Happy Thanksgiving from the Calluna Crew!

Happy Thanksgiving to our clients, vendors, friends, and community! We are incredibly appreciative and honored for your love, support, partnership, and trust over the years!

We happily embrace the holiday as an opportunity to create space to gather with loved ones, to nourish our bodies with good food and drink, to rest, to set intentions for the coming chapters, and reflect on everything that helped us arrive to this moment.

This year our team took a moment of purposeful pause to reflect on the year behind us and share what we are wholeheartedly grateful for. We hope you join us in celebration this season and we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving from our family at Calluna Events to yours! 

Photographer | Alp & Isle

Heather Dwight

“It’s that time of year when we pause and reflect on where we’ve been in our annual Thanksgiving blog post. I am so honored and humbled to be writing about gratitude once again. We are so fortunate to do what we do and create what we create for our clients alongside this wonderful wedding community. We are wrapping up our 19th season in business! I am ever-so inspired by the Calluna Community – our clients who choose Calluna, the creative partners and venues we are fortunate to work so closely with and who continually entrust their clients with us. I continue to be grateful to be able to go to work each day and do something I love and am passionate about. I am particularly grateful for our clients from this year. Witnessing your weddings is a great honor! Once again, this year brought some incredible weddings and visions, where we were able to collaborate and be creative in ways we never have. I am grateful for our clients’ trust in us and our ability to constantly grow and expand our offerings.

I am always in awe of and humbled by our team. They are the heart and soul of Calluna, my right hands, who work tirelessly and who have such positive enthusiasm for our couples. At the end of our second full season post COVID, I reflect back on what we navigated and the persistence and grit of our team. Wedding planning is sometimes a thankless job, a job behind the scenes and the cog that makes the entire wheel of the wedding turn. Our team makes our couples vision come to life and their wedding dreams happen. And their work allows me to expand Calluna in exciting projects. I consider them all friends and love the impact they’ve had on my life and my business.

I’m also so grateful for travel – it’s one of my greatest joys in life – to travel to inspiring places and experience new things – this past year I was fortunate to travel to Greece, Morocco, weddings across Colorado and Wyoming as well as Missouri, and took several road trips with my family in the southwest of Colorado and Utah.

I am forever grateful for the love and support of my family and my friends, especially my husband, Brandon, our daughter Maggie and son Grey. I’m grateful for where we live in Colorado – for fresh air, sunshine, being outside in the mountains. I’m grateful for my health and any time I can ride my bike or do a little yoga.”

Photographer | Ashley Sawtelle

Melanie Robertz

“It’s my very favorite season – a season for pause, reflection, celebration, and (hopefully!) a little bit of rest. As we mark the festive conclusion of this calendar year, delighted to share a sprinkling of what brings me joy, thanks and a full heart in a seemingly unending list of gratitude.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to do what I love with the people of love; in helping create moments of joyous celebration that will be remembered for generations to come. I’m grateful to spend my days surrounded in the company of strong, creative, interesting people – colleagues, clients, vendors, entrepreneurs, (many of which are female founded and operated!) – who continue to inspire me to be the best version of myself each day. I’m immeasurably grateful for my health and the health and well-being of those around me, something we know not to take lightly in today’s time. I’m grateful for the everyday joys that come with being a new puppy parent (read: a very full camera roll), to watching my dear friends and family embark on big chapters (weddings! homes! jobs! babies!), to small moments of levity and laughter that go along with a life well-lived. We don’t know what’s to come, but we’ve gotten this far and that’s cause for celebration. Clinking my glass in spirit to all of you – Happy Thanksgiving and holiday season!”

Photographer | Alp & Isle

Lindsay Hayden

“Wow – it’s hard to believe that it’s already time to write this post again, the year has just flown by!

2022 has been one of the best years of my life and this year, I am most grateful for my husband (EEK! Still love saying that)! This year Ken and I got married in our favorite places in the world and pledged to spend the rest of our lives together. Planning your own wedding in the midst of planning weddings for all the amazing Calluna Couples was no small feat and I truly could not have pulled off the wedding of our dreams without his support! He might not have been picking out linens or negotiating a catering contract but I couldn’t have made it through this season without him.

To my friends and family – those who showed up and supported us over the last year of planning and celebrating. From engagement parties to bachelorette weekends (and so many matching theme outfits!) and bridal showers – 0ur wedding day wouldn’t have been the same without them! Coming in from all over the country to Aspen, Colorado was no easy feat and it was truly so humbling to look out and see all our loved ones in the same place. I often tell my couples that there are so few times in your life that all your people are in the same place together and to live that experience first hand was truly something that I’ll never forget.

And to our vendor partners – the support and creativity you brought to this season but especially to my wedding weekend is something that I’ll never truly be able to thank you all for. I feel so thankful and blessed to work alongside such creatives in this industry who dedicate everything they have to their couples and to be on the receiving end of that creativity and dedication was so special.

All in all – it was such a special year filled with so much love! It’s hard to imagine that 2023 will be able to top this year but the best is yet to come.”

Photographer | Vanessa Tierney

Jenna Frum

“At the beginning of this year, I set my intention to embody what I call the ’empowered manifester’ – someone who is fearless in following their heart. I had an inkling this would be the year of growth + change and it sure was! I moved from California to Colorado to pursue my dream career and reunite with my boyfriend Troy of five years after two years of long distance, we welcomed home our sweet Marigold who’s our fluffy golden retriever puppy ~ adding to our furry family with our two kitties Leo + Roo, I joined the Calluna Crew when wedding season began and have been loving it ever since, I have found ways to foster deep connection with my family despite the distance between us, and I just became an Auntie a couple weeks ago!

Change inspires growth and I’m incredibly grateful that I fiercely followed my heart when these opportunities arose, acknowledging the fear of the unknown while simultaneously finding centeredness around my aspirations and taking the leap of faith. As I embarked on this new chapter of my life, I’ve been so fortunate to have my loved ones by my side and am sending them so much love and gratitude for their unwavering support + encouragement through it all. I’m so grateful to be part of the Calluna Crew, a team of women who constantly inspire me as they pour their hearts into everything they do. Thank you for showing this California girl what Colorado is all about! I’m grateful for Troy who’s been there for me every step of the way ~ you have always inspired me to speak my truth, embrace my authenticity, and let my free spirit run wild! I’m grateful for our wonderful group of friendors we have here in Colorado and beyond ~ as planners with creative visions it’s entirely special to see it all come to life and we truly wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

My heart is also incredibly grateful for all the in between moments in life, the small things such as laughing so hard my dimples start to hurt, our furry friends Marigold, Leo, + Roo finding and choosing friendship with one another with all the purrs, cuddles, and kisses nose to snout ~ what a beautiful sign from nature of loving + kindness! ~ the golden yellow trees filling the slopes during the fall, butterflies that flutter toward me are like kisses from my angels in heaven, I could go on for days celebrating what fills my heart with joy and gratitude but I’ll save some for next year’s reflection! Sending all my love and gratitude to you on this Thanksgiving! Wishing you a lovely celebration full of joy!”

Photographer | Meredith Diamond

Kristen Kennedy

“This year I’m grateful for:

  1. The opportunity to travel for weddings and for personal fun. My wedding in Cabo was definitely a professional highlight (love you Rebecca & Brian!) and my trip to Mallora, Spain was a personal favorite.
  2. My family – always. I’ve spent a lot of time with them over the past few years and even crashed my parents anniversary trip to Jackson Hole.
  3. Coffee. Specifically the Japanese Iced Coffee from Blue Sparrow and Cappuccinos from Crema.
  4. My squad of amazing friends. You know who you are!
  5. All of my amazing clients, many who became friends after planning together for 1+ years!

And of course my Calluna Crew. Love love love learning from this team of amazing ladies.”

Photographer | Rebecca Haley Photography

Gina Yeon

“Suffice it to say, there have been some monumental joys this year: getting engaged (!!!), building a home with my fiance, and celebrating love. Both in the form of our couples and weddings with Calluna, and also the smaller everyday celebrations of love with friends and family. While it’s so easy to focus on the big joys – the ones that come to the mind first when thinking about what I’m most grateful for, the tiny treasures also come to the surface when I think about why I am grateful for that thing.

I’ve been keeping a journal (sporadically), where I write down the top 3 things I am thankful for that day. While the big and consistent ones have been my health, my relationships, and more recently, a house to call our home, the tiny treasures that I also am grateful for no matter how silly also allows me to reflect on how much I have to be thankful for. Some of the entries: coffee, fresh flowers, seeing Enzo get the zoomies, the sun on an incredibly cold day in January, visiting a berry farm and picking all of the fruit, a magical sunset, clean socks, finding $5 dollars in a zipped pocket in an old purse, etc.

This year, I am so grateful for both the big joys and the smaller ones that fill up our day to day lives. Wishing everyone all of the joys – both big and small as they celebrate Thanksgiving this year!”

Photographer for Image One | Alp & Isle
Photographer for Image Two | Holly Hursley Photography

Kira Reed

“This year I am so thankful for being able to have the wedding of our dreams. We were married this September in Laguna Beach, CA. It was truly the best day of our lives and I am still riding high from it. We were surrounded by our family and friends and the outpouring of love was like nothing I have ever experienced. I felt such immense gratitude for those who traveled both near and far to be with us on our special day. I am thankful for the health of our family which allowed them all to be there and I look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving all together this year as a married couple!”

Photographer | Katrina Jayne

Taylor Sicko

“This year I am most grateful for friendship. After moving to a state where I knew virtually no one, I feel so grateful to have gradually found the people that make Colorado feel like home.”

Photographer | Alp & Isle

A few Thanksgiving reflections over the year!

20212020 | 2019 | 2018

Calluna Tips: 4 Fun Fall Date Night Ideas

We admit, we are going to miss summer… but these slightly cooler temperatures have us ready to start sipping on warm apple cider and embracing the beautiful season of Fall. While it’s easy to stay cozy inside during the cooler months, we have some absolutely great date ideas to keep things exciting with your boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancee or hubby!

Enjoy! Xo, Calluna

Everybody knows that fall is the season full of delicious food and tasty flavors. From homemade pies to fabulous fall cocktails, the opportunities for a scrumptious fall feast are endless. Try a cooking class for an action packed date night, not only will you gain some culinary skills but you and your date will have a great time in the kitchen. For our Colorado locals check out some of the fabulous classes offered by The Lyons Farmette, Sur La Table and Cook Street like “Quick Pickling,” “Fabulous Fall soups,” and “American pies.”

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Lyons Farmette (upper) || Manzanita Photography (lower)

Summer picnics seem to get all of the attention, but we believe that nothing says Fall like a cozy picnic stocked with delicious cheeses and a good bottle of wine. Embrace fall rustic décor, and set up your picnic with mason jars, warm plaid blankets and classic picnic baskets. Want to make your picnic effortless? Check out Cured’s amazing options for picnic baskets…all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cured (upper) || Pete Krumhardt via Midwest Living

Enjoy a night out on the town with your date and check out some of the fantastic shows coming to Colorado this fall! The Ellie Caukins Opera House will be putting on Swan Lake beginning the first week of October, and we think the ballet will make for an incredibly romantic fall date night! Not a ballet-loving sort of couple? Check out some of the hilarious comedy shows the Dairy Center for the Arts will be putting on in Boulder. For more information on events in Denver and Boulder click here & here!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of The Colorado Ballet

Fall in Colorado means some seriously gorgeous shades of yellows, oranges and reds occupying the trees, and there is no excuse to not get outside and see the beauty! So lace up your hiking boots, put on some layers and make a fabulous Fall hike the perfect date. The West Maroon Trail, The Booth Creek Trail and the Staunton Ranch Trail are perfect for a healthy fall date.


Photo Credit: Jason J. Hatfield via 5280 Magazine

Featured Photo: Manzanita Photography

5 Tips: How to Personalize Your Wedding

Here at Calluna, we know that a gorgeous wedding is all in the details. You’ll be celebrating your special day surrounded by your family and loved ones, and a little personalization goes a long way! Adding personal touches will make your guests feel special and instantly welcomed. We have a compiled a list of five tips on easy ways to personalize your wedding day and make the celebration just a little bit more special!

Enjoy! Xo, Calluna


Photo Credit: Steve Stanton Photography (upper) || James Christianson Photography (lower)


Photo Credit: Heather Gray Photography 


Photo Credit: Steve Stanton Photography


Photo Credit: Dawn Sparks Photography

View More: http://jason-gina.pass.us/caroline-clarkcaroline_kyle-100372-620x413

Photo Credit: Jason & Gina Photography (upper) || Gino Siller Photography 

Featured Photo: Rachel Havel Photography

Four Tips on Hosting Out-of-Town Wedding Guests

Weddings have a magical way of bringing people together from across the world. It may be the case that some of your family and friends are hopping on planes and travelling far and wide to come celebrate your special day with you. Out of town guests make a huge effort to come spend the day with you, so as the hosts it’s your job to make them feel welcomed . We have compiled a list of four great tips on how to keep your out-of-town guests comfortable and satisfied.

Enjoy! Xo, Calluna

Play Tour Guide (kind of): Yes, you are most definitely going to be too busy in the days leading up to the wedding to take everyone around from place to place showing them the best spots in town. However, a little guidance never hurts, and your out of town guests will seriously appreciate the gesture. Leave an itinerary in the guest rooms giving them a timeline of the festivities and include your favorite local coffee shops, spots for a quick bite and logistical places like the nearest drug store. This will be a great way to make the out-of-towners feel at home in a new city or town, and excited to try some of your favorite spots! Some of your guests may also be making your nuptials part of a vacation, so don’t forget to include some great sight-seeing tips!


Photo Credit: James Christianson & Otto Schulze

Lodging & Housing: Out of town guests are expected to pay for their own hotel rooms and lodging, but there are a few ways to make the planning and expense easier on your traveling guests. Recommending a variety of places for your guests to stay, ideally near the ceremony and reception sites will be tremendously helpful. Pick a few hotels with different price ranges and call in advance to see about group rates and room blocks. Offering a few options will make it extremely easy for your guests to pick their lodging and will be a great opportunity for out of town guests to meet other wedding guests!


Photo Credit: Laura Murray Photography

Go the Extra Mile: Traveling for some can often be a long journey full of twists and turns. After a long day of flights, sometimes all you want to do is relax in your room. Surprise your guests with something sweet and personal that will make them feel instantly at home and appreciated. While your budget may not allow for a welcome bag full of goodies, that doesn’t mean you cant treat your guests to something special. Anything from a hand written note, to a box of local chocolate to a bottle of vino will show your out of town guests how much you truly appreciate them coming.


Photo Credit: Laura Murray Photography

Transportation: Some out of town guests may chose to rent a car, but many will not so it’s a great idea to come up with some transportation options for your out of town guests. If the budget allows, hiring vans or shuttles is a great way to get your guests to and from the ceremony and reception in a timely fashion. Another fantastic option is to hire a fleet of uber cars through UberEvents for the more budget conscious couple! If paying for transportation isn’t in the budget at all, make sure to provide your guests with a list of taxi companies and other transportation resources to make it as easy as possible!


Photo Credit: James Christianson Photography

Featured Image: Dawn Sparks Photography

The Wedding Guest Book: Three Fun & Unique Ideas

A guest book is a fantastic way to look back and remember all of the family and friends who shared your special day with you. Traditionally, couples use a guest book to document sweet notes and wishes from their wedding guests, and while we love tradition, we also love when couples mix it up. We have compiled a list of our favorite unique guest book ideas that will appeal to all types of couples. With these fresh and creative takes on the wedding guest book, you and your hubby will look fondly upon your wedding day for years to come.

Enjoy! Xo, Calluna

 The Photo Guest Book: Your guests are already dressed up for the occasion, so why not document how fabulous they look with a photo guest book? Have guests snap their own pics on polaroid cameras, or have a photo-booth set up with fun props! We absolutely adored Annie & Thomas’ polaroid display at their Summer 2015 St Julien Wedding!


Photo Credit: Laura Murray Photography

The Video Guest Book: Technology has become a huge part of weddings, and many couples are choosing to incorporate modern elements into their celebration. We love the idea of a video guest book where guests can leave a special message for the newlyweds. Not only will it capture the heartfelt emotions of your guests but you can also watch it for years to come!


Photography Credit: One Love Photography 

The Interactive Guest Book: Giving your guests an opportunity to have a little fun with your guest book is a great way to start the party! We adore the idea of a puzzle guest book, where each party-goer signs a piece of the big puzzle. You can get the puzzle pieces custom made or monogrammed at sites like Bella Puzzles Shop or Beaucoup, to make it more personal. We also love the idea of fitting your guest book to the theme of your celebration…Having a mountain wedding? Have guests sign beautiful rocks that you can keep in your future home. Getting married on a sandy beach? Pick out shells with your future spouse and have each guest sign a beautiful shell.

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Photo Credit: Nicole Hill Gerulat (upper via Real Simple ||  Kelly Ewell Photography (lower)

Featured Photo: Laura Murray Photography

Ceremony Music: For the Traditional & Non-Traditional Couples

Music and dancing are easily some of the best parts of a wedding, and while you and your love may have talked extensively about the song you’ll be sharing your first dance to, don’t forget about the importance of the ceremony music. Some couples choose to go the traditional route for the processional and recessional songs while others like to mix it up with more contemporary music. We have complied a list of our favorite classic and unique ceremony songs for the traditional and not so traditional couples!

Enjoy! Xo, Calluna

For the Traditional Couple: For the couple that wishes to stick with tradition and make a grand entrance down the aisle, we have the perfect songs for you!




Photo Credit: Angie Wilson Photography

The Not So Traditional Couple: For the couple looking to step a little outside of the box, we love these alternative options for processional and recessional songs! Your guests will never forget the moment you walked down the aisle as a beautiful bride and the moment you and your hubby walked back down as husband and wife!




Photo Credit: James Christianson Photography

Calluna Faves: The Calluna team has worked and attended a fair share of weddings, so we definitely have some favorite ceremony songs from the past years. Check out what Calluna Events owner, Heather Dwight has to say about alternative options and incorporating culture into wedding music!

Heather Dwight (Owner): “My husband and I used one song for both the family and bridal processional, The Weather by Built to Spill and I came out right at the crescendo of the song. And since I am Scottish we of course had a bagpiper play our recessional. One of our couples used Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years which is such a beautiful song. I also love First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes for either the processional or recessional!  Any nod in the ceremony music to the bride or grooms tradition or culture, or a song that has meaning to them to make it theirs.”


Photo Credit: Recherche Photography

The Experts Weigh-in: We are so lucky to have some amazing professionals in the industry that know everything there is to know about wedding and ceremony music. We asked Kimberlee from The Lyric Ensemble, and Georgina from Columbine Entertainment to give us the scoop on their favorite traditional and non-traditional ceremony ideas.

Kimberlee Hanto: “My favorite traditional processional for the bride is Canon in D by Pachelbel. Though it was written over 300 years ago, it has a mesmerizing quality that is timeless.  Everyone loves hearing it!  My favorite traditional recessional is the Hornpipe from the Water Music by Handel.  It has such a wonderful energetic and joyful exuberance- perfect for that special moment when a couple has finished their ceremony.”

“Regarding today’s trends, couples often enjoy having current songs as a part of their ceremony.  One bride told me that she heard Over the Rainbow when her groom proposed- and that she really wanted it for her wedding processional.  We love it when we can provide songs that have an extra special meaning for the couple.  Having a guitar in our ensemble makes it possible for us to be able to perform contemporary songs authentically.  When a song request is not in our repertoire, we make every effort to find sheet music and arrange it for the ensemble.  We love helping make each special wedding day unique and memorable.“


Georgina Petheo: “If its just a string quartet we love to play Arrival of Queen of Sheba by Handel. Its a very beautiful song that talks about the arrival of a Queen, just like the arrival of the Bride to the aisle. The song is upbeat and happy, perfect for the processional. If we do a trumpet combo we love to play Rondeau by Mouret, its absolutely gorgeous. For the recessional, we enjoy the traditional Hornpipe by Handel, especially if we have a trumpet player. Lately we have been including a trumpet player and it truly makes the processional and recessional feel bright, fancy, upbeat and gorgeous, making the Bride feel even more special.”

“We do often play some more contemporary songs, and we spend a lot of time arranging them to make sure they fit perfectly with the group of instruments. Some of our favorites include All You Need is Love, by the Beatles, its truly a timeless song. La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong and Dream a Little Dream of Me by Ella Fitzgerald are also a few of our favorites.”


Featured Image: Laura Murray Photography 

A Brush Creek Ranch weekend wedding

Karen + Jeff had such a fun, welcoming vision for their wedding weekend and we absolutely loved being a part of the planning! Their venue was Brush Creek Ranch in Southwest Wyoming and it’s been a dream of ours for some time to work with them on a wedding. Set on 30,000 pristine private acres in the heart of the Platte River Valley and it offers guests the opportunity to experience the grandeur and adventure of the American West in sophisticated style. This luxury dude ranch provides an authentic taste of the best of the West where no detail is overlooked, the service was exceptional and guests are treated to the best wedding weekend!

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[Photo by Otto Schulze Photographers]

A majority of guests arrived Thursday and enjoyed dinner and drinks at the Chuck Wagon. An old style saloon provided libations and games such as shuffleboard and pool.  Guests wore western attire that really added to the atmosphere of fun! Never a shortage of s’mores, the property hosted numerous fire pits with all the accoutrements for s’mores. On Friday, guests had access to participate in various activities such as fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, a ropes course, yoga and shooting guns at the gun range. There was not a single detail went unnoticed by the Brush Creek Ranch staff.

The Friday evening rehearsal dinner took place at Creekside, right along the Brush Creek.  Guests were shuttled down to the river where they were greeted with a few signature cocktail options – a Moscow Mule and the choice of red or white wine. At the site, guests listened to bluegrass melodies from Masontown while they enjoyed a delicious dinner straight off of the grill and participated in activities like cattle wrangling, hatchet throwing and horseshoes.


The Saturday ceremony couldn’t have been more picturesque. The bride was stunning in a beautiful Jinza gown while the groom looked dapper in a navy suit. Karen’s bouquet from Perfect Petal was absolutely breathtaking!

Karen 3

The wind didn’t distract from the day and the clouds opened up just in time for the couple’s incredibly heartfelt vows. Guests then mingled at the main Lodge to enjoy libations and hors d’oeuvres at the cocktail hour.

Dinner was provided in the main lodge and guests dined on courses prepared by the incredible Brush Creek Ranch chefs. The calligraphy and paper goods provided by Whimsy Design Studio complimented the florals and table decor from The Perfect Petal.


A sparkler sendoff after the reception lead guests into the barn for some dancing and cocktails. Late night snacks of sliders, gourmet tator tots and an ice-cream bar were provided by the ranch, while tunes from Diamond Empire filled the barn.

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[Photo from Otto Schulze Photographers]

Thank you so much to Karen and Jeff for having us help with your special day! You truly made the experience unforgettable! Another huge thanks goes out to Brush Creek Ranch and the amazing and attentive staff. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Enjoy these teaser photos from our iPhones and a few snaps from Otto and Steve. We are so excited to see the rest of the photos from the incredibly talented Otto Schulze and Steve Stanton!

Vendor Love: Venue: Brush Creek Ranch | Catering: Brush Creek Ranch | Photography: Otto Schulze Photography | Florals: The Perfect Petal |  Paper goods and Calligraphy: Whimsy Design Studio | Wedding Dress Designer: Jinza Couture Bridal | Rehearsal Dinner Musicans: Masontown | Ceremony, Cocktail Hour and Reception Musicians: Diamond Empire | Program and Welcome Bag Inserts: The Envelope Please

Colorado Wedding Bands: Part I

A great band that can captivate your guests and draw them out onto the dance floor is worth every penny. Your wedding is a celebration of love, and there is no better way to celebrate then getting down on the dance floor with your family, friends and loved ones. Here in Colorado, we are beyond lucky to have some tremendously talented bands in the industry, and we are so thrilled to highlight them and their fabulous musicians. From favorite songs to advice on picking your wedding band, these industry professionals are absolutely worth checking out! Stayed tuned for Part II of our Colorado Bands series.

Enjoy! Calluna

What is the Genre You Most Enjoy Playing?

Tunisia Band: “Tunisia is passionate about so many genre’s of music, but we have a mutual agreement that we never go outside the comfort zone. If we can’t play it without it sounding amazing, we just don’t do it. That said, there would be no genre but high energy and musically complete songs are our favorite.”


Syndicate Band: “I would have to say as a whole 80’s & 90’s Rock and R&B/Hip Hop. However current Top 40 is also right up there.”


Mannequin the Band: “I’m sure all of Mannequin’s players would have their own opinions on this, so I can only speak for myself but I would say Motown/oldies. Even songs that sound from that era, like Bruno Mars, Meghan Trainor, Michael Jackson. The best is mashing some oldies with the new stuff. It’s not only challenging as a musician, but it makes you realize how much influence oldies and disco have on todays hits!”


Photo Credit: Sarah Roshan Photography

What is Your Favorite First Dance Song?

Tunisia Band: “First dances are like a first kiss, a first glance or the first time you realized that you have met the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Each one is, and should be,  special and unique to each couple. So for me or the band to say what is our favorite would be insincere. Our favorite is when we play the song and the couple has tears in their eyes and a smile from ear to ear. That is our favorite first dance.”

Syndicate Band: “We’ve been fortunate to perform at several weddings so picking just one is HARD!! I’d have to say my top 3 are “I Won’t Give Up”, “Sway”, and “Bless The Broken Road.”

Mannequin The Band: “We love Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You”! It’s so epic with the horn line coming in at that perfect moment! The “movie moment” opportunities are endless with that song. We also love Ingrid Michaelson’s “The Way I Am”. It’s subtle and folky with clever lyrics and a good contrast to the big dance party thats about to take off.

What is your favorite part of the wedding?

Tunisia Band: “This one is easy. We have been so blessed to be matched with great clients but all of us feel the best part is when the night is over and we get to talk to the guest’s, the families and in particular the Bride and Groom and see and hear how  they are completely satisfied, overjoyed and know that their wedding was the best they have ever been a part of or a guest of. We are not talking about receiving gratitude for the band, we are talking about Tunisia being able to be a part of something that everyone in attendance will remember for the rest of their lives. It does make what we do complete and is the goal on every wedding we play.”


Syndicate Band: “My favorite times of the evening are the first 30 minutes after all the formalities (1st dance, Father & Daughter/Mother & Son dances). The guests seem to relax a bit and let loose. The last 45 minutes of the night seem to always be really fun.”


Mannequin The Band: “The reason we love playing weddings is because everyone is there to party! Everyone is in that room to celebrate the bride and groom. So that first note where all the guests are invited to the dance floor is my favorite moment. It makes me so happy for the bride and groom (and their families) as we’ve been working them for months…sometimes over a year…to makes sure the evening everything they want it to be and more.”


Photo Credit: Elevate Photography

What is your advice on choosing a Wedding band?

Tunisia Band: “ The band will make or break your wedding. No one will remember the meal, the drinks, the cake but they will all remember the band. Choose a band that is complete, the same players every time they play so the chemistry is there. The ability of a band to connect and make your evening is in large part one of chemistry. The other is, are they the right fit for you and your guests. Can they adapt to a range demographics or are they limited? Do they understand what you like, and do you understand what they can and can not do?  If you cover those issues, and I would personally do it with a band member not a representative, you want to know if you’re being sold on blue sky or if you have someone that will actually be playing the music and can honestly answer your questions…”

“Lastly and maybe one of the most important and most overlooked is the Planner. Great planners get the best show’s out of their bands. They have the best weddings from start to finish and for good reason. They know how to make your evening successful and memorable…”

Syndicate Band: “Choose the right band for your guest…if they have fun, you’ll have fun. It’s your night but don’t try to make a Top 40 variety band a country or rock group. Trust your judgement and let the band show off the reason you hired them.”

Mannequin The Band: “When choosing a band for your wedding, be sure to pay attention to the band’s chemistry and the way they handle all the little details (even in the booking and contract process). This is a good picture of what to expect on your wedding day. This shows how they communicate with other vendors, whether guests feel drawn to go to the dance floor, the whole band being a step ahead on whats needed for the evenings activities. The other thing to look for is a band who can distinguish the fine line between commanding the stage as an entertainer, yet directing the attention to most important people in the room: the happy couple and their loved ones. ”

(c)James Bitz

Featured Image: Kate Holstein

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