It's a looooong, convoluted, complicated, boring story that I don't really need to get into, (if you're really curious about it, you can ask me) but that's why it took me so long to write regarding our decisions.
However, as of today we have a contract in hand, a deposit in the mail, and I can happily report this search is done and I'm moving forward. The winners are........drum roll please............:
Photographer: Déjà Vu Studios
To be fair, I do feel I need to give my reviews on the last two band showcases we saw, which will include Arcadia, who we ultimately decided to go with.
Monday, March 15th- East Coast
East Coast was soooo good!! they are def. in the top 4 of the bands we had seen. One of their former lead singers, Michael Lynche, is actually on American Idol right now. He's obviously really good and talented, so it's a shame they don't have him with them anymore. Their new male singer was good, but he doesn't stick out in my mind. However, they DID have Keith Hill perform with them, who was the replacement singer on Broadway's Movin' Out a few years ago, and an amaaazing Billy Joel performer. They were a large band with a great sound and many really great singers. I had to drag Chris there (we were starting to get a little exhausted with all this band searching) but in the end I'm really glad we went. Unfortunately, while they were a 10 piece band that night, Keith Hill and his female singer are an "extra add-on" from their usual 8 pieces. Adding the two of them significantly increases the price. After seeing the 10 people perform, it was a little difficult for me to envision the band with 8. However, I would definitely recommend this band to anyone looking for a wedding band.
On Wednesday 3/17 we saw Arcadia. Arcadia was AMAZING. They have some really great strengths that set them apart from the other bands. 1) their saxophone player/band manager, Gus, was all around awesome at playing sax, singing, and business professionalism when dealing with the bookings. He and one of the singers performed an amazing version of Etta James' "At Last." I think every single band we saw performed this song, but I have to say, they did it best. 2) They had a drummer and a percussionist who was on bongos/cowbell/every percussion instrument you can think of. 3) They had a male singer who sounded perfect in the Frank Sinatra type songs. He didn't sing anything until quite a few songs in, and when he started singing "Fly me to the Moon" Chris and I looked at each other like "Where has this man been hiding??!" Arcadia appealed to me because they can cover a wide array of song styles and genres. They had the old classics down, the rock down, as well the contemporary. You can hear some of their sound clips here. I hope you like them. Meet our band!:
Chris and I were kind of at a standstill for a while between Heart and Soul and Arcadia. We loved Genessa, the female singer from Heart and Soul, but felt that Arcadia had an all around better sound from the supporting instruments, as well as a wide array of music genres that it could offer. I'm thrilled that Arcadia is our band and even more thrilled that the great L.I. band hunt of 2010 is OVER. 3 long weeks, 9 live showcases, lots of emails, phone calls, driving all over Long Island, and shifting around of my piano teaching schedule. It was a wild ride....but in the end, it was all worth it (and quite educational I might add).
As far as our photographer, we booked Déjà Vu last Saturday, March 20th and I am so excited about them, too. I have nothing but glowing comments for the owner, Allen, who made us feel extremely at home and comfortable. Allen is very accommodating and I know he will work with us as far as picking pictures, creating albums, etc. once our wedding is over. We are currently working on scheduling our engagement photo shoot at Wagner College for sometime in June. I am sooo happy we are going to get professional pictures done at Wagner. I think it will be the perfect setting for us, as well as a good practice for what it's like to pose for pictures, we've never really done that before!
Moving right along, this Saturday I am starting my bridesmaid dress shopping! I have a 3:00 appointment at Bridals by Sandra, where I got my wedding dress! My mother, sister and bridesmaid Molly will be accompanying me!! I'll bring the camera! I actually had a nightmare last night that I had booked two dress appointments and forgot and was rushing around to get my bridesmaids and drive to the store to try on dresses. Oy..I haven't even started the dress hunt and I'm stressing!
So that's that...
Reception Hall: Check
Church for ceremony: Check
Wedding Dress: Check
Photographer: CheckWedding Band: Check