BAND and BAR Are Everything, Darling

When planning a special event, the two features of a celebration that guests take away are the BAND and the BAR. The venue is vital when discussing the two most important features of a celebration because they are what controls the success of both. 

After planning special events in hotels for over a decade, we would favor a hotel venue over a raw space any day of the week. There are endless reasons; however, many couples are looking for non-hotel and non-traditional venues because they are looking for a contemporary feel that sometimes emulates their home and/or style. If you are leaning towards the non-hotel venue, there are several notes to keep in mind when planning to host a successful celebration.

BAND ACOUSTICS ARE KEY – If you are interested in getting everyone on the dance floor and would like the guests to say, “that was the best party I have ever attended,” the band and their acoustics are essential. The important thing to know is if you are spending a large portion of your budget on a band, you need to ensure the acoustics will be great. A few things to look out for are carpet, window draperies, and texture in the room. The sound needs to be absorbed by something, so it doesn’t bounce off the walls, floor, and ceiling. If you are hosting your celebration in a non-hotel venue with cement, marble, or any other hard surface and there is no texture on the walls or in the ceiling, it might be best to hire a DJ. The sound is more controlled, and you will save money in the bank. Why spend $20,000-$40,000 on a band when the sound bounces off the surfaces and your guests don’t feel the music?

BAR – Brands on the bar, bar placement, bar staffing, and passing wine are all essential elements for a large gathering. If the beverage is important to you, ask yourself if you need to upgrade the entire bar or if it is vodka only. You may only need to upgrade one or two items on the bar to offer an excellent enhancement. Tequila has been a popular liquor request on the bar, which you may switch out at no upcharge, and you could spend your budget on an upgraded scotch instead. If you also have a signature drink, ask your catering/venue contact if there is a drink that is easily pre-batched to save time for the bartender. Once the bartender creates specialty drinks on the bar, it will slow him/her down.

We suggest bar placement in the back corners of the ballroom or room. Bars are important, but they are not the centerpiece in most cases. If you are paying for a band, you will want to keep the guests in the room. Guests tend to hang out by the bar, so it’s always important to place bars where the line won’t obstruct the event flow. Always allow for space even if you overstaff the bartenders. We recommend (1) bartender per (50) guests; even if you have (51) guests, we will increase to (2) bartenders. Passing wine takes the pressure off the initial rush to the bar and provides an elegant touch. With these helpful band and bar tips, you are set up for a successful party in which your guests will easily access a beverage of their choice while enjoying the music.