Monday, July 20th, 2009...9:23 am

Cordially Invited Guest: A. Stan Wiest Music

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Our guest today is Stan Wiest, President of A. Stan Wiest Music, based in Fort Salonga.   This wedding band entertainment company offers the original Stan Wiest Orchestra, plus an additional 17 Bands, Orchestras and D.J.’s to choose from.

Q:  When starting to plan their wedding, what should couples consider in terms of hiring a DJ vs. a band or orchestra?
A:  The elegance they would like to portray in their reception is probably primary. The makeup of their guests attending (everyone under 35 may want a more club atmosphere, however, a mix of ages and generations is usually better served by a band).  Also their budget – a DJ for four hours will cost $3000 to $4000 less than a band.

Q:  What sort of different types of entertainment options does your company offer?
A:  Everything from Classical Soloists (Violin, Guitar, Harp)  and Chamber Ensembles (String Quartet, Harp-Flute-Cello  to 15 Piece String Orchestra)   to Gypsy Bands, Latin Salsa, Steel Drums, Greek Bouzouki, Israeli, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, German Octoberfest, Brazilian, Flamenco Guitar and Dancers, Trumpeters,  Society,  Swing, Jazz, Country Western, Line Dance Callers, Dixieland , Banjo, Accordion, Sinatra Singer, Rock Top 40 , Sitar and Tabla, Mariachi,  Bagpipes, One Man Bands, DJ’s with Plasma Screens and Light Shows,   Plus we have Caricaturists, Ventriloquists,  Belly Dancers, Ballroom Dancers, Comedians, Magicians and a full range of children’s entertainment from puppet shows to clowns and story telling.

Q:  In your experience, how much should a couple set aside to hire a band or orchestra for their wedding?
A:  That varies according to the number of guests. If you are having an intimate wedding of 50 people or so you may want a trio for dancing but if you are having 250-300 I’d suggest eight pieces or so.

Q:  In terms of the actual music, do you go over a complete list of songs that will be played during the reception?  How does this work?
A:  I let the bride and groom choose the types of music they want and  the things they definitely do not want to hear. They  fill out a list of their specific favorites including all the special dances  (first dance, father-daughter, son-mother) . They select not only types but specific songs. I try to guide them according to the guest-age background makeup
which is important. You must understand no one can make up a minute to minute list as each function varies widely. Years of experience are the key to success.

Q:  What are the three most critical things a couple needs to know when hiring entertainment for their reception?
A:  Reliability.  Ask yourselves –
1) Is the Band or DJ you are hiring the one you will see on your wedding day?
2) Will they do the music you requested and learn some of your special requests (bands need at least a month prior to the day to learn unusual requests or particular ethnic requests).
3)  Is the leader available via phone and/or e-mail to answer all your questions; are you comfortable with his or her professionalism and years of satisfied clients?

Thank you, Stan.