Break up the Band
Tunes are vital; multiple bands playing them for each part of your day isn’t. “Book one bigger band and break it down into smaller configurations for various scenarios,” says contributing editor David Stark of David Stark Design and Production in Brooklyn. “For instance, a string duo will be gorgeous for the ceremony, while a jazz trio is fun for cocktails. Then they all come back together, making a bigger sound for the dinner and dancing portion of the evening.”
Rather than going with a pricey string quartet for your ceremony, call a music school and have them recommend an experienced student group.
Uncover Hidden Costs
Transportation, dinner, learning new songs ... these are the fees that can sneak up on you. Request an itemized price list from the start so you can negotiate a final, and lower, amount.
Embrace the DJ Way
There’s certainly no shame in having a DJ set up camp at your reception. “They’re super-hot right now,” says Stark. Plus, mix masters are fast becoming almost as ubiquitous as the traditional wedding band. The biggest bonus: DJs charge a fraction of what live groups do.