Who doesn’t love a club-worthy wedding DJ or a live band that brings the house down? And, who doesn’t loathe a mediocre or awful one?
Eye-rolling and early guest departures are a sure sign that the wedding entertainment has taken a terribly wrong turn. Not the way you want your first party as a married couple to end.
In Greater Palm Springs, extraordinary acts that elevate any event are abundant. Wedding photographer Christina Frary of Matthew David Studio says her clients’ recent weddings have wowed the crowd with a hip-hop violinist, stiltwalkers, fireworks, a Ferris wheel, a 1990s rock group, Celtic dancers, and carnival games. Impersonators, tribute bands, bagpipes, henna artists, acrobats, fire-eaters, karaoke setups, African dancers and drummers, Victorian-style carolers, and music of every genre are just a few options available through www.gigsalad.com.
With a creative local community and such close proximity to Los Angeles and San Diego, uncommon wedding entertainment is just a click or phone call away. Here’s a sampling of regional wedding wonders:
The first few notes of a song or medley by The Four Parts based in Orange County instantly transport listeners to a gentler place and time.
Standards from the 1930s and ’40s have been known to melt hearts by a foursome that has performed at Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and House of Blues. Whether they arrive in suspenders and bow ties or dapper red-striped vests and skimmer hats, these gentlemen keep it classy.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FOUR PARTS
The Four Parts bring a capella harmony to any event.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FLOWBOX
The mulit-talented artists of the Flowbox performance troupe have acts that light up the night and glow in the dark.
The performance art team at Flowbox creates a custom show from its theatrical toolbox of acrobats, fire dancers, jugglers, aerial artists, hoop dancers, wing dancers, and stiltwalkers. Based in the Coachella Valley, their sexy soloists and high-energy group acts have shaken the stages of the McCallum Theatre, Riverside County Fair, Annenberg Theater, and Joshua Tree Music Festival.
Several Disney movies employ a harp to set the romantic tone, including The Aristocats and Beauty and the Beast. What some have called “the most beautiful instrument in the world” has a way of adding magic and elegance fit for a fairy tale. Lynne Lockwood of Music of Romance rouses the heartstrings with classical to contemporary tunes — as a backdrop or for the main event.
PHOTO BY LORETTA VLACH
Lynne Lockwood’s harp makes a fairytale soundtrack.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BLACK & WHYTE DUELING PIANOS
Black & Whyte Dueling Pianos want everyone singing, dancing, and having a ball.
Family-friendly, old-fashioned wedding fun for all ages, Black & Whyte Dueling Pianos doubles the audience involvement with two players and two pianos. Billed as “the all-request DJ, the comedian, the emcee, the party starter — all in one,” their show is a rock ‘n’ roll sing-a-long tailored to your favorite hits. The interactive aim: get feet moving, hands clapping, and the room filled with laughter and song. (Consider it a bonus if grandma jumps onto the piano with excitement.)
A smaller group of Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus members present a dynamic repertoire of musical selections, from 16th century madrigals to Broadway ballads — both accompanied and a capella. From 16 to 24 voices, the collective sound is moving and powerful.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE PALM SPRINGS GAY MENS CHORUS
Palm Springs Gay Mens Chorus Vocal Harmonics sing music that spans the centuries with up to two dozen voices.
Branded as “the world’s most glamorous water entertainment,” the Aqualillies have made a charming splash at poolside weddings across Palm Springs. Gorgeous, graceful, and armed with mascara that never runs, the national troupe formed in California in 2008. Since then, the lovely ’Lillies have performed in music videos for Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, and Katy Perry. Their retro costumes render a fabulous photo with the bride and groom.
Lisa Marie Hart has been writing about weddings since serving as an editor at Bridal Guide magazine in New York City in 1999. Since 2006, she has been editor of the annual Palm Springs Life Weddings & Honeymoon Planner. Away from the laptop, she creates tiered cupcake stands for weddings and celebrations at www.highteaforalice.com