Other than the site itself, music can be one of the most important elements of your event. If you're hosting a dance, then needless to say, a good band or DJ is essential. Get recommendations from friends or co-workers, and always go see the performers in person, before you decide. Can't afford a 10-piece orchestra? Try hiring students for a string quartet; contact the music department at a nearby college. As always, the type of music should fit the type of event. Just remember: music should never be overpowering during the dinner hour. Don't place guest tables right next to the sound system; this makes it impossible to carry on a normal conversation. Have the band or DJ play something relaxing, at a low volume, until people finish eating. There are also other ways you can use sound to enhance your event. Consider playing sound effects that reflect your theme: Thunderstorms, rainforests, city streets and haunted houses are just a few of the scenarios available on CD and cassette. If the sounds would be too distracting during dinner, keep them confined to certain areas, or play them only during cocktails, and fade gradually into dinner music.

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