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Live Bands for Reception Music - Maggie Speaks - Live Music in Chicago

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Here are some of the most common questions we get about performing at weddings. If you're question isn't here or you need additional information, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Can we hear you play?
Yes. Each of the three bands in our musical family plays more than 150 shows annually so there are many opportunities to see the bands live. We highly recommend that you attend a show that is open to the public so you can stay as long as you would like and meet the band. Check the shows page for schedules and be sure and say 'hi'.

Do you offer additional musicians or a horn section for additional cost?
All of our bands have a male and female vocalist, guitarist, bassist and drummer. We do not add additional musicians to our live performances. The reason is simple. You are hiring us because you enjoyed our live performance and/or our sample audio or video clips. We recreate this all live without the need to add other musicians. While we are a quintet, we employ modern performance technology to fill in any elements that can't be performed live. We play songs just like the original artists recorded them, and just like modern artists perform them live, so there is no need to add additional musicians.

Can you provide live music for ceremony, cocktails and dinner?
Yes. We have several ala carte options that range from soloists (piano, guitar, etc.) to duos, trios and quartets. We also have two new adult contemporary options called a Night at the Piano Bar (piano and vocals ala Billy Joel, Elton John, etc.) and Speak Easy (An unplugged option ala John Mayer, Simon & Garfunkel, etc.).

I am concerned that a live band will be too loud. Are you able to play at a reasonable volume?
Absolutely. Loud bands are the result of inexperience, inappropriate equipment, or lack of technical ability. None of these things apply to us. Each of our bands travels with a dedicated sound engineer that is in charge of mixing the band at a level appropriate for each event. We share the same concerns that you do. We want the guests to have an enjoyable and pleasurable experience. Making sure we control the volume is a key component to that. Some bands try and run their own sound from the stage. If you are onstage, you cannot hear what it is like out in front. Our professional engineers are able to hear what the guests are hearing and make the necessary adjustments and our use of in-ear monitors and modern sound reinforcement equipment eliminates the need for noisy stage wedges that increase volume and are aesthetically unpleasing.

What do you wear to weddings?
The gentlemen wear formal black pants and dress shirts with ties, vests or jackets. The ladies always wear venue appropriate cocktail attire. We make sure that we are always dressed well for your occasion.

Do you travel for weddings?
We travel all over the country for weddings. Contact us for a quote today!

What is involved in the booking process?
We try and make this as simple as possible. Price quotes are guaranteed for 15 days. Once you have decided to move forward with the band, we will get a few pieces of key information on your event (date, location, times and signatory on the contract) and email you the contract. We ask that all contracts be returned within 3 business days and that all deposits are due within 10 business days. A fifty percent (50%) deposit is required. The balance of fifty percent (50%) is due on the day of the wedding prior to performance. We take checks, money orders, cash and most major credit cards. Please note that there is a processing fee on all credit card transactions.

Are you able to hold a date for me?
We do not have a formal hold process. Availability is given upon request, but the only way to secure a date is through a signed contract and deposit. Due to the volume of inquiries we get for events, the process of holding dates is too difficult to manage fairly and effectively.

What is your cancellation policy?
If a performance is canceled by the Purchaser for any reason before one hundred eighty (180) days prior to the event date, the deposit will be nonrefundable unless an event of equal value can be secured upon written notice of cancellation by Purchaser. We will make every attempt in good faith to secure a replacement event. In the event that a replacement event is secured of equal value, the Purchaser will be entitled to a refund of all monies paid less ten (10%) percent of the agreement price which will be non-refundable and shall serve as an administrative fee. If the performance is cancelled by the Purchaser for any reason within one hundred eighty (180) days prior to the event, the remaining balance due on the Agreement will be due unless we secure a performance of equal or greater value for that same date and time. The Purchaser will be responsible for the difference in Agreement prices if the value of the new agreement is less than the original, plus ten (10%) percent administrative fee.

Do you maintain liability insurance?
Yes. All of our bands maintain liability insurance.

Other than the contract price, is there anything else that I need to provide the band?
We request that any applicable parking fees be included as well as a meal at events where food is served. We can make these arrangements during the advanced planning process. The band will also need suitable space and access to electricity (see below)

How much room and power do you need?
We ask for an area of 16‟ wide by 12‟ deep. More area is always appreciated and less can usually be accommodated as well. We typically ask for 3 to 4 separate 20 amp (standard wall outlets) circuits near the stage. Our event specialists will work with you to ensure that your venue and setup is appropriate.

Do we get to pick the songs we want to hear?
We work together with our clients to get their song preferences for each event we play. We send you our master list to learn your tastes and preferences and combine them with our expertise to fill your dance floor. We talk about how many slow songs should be incorporated throughout the night and how to build a show that reaches the broad age demographic of your guests.

Are you able to perform ethnic or other specialty music?
Some common songs (such as the Hora) are well within the bands' repertoire. Almost all special requests can be played through our professional system for your guests via an iPod or similar device. Check with one of our event specialists to see how to best handle your special request.

What if a band member cannot make my wedding?
We take this question very seriously. Weddings are an important day and everything must go right. With that said, it is important for our clients to understand that we have emergency backup plans in place in the unlikely event that one of our band members has an extenuating circumstance (illness, pregnancy, family situations, etc.) and cannot make a performance. With three bands and understudies at each position, we are able to fill any position with a substitute of the highest quality so that it will not compromise the performance. It is important to note that this rarely happens, but if something occurs, we are prepared.

Can you accommodate a special guest performer at my wedding?
From time to time we are asked if someone can sit in with the band to sing or play an instrument. We do our best to accommodate these requests if specifically made by the bride and groom in advance of the wedding.

Have you ever performed a New York or East Coast style wedding?
Yes. On occasion, clients request that live music by the full band be interspersed between dinner courses throughout the night. This style of wedding is popular on the East Coast. In this package, the band plays a short set as guests enter the room, followed by short sets between dinner courses and a dance session after dinner. Please note that the dance session after dinner is typically shorter than the Chi-Town Package because of the time allotted for the sets between courses and the time it takes for people to move between their seats and the dance floor. Get more information on our wedding packages or contact one of our wedding specialists with your questions.

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