Having been in the wedding industry for some time now, and being fairly new to Fusion Events, I’ve never really been exposed to the musical/wedding entertainment side that this industry offers. However, I recently had the chance to see my first live cover band – Shugga, and they did not disappoint!

Shugga is composed of a group of talented musicians who are not the norm of a regular Toronto cover band. Their musical technicality is of high calibre and has won a fan in me! I was immersed in their music the entire night and even sang along to some of the cover songs that brought me back to my highschool and early university days.

Now that I’ve seen firsthand the type of atmosphere a live cover band can bring to an event.. if I could turn back time, I would have hired a live band for my wedding!  That’s ok, I’ll settle for having one at my ten year anniversary with my husband instead 🙂 I can guarantee that if you want a high-energy atmosphere at your wedding, a live wedding band is the way to go.

I interviewed Shugga’s lead singer, Mike Ferfolia about his experience in a wedding cover band:

Toronto Wedding Band - SHUGGA

Toronto Wedding Band – SHUGGA

1. What’s the best or most memorable wedding you’ve played at?
That’s an incredibly tough question and I don’t think there’s one wedding in particular that I can claim most memorable.  Shugga played a Chinese wedding one night where there was a traditional dragon dance and the dragons were completely decked out in lights and all!  Then there was another wedding we played where the dress for the bridal party was totally unconventional.  The bride was wearing a striking red dress and most guests were done up very funky and casual.  I think the guys and I were the fanciest dressed that night!  Typically if we’re playing at the Church on Berkeley, the party is always incredible and we usually can’t miss with the audience in terms of song selection which is great.  I think we’ve played just about every kind of wedding at this point though, Jewish, Catholic, non denominational, same sex and on and on.  It’s next to impossible to single out one event in all that diversity, as every situation and every couple has a special vibe to share/create.
2. What is the most unique request you’ve been asked for?
I was recently asked to do a stripped down dinner set of current and popular tunes.  As a solo piano act, I’ll sing and play every once in a while but not often at all and definitely NEVER with that specific a guideline.  The bride had heard us before and just wanted to challenge me I guess and it was one of the most fun things I’ve done at a wedding in recent memory.
3. What’s the most requested song you’ve received in 2012?
To be honest, and much to my own amazement, there isn’t any one song that we’ve been asked for outside of our existing repertoire more than once.  I can easily name some of my favourites from the last year for wedding tunes though: “Bless The Broken Road” by The Rascal Flatts, “After All” by Al Jarreau and my favorite of all from last year, “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz.  So far, of all time for me, it’s a close tie between “I Won’t Give Up” and “100 Years” by Five For Fighting.
4. In your opinion, what elements of a wedding make a wedding great?

This has been the easiest question to answer to far!  There are two main things that can make or break a wedding, in my opinion.  Food & Music.  Your wedding could be in a barn in the middle of nowhere with mosquitos devouring your guests all night but as long as the band is rockin’, that’s the only thing people will remember.  Likewise, we’ve been in some amazing venues where the food just wasn’t great and not even the band could cheer up some of the guests.  Just about anything else is secondary.  That is unless your bar runs out of alcohol.  I’ve seen that happen, not pretty…

5. Any do/don’ts for guests requesting a song at a wedding/event?

If it’s your wedding song, anything goes so that’s not a consideration.  If it’s a recommendation for your band throughout the night, simply be aware of your guests.  It’s happened where a bride and groom have insisted on us playing a song that they both loved and thought would be danceable and appropriate for their party and that tune cleared our dance floor.  It’s not a bad idea to get some input from your wedding planner or even the singer (hint, I’m on Facebook and I’ll always take time to reply to a message) as to what they think of your request.  If a request is outside of our means either because of sheer production or most of the time because of an ethnic specialty, the iPod can handle it during a set break.  Definitely DO make a playlist on CD or iPod for our breaks of stuff that you don’t see on our repertoire list.  There’s no way, outside of learning Korean, that I’ll ever be able to adequately sing “Gangnam Style”…  Sorry…


Toronto Wedding Planner - Berlyn Lai

Toronto Wedding Planner – Berlyn Lai

Inspired during her own wedding planning journey, Berlyn discovered her love and passion for all things related to wedding and event planning.  Berlyn’s approach to wedding planning and event management is to put your needs first, and make sure your event flows smoothly so that she can focus on the details on your behalf. Being a perfectionist and with high attention to detail, you can be at ease knowing Berlyn is there to execute your event, she will hit the ground running and her passion will drive her to go the extra mile to ensure your needs are met.