“When to Call”
I got a call the other day from a very excited Mrs. Whatnot, wanting to know our bands’ availability for all of the Saturday nights next May, June and September.
I said, “Congratulations, who’s getting married?” She answered, “My daughter is, but she doesn’t know it yet.” Wow! Although it doesn’t happen every day, people do sometimes try to arrange their wedding dates based on the availability of a favorite vendor, whether it is a caterer, a venue, a rabbi, a decorator or, in most cases, an amazing band. People who attend parties often take the cards or collect the phone numbers of vendors who made an impact, and save the information for when they might need it.
Check this out! A bride called me one day and told me she attended her friend’s wedding 10 years ago and was so impressed with my Starlight Orchestra that she took our card and saved it in her jewelry box, waiting for the day that she would meet the right guy and get engaged! Her wedding turned out be to be one of the year’s biggest weddings in New York City, with an international guest list of over 800 people at the Waldorf=Astoria. That night I employed 80 musicians and crew, and provided music in 8 ballrooms! I am sure glad we rocked the house at that wedding 10 years ago.
So you’re engaged, now what? Mr. Whatnot had gotten a visit from his daughter’s boyfriend, who very respectfully and traditionally asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage. He told the Whatnots that he wanted to propose to Erica on July 4th, which was a few weeks away, and he wanted it to be a surprise. Mrs. Whatnot knew what kind of a wedding she wanted to throw, and did not want to risk losing the players that would help turn her dream into a reality, so she discreetly made calls and made plans, before the engagement was official. As you can see, it is never too early to start researching and calling vendors. Some vendors may reserve dates, others may not, but you can plan your party based on the availability of those most important to you. The earlier you call, the more options you have. I find that the Starlight Orchestras clients know what they want, have high expectations, and hire vendors who consistently deliver.
At the other end of the spectrum are people who somehow plan their weddings in no time at all. Like weeks! I am constantly amazed when I get a call from a bride who asks if we are available 6 weeks from today to provide her wedding music. Some of the largest affairs I have performed at were planned in less than time than that! Some dates fill up a year in advance, with clients calling for that same date over and over, while other nights sit empty, and are perfect for those planning last minute affairs. If you are planning a close wedding, you can always call to check availability and never assume that you won’t get the professionals you most want to work with.
Whether you reach out a year in advance, one month before, or sometime in between, the process has begun and you are on your way….