wedding entertainment

Wedding Entertainment – Why Google and SEO, and NOT JUST Social Media is your Greatest Marketing Resource

For wedding entertainment professionals, it’s a tough and competitive market out there. Numerous entertainment agencies compete against individual entertainers for what can be deemed a pretty limited customer pool. Through my Blog posts, I try to touch on the wider scope of the music business, and not solely to punt my wedding music services. This blog also serves as an extension to point number four in my previous article on singer-songwriter tips.

As a digital marketing professional by day, I have had the opportunity to apply emerging digital trends to my service offering. It’s been a challenging yet fruitful exercise. As a result, I’m putting it out there, that as a performing artist, you are far more likely to generate engagement and bookings by investing in search engines, and not just social media in order to sustain and grow your career. In plain English, here’s why you should be diverting (most, but not all) your resources to Google search results presence and not on accumulating social media likes.

Why do we hear so much about SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (abbreviated to SEO), in my own words, is “improving your website, and any other online material, with relevant and focused content, in such a way that tells Google and other search engines that your brand should appear at, or near the top of organic search results when a user inserts a phrase in the search bar. In essence, you are rewarded with “free, organic” for providing content, or “answers” that is most relevant to its users. It is the opposite of ‘paying for Ads’, and takes some time to yield results.

There are a lot of success factors which determine how to rank highly for your related searches. Put into context, a wedding entertainment professional in South Africa should not just be writing their content to showcase how great they are and how many awards they have won. He or she should be optimizing their websites and directories to answer key questions, such as “best wedding entertainment, “wedding music in XY”, and “hire a band”. In a social media landscape where connections and accepted invitations slowly open doors, artists are missing out on a valuable piece of the pie. Get started today.

To explore SEO and build up a strategy , I would highly recommend Search Engine Land, and Moz.com

How will Search Engines even start recognizing me?

Every new website or Blog has to start somewhere. The starting point to any ranking strategy, is Keyword Research. Having done extensive research on what keywords rank locally, let me cut to the chase. The keyphrase “Wedding Entertainment” generates over 50 searches a month in South Africa alone. “Wedding Music”, is typed into Google by more than 260 South Africans a month. Naturally, as your broaden your keyword, you will attract more inquisitive readers and less “customers with intent”. However, it is ideal that you position your brand and optimize your content going forward, to rank at the top of Google rankings for a potential client looking for a wedding entertainment offering that is exactly, or close to, the service you provide. 

To get started with Keyword research, use Google’s free Keyword Planner tool

Measuring Success: Social Media versus Google

It is not my intention to completely dismiss the power of social media. Each has its own merits. A social video post or event share, published at just the right time, may just hit the right audience to connect you to and convert into a booking. However, the distribution or exposure of a Facebook or Instagram post can be limited to days or sometimes even hours. Social media users are bombarded with content in their feeds and are quick to scroll down and ignore your all-important message. Added to this is the threat of fake social media news that can cause devastation to your credibility and reputation. (See this recent BBC article as reference).

Your appearance in search engine results, however, is a much more focused opportunity. When a potential client enters a wedding entertainment related keyphrase into Google, Bing or Amazon, there is instantly a much higher intent by the end user to search out and obtain very specific information. In the search engine field, the user is looking for you, your service, and is much more likely to stick around on your website. What you say, through relevant content and clear ‘calls to action’, may be the defining moment where they are enticed to inquire about and book you. 

What is my overall online marketing strategy as wedding entertainment musician?

In 2015, I set up my website, www.daviddelaney.co.za. My only focus, as a wedding violinist, was to showcase my talents, tell my background, and share images, Youtube clips and MP3 files for visitors to browse through. As I begin to understand how SEO impacts on my google ranking, I have devoted time to optimizing my content and regularly writing Blogs just like these. This has had a gradual impact of driving web visitors to my website, key traffic who are searching across Google for the type of service that I offer. Many of the changes I have made have taken weeks and even months to yield results. However, I generate over 15 direct wedding entertainment inquiries a month. These are booking requests that I have neither paid Google for nor have to pay an entertainment agency a commission to. I maintain my Facebook page, but my focus towards social media is now aligned to driving traffic to my website where potential clients can see, hear and contact me directly.

Don’t be digitally homeless!

I am of the view that both social and search engine can work together, and I recommend to any wedding entertainer to invest further in SEO for gradual yet prolonged and cost-effective results. 
If you would like to know more about SEO for musicians and artists and may be interested in a workshop, feel free to contact me today. I am always keen to advise a colleague in the industry.

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careers in music

Careers in Music – Dealing with Failure

As an Irish musician living and performing overseas, I was expecting a bumper week with gigs galore and impossible schedules to fill. The expectation that I would be bouncing all over South Africa performing my unique and authentic blend of Irish music and milking the utmost out of Saint Patrick’s Day (17th March) in South Africa. Hell, if you asked me a month ago, how my Paddy’s week was looking, I was very happy with my burgeoning calendar. Read what happens next!

 

For those of us who strive to maintain careers in music, you know that things can fall apart at any stage. And more often than not, it is due to circumstances that are entirely out of our control. Long story short, boy did Saint Patrick’s weekend wind up being a monumental failure for me! Cancellation nation, to be precise! Failure is an element that those with careers in music are forced to deal with, more than any other profession. It’s how you act upon it, that minimizes the risk of it becoming a recurring trend down the road. Here are a few factors to consider, that gives you some ammunition in growing your career, and not letting failures destroy your talent and passion for what you do.

 

Be the Co-Manager and Promoter of your Product

Remember that awesome muso you heard at that market three years ago? Wondering why they’re still playing that same gig and never really seized the opportunity while they were the flavor of the month? I’ve devoted much of my reasoning for this in my previous Blog. To put it bluntly, you can’t depend on that market events manager alone, to propel your career. He or she has a family, other work, bills, and mental and physical health to deal with. Set out clear goals – call it a 2-year plan, if you want. Set out realistic objectives and figure out what you can do by yourself and what you need help with. And in the process, you might just find out who your real fans truly are!

 

Look at Careers in Music outside your comfort zone

This doesn’t refer to changing your style of music or taking up a particular instrument because that’s what’s hot right now. It means getting on a bus, a train, a plane, whatever it takes, to take your music to new audiences. You know what, you’re probably going to be judged and vilified by people who know no better. South Africa isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of the music industry. If you pursue or are offered an opportunity overseas, take it! To hell with the begrudgers. Your value has been recognized, and you will flourish wherever you take your god given talent.

 

Careers in Music need a little helping hand from the WWW

Back in “good old days” musicians succeeded through strong record/CD sales, consistently touring and generous tv and radio exposure. That has all changed, and the sooner you accept it, the quicker you can adapt to avoid failure. While technology and the internet have allowed the big labels to flex their muscles and bully smaller players into submission, it has also opened up a raft of creative tools to advance the careers of emerging artists. Get a proper website up, do some SEO in order to be found on Google and other search engines. And finally, implement a social media scheduling tool such as Hootsuite, Buffer or Sprout Social to post all your social media updates simultaneously.

 

Picking yourself up after a crippling failure

There are countless hazards to careers in music. So much so, that it takes special character to bounce back from a catastrophic setback and rebuild your brand and quickly get back on track. There’s scarcely a professional musician out there who hasn’t either;

  • Had all their gear stolen
  • Been dumped from their record label before their music was released
  • Teetered on the brink of alcoholism/ drug addiction from the pressures of careers in music
  • Had a major tour canceled at the last minute
  • Had relationships and marriages fall apart as a result of their unyielding passion.
  • Etc. etc.

It might be scant consolation, but any one of these setbacks will teach you a harsh lesson and the proverbial kick up the backside. It toughens you up and gives you a piercing life lesson from which you can only improve. You will stop blaming external factors for your demise and understand that only YOU operate the driving seat to your destiny and a blossoming career in the industry. You will make that breakthrough when you create the mindset that you WILL become successful no matter what, and never limit yourself to local bars, politics and uninvited opinions.

careers in music

What next for me, when St. Patrick is sentenced to Murphy’s Law?

After my initial rage and frustration has subsided, I’ve had time to reflect on how good I actually have it. I still have two gigs this weekend. There are organisers out there who appreciate my band’s talent and investing good money in me and my colleague to perform as their headline act this weekend. What I’ve learned from this whole experience, is that I shouldn’t allow myself to be pigeonholed into the niche of being just the token Irish musician in SA. There are better benchmarks to set than chasing 100 gigs in a year or 4 gigs a day across Paddy’s weekend.

And best of all, I have substantially more precious time to spend our national holiday with my wife and son, something I haven’t done in… possibly forever!

 

David Delaney – Irish Musician

Juggling a life between digital marketing specialist and professional musician, I’m probably not the guru to guide you towards careers in music. The violinist in me, however, makes me a perfectionist in what I seek to accomplish. I’ve had my share of failures but I’m eternally grateful for the successes that have outweighed the former. I’m a violinist, flute player and folk singer and you can find out more about me by exploring my website today.

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wedding music

Wedding Music – Finding Harmony on your Special Day

In the midst of all the feverish wedding planning, many couples will have cast their ear on what wedding music they would love as the extended soundtrack to the biggest day of their lives. It can encompass classical and folk music, granny’s special request and bridal entrances, through to the essential playlist to rock the dancefloor into the early hours of the morning after.

For one day only, each bride and groom have full artistic license to truly own this moment. Wedding Music forms an integral timeline to the day. Consider some of the following factors when it comes to perfectly planning the musical interludes for your special occasion.

 

Pre-Ceremony Wedding Music – Set a sweet undertone to proceedings

The twenty minute (or so) timeframe when guests arrive to take their seats in eager anticipation of the bridal party’s entrance is the ideal opportunity to introduce light classical or folk music. As a wedding violinist, I often use this initial wedding music set to serenade excited guests with soft Celtic music that sets the perfect tone before the serious proceedings for the day take place. For some additional flair, consider hiring a classical guitarist or vocal/guitar duo to set the mood and make your wedding party feel right at home.

 

Wedding Ceremony –  Make it Personal and Meaningful

The bride’s entrance is perhaps the most emotive part of the day. It is the moment every bride has dreamt of since she was a little girl and should be partnered with a personal song or instrumental piece that is close to her heart. You could also  select an entrance song which has a personal and meaningful connection to your journey as a couple. The ceremony itself offers the option of adding hymns or opting for musical interludes to break up the formalities. Choose a professional musician who  is willing to learn and arrange your wedding music of choice.

 

Pre-Reception Music – Bask in Wedded Bliss with chilled, acoustic melodies

Once you’ve said your “I do’s”, the serious part is over and it’s time to let your hair down. Bearing in mind, that when you leave to capture stunning photographs, your guests will be mingling over long overdue catch-ups and gin-infused sundowners, as is the South African tradition. I am often hired to perform for for canapes and cocktails, and find that a mixture of well known modern and classic songs blends perfectly into the setting sun. Smart options include a three piece Jazz band (eg Jazz Company, Ternielle Nelson Band) or a foot stomping folk group such as Beukes and Delaney or The Runaway Train Cult/

 

Book a Band – Finding your ideal Group to get the party going.

After enduring what might seem like a two hour speech from the groom’s father, you’ll be itching to ditch the heels and get onto the dancefloor to party the night away. Booking a band for your main wedding music is likely to be the largest investment towards the wedding entertainment. Take your partner out to go and listen to a few bands performing before you make your final decision. It  boils down to not only what music YOU love, but also what musical styles will appeal to the broadest section on your guestlist. A great band has the ability to create both wonderful memories for you and leave your guests speaking with great enthusiasm and nostalgia about your awesome wedding for years to come.

 

End your Wedding Music on the Right Note with a great Wedding DJ

In the euphoria of dancing along to the band to your heart’s content, only a professional DJ can raise that tempo to bring your dream wedding to its perfect climax. A great wedding DJ charges premium rates but, more than just spinning decks or arranging a playlist, he or she has great responsibility and alleviates much of the day’s potential stress. Consult with a DJ who understands and can adapt to your wishes, is able to work seamlessly with your wedding venue, and will ensure that every single guest will have the time of their lives.

 

About the Author

Wedding music David Delaney is a multi-instrumental wedding musician that has been performing and delighting wedding couples and guests throughout Ireland and South Africa since his early teens. Based in Johannesburg,  David specialises in celtic violin and flute, but can also add a touch of light classical, jazz and Latin American grooves to get your wedding music on the right track. An ideal choice for both the ceremonial and pre-reception elements of your wedding day, he is also available in a range of musical projects guaranteed to match your musical tastes. Contact David today to request a personalized quote for your wedding or special event.

 

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singer-songwriter tips

Singer-Songwriter Tips – How to Succeed in the Industry (Or rather not)

This is a burning issue that’s been on my mind for quite some time. Performing songwriters, particularly those in Johannesburg, work hard and pour their heart and soul into what they do. Yet I can’t help but pick up a number of glaring similarities in how they go about their business. This has forced me to draw up a few singer-songwriter tips to help you make your big mark on the burgeoning scene. Disclaimer: if you’re an easily offended singer-songwriter, this doesn’t make for pretty reading.

 

Singer-Songwriter Tips #1 – Add “Riptide” to your set – every time!

Rarely a performance goes by at your local Joburg market these days without at least two performers in succession murdering the Vance Joy hit, “Riptide”. To hell with the begrudgers, just sing it! And if a few heads sway to its catchy chorus, tempt fate and sing it again to close out your set. Surely this is a song that, by now, should have been swept away in the current of whiny hipster indie songs.

 

Singer-Songwriter Tips #2 – Sing every Song with the Capo on the 5th/7th Fret

singer-songwriter tipsA capo is an ingenious invention – it can adapt the song to the key you’re comfortable with. However, it should come boxed with the instruction of ‘moderate use’. I’ve lost count of the number of singers that struggle to remove a capo that’s seemingly super-glued to the fifth or seventh fret of their acoustic. One loses the ‘crunch’ in the playing and there’s precious little bottom end left to balance the high vocals. If this is you, take my tip; avoid any potential back problems and invest in a ukelele instead!

 

Singer-Songwriter Tips #3 – Don’t accept a gig for any more than R500!

To hell with that, do it for free! The problem with a pool of singer-songwriter talent in town is that promoters and booking agents know this, and will often book their line-up according to the lowest bidder. Who cares if you spent almost R20k on a top Martin or Taylor acoustic. You’ve been chosen, your name is on a poster and you can share the ‘Facebook Live’ clip to your friends on Monday morning. You’ll also enjoy more exposure than an all-day fishing trip on the Vaal river!

 

Singer-Songwriter Tips #4 – Focus on your Instagram Marketing

It all seems to be about hashtagging your way to fame these days. “Follow me on Instagram” is the definitive marketing platform for up and coming songwriters. Create an engaging audience, trade one follow for another, and filter the shit out of your rooftop gig photos. Why should you even pay for your own website in this day and age? SEO ain’t no method of tuning your guitar strings so leave that to the geeks. There’s only one social media platform to become an insta-hit and everything else is just a waste of your time and data!

 

Singer-Songwriter Tips #5  – Give everyone the same set

DJ Train wreck is never far from the tracks when a singer-songwriter is invited to perform to a completely different demographic. Being presented with your dream audience from a random inquiry is about as common in South Africa, as glittery cupcakes in an orphanage! Be wary of rebels like Nick May, as his extra ammunition of Zulu and Xhosa songs seems to cast spells on his audiences. He’s the guy that always runs out of business cards at a gig! Stick to the same songs – dozens of adoring relatives surely can’t be wrong? If all else fails, revert to singer-songwriters tip #1!

 

David Delaney is an Irish fiddle and flute player, currently based in Johannesburg. Not endowed with much, in terms of songwriting talent, he prefers to rather let his fingers do the talking. You can catch him performing with his band Beukes and Delaney or book him as a solo artist, for a “Riptide-free”, ripping performance. Contact David today for a quote, or a healthy debate on more constructive singer-songwriter tips.

 

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violinists in johannesburg

Violinists in Johannesburg – From Medieval to Mainstream

Ever wonder where violinists in Johannesburg hide away? In South Africa, violin players seem to shy away from the stage in a broader context. Such is the novelty when we are graced with a talented string player live in front of us, it begins to beg the question – If the talent is clearly there, who are they, and how can hear a little more of their beautiful music?

The JPO – Where classical violinists converge

The J.P.O. – the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra is widely regarded as the premier outlet for classical violinists in Johannesburg and further afield. Frankly, good classical music down in this far-flung outpost of the world can be hard to track down! In the year 2000, classical musicians banded together from the ashes of the National Symphony Orchestra to form the JPO, combining talented international local and local soloists. Although beleaguered by scandals, they have resurrected in 2018, restoring credibility and offering world-class performances to the Joburg and the greater public. If you’re interested in attending a concert, the JPO is currently running their World Symphony Series – Summer Season, every Wednesday and Thursday at the Linder Auditorium, in Parktown, Johannesburg.

 

Celtic and Scottish Traditional Music – grounded in Mzansi

With a global footprint to be reckoned with, the Irish and the Scots are a musical force of note.

Alongside violinists in Johannesburg, we have a couple of fiddlers too. The famous 1984 song from country giants Alabama, “Fiddler in the Band”, seemed to have rung true for Irish musician David Delaney. He has been performing fiddle and flute in a wide assortment of Irish, folk, jazz, African and fusion bands since he arrived in Jozi in 2010 en route to Australia. You can find David performing as a solo violinist, or equally comfortable with bands such as Beukes and Delaney, Wiam Otto, and The Cover-Ups.

 

The Muses – Adding Sass and Flair that Violinists in Johannesburg aren’t normally allowed to

I couldn’t write about violinists in Johannesburg and not leave out The Muses. An electric string quartet that has become one of the most sought after corporate musical acts in SA. Can they play? Of course! But what sets them far apart from their classical rivals is the vibrant on-stage energy they recreate with every piece of music. There’s clearly a formula that is working here, and the corporate and high-end wedding market can’t get enough of them! If there’s a new Ed Sheeran, Beyonce or Coldplay single that’s burst onto the scene, you can be guaranteed that the Muses will be performing an equally uplifting version at an event near you. They’re not exactly my cup of tea, but they’re a talented and highly entertaining unit – something that aspiring violinists in Johannesburg can sit up and take note of.

Get in Touch

violinists in johannesburg

Have you heard a violinist or fiddle player perform somewhere recently that deserves a bit more recognition for their hard graft and talent? I’d love to know more. Like the resurrection of the JPO, musicians and the industry needs to band together to allow the South African entertainment scene to flourish. Happy New Year all. If you are searching for a violinist for a wedding, party or event, please contact me today to book and arrange top class musical entertainment.

 

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wedding music

Wedding Musician by Weekend – Five things you didn’t know about Me

While being a wedding musician is one of my forte’s, I’m quite a private person off the stage, yet busy with many other aspects of life apart from being that “Irish fiddler in the band”. 

Most of you probably know me with a violin in my hand, making strange noises on the Irish low whistle, and singing along ad-hoc with Beukes and Delaney or at a solo gig. I’ve often been generalized as the “Irish wedding musician in Joburg” – and while it has its perks, there are a lot more strings to my bow! Read on, and get to know a little more about me, the David Delaney ‘off the stage’.

  • I have a 2-year-old son named Morena.

The highlight of my life, and the primary motivation for succeeding where I can. Morena means “King” in Sesotho. My mother’s maiden name is also King. He’s slowly and affectionately stepping into his noble roots.

  • I have traveled to over 40 countries

While I haven’t engaged my services as a wedding musician in all of them, I spent much of my twenties backpacking and travelling as much of the world as I could. Before settling in South Africa, I spent almost 18 months working and touring throughout Australia and New Zealand. It’s difficult to choose a favourite country, but Mexico was a particular highlight, with fond memories often recalled of Slovenia, New Zealand, and Thailand. Might explain a little about my very strange accent!

  • I hold a Degree in Marketing and an M.Sc in Interactive Media

The path to being a wedding musician in South Africa was never the initial plan. I studied between 2001-2007 and graduated twice from the University of Limerick. Truth be told, I was probably better known to play traditional music sessions in the pubs and homes of- Limerick, and widely presumed to be a student on the BA Traditional Irish Music course.

  • Before being a Wedding Musician, I spent a Semester studying abroad in Austria.

Ich habe auch Deutsch, in der Üniversität studiert. Ich hab, in 2003 die Gelegenheit genutzt, ein Semester in JKU, Linz, Osterreich zu studieren. An eye-opening experience – came home with an Austrian accent and have never lived it down from my life-long German friends in Bochum.

  • I work as a Content and Social Media Manager

Truth be told, a wedding musician and entertainer does not yield a steady income throughout the year. I can’t write a lyric but I’m passionate about writing, grammar and marketing. I love my day job – it’s not a fall back from music, but a skillset I’m avid about learning and moving forward in. I work for a fantastic digital agency called Prebo Digital and proud of the role our team plays in growing small and medium businesses through digital strategies. Check out all the online activities we do!

prebo digital

 

 

David Delaney

Maybe it’s the first time you’ve stumbled upon my page, or you’ve now familiarized yourself with the “other” side of me. Either way, you’re very welcome to my page. I am a wedding musician and event entertainer for any occasion you can imagine. Should you be getting married soon, or holding an awesome party, feel free to contact me on how we can make it an unforgettable occasion. Have a memorable weekend, and look out for my gigs and events happening near you soon.

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wedding music

Wedding Violinist – Making the Right Choice

Congratulations on your Engagement. Now that your wedding planning is in full swing, you are probably sorting through the myriad of entertainment options to keep everybody in the party mood as you celebrate the most special day of your life. A wedding violinist offers the best opportunity to capture the mood and the romance of this significant moment.

Whether your heart is set on adding classical music and instrumental airs to the occasion, or hiring a fiddle player to get your guests in the party mood as the sun sets, a musician is an integral part to an unforgettable union that brings two families together as you officially celebrate the start of your union of marriage.

 

Finding a Wedding Violinist that hits the right notes with your guests

There are many options on the table when it comes to carefully select a professional musician who will add to your big day. Do bear in mind before you choose your violinist;

  • What is the Age demographic?
  • Would your guests prefer sing-along and folk music, as opposed to classical violin
  • Would a large venue require more than a single wedding violinist – perhaps a group?
  • Are musicians available near your wedding location or would a violinist need to travel?

Versatility is Key when leaving the party in the hands of the musician

There is nothing more romantic than a wedding violinist to lead you into your wedding ceremony as you prepare to exchange your vows with your partner for life. Once the official part of the day has concluded, you will be swept away to capture professional photos on your wedding day. Essentially, you will be handing over the reigns to the musician to keep your guests entertained, and build up the afternoon towards the evening’s festivities. A wedding musician can strike a chord with your closest friends and family. Pay close attention to the repertoire that a musician can perform. Ideally, your wedding musician can perform a variety of repertoire that will be enjoyed by both young and old alike.

The older folk at the wedding are likely to be your families longest and closest friends. Never neglect this faithful group – by considering a fiddle player as opposed to a classical wedding violinist, he or she will boast a vast repertoire, and the uncanny ability to honor that unusual musical request from your Aunt. As a performing wedding violinist, I have been able to switch my repertoire to accommodate requests from artists such as Simon and Garfunkel, Kenny Rogers, Barbra Streisand, and The Water Boys.

 

Can your Wedding Musician also Sing?

One of the earliest debates in the early planning stages of your wedding hinges on whether to book an instrumentalist or a singer for the reception. The truth is, you should not have to choose – there are multi-talented musicians in South Africa who can both perform instruments and sing, thus providing all round top class entertainment on your big day. While my main focus is a wedding violinist, I also sing, perform the Irish Flute and accompany my songs on guitar. Every bride and groom deserves unforgettable wedding music – I endeavor to provide this, in one affordable package.

 

David Delaney – Irish Wedding Musician

Performing for over 7 years throughout South Africa, I pride myself in arranging and playing wedding ceremonies that strike a personal chord with the special couple that I am honored to perform for. Each wedding ceremony and reception is as unique as the couple that brings it together. Not only do I perform as a solo wedding musician, I also offer my musical expertise with my successful band Beukes and Delaney, available either as a duo, or a full band with a bassist and drummer. If you require a local, classical string quartet, I do highly recommend the Vienna String Quartet. While you enjoy some samples of my music, be assured that I offer as standard, personalized requests for your bridal entrance. Feel free to contact me today to request a quote on musical entertainment for your wedding day.

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