As my fiancé and I planned our Big Day, our biggest challenge by far was the wedding music: How could we be true to our personal musical tastes while making sure all 200+ guests had fun? More specifically, which songs would get everyone up and dancing?
We felt meh about every Philadelphia wedding DJ and wedding band we came across. They were either too current for older guests or too by-the-book for our personal musical tastes.
I had seen the York Street Hustle—a Motown cover band—years earlier, at World Café Live. It was one of the best live performances I’d ever been to. The audience was into it, rocking out and dancing to the covers.
A seemingly crazy thought crossed my mind: Could we somehow book the York Street Hustle, a real Philadelphia band that plays real Philadelphia venues – ie. not a “wedding band” – to play our reception music? This could be the perfect balance: 60s Motown and soul we love, but that all of our guests, young and old, would know, too.
I did some Googling and reached out to the band’s booking contact, Sean Timmons at Mole Street Artists. Not only did he help us align the band’s set schedule and song list to our reception schedule, he worked directly with the reception venue—one less thing we had to do in the busy weeks leading up to our wedding day!
So how did it all turn out?
Booking the York Street Hustle was by far the best wedding decision my husband and I made, second only to our decision to marry each other! We are still—a full year later—getting compliments on the band.
At least 75% of our guests were on the dance floor at any given time. Grandmas grooved, Baby Boomers cut a rug, our friends rocked out, and the preteens/teens even left their cell phones on the tables to dance for long stretches. The York Street Hustle’s amazing musicians play the kind of music everyone knows and loves, from Let’s Stay Together to Reach Out (I’ll Be There) to We Can Work It Out to Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.
The band even agreed to learn a new song for us: James Brown's Try Me. I will never forget the sound of their horn section launching into it, strong and powerfully, as we danced and our guests watched and cheered on. It was one of the highlights of our wedding day.
We have all intentions of hiring the York Street Hustle again for our fifth anniversary, and it can’t come soon enough!