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Music for your wedding and reception will be one of the major expenses of your big day, and can make or break the mood of the ceremony and the celebration afterwards. When planning the budget for your wedding, earmark at least ten percent for music. Keep in mind that there are plenty of ways to trim the cost and, that this is just a guideline. Therefore, if you want to be more elaborate with the music, you can.

If you are trying to stay within a set budget, as you begin your search for a band or disc jockey, remember that you do not have to have music played during the entire reception. If you choose a band or professional DJ, you might consider using them only for the portion of the reception time when guests will be dancing or moving about visiting. However, during other times such as pre-dinner, cutting of the cake, and dinner and/or cocktail time, you could always play a mix CD.

If you visit a few of the larger music stores, you will discover an entire selection of CDs that have excellent anthologies of music, perfect for satisfying everyones taste. Some are romantic, featuring the Waltz or ballads, some play Big Band or Jazz, and some are created specifically for wedding receptions and feature all the favorite, traditional songs that you would expect to hear. These CDs are exceptionally nice as background music when you want to create a relaxing atmosphere so the guests can mingle.

The same would be true for the wedding ceremony. If you have the budget to hire an organist, pianist, guitarist, flutist, or vocalists, great, but if not, you will also find a nice selection of taped music that can accommodate every aspect of the ceremony. If you have your heart set on live music, often churches will have musicians that would be thrilled to play for the wedding at a minimal cost. If you have a friend or family member who sings, you could ask if he or she would be willing to participate in your wedding. More than likely, this person would be honored. Many times, people in this situation offer to give their talent as a wedding gift.

Additionally, consider less traditional venues for musicians. Visit a local university music department or music academy. You may find amazing, talented people who would love the opportunity to perform for a small fee in exchange for the experience. If you are set on a string quartet or something similar for the ceremony, this is an excellent option as well, considering that professional string musicians can be quite expensive.

If you want to have music played starting with the ceremony and going all the way through to the conclusion of the reception, always ask the band or DJ if they would be willing to offer a discount since you would be hiring them for a greater length of time than a typical wedding and/or reception. Generally, many bands and DJs have a variety of packages available, but the only way you will know is to ask.

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