How To Keep The Party Going During Your Band’s Break

Today’s wedding tip comes from our friends at Jaimie Mackey, the site's content director and Real Weddings contributor, recently published an article shedding light on not only the importance of keeping the party going during the live music breaks during a reception, but how to do so! We couldn't agree more with the tips she shared, read her article below:  


"There’s nothing quite like a live band at a wedding. A great one will give your party a huge energy boost, and becomes interactive entertainment that will have your guests dancing all night long. The only downside? Bands need breaks, which means a pause in the music. But the fun doesn’t have to stop just because the band isn’t on stage! We’ve rounded up a few tips to keep the party going."

Time it Right

Work with your band to time the breaks so they fit into your evening’s timeline. First and foremost, feed your band before the reception begins. The break for dinner is usually the longest, so if you can arrange to have the band members eat before they get on stage, the following breaks will be shorter. If the band will be playing during cocktail hour, time their first break to take place while your guests are eating. A playlist of background music will fill the space, but will barely be heard over the clinking of forks and knives, anyway! For the next break, grab the mic for toasts. Three-to-five minute speeches from the maid of honor, best man, and your parents will fill up that break in no-time! You could also add the cake cutting here. For a break later in the evening, have the garter or bouquet toss, or take a moment to say a few words yourselves while the caterer passes coffee and late-night bites.

Be Flexible with Timing

Even if you’ve got your timeline totally ironed out, allow your band to be flexible with when they take breaks. That way, if the dance floor is packed right when their 9:30 break is supposed to begin, the band can continue for a song or two and bump their break back so as not to kill the energy. The same goes for things like the bouquet toss—if everyone’s grooving, wait until there’s a lull in energy and use it as a reason to get everyone back on the dance floor.

Choose Your Playlist Wisely

Of course, a band break doesn’t mean guests have to stop dancing. Many bands will provide a playlist on an iPod that can play while they’re on their break, or you can customize the playlist yourselves. Just be thoughtful when doing so, and ask to review the playlist your band will be providing. If you’ve chosen a band known for their dance floor-filling tunes, your playlist should have the same energy—smooth jazz will just be a total buzz-kill. If you’re going for more of a mellow vibe, stick with the same types of music instead of jolting guests with something uptempo. For a genre-specific band, the break music should flow seamlessly—no Latin hits in between sets from your ‘80s cover band!

Pick a Bigger Band

Want a reception with no band breaks? When you’re interviewing bands and negotiating a contract, talk to the manager or bandleader about your options for continuous play. Look for a bigger band that can swap artists in and out, giving individuals time to get ready for their next set without ever stopping the music. Multiple vocalists make this much easier, as does a band that can play a variety of musical styles that use different instruments. Big numbers and the main set could feature everyone, while other moments could be smaller combinations of musicians for a different vibe. (A band like this might also be able to provide smaller ensembles for your ceremony or cocktail hour, then absorb those artists into the band for the reception, which is more affordable than hiring multiple different groups to play throughout the day.)

Aille Beauty


Having the right hair and makeup team can make or break the wedding day experience for anyone's bridal party! Los Angeles-based glam experts, Aille Beauty, have worked with us on both weddings and corporate events and they're nothing short of spectacular. Whether it's tackling bridal hair and makeup, or accommodating a masquerade-themed look for guests attending a private event, their team can do it all!

It’s clear this team has been working together for a long time, which makes it fun to be around them no matter what the event:

“Our love for hair and makeup developed at a young age and grew deep along with our friendship and passion to share what we knew with other people! As most relationships over time disconnect, ours has managed to stay strong for almost 20 years. BFFALSABT! (Best Friends Forever And Let’s Start A Business Together) If we are going to do what we love we also should enjoy who we work with. That’s our motto!”

To find out more about the awesome team at Aille Beauty, visit their website at

The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara


Every event we’ve been a part of at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara has been a dream. From the gorgeous views, sprawling property and dream staff and vendor team, it’s always an event to remember, which is why we are featuring them on today’s vendor spotlight blog! 

The 78-acre oceanfront venue boasts “low-rise villas with wrought-iron balconies, beaches that glow under the sun, the water at your doorstep, vibrant blues and intricate patterns, and Food that is meant to be savored with the sunset.”Just take a look at the images below to get an idea of the weddings and events that take place on site:

For more information on this incredible Santa Barbara venue, visit their website HERE!

Destination Wedding Inspiration: Hawaii

Known for it's beautiful string of islands, crystal blue waters, white sand and lush flora, Hawaii is a highly sought after and world-renowned vacation spot, and it provides a perfect setting for couples who dream of having a destination wedding. 

The scenery is beautiful no matter what island you find yourself on, but we've rounded up our top picks for picturesque Hawaiian destination wedding venues:

1. Four Seasons Lanai

2. The Grand Wailea Hotel

3. Olowalu Plantation House, Maui

2. Dillingham Ranch, Oahu

5. The Modern Honolulu

One Sheet

We absolutely love working with companies that are looking for quality entertainment for their important events. Whether it's a themed party, holiday function, gala, or social gathering, we collaborate with clients to meet their needs while offering our expertise in order to provide a custom musical experience and soundtrack, no matter what the occasion!  Feel free to share our one sheet with your team as needed for pitch purposes when planning your event to ensure you get the best live entertainment possible, and don't hesitate to reach out and get a custom quote.

Intertwined Events


As a vendor who has attended a lot of weddings, we are always excited to see how the evening will look and feel. We appreciate the attention to detail that goes into everything from the centerpieces, to the color palette, and even to how the dance floor looks. We've seen it all and we found it necessary to give Intertwined Events a shout out for their superb work,

We've crossed paths with their team a few times and working with them is nothing short of phenomenal. If you don't believe us, take a look at some of their work!

For more information about Intertwined, head on over to their website,, and let them know we sent you. #downbeatla 

Soultones + The Gift Foundation of Hawaii


So glad we were part of this amazing evening for The Gift Foundation of Hawaii at @themodernhonolulu supporting:

Blake Entertainment put together an evening filled with music, dancing, performers and a great atmosphere at The Modern Honolulu to top it off.

Video Recap

Cocktail Hour Favorites (Fall 2017)


We get it! Creating a list of songs for your guests can be very difficult but that's why we're here. To ensure a seamless transition from ceremony to your cocktail hour, we've curated a list to get your guests excited for what's to come!  

1. Better Together - Us The Duo

2. Let Me Love You - Fitz and Tantrums 

3. I Believe In A Thing Called Love - Branches

4. Havana (Acoustic) - Matt Johnson

5. What's Going On (Recorded at Spotify Studios NYC) - John Legend

Be sure to follow Downbeat LA on Spotify for all your wedding and special event playlist needs by clicking here

Wedding Kate

Throughout the years we've worked with a ton of wedding planners but meet one of our favorites who we absolutely love working with, Wedding Kate! Wedding Kate is one of the most sought out wedding planners in Santa Barbara and is considered as a  premier event design planning firm in Southern California. 

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All of our bands, have had the pleasure of working along side Wedding Kate and its been successful even after event. For more info, please head to their website and take a look at their lists of their amazing work, here



Gold Standard + Adamson House

The Adamson House is one of the best historic venues for a wedding right next to the shores of Malibu. A location that will have your guests in awe as they enjoy the scenic view and touch of history. 

Gold Standard shared a night of celebration and played their little hearts out. Nothing is better than having good music, the people you love, and the ocean breeze to celebrate your special night. 


To hear and see more from Gold Standard, visit their artist page here. To book live entertainment for your next special event or wedding, visit our booking page here

Parent Dance Favorites (Fall 2017)


When it comes to wedding planning, there are a million decisions that have to be made leading up to the big day! Special moments require special attention, which is why we've put in the work so you don't have to in deciding your music choices! 

If you're planning on going the traditional route and having a Mother/Son and Father/Daughter dance during your reception, we've compiled a list of classics and newer favorites to ensure these moments with your parents are perfect! Here is our list of Parent Dance Favorites for Fall 2017: 

1. John Legend, Cynthia Erivo - God Only Knows

2. Rod Stewart - Forever Young

3. James Taylor - How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

4. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes - Home

5. Jason Mraz - 93 Million Miles

6. Tom Petty - Wildflowers

7. Ray Charles - Ain't That Love

8. Amos Lea - Sweet Pea

9. Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Over The Rainbow

10. Rascal Flatts - My Wish

11. Louis Armstrong - What A Wonderful World

12. Lee Ann Womack - I Hope You Dance

Be sure to follow Downbeat LA on Spotify for all your wedding and special event playlist needs by clicking here.

Signature Party Rentals

Guests are always looking to enjoy the full experience when they attend weddings and special events. After a recent performance at an Avalon Hotel wedding in Palm Springs, we were blown away by the attention to detail and apparent passion for event design from the Southern California-based vendor Signature Party Rentals

"Custom hedges, parlor and chiavari chairs and a fun linen - everything we love in a photo!" - Signature Party Rentals

"Custom hedges, parlor and chiavari chairs and a fun linen - everything we love in a photo!" - Signature Party Rentals

With over 30 years of experience in the event industry, this company has an incredible portfolio of work and can outfit any venue with rentals that include furniture, custom decor, staging, lighting, tents, linens and so much more. Whether it's an intimate dinner gathering or a corporate event with a 5,000+ guest list, this company can handle it all and they pride themselves on customer service and reliability. 

Take a look at some of their amazing products and visions in their gallery:

To learn more about Signature Party Rentals, visit their website at For more vendors we love, visit the Downbeat LA Vendor Spotlight blog here

AMFM + Hummingbird Nest Ranch

Not only is Malibu's Hummingbird Nest Ranch a dream venue to for weddings, but it's also a dream venue for entertainers to perform! Dance band AMFM traveled up into the Santa Susana Mountains for a recent summertime wedding and it was a beautiful celebration. 

Love was certainly in the air, and guests were entertained throughout the wedding ceremony and reception with dinner and party sets, leading to dancing the night away under the stars. The decor and ambiance are always beautiful in this al fresco setting, have a look for yourself:

To hear and see more from AMFM, visit their artist page here. To book live entertainment for your next special event or wedding, visit our booking page here

Grand Entrance Favorites (Fall 2017)


On your wedding day, make it an entrance to remember with our new Wedding Grand Entrance Favorites for Fall 2017, featuring songs that are sure to get the party started and set the tone for a perfect reception! #WeddingTipWednesday

Everyone loves making an entrance to the party, especially when you're the guests of honor! As bride and groom, it's important to make the grand entrance into the reception one to remember because all eyes will be on you and your bridal party as you set the tone for the party that's to come! 

Whether you plan on introducing family members and all of your bridesmaids and groomsmen, or you just want to have a special moment being introduced as newlyweds for the first time, here are some current favorites that are sure to get everyone out of their seats and ready to celebrate! 


1. Portugal. The Man - Feel It Still

2. Macklemore - Glorious (Feat. Skylar Grey)

3. J Balvin, Willy William - Mi Gente

4. The Chainsmokers, Coldplay - Something Just Like This 

5. Calvin Harris - Feels (Feat. Pharrell Williams, Katy Perry, Big Sean)

6. Kungs, Cookin' On 3 Burners - This Girl (Kungs Vs. Cookin' On 3 Burners)

7. Bruno Mars - 24K Magic

8. Justin Timberlake - CAN'T STOP THE FEELING!

9. American Authors - Best Day Of My Life

Be sure to follow Downbeat LA on Spotify for all your wedding and special event playlist needs by clicking here

Belmond El Encanto

The luxury resorts and venues sprawled across the region of Santa Barbara are undoubtedly all gorgeous, but one of our favorites to perform at is the Belmond El Encanto.  


Gold Standard traveled to provide the live playlist for the Doll wedding and it was an unforgettable event!  

Boasting “Hollywood glamour in a modern classic”,  El Encanto sets a perfect scene:

”Steeped in charisma, Belmond El Encanto’s breezy hillside location and enduring iconicity make it one of the most desirable Santa Barbara event venues. Join us for lavish wedding parties or smaller, intimate occasions. Our lush Pacific-facing gardens, expansive terrace and expert party planners combine for the ultimate Californian celebration.”

For more information about this amazing venue, visit their website at

Soultones + Bel-Air Bay Club

It's always a party with our highly sought after dance band, Soultones! The group recently brought their high energy and crowd-favorite performances to a beautiful wedding at Malibu's gorgeous Bel-Air Bay Club. The evening was a blast, and we love making our couples and their guests happy!

To learn more about Soultones, visit their artist page here.

To book Soultones for your wedding or special event, visit our booking page here.

First Dance Favorites (Fall 2017)


The first dance is one of the most special wedding day moments! For newlyweds, it's the first dance together as a married couple in front of your closest family and friends, and while there are countless love songs to choose from, most couples look for one that holds a special meaning to them. 

Narrowing down music choices for these big moments such as the first dance shouldn't be stressful, which is why Downbeat LA loves helping couples find their perfect song! For a more modern approach, here are some brand new First Dance favorites for Fall 2017:

1. ZAYN, Sia - Dusk 'Til Dawn

2. Miley Cyrus - I Would Die For You

3. Devin Dawson - All On Me (Acoustic)

4. John Mayer - You're Gonna Live Forever In Me

5. Zara Larsson - I Can't Fall In Love Without You

6. Lauv - I Like Me Better

7. Tom Walker - Just You and I

8. Ed Sheeran - Perfect

9. LEON - I Believe in Us

10. Isaiah - Streets of Gold

11. The Big Moon - Cupid (Acoustic)

Be sure to follow Downbeat LA on Spotify for all your wedding and special event playlist needs by clicking here

The 805 Camera Bus

At a recent performance in Santa Barbara, Downbeat LA had the pleasure of working alongside today's featured vendor, The 805 Camera Bus. Known as being Santa Barbara's only mobile photo booth company, this camera-on-wheels is a converted 1971 VW bus that combines charm, vintage and modern appeal into one epic photo op.

The company has affectionately named the bus "Lola", and claims she loves attending all types of events! You can customize the backdrop to be whatever matches your event's theme, and your photos are available in strips on the spot. The attendants are super helpful and the props provided are a blast! 

Gold Standard singers even had the opportunity to snap some photos between sets at the last event, and we can't wait to visit Santa Barbara again for a performance in hopes that Lola will be in attendance as well!

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For more information on The 805 Camera Bus, visit their website at