I showed some love to our fabulous wedding vendors a few months back, but didn’t mention the bands who played our wedding and rehearsal dinner. My bad.
Searching for a wedding band sucked. There’s a lot of cheese to be found in the wedding band circuit, and there are only so many horrific, tinny versions of Mack the Knife a girl can stand listening to online before she just goes nuts.
We stumbled on two great bands that we can’t recommend highly enough. Check them out:
Martini Straight Up
We wanted a big band sound that didn’t sound like bad karaoke and would have all of our guests — from 2 to 72 — dancing all night. And that’s what we got. Rich Martini, the band leader, is the consummate professional. He listened to what we wanted and was eager to deliver. We also requested two custom songs, which the band was happy to learn and performed beautifully during our reception.
The best part? For less than we were quoted for some three piece bands, we got 9 pieces including a 3-piece horn section for our full reception plus a 3-piece jazz group for cocktails. Not going to lie, a band is still a big line item, but we definitely feel like we got a great value with Martini Straight Up and totally recommend them for Bay Area events.
The Easy Leaves
We weren’t really planning to have a band at our rehearsal dinner — a bbq on the lawn at the Geyserville Inn — but when we fell deeply in smit with these two crooners playing at a winery holiday party, we had to find out if they’d play our shindig. They would, and they did, and they were absolutely awesome.
The band consists of two guys on an upright bass and a guitar, though they also play with a pedal steel and drums. They play all original music and it’s fun, infectious old-timey bluegrass/Americana/alt country goodness. Our impromptu dance party was such a blast that we passed the hat to add another hour and they started all over again, because they’d played through their entire catalog. My 2-year-old nephew danced from the first song to the last and was disappointed that they didn’t come back for the wedding. Fan for life.
The evening ended with the majority of my family purchasing their CD, and I’m sure they have a cult following in New Hampshire as a result. They certainly have a cult following in my car where I regularly blare Dance with me Katie and One Flash in the Pocket. Mmmm. Hippie goodness.
An absolutely lovely man who played acoustic guitar for our ceremony. Delightful to deal with. Beautiful music that was just the right tone. And very affordable to boot.