You’re searching for wedding bands. Specifically, you’re searching for Chicago wedding bands. Of all the Chicago wedding bands that you may find, how many of those wedding bands have performed for over one thousand wedding ceremonies and receptions and was also selected to perform for Princess Diana? Of all of the Chicago wedding bands that you will encounter, only one, of the dozens of wedding bands found in Chicago, can make that claim. And that wedding band is The Stu Hirsh Orchestra.The Stu Hirsh Orchestra is so much more than just the typical wedding bands that you will find in Chicago. They are truly one of the best dance bands in Chicago. They combine their experience, versatility, professionalism and great music to make your wedding a tremendous success and a wonderful memory. When it comes to Chicago wedding bands, The Stu Hirsh Orchestra is the perfect choice.


What Type of Chicago Wedding Bands Do You Want

As you look for Chicago wedding bands, what, exactly, are you looking for? Well, unless you want one special style of music – a Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin tribute band – you probably want to find wedding bands that offer a lot of versatility. If the Chicago wedding bands that you are talking with are not versatile, then you will end up having to hire additional musicians and increasing your entertainment budget, in order to get the music that you want.

Chicago Wedding Bands and Wedding Ceremony Music

Let’s begin with your ceremony. If the wedding bands that you are interviewing are also able to perform for your ceremony, then you’ll be able to conserve your entertainment budget. When you say to the Chicago wedding bands that you are considering, “I love the Pachelbel Canon”, do those wedding bands know that it is a piece of music written by Johann Pachelbel, or do those very same Chicago wedding bands think that the Canon is a new weapons system being developed by the Pentagon? Weddings bands with versatility can use members of their group to perform at your ceremony. The best Chicago wedding bands will usually include a pianist/keyboardist, guitarist, bassist and a sax player (who also plays flute). Chicago wedding bands with versatility can take a combination of these players and have them play for your ceremony. And if the wedding bands have vocalists with sufficient skill and training, you could consider using one of the wedding bands vocalists to also perform at the ceremony. If you’re looking at wedding bands that are not able to do this, then you have to hire separate musicians to perform at your ceremony. Ask the wedding bands you are considering if they regularly provide music for ceremonies. Of the Chicago wedding bands that say yes, then ask them for their ceremony repertoire list, an audio sample of their music and ask the wedding bands to provide the names of recent brides that the wedding bands use as references.

Chicago Wedding Bands and Cocktail Reception Music

Now, we can move to your reception and we can discuss how Chicago wedding bands can assist you with the music for all aspects of your reception. Your cocktail reception will be first. At cocktails, a solo pianist or a jazz trio are very popular options. Versatile Chicago wedding bands should be able to give you the music that you want. The pianist, in the wedding bands that you are interviewing, should have the musical ability to play Broadway show tunes, soft jazz, old and new movie themes, or popular music, such as the Beatles, Elton John, Billy Joel, Sarah McLaughlin and Norah Jones. Also, Chicago wedding bands should be able to take their pianist (or guitarist), saxophonist and bassist and use them as a jazz trio. Unfortunately, what wedding bands should be able to do and what Chicago wedding bands can actually do, are two very different things. There are any numbers of wedding bands that simply do not have the musical ability to play many different style of music. Yes, you’ll find wedding bands that can play Motown, but they can’t play Sinatra. Or, the wedding bands can play Disco, but they don’t know any Swing music. Again, versatility is critical. Of the Chicago wedding bands that respond to you and say that they can provide music for your cocktail reception, then ask those wedding bands for a play list and audio examples of their music.

Chicago Wedding Bands and Dinner Music

Let’s move on to the next element of your reception, the dinner. Dinner music is very similar to cocktail music. You want fun, listenable and probably understated dinner music. You would like your guests to enjoy the music, but your also want to guests to be able to carry on a conversation, without yelling across the table. Ask your various wedding bands what musical options they offer. Many of the same choices that you found at cocktails are valid options for dinner music. Sadly, many Chicago wedding bands just don’t have the musical skills to play background music. Too many wedding bands play great dance music, but soft, subtle, unobtrusive playing is completely foreign to them. You’d like to have nice, pretty music played while your guests enjoy dinner. Wedding bands need to have tremendous musicianship in order to play selections from Phantom of the Opera or smooth jazz at dinner and then play Top 40 dance hits later in the evening. And it isn’t enough for Chicago wedding bands just to be able to play different styles of music. What is so very important is for wedding bands to be able to play different style of music….really well. Wedding bands need to reproduce every style of music, which they perform, accurately and authentically.

Chicago Wedding Bands and Dance Music

And now we get to the dancing portion of the evening. Even if you have found it necessary to hire other musicians for your ceremony, cocktails and dinner, wedding bands really need to deliver great music at this point in your reception. This is where your questioning of Chicago wedding bands is critical. You need to ask very specific questions of the wedding bands. Of course, you will ask the wedding bands if they are available on your wedding date. There are approximately 4 scenarios that you will encounter with Chicago wedding bands and their availability.

Chicago Wedding Bands and Their Availability

First, wedding bands will be booked and unavailable. Second, the wedding bands will be “holding” the date for another potential client. This means that wedding bands have had a serious inquiry, but a contract has yet to be issued. In this case, certain wedding bands will tell you that they must check with the client, who is asking them to “hold” the date and that the wedding bands will get back to you and let you know if the “hold” is good or not. Thirdly, wedding bands may have issued a contract for the date, but the contract has not be signed and returned. Wedding bands can then choose to check on the status of the contract and find out if they are fully committed to other client. Fourthly, wedding bands will have your date open and they will be completely available.

The Size of Chicago Wedding Bands

Next, ask the wedding bands about the various musical options that they offer. Begin with the size of the wedding bands. How many members are in the wedding bands? Some Chicago wedding bands are a fixed number of players. That means that certain wedding bands are always 6 pieces, or 7 pieces, or 9 pieces, etc. Other wedding bands may have a core group, or minimum number of members and these wedding bands can sometimes perform with that core number, or at other times reduce the core number and at other times these same Chicago wedding bands can also expand the size of the band and perform with more musicians. This means that some wedding bands have a core group of, say, 8 pieces. If your reception is smaller and the room can’t accommodate 8 pieces, then these wedding bands will be able to perform with only 5 or 6 pieces – reducing the core group. And on the flip side, let’s say your reception is huge and you want a bigger band. Chicago wedding bands with the ability to contract or expand can then perform with a larger group and increase the size of the band.

Who Are the Musicians in Chicago Wedding Bands

Ask the wedding bands about their personnel – the members of the band. How long has the entire group been together? What about the vocalists? Do the wedding bands have vocalists? How many vocalists are in the group? Who are the wedding bands vocalists? If wedding bands reduce their size, how does that reduction affect the vocalists? If the wedding bands expand in size, how does that affect the vocalists? Ask these same questions about the horn section and the rhythm section (keyboard, guitar, bass and drums). Some Chicago wedding bands have regular members, who have played with those wedding bands for years. Other Chicago wedding bands do not have regular members and the personnel of those wedding bands may change very frequently. You will want to know if the members, of the particular wedding bands that you are interested in, are going to be with the group at the time of your wedding. Whether you hear CDs of wedding bands, watch videos of wedding bands, or audition Chicago wedding bands live, you need to know if the wedding bands that you are listening to and watching will be the same wedding bands that will be performing at your wedding. And if you’re speaking with the leader of the weddings bands that are on your list, make sure that the leader will also be present.Some Chicago wedding bands may try to sell you a group without a specific leader. Make sure you know exactly what you may be purchasing.

At this point, you may want to discuss with the wedding bands their ability to provide music for your ceremony, cocktails and dinner. Use the information that was discussed earlier when finding out about Chicago wedding bands and their services.

Chicago Wedding Bands and Basic Pricing

Now comes the time to ask Chicago wedding bands about pricing and how they work. There are a lot of details to cover. Ask the wedding bands about their basic pricing. Do the wedding bands have a required minimum playing time? Do you have to contract the wedding bands for 3 or 4 hours? Many Chicago wedding bands will offer “packages” that can include the ceremony, cocktails, dinner and dancing. So ask the wedding bands about there packages. Wedding bands will have different overtime rates and make sure you have those figures. Overtime is a charge for any performing that occurs beyond the contracted performance times.

How Do Chicago Wedding Bands Schedule Breaks

How do the wedding bands approach breaks? Some wedding bands will take a ten-minute break per hour. Other wedding bands will take 2 fifteen minutes breaks throughout the evening. Or, wedding bands may take 20 minutes breaks. When certain Chicago wedding bands take breaks, they will play CDs on the breaks. Do you want the wedding bands to play CDs? Do you want to provide the wedding bands with your own CDs? Then, there is also “continuous” music. Chicago wedding bands that provide continuous music mean that you have non-stop, live music throughout your reception. Wedding bands can provide continuous play by using a combination of background music and dance music, in which the musicians rotate in and out of the band. Continuous music can also be achieved by wedding bands literally playing the entire reception, without any rotation of musicians. If you are interested in continuous music, ask the various Chicago wedding bands, who know how to play continuously, how they do it.

The Repertoire of Chicago Wedding Bands

Always ask Chicago wedding bands about their repertoire – the songs that they play. Make sure that the wedding bands play the music that you want. Sounds obvious, but if you’re interested in wedding bands that play 70’s and 80’s music, then don’t audition wedding bands that emphasize Swing and Big Band. Sometimes, wedding bands who specialize who certain styles of music, will be hired for a wedding and then the will be ask to perform completely different styles of music. Ask for a song list, a demo recording and even a video (not all wedding bands have videos). All professional Chicago wedding bands will have a song list and a demo recording. If there are wedding bands that do not have these materials, then don’t waste your time with those wedding bands.

Will Chicago Wedding Bands Play Special Requests

Ask the wedding bands about special requests. Will these wedding bands be willing to learn new songs? How much time do the bands need to learn new songs? How many requests can you make? Chicago wedding bands will all have different policies on learning new music.

Can Guests Perform with Chicago Wedding Bands

Will wedding bands allow family members or guests to sit in with them? Again, all Chicago wedding bands will have different responses.

When Do Chicago Wedding Bands Set-Up Their Equipment

Find out about the wedding bands set-up schedule. The best Chicago wedding bands will set-up their equipment prior to guests entering the room. It is not a pretty site to have a wedding bands set-up crew or musicians moving equipment into a room as you and your guests begin to enter for cocktails or dinner.

Will Chicago Wedding Bands Make Announcements

Don’t automatically assume that wedding bands will have a microphone available for announcements. Ask the leaders of the Chicago wedding bands, that you are dealing with, if they will allow you to use their microphones and if the wedding bands will have someone who can act as Master of Ceremonies. Not all wedding bands are comfortable with this responsibility, bur the leaders of most professional Chicago wedding bands will almost always be happy to act as MC.

How Are Chicago Wedding Bands Attired

What do the wedding bands wear? What do the females wear and what do the men wear? These are important questions to ask. Most men in Chicago wedding bands wear tuxedos, but not always. Female members of wedding bands may dress in many different ways. Sometimes, you may want the musicians to be dressed more casually. The majority of wedding bands have a basic ‘uniform”, but it can vary. You may want the wedding bands “look” to compliment your reception. Or, you may choose to have wedding bands attired in something completely different.


Do Chicago Wedding Bands Require Food and Beverages

Chicago wedding bands will have differing policies when it comes to meals and beverages (alcohol and non-alcohol). Ask the wedding bands what they expect in the way of food and drinks. Make sure that you make it clear to the wedding bands what your expectations are as well.

Contracts and Payment Terms of Chicago Wedding Bands

Now, let’s discuss contracts and payments. Chicago wedding bands all have different approaches to contracts and payments. You will want to know the size of the wedding bands deposit. How is it paid and when is it due? When is final payment due? When reviewing a wedding bands contract, make sure that all – and I mean all – of the pertinent information is on the contract. Wedding bands should be completely happy to include all contractual details on the contract. If you have a question – ask. If something was agreed to and it isn’t on the contract, get it in writing. Like in any other business, there is a very small minority of wedding bands that may not be completely reputable.If any of Chicago’s many wedding bands issues a contract that is in any way vague or ambiguous, then you have every right to have all the details clearly stated on your contract.

We have been able to compile all of this information because The Stu Hirsh Orchestra has been one of Chicago’s top wedding bands for more than twenty years.Total and complete professionals who make great music.