Grace Ormond




Valerie Romanoff was interviewed by Grace Ormond Wedding Style magazine. Click here to read the article: The Soundtrack for Singular Moments.

If a couple’s love for each other is the heart of the wedding reception, music must be the soul.

A great band provides the soundtrack for the biggest party of your life, providing accompaniment to such singular moments as your first dance as husband and wife. Long after memories of fine food and flowers have faded, the music plays on. A band that gets family and friends up and dancing will be fondly recalled for a lifetime.

“I always advise clients, especially young ones, that when it comes to the nature of their party, leave their exact musical tastes at home,” says Michael Lerich of the Chicago-based Michael Lerich Orchestra. “What you listen to on the stereo doesn’t necessarily translate to getting people on the dance floor.”

“The success of an event, and what makes a good bandleader, is being able to create an event with balanced components,” agrees Valerie Romanoff, CEO of Starlight Orchestra in New York City. Key notes include the personal taste of the couple, their vision for their party, and putting that into balance with what’s going to appeal to the crowd.”

Of course, crowd appeal can’t be judged completely in advance. “It’s also intuitive reading, like poetry in motion as the event unfolds,”says Romanoff.”It’s not a concert; it’s interactive, a give-and-take between what the orchestra is putting out and what people will respond to.” Couples must hear the band play live at another wedding reception or a similar event months before the wedding date, to ensure that the band will be available if they seem to be a good match. To get the best “feel” for the band, see them play an event with a size and venue similar to your own reception. (A general rule of thumb: big bands work better for big events, and vice versa.)

In addition to listening if the band can play your kind of music, observe whether guests are dancing and if the bandleader is an agreeable, enthusiastic Romanoff says. “When we choose performers, we want people who embody that love of happiness and joyousness.” Next, sit down with the band to discuss your musical tastes. “You need to choose a bandleader who is able to fuse [the performance] with the style and taste that goes along with who you are as a client,” Romanoff says. “This is not to say [bands] want the couple to orchestrate the event soup-to-nuts. We want to work together with them.” “Weddings are definitely interactive,…”