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

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Most wedding receptions are between 5 and 6 hours in length and both of our wedding packages are designed to fit within that time frame.  Our Chi-Town Dance Package creates a fun, lively atmosphere that flows seamlessly from one element to the next. Most of our couples use this package for their receptions. We also offer our East Coast Wedding Package that starts with a an alternative timeline. We make every effort to customize each wedding package for our couples so they have the wedding they truly desire. Our packages are born out of our extensive wedding experience and reflect what we know to work well to provide an entertaining and memorable experience for our couples and their guests. Through the entire booking and planning process our wedding specialists will ask you the right questions, listen to your vision and offer their expertise to make sure you are thrilled with your celebration.


Chi-Town Dance Package

Maggie Speaks packs the dance floor at a wedding reception at Cafe Brauer in Chicago.

The Chi-Town Dance Package is for our couples that want to maximize the high-energy dance session at the conclusion of dinner, allowing the evening to flow from one element to the next, eliminating interruptions during dinner service and minimizing the opportunity for your wedding to run behind schedule. With this package you'll get:

  • Early Set Up
    Our team typically arrives 2 hours in advance of your cocktail hour (or dinner if cocktails are served in a different room) to ensure that your guests walk in to a completely finished room.
  • Emcee Services
    We will serve as the master of ceremonies for the evening, handling any announcements from the introduction of the wedding party to introducing any toasts or speeches, cake cutting, blessings, etc.
  • Complimentary Background Music
    We provide music via iPod or CD during cocktails, introductions, dinner and band breaks in the same room that the band’s sound system is set up for the dance session.  Please note that a small remote sound system can be rented at an additional cost if cocktails and/or dinner occur in a different room. If you should require music or annoucements in another room, additional sound reinforcement can be provided for additional cost.
  • Dance Session
    The band will play a 3 hour dance session at the conclusion of dinner.  Typically the band performs three fifty minute sets with two fifteen minute breaks.  During the breaks the band will play iPod or CD music through the sound system to keep your guests entertained. If your wedding happens to be running a little behind for any reason, we always reduce the amount of break time to offer you the largest amount of performance time.

Every wedding is unique, but here is a typical schedule.

  • 6:00 – 7:00 Cocktails
  • 7:00 – 7:20 Guests seated for dinner, introductions, speeches, toasts, blessing(s)
  • 7:20 – 8:50 Dinner and Dessert
  • 8:50 – 9:00 Special Dances (First Dance, Parents)
  • 9:00 – 12:00 Dancing

During your planning process you can discuss the specifics of your wedding timeline with one of our wedding specialists.


East Coast Wedding Package

Maggie Speaks celebrate with a bride and groom at their wedding reception.

An east coast wedding (also called New York or Jewish wedding style) incorporates live music interspersed throughout the night with the live band playing the guests into the dining room from the cocktail hour.  While there are no concrete rules as to how an east coast wedding is structured, the evening typically starts with a short 10 – 15 minute dance session, followed by the introduction of the bride and groom into the room, where they often do their first dance.  The guests then sit down for the first course.  During this time, there may be some speeches and toasts that occur.  Then the band will typically play short 10 – 15 minute dance sessions between the dinner courses until after dessert is cleared.  The band will have music playing during the courses via iPod (preferred) or CD.  At the conclusion of dinner, the band will play the final dance session(s).  Depending on the start time of the final dance session, the band will either perform one longer set or break the performance into two sets with a short break. At many Jewish weddings the Hora will be performed live.  The placement and length of the Hora is flexible and depends on the tastes of the couple.

Here is a typical east coast wedding schedule.

  • 6:00 – 7:00 Cocktails
  • 7:00 – 7:15 Band performs “Play-in” set to move the guests from cocktails to dinner
  • 7:15 – 7:30 Guests seated for dinner, speeches, toasts, blessing(s)
  • 7:30 – 7:55 First course served
  • 7:55 – 8:05 Band performs short dance interlude
  • 8:05 – 8:30 Second course served
  • 8:30 – 8:40 Band performs short dance interlude
  • 8:40 – 9:40 Dinner and Dessert
  • 9:40 – 12:00 Dancing

East coast weddings schedules are less predictable than typical receptions.  Number of guests, number of speeches, placement of the Hora (if applicable), number of dinner courses and room layout will affect how long each segment actually takes.


Continuous Music Package

Our Continuous Music Package is designed for couples that desire continuous live music throughout their reception.  Live music begins during cocktail hour or at the start of dinner, typically incorporating a variety of musical styles (e.g. classical, jazz, pop) appropriate for the various segments of your evening.  Often continuous live music requires additional musicians.  For example, during cocktails we may incorporate a piano player that will then join a jazz combo for a dinner set (trio or quartet), followed by the full band for the dance session.

Each couple will have a different vision for a continuous music program and our wedding specialists can help you make it reality.


Icing on the Cake

These musical options can wonderfully complement your wedding package.  Please ask your wedding specialist if you desire any of these additional options.

     
  • DJ / Band Combination
    A DJ will accompany the band who can serve as master of ceremonies and spin during cocktails, dinner and on the bands breaks (provided these all take place in the same room as the dancing).  The DJ will bring modern DJ equipment and a vast song library.  This is an upgrade from our complimentary background music.  The live DJ provides a more interactive element as he or she will be actively mixing material on the spot as opposed to playing a preprogrammed playlist.
  • Live Ceremony / Cocktail or Dinner Music
    Many couples want live music for ceremony, cocktail and/or dinner music.  We have developed several options from our contemporary products (Speak Easy and a Night at the Piano Bar) to more traditional options ranging from solo piano, to jazz and string combos.  Examples of suggested configurations can be found here.
  • Early Band Arrival for Special Dances
    Typically the band will perform your special dances (First Dance, Parents Dances) at the conclusion of dinner.  Some couples want their dance(s) to be played live by the band before dinner.
  • Additional Dance Time
    Additional dance time (overtime) can be purchased by the half hour for any of our bands in advance or on the day of the show (as the wedding is in progress).
  • Remote Sound System
    If your cocktails or dinner are in a different room than your dancing, you may wish to add additional sound reinforcement for some background music or announcements.

Cocktail / Dinner Music Programs

For your cocktail hour and dinner, it is important for the music to provide the room with energy without overpowering your guests’ conversations.  We offer two live music programs specifically designed to create that perfect intimate setting.

Speak Easy
Reminiscent of the classic show MTV Unplugged, Speak Easy recreates your favorite adult contemporary and pop songs in a stripped down acoustic setting.  This program features the music of contemporary artists such as John Mayer, Colbie Caillat and Jason Mraz while covering the classics from groups like Simon and Garfunkel, Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac and more.  The foundation of this group is a duo, consisting of an acoustic guitarist and vocalist (male or female).  It can be expanded to a trio, quartet or quintet depending on the vibe and look you want to create.

Sing Us a Song (piano and vocalist)
Think swanky supper club where the air is filled with the sweet and simplistic sounds of piano and vocals as guests share laughs and cocktails.  This program features adult contemporary and pop classics from your favorite artists from the 60’s through today.  Classic artists like Elton John, Billy Joel and Aretha Franklin are represented along with modern artists like Sara Bareilles, Michael Buble and more.  The foundation of this group is also a duo consisting of pianist and a vocalist (male or female).  It can also be expanded to a trio, quartet or quintet depending on the vibe and look you desire.

Classical or Jazz
Any number of musicians who specialize in classical or jazz music can provide the right backdrop for your cocktail or dinner service. One of our wedding specialists can answer all your questions and make recommendations to match your vision for the big night.

Additional Musicians
Additional musicians can be added to any cocktail or dinner music options. One of our wedding specialists can help you decide what would work well at your wedding. The promotional videos show examples of the show concept.  The actual musicians that will be staffed on your show will typically correspond to whatever full band you have booked from our musical family and/or the length and configuration of the desired performance.


We would love to help you make your wedding celebration an amazing experience for you and all of your guests. Please contact us today.

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