Beyond Traditional Wedding Musical Entertainment

Music and weddings go hand-in-hand. From the “Wedding March” to the rip-roaring, rug-cutting reception, what’s a wedding without the perfect tunes? If you’re looking to set your celebration apart, why opt for the same musical entertainment choices as everyone else? While you may be tempted to turn to a go-to staple like the DJ that got the crowd moving at your sister’s wedding, or maybe the live band that played at your engagement party, consider setting your celebration apart by looking at some unique options.

While DJs playing a mix of classic favorites and  Billboard’s Hot 100 may be the perfect fit for some celebrations, if you’ve attended more shows in actual garages than in concert halls, have never heard a Lady Gaga song in its entirety, or simply want something a little different, we may have some ideas you’ll love.

The first thing you want to establish is what type of entertainment options you’ll consider. Do you want to play to the tone, theme, or personality of your nuptials? How about all of the above? Are you looking for entertainment that will encourage guest participation or interaction, or do you simply want them to be able to sit back and enjoy? Do you want to make guests laugh? Get up and dance? Do you want to inspire a full-on sing-along? Maybe stun them into awed silence? No matter what you’re looking for, consider the following to find the perfect fit for your celebration.

One-Person Bands

What’s better than a live band? If you’re thinking of a live band condensed down into one person, then you’re absolutely correct. Consider the one-man band of lore—with a large drum strapped to his back and all manner of instruments protruding from here and there—or even a soloist who relies on live looping to fill out her sound for a surprising (and mobile!) entertainment option. As these artists are often acoustic, or have limited amplification, a one-person band can be a wonderful addition to a smaller affair with a more laid-back feel.


Get toes a-tapping and singing voices primed with a host of musical tunes that guests from ages 9 to 90 are sure to love. Whether you have a band come in to cover all the classics or you want to project the movie versions of your favorites on a wall of your venue, musicals can be a fun way to get guests involved. Just make sure to take your audience into account before making your decision. While “Annie,” “My Fair Lady,” and “Hairspray” may be fun for all ages, your new spouse’s grandmother may not be quite as forgiving over, say, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Themed Musicians/DJs, Cover Bands, and Impersonators

Elvis may have left the building, but in those clothes, and in just the right light, you’re pretty sure he just walked into your venue. And while you thought hair bands went the way of acid wash jeans and scrunchies, you’re pretty sure you just saw Jon Bon Jovi circa 1988 slip through the back door. Impersonators, cover bands, and musicians and DJs who specialize in a particular era of music are a great fit for period-themed weddings. For example, pair an Old Hollywood or Roaring Twenties themed affair with a properly-attired jazz band complete with a sultry-voiced vocalist, or combine a Renaissance-themed celebration with flutists, minstrels, and violinists for the perfect touch.

Unique Soloists, Bands, or DJs 

Offer guests something they may have never seen before. Think about hiring some little-known or experimental bands whose sound can’t quite be equated to anything played on the radio. How about DJs creating unique and inspired mashups blending classic composers and hip hop artists? Maybe a soloist who looks like Judy Garland, dresses like David Bowie, and has the stage presence of Freddie Mercury? Underground or unique artists may not be for every celebration, but they may just be the perfect fit for yours.

Cultural Musicians

If you’re still unsure which musical path to take, consider hiring musicians trained in a certain culture, region, or instrument for an entertainment experience guests won’t soon forget. From taiko drummers to mariachi bands, from bagpipers to a little zydeco flavor, offer guests a taste of an unfamiliar culture or genre for an unparalleled and unique option. For a personalized touch, highlight your heritage or your betrothed’s with anything from a talented sitar player to the perfect salsa band.

Your wedding music can be a wonderful representation of your union. If some of the more traditional options leave a little something to be desired, don’t be afraid to get creative. Whether you want a very convincing Sonny and Cher serenading you with their signature “I Got You Babe,” you want to groove out to some Tejano beats, or you can’t wait to belt out “Does Your Mother Know” somewhere other than the comfort of your shower, you’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for and more.