From Behind the Veil – A Bride’s Perspective on Live Music
While we could tell you up and down all about our wedding services, we figured it might be best coming from one the brides herself. Omaha Musicians Live owner, Leah Lukowski, recently interviewed one our brides, Catrina Trabal, to get her perspective on the decision to incorporate live music into her wedding day.
LL: What made you want to have live music over prerecorded music for your ceremony and cocktail hour?
CT: When thinking about my wedding, I always imagined having a quartet. I felt it added a certain elegance. My fiancé and I went back and forth on it though, as we both loved the idea, but didn’t want our ceremony and cocktail hour to be stuffy. After seeing the available list of songs, however, we realized we could have the elegance of the quartet with modern songs to make it fun.
LL: How did you select the genre of music for your ceremony/Cocktail hour? Was it easy or difficult?
CT: We knew we wanted modern music that most people would know for the cocktail hour. I loved that during our reception and weeks after our wedding day, people came up to me to compliment the music selection, or ask “Did you know they played Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen?!” The music made for an awesome experience for everyone involved.
As far as the ceremony, I selected about 10 songs that I knew and really enjoyed. From there, I listened for songs that flowed together, that fit and made sense in our ceremony. I also listened with my heart. In the end, our ceremony had the music that we connected with, that reminded me of my relationship with my husband. They were fun songs all centered on a beautiful, amazing love.
I am passionate about music. I love that one song can bring back memories of a special time, or conjure up thoughts and feelings about love, friendship, etc. It was one of my favorite parts of all of the wedding planning.
LL: Looking back was there anything you would have done differently regarding your music choice?
CT: I would not have. I loved our choices!
LL:When thinking about incorporating live music into your wedding day, is there any advice you would offer to future brides?
CT: Listen to your gut. Go with what you know you want and what you will enjoy. If you stick true to yourself, you won’t go wrong. Everyone is there to celebrate your relationship, and they will celebrate in whatever fashion you want them to.
Think of the tone you want to set. Our ceremony and reception were held at the Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. We wanted to go with the elegance of the beautiful building, but honor our fun personalities and the joy of our day.
Also, it is the bride’s special day. You should have everything you want. But don’t forget your groom. It is his special day as well. Select music and other things for the ceremony and reception that fits both of your personalities.
LL: Based on your experience how likely would you be to recommend Omaha Musicians Live to other brides?
CT: Hands down, you and your staff are the best, so incredible and so patient. We chose the quartet, and then we started second guessing. You helped me go back and forth with the pros and cons until we stuck with our decision.
Also, at the ceremony, when we needed last minute assistance, you really stepped up to the plate to help. It meant so much as a bride in the midst of all the craziness, to have someone stay calm and assist.
I wish I would have found Omaha Musicians Live sooner. We had gone to a bridal show and booked a D.J. very early in our engagement because of the deals and cheap pricing. Had I looked further into our options, I would have done all of my music through Omaha Musicians Live. Music really sets the tone throughout the night, and I feel we would have received better quality and more professionalism at our reception had we used Omaha Musicians Live.
My husband and I can never say enough how happy we were with you and your services. We will always recommend them for music for any celebration.
LL: Any additional comments you would like to add?
CT: One of my favorite memories is during the ceremony, when my husband, step son, and I were doing the sand ceremony. The quartet played “To make you feel my love” by Adele. I specially requested this song, and thanks to Omaha Musicians Live and their wonderful musicians, the quartet was able to play it. It was a perfect song for the joining of our family. I still tear up thinking about it. I am forever grateful to Omaha Musicians Live for playing the soundtrack to my memories of a very special day.
A huge THANK YOU to Catrina for her contribution to this blog post and also CONGRATS to Catrina and Milt, what a beautiful wedding!
Ceremony Song Selection – Traditional or Unique?
Over the past few years I have really noticed a shift in song selections brides are making for their ceremony. Just as they want to make the reception unique to them as a couple, they are now more than ever wanting to personalize their ceremony to mean more to them. In the past I think brides felt obligated to go with the musician and church music that was provided. It was easy and inexpensive, so it seemed like the right decision. Now, more and more brides are choosing to have their ceremony at the reception site, making it easier for their guests, and often times finding another way to cut costs. As wedding traditions will continue to change I have to make sure that we as a company continue to change as well. I can guarantee that most of you who have attended a wedding have heard the traditional wedding march, which most of us girls dreamed of walking down the isle to. But boy, the times they are a changin’. Most of the brides that we work with really want a unique ceremony, something different, and something to remember. As I coach a lot of my brides to focus on the five main songs significant to their ceremony, I am often caught off guard at the song choices brides are wanting. By caught off guard, I simply mean, it is a song I never would have imagined for a wedding ceremony. But the truth is, it means something to our couples. And really that is all that matters. Our goal is to make sure our couples are excited about where there money is being spent and that they see the value in a live music. Sometimes I am nervous that I won’t be able to fill their request… but where there is a will there is a way.
For those of you who are not familiar with the process, I have three options. Number one, I can possibly recommend a musician who already knows your song(s). Now sometimes I am not that lucky depending on the request. But I can try and fall on to option number two which is finding the sheet music. If I am dealing with a bride who wants a classical musician, often times, getting the sheet music isn’t a problem. But sometimes the sheet music isn’t written for the correct instrument. Then that leads me to option number 3… getting it arranged. Thank goodness for talented musicians because there are people out there who can listen to a song and write the sheet music for me or take a particular arrangement and write it for a different instrument. Now all of this is more costly…. but honestly, it’s not that bad. Now I wish I could list an exact price for a brand new song, but it really depends on what is needed. The great part is that I can usually get a couple a quote and then they can decide if they would like to spend the additional money. Have I been able to please every bride? Unfortunately not. Sometimes it is impossible to find the sheet music and they select a song performed by an entire symphony and want that performed by a soloist. I understand that often times this is the first time our brides have hired live music and they need a little bit of help in understanding what is feasible with their budget. I am happy to work with them as well but after a little bit of explaining it makes a little more sense. There are also current artists, classical and top 40, who do not publish their sheet music and then again that can lead to complications.
So truly, no matter how you want to make your ceremony unique, music is the way to do it. Whether you are wanting “Back in Black” by ACDC performed by a violin/cello duo, the theme song from the video game Zelda on harp/violin, or the theme song to Jurassic Park as you walk down the isle, most things are possible. (and yes these are all songs requests we have filled) And it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to ask for something a little outside the box. We as professionals are here to help you. You never know what is possible and you never know what can be done until you ask.
Paige & Dan’s Wedding @ Indian Creek
We LOVE our brides and grooms and this weekend was no different! We had the pleasure of working with Paige and Dan, planning their ceremony music and live music for their reception at Indian Creek. First of all, amazing job Indian Creek staff. They make everything so easy and really work with their couples to make the day wonderful!
Paige and Dan chose a classical musician for their ceremony, and even though it was a hot day, everything went just perfect. The groom’s son walked down holding a sign that said “Daddy, here comes your bride” and it made everyone’s heart melt. The music continued as their guests made their way inside to a wonderfully air conditioned ballroom.
The couple hosted a wonderful cocktail hour with drinks and hors d’oeuvres. This gave the wedding party time to enjoy a few drinks themselves and Paige and Dan to snap a few more family pictures. At about 6:30 we lined up the wedding party and got them ready for the grand entrance. All of the guests got a good laugh with the couple who chose to shot gun a beer for their entrance!
All of formal events when off without a hitch and it was time for the wedding band to take over. We truly had such a wonderful evening watching everyone have a great time! The evening was filled with amazing moments which will be felt for a life time and I cannot express how much Rylee and I enjoyed working with this couple and getting to share in their day.
Congratulations to the happy couple!!! Everyone here at Omaha Musicians Live wishes you a life time of happiness and thank you so much for trusting your music and entertainment to us!
OML @ Millard Ribstock 2015
Last weekend was a busy one for us as we had the 3rd Annual Millard Business Association Ribstock. The festival was on both Friday and Saturday and featured bands both nights.
For those of you that don’t know, Ribstock is not your average ribfest. It is an official barbeque competition that is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society. Competitors from across the country came to Omaha attempting to win prize money and points for future national competitions.
On Friday night, Eckophonic, lit up the stage and the crowd with some of today’s hottest hits. The audience was dancing wildly and only paused for the amazing fireworks display by Bellino Fireworks. They ended the evening by bringing all the kids up on stage to dance to their last song, “Timber” by Kesha.
Saturday’s lineup started with the Swampboy Blues Band keeping rib lovers entertained with their bayou sound. Thrift Shop Radio followed in the afternoon and the crowd was amazed (as they usually are) by Beth’s vocals and hula-hoop skills. Finishing off the weekend’s entertainment was Lemon Fresh Day, who rocked the night away and ended Ribstock 2015 with a smash.
We want to thank the Millard Business Association for involving us with this event and look forward to helping make this event grow and become more of a staple in the Omaha community.
OML @ Papillion Idol
Being a business owner there are always things you have to do… some fun and some not so fun. This year I was asked to appear as a guest judge at the Papillion Idol competition that kicked off the festivities of Papillion Days 2015. I dragged Natalie, the lead singer of eNVy to judge with me and she opened the show with the National Anthem and then a Jason Miraz song.
The competition began with the K-6 Category. I couldn’t believe how brave these kids were to get up and sing in front of all of these people. We heard covers from Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Jewell, Megan Trainor and more! This kids didn’t miss a word. I was impressed by how some of them so young had so much stage presence. Here is a picture of our winners. Third Place: Faith Polivanov, Second Place: Tegan Roorda and First Place: Alyssa Bruuner.
The next category incorporated 7th through 12 graders. We had a wide range of competitors and all were very fun to listen to. Our fist place winner sang a rendition of Benny and the Jets, sang by Lauren Johnson, that was far beyond what the judges were expecting.
Omaha Musicians Live was proud to have provided a media kit for the winner to help her in her future singing and booking ventures! Congratuations to all of the winners!! It was a great experience and I hope I get invited back next year!
OML @ Heartland Family Service
One of my favorite event types that we get to work with is fundraisers. Especially being born and raised in the Omaha area, it is so amazing to see the generosity of people giving to these awesome causes. We had the pleasure of working with Heartland Family Service for their annual fundraiser at the Mid America Center.
The theme this year was “Play Ball” and centered on the 1930-1940s baseball era. It’s always a thrill working with themed events and being able to coordinate the entertainment to emphasize the theme. For this specific event we wanted to have a “big band” sound but we made sure to stick within our client’s budged. We were able to put together a small quintet featuring a three piece horn section, keys, and drums. It worked perfectly for the theme and the audience loved it!
The band’s singer, Michael, lead the crowd in the the National Anthem at the beginning of the night and we all sang along to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the 7th Inning Stretch. Throughout the night the ‘Charge’ call rang out through the speakers and it felt like you were actually at a ballgame!
The night was an incredible success, not just because of the music but because this incredible non-profit was able to raise over $70,000!!! Way to go Heartland Family Service and thank you for letting Omaha Musicians Live be apart of this amazing event!!
OML @ Omaha Beer Fest
This past weekend was the Omaha Beer Fest at Stinson Park. Brews n’ Tunes go hand in hand and at Omaha Beer Fest both were flowing steady all weekend.
On Friday night our lineup included the Adam Lee Trio and Outlaw Road. The Adam Lee Trio did an awesome job highlighting the talents of all three musicians with Adam, Mark, and Nate all rocking out on their solos. On top of that, Adam jumped from guitar, to drums, and to mandolin…that man can play!
Outlaw Road followed and pleased the crowd with their country sound. They did a great job engaging with the audience, Michael even jumped off stage and walked around Beer Fest strumming his guitar during a song.
Saturday’s lineup featured Luke Johnson, Peace-Love-Etc., and Blue House with the Rent to Own Horns.
We were really worried about the rain at first but it cleared up around 1:00 and the crowds poured in! In fact, the event sold out by 2:00pm and they were turning people away at the gate.
Luke Johnson did a great job in the VIP tent. Especially after a little electrical mishap he handled everything incredibly professionally.
Peace, Love, Etc. and Blue House were well received by the crowd. It was fun to see all of the people getting into the music and enjoying the beer. I must say my favorite part was watching the adults rolling down the hill and swinging on the swing set. Funny how all that beer makes you act like a kid again.
All of the bands did a great job this weekend, we always feel so blessed to work with such wonderful people!
A big shout out to Jen Kocher, with Urban Events, for putting on such an amazing event! We loved working with her!
Jill & Kurt’s Wedding @ Indian Creek
This weekend we had the pleasure of working with Jill and Kurt for their wedding music and entertainment. Their ceremony and reception were held at Indian Creek. We always enjoy working with Sue and her staff!
Jill and Kurt decided to go with a violin/cello duo for their ceremony music and it was absolutely beautiful. We placed them under the overhang and the music projected just perfectly for all guest to hear.
The bride and groom selected an acoustic guitarist for their cocktail hour and dinner music. AJ did a beautiful job and we received several complements. The bride and groom had hired MAK Images for their photographer. Melissa, the lead photographer, had used images from the day and ceremony in a slide show during dinner. AJ played and sang along with the slide show and it just added to the beautiful atmosphere. The guests seemed to really enjoy it.
One of the most special parts of the night was when Jill and Kurt had their first dance. AJ serenaded the couple with their favorite song, “Only You Can Love Me This Way” by Keith Urban. All I can say was that is was so beautiful to watch. Every time we work with a couple and have a live performer for their spotlight dances it truly makes my heart melt.
Although the couple was originally thinking they wanted a wedding band they eventually decided a DJ would be a better fit for them. DJ Conrad did a great job of handling the announcements and keeping the evening flowing.
I was so grateful that everything went off with out a hitch for this couple!!
Congratulations Jill and Kurt!!
Everyone at OML wishes you two the very best!
Last Friday we got the chance to work with one of Omaha’s biggest events, Taste of Omaha, thank you to the event organizers for involving us!
The BEST part of the night was definitely the performance by Thrift Shop Radio. They were the first band on the Rotella stage (right behind Storz Brewery) and they started the festival off right with their soulful rock and blues sound…perfect for a Friday evening.
At first the crowd was small, but as soon as the music started people began to trickle in. The end of each song brought with it a louder applause. Eventually we drew a pretty sizable crowd, we even had dedicated dancers right in front of the stage! It’s hard to not be attracted by Thrift Shop’s sound. Kelly, the owner of Chicago Dawg House, came up to us asking who the band was, saying “they are amazing!”
The highlight of the performance had to be the rain delay right in the middle of the show. We saw the dark clouds rolling in and expected rain, but being Nebraska the down pour only lasted about 15 minutes. With the sound back on and some sprinkles still falling, Thrift Shop started right back up with a very appropriate rendition of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain.’
Per usual, TSR lead vocalist Beth brought her hula hoop and wowed the crowd with her dancing/hula hoop skills. If you haven’t gotten the chance to see Thrift Shop Radio in person, you need to do so. They play killer songs, keep you entertained, and are just all-around great people!
Thrift Shop Radio @ Taste of Omaha
Lemon Fresh Day @ Nebraska Special Olympics Opening Ceremony
When we were asked to do a gig for the Special Olympics, I will be honest and say that nothing could have prepared me for this performance. I truly thought it was just another fun gig we got to be apart of.
What I did not expect was to be so overwhelmed by what happened. All of the athletes that participated in the games were absolutely thrilled and excited by the live music. Danny, the front man for Lemon Fresh Day, did an amazing job of talking to the athletes and engaging them. One girl even threw her towel on stage and to see the excitement in her face when Danny picked it up and acknowledged her was so precious.
I have never seen a group of people be so excited and dance along to each song the way these athletes did. Kudos to Danny and the Lemon Fresh Day crew. Not only did they put on an amazing show but they took the time to take pictures after and mingle with the crowd. It truly was a great evening.
Thank you to Plannit Omaha for allowing us to be apart of this event!