Music sets the mood for your memorable wedding. Whether it’s the song playing as you walk down the aisle or the joyful, energetic tune that keeps your guests grooving on the dance floor — your wedding band will play the songs that create the soundtrack to your big day, and your big love.
Yes, you want to ensure that the music fits every momentous moment, but also that your wedding runs smoothly — and much of that responsibility falls on the shoulders of your skilled band and bandleader. From introducing you for the first time as a couple to creating the mood for a bittersweet last dance, your band will work with your vendor team to ensure that every momentous moment is given the appropriate heft, on schedule, of course.
We know that it can be hard to know where to start when choosing the right wedding entertainment, and we’re here to help. We’ve considered our own proprietary PartySlate data as well as reviews, honors, professional reputation, speaking engagements, and more to create a wedding entertainment resource you can rely on.
Utilize our list of the best wedding bands in Chicago to find the perfect entertainment for your upcoming celebration.
*list in alphabetical order
BKO is part of BeatMix Music
What to Know: Becca Kaufman, Founder of BKO by BeatMix, says, “With star vocal talent, world class musicianship, band/DJ combinations and state-of-the-art sound systems, BKO by BeatMix Music offers an energetic, versatile live music experience! Available with an impressive variety of customizable performance elements, we ensure our clients’ events look, feel, and sound truly like them.”
What to See: Kaufman shares of this Wish Upon a Wedding fundraising gala, “The WUAW Gala is an opportunity to come together to celebrate the love and determination of their recipients and the selflessness of all who support the organization. BeatMix Music provided a stellar show which included performances from BKO, The Party Faithful, Time Chicago, and MixTape — all expertly emceed by our founder Becca Kaufman.”
The Chicago Players are part of Gold Coast Events
What we Love: The Chicago Players will have your guests going hungry because they refuse to leave the dance floor. They play the perfect mix of a wide array of hits. We love their enthusiasm and ability to connect with the crowd
What to Know: Danny Chaimson, Owner & CEO of The Chicago Players, says, “These incredible musicians can pull off a wide variety of music: classic rock, standards, soul, motown, hip-hop, indie rock — and do it in a way that can only be described as “authentic.” As performers they are electrifying, effortlessly shifting through the musical landscape to take every event to a magical place.”
What to See: Chaimson shared words from the bride and groom of this detailed golden wedding: “The band was incredible, they kept the energy up, performed beautifully, and kept our guests dancing all night long. We also appreciate their seamless transitions between the Greek Music 😀 It was a night to always remember!”
Don Cagen Orchestra is part of Cagen Music LLC
What we Love: We love how Don Cagen Orchestra is dedicated to making your event truly memorable. With their unparalleled stage presence and laudable credentials, this 10-to 16-piece orchestra brings a stage presence that elevates each and every event, leaving your guests wanting more.
What to Know: Becky Cagen, Owner of Don Cagen Orchestra, says, “Our mission statement: It is all about ‘You’, the wedding couple, and not about ‘Us’! We offer unique instrumentations for ceremony, cocktail and dinner music, and customize our dancing playlist to allow each couple to express their personal style through our music. Having performed at over 4000 weddings, no two weddings have ever been alike!”
What to See: Cagen shares of this Northerly Island tented wedding, “Incorporating our couple’s wedding vision, we created a fantastic musical experience for their guests! During the ceremony: our 8-musician chamber ensemble and a Pop-Up Recessional of Bruce Springsteen’s “Thunder Road.” Cocktails: our Roaring 20’s Jazz Band. Dinner & Dancing: the 21 performer “Don Cagen Orchestra” featuring our Choreographed Rock Violin Show.
What to Know: Ken Arlen, Founder of Arlen Music Productions, says of Entourage, “Led by American Idol finalist Leslie Hunt, this band is dripping with soul, chemistry, and contagious energy. With an unmatched timeless groove, from the rhythm section complemented by a funky and vibrant horn section, you will dance the night away. Leslie rocks out the soaring vocals while Jerome smooths it all out like butter. There is no limit to what Entourage is capable of, and the night will be forever remembered!”
What to See: Arlen says of this grand Chicago wedding, “At a recent wedding, the groom wanted to sing their song to his bride, and we happily obliged! We prepared the arrangement in his key and let him take the stage. We even sang backup for him. The bride was so moved and told us that it was the highlight of her wedding!”
What to Know: Ken Arlen, Founder of Arlen Music Productions, says of Evolution Orchestra, “Ken Arlen Evolution Orchestra has consistently been the top choice for glamorous weddings, signature events, and exuberant dance parties across the country. Whether we are performing alongside Bruno Mars at The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, at a Presidential Inaugural Ball, or for a wedding with 300 of your closest family and friends, it is our greatest joy to ignite the dance floor with custom entertainment that delivers the energy and nuances of your favorite artists!”
What to See: Arlen shares of this elegant wedding, “At this wedding, we worked closely with the bride and groom to feature all their favorite contemporary and retro artists. They wanted FUN, and we delivered big-time, bringing our performance right onto the dance floor. We featured our Sirens rock violins and rich horn section during dinner, and at the end of the evening, we morphed into an afterglow vibe featuring Triple Fret and our DJ/live musician show with lighting, staging, and wardrobe change. We kept the dance floor full, without breaks, for over five hours of high-energy dancing!”
What to Know: Ken Arlen, Founder of Arlen Music Productions, says of Front of House, “Each performance is customized to reflect the unique personalities and musical preferences of our clients. We love using a sampler to integrate modern, electronic beats with our repertoire to create music that is familiar and surprising at the same time. It is not at all uncommon for a guest to come up to us at the end of the night and say that we are the best band that they have ever heard at a wedding!”
What to See: Arlen says of this upscale wedding, “If the moment takes your crowd somewhere, we are coming with you — even if that means crowd surfing around the dance floor to Sweet Caroline! And, whether we are learning and arranging a special request for a first dance, inviting family members up on stage to perform, or customizing song lyrics, we are thrilled to help create magic memories that will last a lifetime.”
What to Know: Mike Zabrin, Owner of Funktastic Productions, says, “Funktastic replaces the cookie-cutter wedding band sound with musicality and innovation. We are Chicago’s finest Black voices, and by tributing legendary artists with inclusion and diversity, we help preserve the African-American art form of Motown, soul, funk, jazz, hip hop, and more! Funktastic provides 6-15 piece bands, jazz trios, rotating quartets, strings, DJs, and more.”
What to See: Zabrin shares of this charming backyard wedding, “After finding us at a local Chicago venue called The Bassment, these wedding clients turned into lifelong fans of the band and never missed a chance to see us live leading up to their wedding. During COVID-19, they postponed their wedding, moving from a Chicago venue to a backyard. We learned their song requests, ranging from Grateful Dead to the Blues Brothers for a memorable celebration.”
The Gold Coast All Stars are part of Gold Coast Events
What we Love: We love how the uber-talented musicians that comprise The Gold Coast All Stars somehow manage to sound like the real deal on every song, in every style, while also creating a sound that’s alive with energy. They create a fun dynamic with guests at events, engaging them in the music and their performance.
What to Know: Danny Chaimson, President of Gold Coast Events, says, “The Gold Coast All Stars have spent the last decade creating blowout, jaw-dropping concert-like experiences at unforgettable weddings. Utilizing the best original artists in Chicago, GCAS revolutionized wedding music to align artists with like-minded song choices, making every song feel like an authentic musical experience — whether it’s by Queen or Jay Z.”
What to See: Chaimson shares of this Chicago bash, “We opened the night with a 20-person gospel choir joining our 18-piece band on stage, for a truly epic opening dance set that set the tone for this extraordinary celebration. The band played everything from Kygo and The Beatles to Notorious B.I.G. and Sam Cooke in a mind-blowing display of versatility and musicianship.”
What to Know: Ken Arlen, Founder of Arlen Music Productions, says of Indigo, “This band has the talent, energy, and experience to provide the perfect fit for each of our unique clients. We provide an inspired soundtrack for your most special day — from personalized processional play-ons for toasts and speeches, to a fun and inclusive dance party. Having spent 12 years entertaining together on stage, we are a close family that enjoys each other greatly. and the fun we have together is contagious!”
What To See: Arlen shares of this romantic wedding, “For this wedding, the bride and groom’s families wanted very different styles of music. So, we played tunes for everyone, from Jackson 5 and The Stones to Britney Spears and Sinatra. We prepare custom arrangements for clients to make their dream wedding come true.”
The Lakeshore Encores are part of Gold Coast Events
What we Love: Led by world-renowned American Idol singer Angela Martin, The Lakeshore Encores deserves its reputation as one of best wedding bands in the country. We love how this Chicago-based band specializes in different genres, ensuring that each of your guests hits the dance floor for a night of non-stop entertainment.
What to Know: Danny Chaimson, President of Gold Coast Events, says of The Lakeshore Encores, “The band is led by the one and only Angela Martin who has been with Gold Coast since day one, and anyone who’s seen her can tell you that Angela is a performer like no other. There are 6 different lead singers who all specialize in different genres, allowing the band to be just as at home rocking a Queen song as they are a Rhianna song.”
What to See: Chaimson says of this gorgeous white wedding, “The simplicity of the white ballroom against the backdrop of the electrifying band was absolute perfection!”
What to Know: Larry King Orchestra has developed a loyal following on the Chicago event scene — with clients who book the band for multiple celebrations over years and generations, they evoke emotion with every performance.
What to See: This elegant tented wedding features stunning décor with all-white draping and pops of vivid orange florals — as well as luxe entertainment, from a violin concerto to a floor-filling band production.
What to Know: Dave Calzaretta, Founder of Maggie Speaks, says, “We rely heavily on customization so that each couple feels special and gets to put their own stamp on their wedding. Our transitions from song to song are seamless, so we never lose the dance floor; and we approach any older music we are playing with modern sensibilities, so that younger couples feel that everything we play feels fresh and new.”
What to See: Calzaretta shares of this rockin’ celebration, “For this wedding, the couple rented Thalia Hall in Pilsen and wanted a concert vibe — which we created. It accented the fact that we were in a historic venue, and not a hotel ballroom.”
What to Know: Dave Farley, Music Director of Orchestra 33, says “We approach each event as a customized, fully live presentation performed at the highest level. Orchestra 33 believes the only thing more important than the music is our client.”
What to See: Farley shares of this exquisite wedding, “Non-stop music set the tone for an energetic, overflowing dance floor from start to finish.”
Rendezvous is part of Rendezvous Music
What we Love: Rendezvous Music understands that music not only moves people but brings them together and creates an unmatched sense of joy. We love how Rendezvous Music is committed to bringing this joy to every event they play as well as their skill in customizing their sound to please any audience.
What to Know: With powerhouse vocals, sonorous strings, and booming beats, Rendezvous Music has couples raving about their ability to keep a dance floor filled, to perform a variety of musical styles, and to engage guests.
What to See: This modern white wedding features a stunning tableau of white draping and mirrored elements, amplified by multiple musical performances that enthralled and engaged the happy couple and their loved ones.
Rush Street Rhythm is part of Gold Coast Events
What we Love: As part of Gold Coast Events, Rush Street Rhythm knows how to get guests on the dance floor with their high energy and dynamic performances. We love how this Chicago-based band is able to cover a wide range of musical genres — pleasing every guest, regardless of age.
What to Know: Rush Street Rhythm is a “slimmed-down” version of The Gold Coast All Stars that retains their room-filling sound and energy. With six unique singers, the band ably covers songs from every genre with their own floor-filling swagger.
What we Love: True Blue Band offers an astounding amount of flexibility — offering both a band and a DJ as well as everything from solo and duo performances to a 20-piece group full of energy that will take your event entertainment to the next level.
What to Know: True Blue Band really takes the time to understand their couples’ needs to provide the best wedding music experience possible; from acoustic cocktail hours to dance-floor-filling live bands and after-hours DJs, they offer it all.
What to See: This elegant Chicago wedding featured a fun-filled first dance before getting guests on their feet to join in, then ended with Navy Pier fireworks in the background acting as the perfect finale for the perfect wedding.
What to Know: Ken Arlen, Founder of Arlen Music Productions, says of Velocity, “We love what we do, and we believe that translates to the dance floor! We make every effort to get to know the clients we work with, which allows us to customize their event and really make it a personal experience. Velocity also offers an extremely versatile playlist — one that every guest is sure to enjoy. And just wait until you hear our powerhouse vocal section!”
What to See: Arlen says of this enchanting white wedding, “For this wedding, we learned a couple of songs that were particularly special for the parents of the bride. There was a moment during one of those tunes where the bride’s mother was on the dance floor, turned around to face the band, and with tears in her eyes, gave us the biggest smile and thumbs up. Those are the moments we strive for during every wedding!”
Buffalo Grove, IL
What we Love: We love how this Chicago entertainment team offers customized options for your wedding or corporate event. With musical ensembles that combine live musicians and expert DJs, Yazz Jazz Music & Productions excels at a wide range of musical genres — ensuring everyone at the party is destined to hear a favorite song or two.
What to Know: Yazz Jazz Music & Productions is a responsive team of musicians who keep guests engaged and the order of events on time with seamless charisma and flair. Despite their name, the band performs any and all styles of music.
What to See: This traditional green and white wedding was joyful and exuberant, with a New Orleans-style parade featuring marching and dancing performers winding through the venue alongside the happy couple before taking the stage for their epic first dance.
PartySlate’s editorial team takes great care when curating reliable lists to help you plan any type of event, from weddings and birthday parties to corporate events and galas.
We create our “Best” lists utilizing proprietary PartySlate data, as well as reviews, honors, professional speaking engagements, and more. It’s a combination of art and science designed to help you hire the best team to create your perfect celebration.
Next Steps on PartySlate
In addition to finding the best Chicago wedding bends, PartySlate is here to help you find your entire team of Chicago wedding vendors. Head to our curated directory to find everything from florists and photographers to caterers and entertainment companies. You can also click on the following Chicago event vendors:
You can also discover the perfect Chicago venue for your celebration — be it a wedding, milestone celebration, gala, or corporate event — here. Use filters to narrow your list by type of venue, capacity, amenities, and more.
Lastly, you can use PartySlate to discover the most current trends and creative ideas in our dedicated weddings section. Here, browse real wedding albums, find a wedding venue to suit your style, and explore our wedding idea gallery to discover unique takes on everything from aisles and arches to place cards.