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Help booking the band

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For the cocktail hour and dinner we are just going to have our own music playing (ipod) but we want to get a band for part of the evening (we thought for the dancing part would be the most fun). The question is, when should I book them for, and for how long? Here is my rough schedule:

 

400-430: Ceremony

430-445: Group Photos (the group then heads back to the hotel)

515-615: Cocktail hour (bride and groom are finishing photos for part of this time)

615-715: Dinner

715 onward: cake cutting, dancing etc.

 

Our wedding is only 20 people, and we're not having any official speeches or anything (although I suspect there will be plenty of lengthy toasts) so I think dinner may go longer than an hour. I also don't mind if the band arrives and starts playing when we're still finishing dinner, but I also don't want to cut into our "toasting time".

 

What do you think...7? 730? 2 hours? 3 hours?

 

I've never done this before, so please help!

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We had a similar schedule and number of people. I was terrified that people would be bored out of their minds, but it worked out really well. It didn't hurt that my mother-in-law was on valuum and tequila the whole time.

 

Ours was as follows:

5:00-6:00 cocktails with classical guitar ($150/night)

6:00-7:00 dinner with classical guitar

7:00-8:30 first dance, cocktails IPOD

8:30-9:30 salsa lessons ($180)

9:30-on IPOD dancing

the party lasted until about 11 and everyone went home happy and everyone actually danced through the whole thing

Things that kept the excitement up were:

photographer set up photo booth

if dancing got slow the photographer would put the camera on the ground and have people do handstands over it (the guys and kids got really into this)

 

DH's parent's started breakdancing (what a hoot!)

salsa instructors brough props

 

Here is our slideshow. There are lots of pics of the reception.

 

Dreamtime Images Blog Archive Tulum, Mexico Wedding Photography: Malisa and Todd

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