THE PRIVATE FAQ’S

Congratulations on your engagement! The following list
has been compiled in order to answer some of the most frequently asked questions
regarding your wedding reception and the band. Please feel free to
contact us
with any additional questions you may have.

Sections shown in blue italics reflect popular opinion and helpful trend information
that you may find useful in planning your party. We have included this information
in an effort to help keep you up to date with the current trends in our business.
This information does not necessarily reflect our personal opinions.

 

When Does the Band start?

We find that a wonderful way to start a party is to have the band playing as the
guests enter the room or arrive at the party. This sets a stylish tone and is an
elegant way to start your party. This means that the band must have a starting time
that allows for starting before the guests enter the room.

If you wish to cut your cocktail hour short, check with the bandleader first to
ensure your guests enter a “live” room.

 

Do People Still Have Receiving Lines?

If you are planning on having a receiving line, you may want to consider having
it at the church or Synagogue or as your guests enter the cocktail hour. This will
keep the line moving and not detract from the flow of the party itself.
Receiving lines at the reception are not popular at this time, as they are very
time consuming and take away valuable dance time from your party.

How About Introducing the Wedding Party?

Should you decide to introduce the whole wedding party, please fill in the names
exactly as you would like them announced (i.e. “Mr. John Smith” — groom’s brother,
etc.) on the STARDUST FLOWSHEET. The names will be checked
for pronunciation when we talk through the flow for the party. The introductions
are usually done at the start of the party after the photographs and before dinner.
Again, introducing the entire wedding party takes
valuable time away from the party itself and is consequently not “En Vogue” at this
time. The current trend is toward introducing just the Bride & Groom and/or the
Hostess & Host, or the Bride and Groom and their respective parents.

Who Picks the Songs the Band Will Play?

We have a rather extensive song list and would like you to check off songs that
you would like to hear at your party. Feel free to make margin notes and ask questions
regarding songs that you don’t see on the list — the list is not comprehensive
and is constantly being updated. When you have finished with the list, please send
or fax us a copy. On the night of your party, we will use the list as a “call sheet”
to try to insert some of your favorite songs appropriately throughout the evening.
Please understand that we cannot guarantee that
we will play all of your songs. We will, depending on what your crowd is doing,
fit as many song selections into appropriate places throughout the evening as possible.
You must trust us to know where and when to place songs — it’s what we do.

[back to top]
What About the Special Dances?

Our song list offers a wealth of choices for first, parent, and last dances. If
the special song that you are looking for is not in our repertoire, we will be happy
to learn one special request for you. In order to do this, we will need from you:
(a) a CD or mp.3 of the song, and (b) sheet music for the song if available. Please
return these materials along with the available repertoire
at least six weeks before the engagement.

Please consult
us
before purchasing sheet music or recordings.

If We Want a Hora, When Can We Do It?

You can do the Hora anytime you prefer, but there are tried and true places in the
evening where the Hora is most effectively placed. Some people prefer to start the
party with the Hora instead of the first dance. This works fine, except it will
take up the entire first part of the party and will usually be cut short by the
maitre’ d having to get the food out. If you would
like a longer Hora, which seems to be the trend, we would suggest placing it either
between courses before the entrée, or after the entrée when there is more time to
do it justice. We can do a Hora of any length and provide lots of variety (we sing
in Yiddish to boot!). A short Hora would be about 5—10 minutes, and a longer
Hora would be 10—20 minutes.

What Happens During Dinner?

During the dinner portion of the evening, the band will perform live background
music throughout the various courses until the main course is served. At this time
the band normally breaks for dinner.

Do We Have to Provide Meals for the Band?

Due to driving time, setting up, and playing during mealtimes, the band rarely has
time to eat. This provision is in the contract to ensure a happy and energetic band.
Performing is hard work and a happy band is a good
thing to have.

How Many Breaks do You Take And For How Long?

During a normal four—hour party, the band will customarily take two breaks.
The dinner break will be the longest lasting approximately from the time your guests
are served the main course until the tables are cleared (approximately 25 minutes).
The next break is a short one (approximately 10—15 minutes) prior to the last
hour of dancing. Please be aware that the break schedule is entirely dependent upon
the Catering Staff and/or Room Captain. The flow of the food will dictate the band’s
break schedule We are especially conscientious about
providing the maximum amount of dance time at your party, to make the party as good
as it can be. Rest assured that while breaks are necessary and parties need to “breathe”,
we will make the breaks as transparent as possible and will never jeopardize the
success of a party for the sake of a break.

What Happens When the Band is on Break?

The band carries a state of the art sound system that enables us to play CD’s during
our breaks. There will never be any “down time” as there will always be music playing
at your party. We would be happy to play your special
disk should you prefer.

What About Cutting the Cake?

The cake is traditionally cut after the main course is cleared. Cutting the cake
after dinner flows very nicely in the evening as it serves as a prelude to the “rest
of the evening”. Currently, the cake marks the end of the bride’s responsibilities
for the evening and is followed by dancing for the rest of the party.
The current trend is to cut the cake to light background music as opposed to the
traditional sing along, “The Bride Cuts The Cake”.

Do People Still Throw Their Bouquet’s?

Yes, people are still throwing their bouquet’s, but only about 10% of them. The
Bouquet is traditionally thrown near the end of the party (within the last hour).
This traditional ritual has been loosing popularity recently
mainly because of the time it takes away from dancing.

How About the Garter?

The garter ritual is traditionally the next step after the throwing of the Bouquet.
The bride sits down and has her new husband remove the garter from her leg. Again, this tradition seems to have gone by the wayside.
We’re not sure of the reasons, but time surely is one of them.
The final
part of this sequence is the placing of the removed garter on the leg of the recipient
of the Bouquet. Similarly, this practice seems to have
fallen out of favor.
This sequence of events is orchestrated by the band
MC and accompanied by music. We are happy to accommodate you should you wish to
do any or all of this traditional part of the wedding reception. Please be aware
that this entire event can take upwards of 15 minutes and usually falls into the
last hour of the party.

[back to top]
Shoud We Have a Last Dance?

The last dance is a tradition that was born from the days when the Bride & Groom
would change their clothes at the end of the party and then say goodbye to their
guests before they leave. Although most modern brides
are no longer changing at the end of their party, last dances are still popular.

The last dance would be played at approximately 10—15 minutes before the end
of the party. If you are changing clothes, we suggest you allow 30 minutes before
your last dance to change. Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” is an example of a popular
last dance: it starts slow and then gets everyone on the dance floor for a lively
finish to the party (see “last dances”).

When Do We Get In Touch?

We prefer to begin dialoguing the event approximately six weeks prior to the event.
It is necessary to begin our conversation at this time to ensure that any special
song requests can be honored, and that the flow of the event can be properly planned
and discussed. As a rule, at the beginning of your event week we will touch base
as well. At this time we will review and confirm all information, discuss any last
minute changes, and go through the flow of the event in great detail. The reason
for this week-of-event check in is twofold: (a) it keeps the event fresh in our
minds, and (b) most last minute changes have usually occurred by this time and we
can account for them.

We are more than happy to hear from you any time regarding
plans for your event. We understand that most people have little or no experience
in planning a party or event. We, on the other hand, have a lot of experience and
would be happy to share it with you at any time. Please don’t hesitate
contact us
.

What About the Ceremony and Cocktail Hour?

After securing THE STARDUST BAND, we will be happy to assist you in planning both
your ceremony music as well as your cocktail hour music. We can provide a large
variety of ensemble choices as well as a substantial repertoire of music for this
portion of the event. From strings & harps to brass quintets, whatever your tastes
dictate, we can provide it. If you are interested in
ceremony/cocktail music, we can send you a package with suggestions and recordings
of
available repertoire
to help you in your choosing songs and instrumentation.

What Does the Band Wear?

If the event is a formal affair (black-tie), the band will wear tuxedos. This can
be the black variety, or white dinner jackets. If the party is informal, the band
will wear business attire (jacket & tie) at the discretion of the client.
The suit & tie is a more comfortable look and feel and is the current trend. For
your information: the band does not disrobe during a party (i.e. take jackets and/or
ties off) unless there are comfort issues due to heat or other unforeseeable problems.

What If I Need to Change the Time of my Party?

Any changes to an existing contract must be in writing. Small changes are usually
not a problem, and we will always do our best to accommodate you. A major time change
may not be possible due to another engagement booked on that same day.
We urge you to be certain that the time you wish the band to begin performing is
correctly coordinated with your ceremony (if applicable) and the reception/party
facility before returning the contract.

What If We Want You to Continue Playing Past Your Contracted Time?

Overtime is possible when the band does not have another engagement following yours.
Overtime is usually done “on-the-fly”. At approximately 15 minutes before the band
is scheduled to stop performing, we will locate you to see what you would like us
to do. If you would like us to continue, we will continue performing with billing
done in 1/2-hour increments. If you know ahead of time
that you would like to add overtime, please book it before the engagement, as this
knowledge will enhance the flow of the party.

What If The Band Is Too Loud?

“I went to a wedding and the band was so loud that no one could speak to each other”…
This is a comment that we hear all the time from prospective clients. It is a comment
that we never hear from our actual
clients. Insensitivity to volume issues is a characteristic of an inexperienced
band or one with limited repertoire. Because of the experience and considerable
repertoire of the Stardust Band, volume levels are appropriate at all times. There
is a time to dance and a time to dine and converse — we are hypersensitive
to these concerns and well aware of appropriate volume levels. If, at your party
you feel that the volume level is not agreeable, just ask us to turn down. Sometimes the venue can be problematic such as when the
room is constructed of glass or marble, has unusually high ceilings or other acoustic
anomalies. These super reverberant rooms can produce “echoic” and “louder” sound
situations. Please be aware of your venue’s limitations when you book it. Having
said this, it has been a very rare occasion for us to find a venue that we can’t
make sound good.

How Do I Hire The Band?

A deposit and signed contract are required. All major credit cards are accepted
and all dates are secured on a first-come/first-serve basis. There is a 10-day turnaround
for the contract & deposit and we are happy to work with you on your financing.
Once we receive your contract and deposit the date is yours.

Please contact Stardust Productions to
secure your date.

 

Conclusion

We hope that we have answered some of your questions and that our experience and
insight into your questions is helpful in the planning of your event. Thank you
for choosing THE STARDUST BAND – we look forward to helping make your event a resounding
success!

[back to top]