Your wedding is a few weeks away and the leader of the band or your DJ wants to know what song you and your partner have chosen as your first dance together. You both think, “Oh no, we don’t have a particular song. How do we choose the right one?”
Well don’t worry at all. Entertainment expert Danny Kramer is here to help
Danny Kramer says “When couples don’t have a particular song, I encourage them to think of their journey together as they met and grew together, and eventually moving on to getting married. Let a song reflect that journey. They can also look to songs that describe their own histories and style.”
For example, Danny had a couple who had both traveled extensively before they met. They chose a more obscure song by Van Morrison called Someone Like You. The lyrics really captured their history of seeing so much of the world yet finding each other. It was beautiful and a perfect choice.
Song Should Reflect You as a Couple
Some couples choose songs to reflect their personalities. “I met a couple that was very shy and they dreaded everybody staring at them as they danced together. The Groom was convinced he had 2 left feet. So, Danny suggested a song edit where they chose a beautiful song to start. (All of Me – John Legend) They danced together to this song for about 30 seconds and then the band when into a fun song they chose (I Got A Feeling- Black Eyed Peas) and Danny then invited everybody to join them on the dance floor which was immediately packed. They were surrounded by their friends and family, and what was to be a stressful moment became a fantastic and fun time. “Their smiles said it all” says Danny.
Review the Lyrics
Always remember when choosing a song is that there may be songs out there that you really like, but the lyrics may be inappropriate for the mood or the moment. For example, Halleluiah is a beautiful song, yet the lyrics can be considered quite dark. Not a love song. Always review the lyrics. Just Google the name of the song and put lyrics after it. I.e. Halleluiah lyrics. Another thing to consider is profanity in a song. A band can always replace profanity in lyrics and DJs can find songs with those edited out. For example, on Spotify songs that have profanity are listed as “Explicit”. Make sure your DJ or band knows not to have explicit lyrics.
Romantic VS Family/Friend Love
Also remember that some songs are of romantic love, suitable for a 1st Dance yet NOT suitable for a Father/Daughter, or Mother/Son dance. As mentioned above, the song All of Me by John Legend might be fine for a couple but not a Father/Daughter dance usually. Unforgettable for example is a song that would work for either situation.
The Song is Too Long/Short
Importantly, every good Band/DJ can shorten or lengthen your song. You may feel that some songs may be too long for your first dance but don’t discard it because of that. When you work with your Band/DJ make sure to have an audio version of the song, either MP3 or streamed and send it to them (See below). Songs can be shortened in the intro, or at the end, or both. Long solos can be taken out also. Also, the singer of the band can sometimes even change some lyrics for you if you’d like. Perhaps taking out a verse or changing lyrics.
Danny says, “Many times we have edited songs to the length our wedding couples would like. I then edit an audio file and send it to them so they can hear how the length will be when we play it. This is VERY helpful for those who are choreographing their dance”.
Go over the timing of the song and shorten or lengthen it to the amount that you will be comfortable with. Any good band or DJ can do this for you. Please note that a song will usually need a verse and a chorus at minimum in terms of length. This is very helpful if the couple has a choreographed dance they will do for the song. Try dancing to the song to see how you feel about the length. Don’t pick a very long song as 5 minutes of a slow dance alone will feel VERY long, and you may lose the moment as your guests watch.
This is VERY important. Some popular songs have many different versions. There are radio versions, shorter or longer versions, explicit or clean. The same artist may do many different versions of the same song. Live or studio, small band, big band, acoustic, etc.
Also, many songs have the same name. For example, the song All of Me is very popular. But do you want the John Legend pop song, or the classic All of Me – the jazz standard version? Big difference. Also know that especially with older classic songs of the Sinatra era, the popular singers of the day all did each other’s songs. So, if you want Fly Me to The Moon, do you want the Sinatra version? How about Tony Bennet’s version, or any of the scores of performers who have performed this song? Make sure to confirm the right version and send (Or receive) an MP3 or streamed version to the Band/DJ.
This is YOUR Moment (To Last a Lifetime)
Remember that this is YOUR moment to share with your family and friends, BUT you don’t have to do what you don’t want or to do only what you think is expected of you. We have all seen the wild 1st dances on YouTube which are great if that’s for you. But so are intimate 1st Dances that really capture what the couple is feeling at that moment. Just remember that certain moments in life will be remembered forever and this is definitely one of them. Intimate or ostentatious it’s your moment so shine your way.
Here’s Danny once again; “Virtually every couple will remember their 1st dance at their wedding whether it’s 1 year or 50 years from now. So, keep that in mind as you choose your song. Your 1st Dance represents your new journey in life wedded together, so choose something that will stand the test of time. Something you’ll be proud to recall in the years to come. Yet, with that in mind, don’t stress, and if you’re quirky, be quirky, if you’re more understated just be yourselves. If you still can’t find your song, definitely speak to the band leader/DJ and they will help make choosing your song so much easier. Above all, ENJOY your moment as you are surrounded by the love of your family and friends.”
Leader of Danny Kramer Dance Band
For Information about the Danny Kramer Dance Band Go To:
Bridal couples will often ask me why I think they should book a Live Band for their Wedding.
In dealing with Weddings, I know that most Wedding couples start planning their special day sometimes more than a year in advance. They spend a huge amount of time and energy making sure that every detail will be exactly as they dreamed. From booking the perfect location to getting the best florist to deliver the exquisite floral arrangements they want. They go to food tastings picking just the right menu, and they make sure to hire the best Photographer and Videographer. Care is put into which wines will be served. The Bride will look endlessly for that perfect wedding dress and dresses for her Bridesmaids. The pursuit of the most beautiful shoes takes them on other journeys. In some Weddings there are relatives flying in to town from all over the world. Hotel rooms are booked at just the right place. Such incredible care to the smallest detail is taken, and then,,,,,,,,,and then,,,,,,,,,,,
They hire a $500 DJ.
After all of that care and planning, they basically hand the keys of the party over to this style of inexpensive DJ who will make or break the evening by his or her actions. Now that is incredible! I have heard some awful stories from event planners and banquet managers about Weddings being ruined because of an inexpensive and inexperienced DJ. Some of the DJ’s hired by the companies that charge so little are brand new in the business. Don’t you think they would charge more for their services if they could? But they Don’t. Why? Because they can’t, and there are reasons for that.
I cannot help but notice that when I watch Television and see the after-parties of awards shows like The Academy Awards, or the Golden Globes, or the party for when a President is inaugurated they virtually all have a live Dance Band similar to mine. A high energy Dance Band that can play a very wide variety of music. I have seen this virtually 100% of the time. These people hire the best event planners in the world and yet they choose a Live Band, adding class and great energy to the event.
This is not to say that there aren’t great DJ’s out there, and in fact my favourite way to perform is my band along with a great DJ. It’s just that those DJ’s are not inexpensive when compared to a band.
The other aspect of this is that Live music is so “in your face real”. You have world class musicians (there are 4 Juno Awards distributed within my band) just feet away from you performing Live with all their hearts. It is a powerful experience. A great Wedding/Dance Band will not just play great spot on renditions of songs, they will engage the crowd. In our case you may see us bring people onto the stage to sing or dance with us. We create indelible memories for all your friends and family.
Some say “but what about EDM?” (Electronic Dance Music) It is very popular in nightclubs etc. While this is true, the main DJ’s in this genre are extremely expensive, but that is not the main point. When choosing music for a Wedding or Corporate Event or Fundraiser we must realise that this is NOT a nightclub. We aren’t just performing music that you or only people in their 20’s might like but that the guests have a very wide age group from very young pre-teens to people in their 80’s and all ages in between. It is not advisable at all to offer only one genre or style of music that appeals to only one age group like EDM does.
When my band performs we will make sure that everyone no matter what musical taste they have or age they are will really like the music. We perform for people who come from all over the world and so many times people will come to me and say “Yours is the best Dance Band I have ever heard!” It is a great honour.
Once again, I am able to offer a Dance Band/DJ Combo and we are currently working on a new concept that will offer a COMPLETE all in one package that will give you a Live Band, an unbelievably great DJ, complete room lighting (no need to hire an outside company for anything else) Video Screens and much more. The entertainment, audio, lighting and MCing for your Wedding will be completely looked after from the time you enter the room until the event ends. You will have access to a Grand Entrance, Dancing on a Cloud, Dinner/Cocktail music, newlywed game, the amazing Danny Kramer Dance Band, an optional Rock the Mic portion and more. Stay tuned for upcoming news of this.
A Live band for your Wedding in Winnipeg? Absolutely. The Danny Kramer Dance Band will give you and your guests an evening of music and dancing they will never forget. Of course we can perform for you without a DJ. But please remember that we can also offer the incredible Band/DJ Combo giving you the best of both worlds.
Not in Winnipeg? This band will come to you. The Danny Kramer Dance Band will travel worldwide.
Learn more about the Danny Kramer Dance Band at:
Friday Night is More Than Alright
Poor Friday. It’s so lonely. It laments, “What does Saturday have that I don’t have? I’m a weekend night too! I can offer everything that Saturday does, but no one seems to notice me.”
Yes, poor Friday. This year in my band has been offered 27 separate events both Corporate Galas and Weddings which we could not do because we were already booked. Most of these offers were for Saturdays. These weren’t people just asking about pricing etc., these were quite real offers from those who wished to book my band, yet we could not accommodate them. While I am honoured to receive so many calls and emails from those wishing to book us, I am saddened that there was so much opportunity lost because so many were choosing the same dates as others.
I started mentioning this to some of the hotel Banquet Managers and also some Event Planners and I heard the same story. So many people are trying to book events on the high season dates usually on a Saturday. This greatly diminishes the chances for a Corporate Event or Wedding to get the banquet facility or the band or photographer etc. that they would like, and they sometimes have to settle for 2nd best. Sometimes even 3rd or 4th best. Not good. I know that some vendors can service multiple clients on the same day. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be client number 5 or 10 on a special day that I am planning.
Worse than that, many of these offers were for charities that need many people to attend to have a successful event. I know that there are many wonderful philanthropic people in Manitoba, but there is a limit to their numbers. Thus because so many events and fundraisers are scheduled for a Saturday, many people who would attend and donate to both have to make a choice of which event to attend, causing the event not chosen to lose out, along with not getting the top Hotel, or Band, or Photographer etc. for their gala.
Almost every banquet manager, event planner or photographer that I spoke with all said the same thing; “It’s too bad that clients don’t consider Fridays as a viable option rather than just Saturdays. Fridays would offer so much more freedom for them, and allow us to service many more clients who would like to hire us.”
For example, this year my band The Danny Kramer Dance Band received 4 legitimate offers for September 13, and 5 offers for December 13, 2014. Both of these were for Saturdays. A few of these were for Weddings and the rest were for corporate events. Some of the clients voiced the fact that they didn’t get the banquet hall or hotel that was first on their list, but they were going ahead anyway so we couldn’t perform for them. Now I do offer a second band called Groovesound (I will Blog about that in more detail soon) but we were their first choice and we couldn’t entertain for their event. It is possible that with such competition for the charitable dollars, and such high competition for the top vendors, that these events may have been less than they could have been.
I believe that a simple solution is right at hand: Fridays
Think of this. There are only approximately 52 Saturdays in the whole year. We can say that at least 12 or more of those are not desired such as ones the weeks just before or after Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Corporate parties don’t often happen in the summer and especially during long weekends. It’s possible that there are only about 30 -35 or so very desirable Saturdays that everyone wants. Huge competition for those days and yet Fridays for the most part sit quite empty. If you chose to have your wedding or corporate event on a Friday your whole planning can become easier, you can have much more choice of the very top vendors like my band to choose from, and you will have much less stress as you plan everything.
In fact it is possible that if you asked a vendor for a bit of a price break if you book a Friday, in many cases they will say yes! More people may attend your Wedding, more people will buy tickets and raise more money for your fundraiser, and more folks can attend your Corporate Event whether it’s a Graduation, Anniversary, Dance Party, Team Building concept, Live Band Karaoke show, Awards Show, Golf Tournament, Dance Party and of course many more themes.
So yes, Friday is more than alright and I hope you will consider that day to really help you plan your event exactly as you envisioned without making compromises as you are scrambling to get the same Saturday that everyone else wants. You deserve the BEST event that you can envision so don’t compromise and let’s help poor Friday feel good about itself again.
If you are looking to book the top Wedding Band and Corporate Entertainers in Manitoba, look no further than the Danny Kramer Dance Band. BOOK EARLY to secure this band for your event.
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A while ago while my band was back stage before a performance, the conversation came up about when we first picked up a musical instrument, or tried to sing. Virtually all of the musicians there started when they were very young, some as early as 4 years old. Some of my earliest memories are sitting at the piano with my father and playing the “chopsticks duet” with him. (It seems that almost everyone who tries a piano eventually gets around to that one)
When my band and I went out to perform that evening I was really intrigued as I looked at each of the stellar musicians that I was sharing the stage with. These musicians are stunningly talented, fantastic performers. All of us get together and seamlessly meld our separate instruments, voices and beats, into one complex and detailed sound, and we do it on the fly. Everybody listening for the blend, when to play or sing louder, and when to hold back into the mix and more. All awaiting the subtlest cues that we are taking the song in a different direction tonight, eyes and mind in deep concentration and yet completely free to explore the music.
As I looked around the stage and saw all these musicians who were in their 30’s and 40’s I thought about the journey that brought them all individually to this night. I pictured them all as when they were just children carrying their instrument to school, or the thousands of hours we all did doing scales, and trying desperately to get better. To get better. Always striving to get better. To pursue and accomplish something today on our instruments that we couldn’t do yesterday. Actual evidence at our fingertips or voices that we were growing. This pursuit continues to this day because wondrously and happily it never ends.
After rehearsing for a period of time the desire for some to perform on stage in front of real people grows. Some do this and discover they don’t like it. For others like us, it lights a fire that we follow into the stage lights of our musical careers. We don’t know why but we are drawn to those stage lights with a searing need to perform. I used to say that I would chew through a wall to get to a stage. Any stage. I just needed to sing. Most musicians I speak with felt the very same way. The thousands of performances over the years dance in my head. Some terrible, some were so great I can barely put them into words. So many load ins and load outs. So much travel. Performing 6 nights a week, 52 weeks a year. Performing while sick. Singing with Laryngitis. ( I don’t recommend that) The difficulty for our loved ones as we work at night and weekends in a 9-5 world, and much much more.
I went from a little boy playing piano (see picture) to years later having Pete Townshend of The Who standing 5 inches in front of my face saying “You’ve got a f*****g great rock voice!” and even being hired by him.
That brings me to the performance we did that evening with my band. I’d say the average age in my band is 35. If we surmise that they started playing their instrument at 10 years old (Most started younger of course) this means that when there are 10 musicians performing for you on stage there is cumulatively about 250 years of experience. Think about that!
As we perform for you, at that moment we will bring to you the sum total of all we have accomplished in our lives as musicians. We will use all of our skills and abilities, all the lessons learned from live performance from 2, or even 3 decades to become one seamless musical entity, and to put on a show that you and your guests will never forget. Yes, the actual performance is only 4 hours, but as you can see, like a Comet, the tail leading to that performance is very, very long.
We were so honoured to perform at Lynsey and Brendon’s wedding this last summer. It truly was a stunning event, so much so that it was featured in Style Me Pretty, a very prestigious national wedding blog. The whole event felt like something out of a movie as you will see in the photos on the Style Me Pretty page. Here is the link for you:
I have so many memories of this wedding, but I think the one that stands out during the reception for me is just how incredibly packed the dance floor was all night. The great family and friends literally hit that dance floor and stayed there all night. As a band we all felt the energy in the room, and all the many smiles and laughter showed how happy everyone was for Lynsey and Brendon. The evening just flew by, but I am glad we can revisit it through the Style Me Pretty site.
It was incredible to see the talents of all the vendors come together to help create this wonderful celebration. Thank you Tammy from Divine Weddings. You were fabulous as always. You kept everything running so smoothly and timed perfectly which was especially important, since this wedding was out of town with all the vendors setting up and preparing at their appointed times. We have had a few weddings we have performed at featured in Style Me Pretty and in fact a recent wedding we entertained at will be featured in the national edition of Wedding Bells Magazine. I’ll share that as soon as it comes out.
Lynsey and Brendon, we wish you a wonderful, long and very happy life together. You and your whole family were so gracious to the band and we are honoured to have been a part of your special day.
All the best
You’ve gotten engaged, you’ve booked the banquet facility, and now you’re ready to choose the live band that will perform at your wedding. But how do find the right one? The proper entertainment can help you create an evening that your family and friends will talk about for years.
How to Find Bands:
Ask everyone you know if they have seen any great bands at recent weddings or corporate events. (Most accomplished bands play both) Go online and look up “Wedding Music” or Wedding Bands” in your area. Another good resource is the banquet managers of the main halls in your city. They see most of the bands and know how they are to work with and how they sound.
What to Look For:
A wedding/corporate band needs to be able to entertain people of all ages. They should be able to play jazzy standards, r & b, pop, disco, rock, top 40 etc. They need a much larger songlist than the average club band. Who are their past corporate clients? What main banquet facilities and hotels have they performed at in your area? Can they offer references? Do they have Live sound clips you can hear? Insist on hearing recordings of the band playing live, because with modern technology even mildly talented bands can sound like Rock Stars in the studio, yet sound awful in person. Does the band leader seem organized and easy to deal with?
Band Size & Cost:
Wedding/corporate bands vary in size, though most have 5-9 musicians with larger acts, referred to as Big Bands, having up to 23 or more members. Prices vary according to band size, reputation, and client requirements. They can range in price from $1800-$10,000. Like diamonds, Size + Quality =Cost
Thus if you hire an experienced professional band with an excellent reputation that fits your budget, you are well on the way to having the time of your life at your wedding.
Hello to everyone visiting my brand new website.
This is a very exciting time for my band as we move forward to grow the Danny Kramer Dance Band brand. (Try saying that three times in a row fast) I am proud to say that my band has gone from just a few bookings a year in the beginning, to becoming the busiest Corporate/Wedding band in the province.
I knew that it was time for a complete rebranding from a new website to a new logo and you are looking at the final results. I really hope that you like it as much as I do, because we could never have become as successful as we are without the word of mouth from people like yourself. The fact is that even with all the advertising that I do, the great majority of our business comes from referrals. Of course we are very fortunate here to have such great hotels and world class event planners and I am proud to say that most of the top ones recommend my band.
This past summer we performed for the third wedding from the same family. As each of the young adults from the family got engaged and then finally married, they all hired the Danny Kramer Dance Band. What an honour! We’ve had some of our corporate clients for almost 10 years. Once again, what an honour! We have been a part of fundraisers that have cumulatively raised millions of dollars over the years, and I am so grateful to be a part of this.
Gratitude. That is a word that you will hear me and my band members speak often. Gratitude, to be able to perform music for a living for such wonderful events. Beholding the speeches at a wedding with the beautiful sentiments and all the Love in the room reminds us deeply of the love we have for those in our own lives. Being able to be a part of fundraisers where we see so many people working so hard to raise as much money as possible for these worthy causes is very humbling. They do that difficult task, that serious work, and yet they create an evening of absolute fun of dining and dancing for all the guests. And we get to be a part it. Yes we are very grateful.
When I started this band I knew that it would take more than just great musicianship to become successful. I needed to surround myself with musicians who cared as much as I did. I knew it was about ENTERTAINMENT not just musicality, and that it was also about providing a service that was effortless for my clients. Having performed thousands of events over the years from live performance, to live radio, to live TV, to major theatre and of course my Dance Band, I have faced just about every situation you can think of in the entertainment industry. I was even a piano player in a circus for time period. (That was a rough one) I employ this wealth of knowledge to all the events we perform to ensure that the entertainment portion of your celebration is done perfectly.
In future blogs I’ll be telling you about some of the lessons I’ve learned from these experiences. I’ll also be blogging above the wonderful musicians I have in my band. I have so many experiences to share with you and observations that I will share from future events. I hope that you will join me on this blog as we move the Danny Kramer Dance Band onto even bigger successes.
Of course if you or anybody that you know ever needs any live entertainment, please don’t hesitate to contact me.