You were absolutely fantastic and made my daughter’s wedding an amazing event. I have had continuous compliments on “the band”. You are all so talented, and what made it so special was the fact that you actually looked like you loved what you were doing. Talent & Good energy & Good Music = Stage Door Canteen. Thank you for making everyone happy and insuring that my daughter had such a terrific wedding. -Jo Leslie
Thank you for getting absolutely everyone out on the dance floor during our wedding this past July. You all were beyond amazing! People are still talking about your performance, talent, energy and willingness to go above and beyond. We knew the first time we saw you perform “It Had To Be You” at our wedding celebration. -Clare & Paul Foley
Every wedding bride is beautiful
Having performed hundreds of weddings as STAGE DOOR CANTEEN we know this to be true. But, as veterans of those countless weddings, we know that a perfect wedding day is also the product of careful planning, vision, investment, and love.
Who is the ideal STAGE DOOR CANTEEN wedding client?
1. A couple committed to sharing live music with their wedding guests.
Live music performed by master musicians has been a distinguishing feature of “marking moments” in the human life cycle since time immemorial. Bringing STAGE DOOR CANTEEN to your wedding is an acknowledgement that live music is an important consideration at your wedding celebration, and that live music holds a place of importance in how you choose to share your wedding celebration with your honored guests.
2. A couple committed to entertaining all their weddings guests, from all generations.
As STAGE DOOR CANTEEN we strive to please all generations. We believe that a wedding reception is a celebration of both past and future, one which includes people of many generations and from many different walks of life. The one thing that sets a STAGE DOOR CANTEEN wedding reception apart is that everyone- all your wedding guests- will leave feeling like they participated in the wedding celebration. We play great tunes that can be fully appreciated by everyone, from the very young to the very old and everyone in between.
3. A couple with a unique vision for their wedding day ceremony and celebration.
We couldn’t even begin to describe the huge spectrum of weddings we have helped to create and celebrate! From the lavish and traditional to the quirky and boutique, from hundreds upon hundreds of guests to just a few seated tables, we have done it all. We have performed weddings of every imaginable stripe on Cape Cod, the Islands, and South Shore; in Greater Boston; north to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont; west to the Berkshires; and south along the Atlantic coastlines of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, for over twenty years. The unifying factor in our two decades of wedding work is couples who care about live music and sharing it equally with all their guests.
Listen to our favorite wedding tunes
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Gimme Some Lovin’
The Wedding Ceremony
Wedding ceremonies are as diverse and varied as the human family, but most wedding ceremonies do share some basic structural elements. Your wedding guests will probably arrive at the wedding ceremony site before the ceremony begins; the performance of live music during this gathering time is an ancient tradition. Perhaps honored family and friends will be formally seated before the bridal party, and then the bridal party enters, and then the bride herself; music may accompany any or all of these entrances. In some traditions, music is a regular part of the wedding ceremony. A recessional usually accompanies the bride and groom out of the wedding ceremony space, and additional music may follow as the wedding party leads the remaining guests to the waiting celebration.
Options for music during the wedding ceremony:
- Pre-processional: music played as your wedding guests are gathering in the wedding ceremony space
- Wedding Party Processionals: seating music for honored family and friends; the entrance of the bridal party
- The Processional (The Bride): the wedding ceremony begins as the bride arrives
- Music During the Wedding: not always used, but still prevalent in some traditions
- Recessional/Postlude: music to accompany the bridge, groom, and wedding party’s exit
Of course, all of this is completely optional and highly flexible. Our goal at STAGE DOOR CANTEEN is to help you custom tailor the music for your wonderfully personal wedding ceremony. We can participate in the wedding ceremony in full or in part or not at all; our goal is to realize your vision. If live music is a part of your vision, than our master musicians can make that vision a reality. Individual members of STAGE DOOR CANTEEN are well-versed in the Roman Catholic, Mainline Protestant, and Jewish wedding ceremony traditions and are at ease working with staff musicians in houses of worship; or we can perform live music in accordance with the unique or non-traditional vision of the bride and groom with equal delight. To that end, wedding ceremony musical offerings can include the following:
Members of the STAGE DOOR CANTEEN saxophone section can perform traditional selections and lite pop on flute and clarinet. Ideal for gathering music and quiet processionals
Members of the STAGE DOOR CANTEEN trumpet and trombone sections perform a majestic repertoire of processionals and recessionals. Brass instruments have been heralding great events since time immemorial
Trained by the US Army, the prestigious Invermark College of Piping, and the College of Piping PEI, Pipe Major Roger Gamache is widely regarded as one of the finest pipers in New England. Nothing makes your occasion as memorable as the ancient strains of the highland pipes
Pre-Reception Gathering (e.g., The “Cocktail Hour”)
Generally, there will be a period of “downtime” between the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception. If these two segments of the wedding day are held in different locations, your wedding reception guests may arrive at the wedding reception site over a staggered time period. Even if the site of the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception is the same, there will most likely be a period of changeover and mingling. At the very least, time will be needed for the bride and groom to receive family and friends and for guests to find their places in the wedding reception hall. The performance of ambient music during this time is a long-standing tradition:
The “Little Band”:
STAGE DOOR CANTEEN offers highly-flexible, size-specific jazz combos for ambient music during your wedding day “cocktail hour.” In smaller venues or spaces, the group could be as small as a bass/guitar duo. For a medium-sized footprint, we might include a drummer or one or more horn players. In larger spaces, the “little band” might be a true jazz combo consisting of a rhythm section, several horns, and a vocalist.
Our pre-reception performance is designed in keeping with our overall philosophy: to tailor what we do to your needs and your wedding day vision. Overall, our goal is to bring tasteful, elegant ambience to your gathering. Music is generally selected from the “standards” of the Great American Songbook, featuring artful improvised solos of a reasonable duration and always performed at an unobtrusive volume. The pre-reception time is for greeting old friends and family, and meeting the new side of the family; our music reflects this ideal.
The Wedding Reception
As STAGE DOOR CANTEEN we strive to please all generations. We believe that a wedding reception is a celebration of both past and future, one which includes people of many generations and from many different walks of life. The one thing that sets a STAGE DOOR CANTEEN wedding reception apart is that everyone- all your wedding guests- will leave feeling like they participated in the wedding celebration. We play great tunes that can be fully appreciated by everyone, from the very young to the very old and everyone in between. We will help create the ambience you envision, and when the time comes all of your guests will get up on the floor and dance, dance, dance!
In most instances, we start by performing ambient music for dinner. Just like the “cocktail hour” music, we tailor our “dinner set” to your unique needs and the specifications of your wedding reception venue. With over twenty years of experience, we have encountered just about every imaginable dinner setup: from white-gloved, seven-course service to make-your-own sundaes. Being both flexible and experienced, we work with wedding reception venue staff to make sure that our music compliments and enhances the dinner service.
Most wedding receptions do include at least some of the following: greetings, blessings, toasts, or remarks. With hundreds of weddings to our credit, we can help you design a speaking schedule that keeps the party moving along. In keeping with our overall goal of helping realize your wedding day vision, we are highly flexibly in helping schedule a smooth and seamless wedding reception that includes eating, reflecting, and- of course- dancing!
Bouquet toss? Garter toss? The Hora? Cut the cake? We’re comfortable guiding the wedding party and assembled wedding guests through the traditional cycle of wedding reception traditions, or, if you prefer, picking and choosing which ones to do or inventing variations on the traditional. Again, our goal is tailor to your wedding day vision.
…and then the Dance Floor Opens
When the time does come to get all your wedding guests out on the dance floor, our hugely diverse repertoire includes Jump Swing; Motown, Memphis, and Blue-eyed Soul; Mambos, Waltzes and all the by-request ballroom styles; plus horn-fueled reinventions of radio standards from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, with artists ranging from the Beatles to Stevie Wonder to Bruce Springsteen to Madonna. Examples from our massive repertoire can be found on the music page. Our promise to you is that all your wedding guests will be up and dancing, with everyone from every generation feeling included in the wedding celebration. All generations will dance. At its heart, STAGE DOOR CANTEEN is and always will be a horn-fueled dance band.
We do accommodate special requests. If you let us know what you want to hear, we can most likely prepare a special arrangement for your wedding reception. Some memorable requests from past brides include: AC/DC’s It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock and Roll) at the wedding of a couple from Australia; a beautiful rendition of the Leonard Cohen classic Hallelujah as a father-daughter dance; and even Toby Keith’s Red Solo Cup at a farm-themed wedding. That list goes on and on, and a few of those tunes have even made their way into the regular rotation! So, if you have something special you’d like to have played by a live band, we’re happy to make a special arrangement for your special wedding day.
We provide a high-quality, professional public address (PA) system that and professional microphones that will be available for your speakers to use. The heart of our philosophy is to accommodate your needs.