Creative Couple's Guide to choosing a Chicago Wedding Band

If you’re a creative couple on the hunt for unique wedding ideas or unusual Chicago wedding venues, chances are you may not want the traditional wedding band or DJ playing the Chicken Dance. Here are a few tips on how to scope out the best Chicago wedding musicians so you can find a group suited for your specific tastes. Check out...

Indie Wed

The alternative to traditional wedding expos, “Indie Wed is the longest running independent wedding show in the U.S. featuring unique, eco-conscious, handmade-focused, LGBT-friendly, and otherwise rad vendors,” according to the event’s website. Typically held at the Ravenswood Event Center on a Saturday afternoon, the event lets you browse vendors of all kinds: dressmakers, venues, caterers, bakers, mixologists, honeymoon planners, and, yes, bands. You’ll be able to hear live performances of wedding reception music as a select number of local wedding bands perform at Indie Wed each year. Expect to find something certifiably cool, fun and different.


Photo by Ed & Aileen Photography

Photo by Ed & Aileen Photography

Half wedding market, half beer festival brought to you by Indie Wed and Naturally Yours Events, Wedtoberfest is an alternative wedding show where attendees are given a tasting glass and can enjoy beverage flights and pints from featured breweries, while checking out some of the best wedding vendors and artisans in Chicagoland. Do you really need more encouragement to attend this one? You can drink craft brews, sample delicious food and hire the hippest wedding vendors on spot - a dream come true!

Chicago Street Festivals

Grab your boo and hit the summer street fests to get a feel for who’s around – a lot of bands performing at these are also available for weddings. Make sure to catch the daytime acts. Festivals like Andersonville Midsommarfest and Southport Art Festival often schedule Chicago cover bands during the day. Watch the crowd and see who got the most people dancing. If your friends and Granny at the beer tent are getting down at 2 p.m. you’ve found the right band.

Local Music Venues

Photo by  Lamb & Lark

Photo by Lamb & Lark

Try checking out venues like Honky Tonk BBQ, City Winery, House of Blues and Martyrs. These specific venues not only feature national touring acts, but some of the best Chicago bands. They’re also great places to find affordable Chicago bands who play weddings! If a cover band is playing these venues it’s also likely they won’t butcher your favorite indie cover. We strongly recommend watching videos like the one below on the band’s website and talk to the band’s manager! Be sure to ask questions about whether they’ll take requests for your first dance, whether your Aunt Sue can get up to sing a song during the reception, and whether they can do music for the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, etc. Your wedding should be customized.

Video by Nick Collingwood Vintage. Venue is Elawa Farm. If you want great dance moves like Chris & Szewai, take dance lessons from the bride at Duet Dance Studio!

Social Media

#Weddinginspo. This may seem obvious, but with so many social media resources available it’s hard to know where to begin! If you haven’t asked your Facebook friends for leads start there. Look on Yelp. Look through the Instagram feeds of local wedding vendors who match your style. Check out #Indiewed on Instagram and get lost in a wormhole of vendors. If you’ve already chosen one vendor you love that’s great. It’s a great idea to reach out for specific recommendations. It doesn’t matter if you’ve only booked the cake baker. The florist, wedding planner or caterer could all have solid recommendations. If they work in the Chicago wedding market chances are the referral is solid. Vendors who are willing to recommend each other and work together will likely guarantee a successful flow behind the scenes on your wedding day which is definitely worth keeping in mind.  

For more wedding specific tips please subscribe to our blog. To learn more about Gussied and see live video from weddings we’ve performed at, visit our Videos page.

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Team Gussied