Bands, DJs can liven up receptions

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— Watching a bride walk down the aisle to the calming sounds of a harp or seeing Grandma do the twist on the dance floor are among the best memories couples and guests will take away from weddings.

"(Music) is one of the key ingredients to a fun and successful wedding ... Music, flowers, food and beverage all are on the top of the list," said Lindsey Grannis, wedding planner and owner of One Fine Day Productions.

Disc jockeys are usually the most affordable option and also have a wide music selection appealing to a lot of guests, she said.

"DJs are great because they can play music that may seem cheesy, but everybody will dance to it," Grannis said. "Everybody dances to disco. It spans generations."

The cost for a local disc jockey starts at about $500, said Grannis, who recommended couples meet with prospective DJs to get a feel for personality, style and music selection.

"You want to have a DJ that is going to make suggestions but also will listen to your suggestions," she said.

From bluegrass to jazz and funk to polka, live music is one of the best ways couples reflect their personalities and backgrounds in their weddings, said Jill Waldman, wedding planner and owner of The Main Event said.

"That is a way you can really personalize a wedding," said Waldman, who books local bands as well as national acts such as Chris Daniels & the Kings for local weddings.

Couples can expect to spend a minimum of $750 for several hours of live music from a local band. Bands from out of town typically cost more because of transportation and lodging costs, Waldman said.

While many of Waldman's clients have from $5,000 to $10,000 to spend on music, a lot of local bands can accommodate stricter budgets, she said.

"I can usually find live music that will work with almost any budget," she said.

The Yampa Valley Boys entertained guests at four to five wedding events last year, member Steve Jones said.

"One thing that we do that has been really popular is rehearsal dinners -- we have a set show we do with humor," he said. "It's a lot of fun."

While the band specializes in Western-folk style music, it also can add bluegrass, swing, two-step and waltzes to its repertoire.

The band also plays at ceremonies and is willing to learn special songs couples might want, Jones said, noting the Hawaiian wedding song is among the more unique requests the band has received.

There are a lot of local musicians to choose from for ceremonies, and their services start at about $200, Waldman said.

The cost is minimal compared to the overall feeling live music adds to the ceremony, Grannis said.

"It's not going to be that much more of an expense," she said. "I think live music at a ceremony is really nice."

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