CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR ENGAGEMENT, and THANK YOU for your interest in The Buzzcatz!
25 Questions with Ricky Sylvia
The Buzzcatz WEDDING FAQ
Q: Can we see you play “live”?
A: We play public shows every now and then, so check our UPCOMING SHOWS page for updates. Most of our gigs are private events. Our public shows are typically ticketed events. We'd love for you to see us in action at a wedding reception, but we've never felt good about bringing uninvited guests to our client's weddings.
Q: How much space do you need for the standard 9 piece band?
A: 24 x 12 is our standard space for the 9 piece group, 18x12 for the small groups. For the larger band (11 + pieces), we go up to 24 x 16. For some venues a stage is not necessary. All of our electrical & staging needs will be included in our contract.
Q: Will you act as Emcee for all of the announcements and introductions?
A: Yes. Our Deejay will act as the Emcee for the entire evening and co-ordinate with your photographer, videographer, caterer and wedding coordinator.
Q: Do you have a wireless mic for toasts?
Q: What is the process for confirming The Buzzcatz for our date?
A: It's very simple. You send us a confirmation email with all of your details (date, time, venue, number of pieces you want in the band, your mailing address & phone number) and we will email you back our CONTRACT. It's a very simple two-page document and there's not a lot of legal mumbo jumbo. You sign and email (or mail) the contract back to us along with a 50% deposit. We will send you a signed copy for your file. The balance payment is due 7 days prior to the wedding.
Q: Do have music playing on your breaks?
A: Yes, we bring a LIVE Deejay to keep the party going. Our Deejay also hosts formalities during the band breaks (parent's dances, cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss, etc).
Q: Do you work as a smaller group than your standard 9-piece band?
A: We can do a 5 piece Jazz band for rehearsal dinners, but if you want to dance we'll need our full band.
Q: Can you provide a microphone for our ceremony?
A: Yes! We can provide sound (two speakers, a lapel or handheld mic, mixer with lines for musicians) with a technician and Deejay for your ceremony. Additional fees apply. This service is subject to availability and depends upon your venue - we can't do beach ceremonies or tricky load-ins, and some resorts or hotels require that you use all in-house technicians for your AV needs. The Buzzcatz musicians don't do ceremonies, but you can find our friends who do on our LINKS page.
Q: What do you need in a way of a stage, power, etc?
A: You provide the stage (24 x 12), the power (power drop), and any tenting needed. Your wedding planner will help you with all of those rental needs. None of our requirements are extraordinary for the hotels or country clubs. The hotels and will typically charge for a power drop, but unfortunately there is no way around it for us or any other band. It's required for proper power or we'll blow a fuse in the middle of your first dance. We'll speak to the house electrician so that everything goes smoothly on the day of.
Q: We have a really FUN crowd, and we just want to be sure that everyone will be up and dancing
A: You're in the right place. Don't let The Buzzcatz formal look and nostalgic repertoire fool you, when it's time to party, we will pack the floor and have all of your guests engaged.
Q: What type of music do The Buzzcatz play?
A: The Buzzcatz play timeless classics from lots of different genres - it's a cool repertoire of Jazz, Blues, Swing, Soul, Motown, Classic Rock, 70's & 80's dance hits, and party tunes. Our Deejay covers the more current tunes and any other requests you may have that are not found on our band's song list. Our band features real musicians playing real music - there's no pre-recorded horn parts, no backing tracks, no hoaky choreography, and no cheesy, flavor-of-the-month songs. It's classic, non-stop, SMASH HIT songs, and we don't need a laptop full of tracks on stage with us in order to do our show.
Q: How far in advance do we need to book?
A: Our bookings are first come, first serve. We book some dates as far out as 16 months in advance, but we may be open next weekend, depending upon the date. Our prime dates are Saturday nights, October-May. We have more availability and flexibility for Friday or Sunday weddings.
Q: How far will The Buzzcatz travel?
A: We like to stay within a 3-hour drive of Orlando. Most of our gigs are in the Central Florida area.
Q: If we should need to extend the party, can we?
A: Yes. If you need longer than the standard 4-hour reception, (5 hours with cocktail), our Deejay can stay an additional hour. (Additional fees apply).
Q: Can you learn our First Dance song and songs for our Parents Dances ?
A: Let me know which song you have in mind - some songs we have played before or can easily snap together. Other songs may just not be in our wheelhouse musically or vocally, and I will know when to pass it to our Deejay.
Q: Can you do an edit for our first dance or parents dances?
A: Yes. A four-minute long song can feel like eternity when you are the only couple on the dance floor and all eyes are upon you. Unless you've choreographed your dance, we will do an edit or fade it at an appropriate spot in the song.
Q: Can you meet with us to discuss our wedding?
A: I am always available via email, phone, or zoom to help you with any questions, and usually quick to respond, (email is always best for sending me details!).
Q: If one of our guests wants to sit in with the band or play a song solo, is this allowed?
A: Yes! ...as long as it's been approved by the Bride & Groom. Guitarists need to bring their own guitar. We are unable to rehearse with your guest performer, but will do our best to accommodate their audio needs.
Q: Can you play a Hora for a Jewish Wedding?
A: YES! We do a hora medley that works great, and we can stretch is as long as needed. Our Deejay can also provide any other ethnic music or traditional music requests.
Q: Can we pick all of the songs we want to hear?
A: We certainly welcome all of your requests and will be sure to work them into the night where they fit best. Let us know any of your favorites off of the band song list, and whatever others that the band doesn't know, our Deejay will play between sets.
Q: What type of payments do you accept?
A: We accept Credit Card (3% fee), Zelle, Venmo, personal cheque or bank transfer. (Sorry, no Paypal or CashApp).
Q: What time do you arrive to set up?
A: Our sound crew, Drummer, and Deejay typically arrive 75 minutes prior to the start of your cocktail hour to load in and begin set up. It takes them about 45 mins to set up.
Q: What if you or one of your band members is sick or unable to make the gig?
A: I have a long list of very capable subs to call upon. All of our subs have played our show countless times over the years, and you can see most of them listed at the bottom of the BAND page on our website.
On the rare occasion that I am sick or unable to perform because of a life emergency or conflict, either David or Dana would be my understudy (whichever is available on short notice) and the band won't miss a beat. Both have been with me for many years - David since 1981, and Dana since 2001.
Q: We want to be sure that Carmen is going to be the female lead vocalist
A: Carmen is typically our female lead, and since 2007 she has rarely had to cancel on us. However, because she is employed full time at Universal Studios and part time at Disney World, there are occasions when she becomes unavailable to us. This is especially the case in the month of December, when she takes part in the Joyful Choir for a string of several dates at Epcot Center every year.
If Carmen should become unavailable, our female vocalist would be either Naome (with me since 2007) or Donna (with me since 1992), and our show won't miss a beat. Because weddings can book a year or more in advance, Carmen's availability status may change in the interam. Therefore, I cannot 100% guarantee her as the lead.
Q:Do we feed the band?
A: Yes. Most venues offer vendor meals for the band. Meals, stage, power, & parking validation all are a part of our contract rider.
Q: We only need the band for two hours, do you have a two-hour rate?
A: No, we price our gigs based on a normal 4-hour gig. It's a calendar date that we are reserving for you. There's no such thing as a two hour gig - it's 1.5 hours of setup, another hour of striking, and you'll likely need us to be set an hour prior to doors.
Q: Do you carry insurance?
A: Yes. We carry a policy required by most venues. Chances are that we have played at your venue before and they already have our COI on file. If not, we'll have our insurance office email them a copy.
Q: Should we need to postpone our wedding, can we apply the deposit toward a new date?
A: Deposits are non-refundable and not transferable unless your event is cancelled due to a mandatory government lockdown, venue closure, hurricane, or curfew, in which case your event will be eligible for reschedule based on the terms of the excused non-performance clause in our contract rider. If your event is cancelled due to any of these circumstances beyond your control, we can offer you a makeup date based on the band's availability.
CONTACT us with any additional questions. We'd love to hear from you!
A FEW TIPS FROM THE BUZZCATZ:
Hire a PRO wedding planner
A good planner already knows a long list of dependable pros that will fit exactly what you are looking for. Do yourself and all of your vendors a favor, and hire a PRO. You can find a list of some of Central Florida's most reputable wedding planners on our LINKS page, all of whom are long-time friends of ours and whom we've worked countless weddings with.
The best wedding vendors in this area will book nearly every weekend, so don't delay in confirming the date with them once you've made your choice. A contract and a 50% deposit is the only way we can hold a date for you. Our prime Saturday nights way in advance in some cases, with October-June being the prime season.
Have a backup plan for an outdoor wedding in FL
We have four seasons in Florida - Allergy, Hurricane, Swelter, or Freezing. An outdoor wedding in FL is always a roll of the dice, any time of the year. Be sure that your venue has a "Plan B" if you are booking an outdoor ceremony, and trust your wedding planner if she makes the call to move indoors. The Buzzcatz don't do outdoor bookings in FL between late April - November 1. For outdoor Winter weddings, we require two heaters on stage for the band in event of forecasted temps below 60 degrees.
If you're hiring The Buzzcatz, chances are good that you've also hired all the best vendors in town. Many of the best vendors in Florida have worked countless weddings together and see each other regularly throughout the wedding season. Trust your team of vendors to make everything come together perfectly on your big day!