAGE- When you need a PA and microphone for your ceremony.  This package is only available with in conjunction with the Platinum, Gold or Silver packages and includes:

1. A small PA system for the ceremony (or the cocktail hour if it is not being held in     the same room as dinner) 2. A microphone and stand 3. All cables for the PA including an adapter for an Ipod or any Mp3 player 4. Delivery, set-up, tear down. 5. Professional sound tech to run the PA during your ceremony.

This is a great package that enables you to have any kind of music you want for the ceremony itself.


Officiating:  Our lead guitar player and manager has performed hundreds of wedding ceremonies as a pastor, and is available to officiate at your wedding. He can work with you to customize your vows and the ceremony itself, so that your wedding is exactly the special day you want it to be.  The cost of this package ranges from $199-$299 depending upon how elaborate you want the ceremony to be.

Acoustic Guitar:  Do you want your guests to be entertained with live acoustic guitar music as they await your arrival?  Let Narrow Gauge help.


1. One or Two professional acoustic guitar players/singers with a small PA

2. One (1) or two (2) fifty-five minute sets of live music

Ready for a quote?  Simply fill out our “Quote Me” form and we will have a detailed quote in your inbox typically within 24 hours.

Top Ten Reasons People Hire Narrow Gauge For Their Colorado/Wyoming Wedding

1. Narrow Gauge Has Talent: The guys in the band are all top level pro’s who have been playing and singing for years! We are very good at what we do. You don’t get the opportunity to perform for the President of the USA or country stars like Larry Gatlin if you aren’t at the top of your field.

2. We know that it’s YOUR party! We have a strict no alcohol policy, and no one in the band uses drugs! So, even though your guests may end up drinking a little too much, we won’t be drinking at all. Some bands think that your event is their party and end up drinking more than your guests. By the end of the night, they can’t play very well. That never happens with Narrow Gauge.

3. We are Good, but You Can Afford Us! We have several different packages to choose from that will surely fit your budget.

4. Variety: Narrow Gauge is a country – rock dance band. We pride ourselves on being able to play anything from Alan Jackson to ZZ top or AC/DC to Willie Nelson and everything in-between. We also perform hits from the 90’s, blues, funk and anything that will get the crowd dancing.

5. We’re a Live band AND a DJ! We travel with a full DJ set up. This means that we can play the latest club hits or anything the crowd wants during our breaks. You get the best of both worlds: Phenomenal live music and a DJ mix! You can even prepare the DJ list so that our breaks are filled with the music you know your friends and family will love.

6. Experience: Since 2001 we have performed over 500 shows all over the USA! We know how to get a room full of people dancing and get the party started. Sometimes, the songs chosen by our clients don’t get people onto the dance floor. In that case, we change things up, and find out what they want to dance to. We are never locked into doing things one way. We pride ourselves on being able to figure out the crowd and then keep then on the dance floor all night long!

7. We are Not Rock Stars…and we don’t have their attitude! We are very easy to work with and are committed to making your event everything you imagined it would be. We allow our guests to join the band onstage for a song or three to help out with singing. Other bands won’t allow this because the non-professionals (your guests) will make them look bad! While often your guests are not as good of singers as they think they are, it is always fun when they join us!

8. We keep our Commitments: If you hire Narrow Gauge, we will be there. Period. We have driven through blizzards to get to more than one wedding. Other bands might cancel in severe weather, but not us. We have had more than one client frantically call us weeks before their wedding to tell us their other band cancelled on them. Again, this will never happen with Narrow Gauge. Everyone in the band has daughters. We know how important a wedding is to any family. We will never cancel at the last minute. We even have top-quality, professional fill-in’s on the rare occasion we need them.

9. Quality Equipment: We perform with only the best, top-quality, professional gear. Clients often don’t realize how important this is to the overall performance, but it is often the critical component that other bands leave out. On any given night, Narrow Gauge will have over $25,000 worth of equipment on stage. We spare no expense in order to bring the best sound for your event

10. It’s All About You: When you hire Narrow Gauge, we consider it an honor and a privilege to serve you! When we arrive at your event, that will be our sole focus. We are committed to doing everything possible to make your event happen the way you wanted it. When problems or glitches show up (and they always do) we work with your other professionals to make sure you never even know about it. Other bands, only come to play music. We come to create memories!

If you are looking for a Colorado country band for your wedding reception, consider Narrow Gauge.

Narrow Gauge, Colorado Country Bands for Weddings and Events

Searching for the Perfect Country Rock Dance Band for your Wedding or Party?

Consider Narrow Gauge! Whether it is performing for the President of the United States and his family or the owner of The NHL Columbus Blue Jackets, an intimate wedding, corporate event, fundraiser or a private party, Narrow Gauge has the experience it takes to make your event spectacular! We are a very talented, affordable and professional group that knows how to fill the dance floor!

We Do It All..

We are a full service band that can provide everything for your event: acoustic guitar or a PA system for a wedding ceremony, rehearsal dinner performance, and cocktail and dinner hour live music. We can even officiate your wedding! Of course, when it comes time to party and dance, there is no better band in Colorado than Narrow Gauge!

Narrow Gauge is one of the most higly sought after Colorado country dance band. Whether your event is in Denver, Colorado Springs, Cheyenne, Fort Collins, Longmont, Vail or any of the mount resorts or any other city, Narrow Gauge can perform for you party. We also travel to Wyoming,New Mexico, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Texas.

Narrow Gauge has been performing at weddings and events since 2001 and play a wide variety of great dance songs from Alan Jackson to ZZ Top, AC/DC to Zac Brown and everything in between!

We’ve Done it A Lot…

We have performed over 500 events in the last 12 years: hundreds of weddings, a private party for the owner of the National Hockey League Columbus Bluejackets, entertaining President George W. Bush, his wife Laura and their twin daughters, opened for legendary Dwight Yoakam guitarist Pete Anderson just to mention a few. We specialize in weddings, corporate events,fundraiser’s and private parties.

Narrow Gauge has many satisfied clients, but don’t take our word for it. Check out our references . We also have a lot of useful information and links to help you plan your event. So spend a few minutes on our site and check it all out.

Our summer and fall dates fill up fast. We recommend you submit our “Quote Me” form a free detailed quote.

Check out the Top Ten Reasons People hire this Colorado Country Band called Narrow Gauge.