Jeff Brummett

Why You Need A Wedding Band; With Scott Michaels of Stratosphere

Singers in stratosphere wedding band standing on stage in bright red lights

You Need A Band For Your Wedding

It’s often one of the first decisions you make when starting to plan your wedding. Band or DJ? Since your reading this, you most likely know where I fall on the question. A band will always deliver a more interactive, crowd pleasing, and memorable reception. But even if you have that decision made, what kind of band do you go with? Believe me, they are not all created equal.


One of the best party bands around is Stratosphere. It was created specifically for events by founder Scott Michaels. I talked to Scott recently about what led him to start Stratosphere, how they work with couples, and why you want a band for your big day.
Scott Michaels smiling holding microphone with stratosphere wedding band in bright red lights

Why does having a band like Stratosphere play your wedding a must? “It’s an entertainment experience. We are interactive and full of energy. Our clients have the ability to completely customize the band from 11 pieces all the way up to a 20-piece group. This gives them the option to choose what is the best fit. People bring energy. The more musicians on stage, the more crowded the dance floor. It makes the wedding experience that much grander!”


Singers in stratosphere wedding band standing on stage in bright pink lights
How does one become the bandleader of a premiere entertainment group? For Scott, music was a part of life from the start. “I was raised by a family of musicians in Detroit, Michigan. My father was a band leader, drummer and vocalist. My mother is a talented singer. She sang professionally for many years around the Midwest. There was always music playing in the house! I remember from a very young age learning and listening to music. Everything from Vivaldi to Chicago, Steely Dan, and The Beatles as well as famous jazz and R&B artists.”

After performing with his family in Detroit, touring Europe multiple times, and spending 7 years building and managing dance bands in the cruise-line industry, it was time for Scott to helm is own project. “Stratosphere has been my brain-child for many years now. I had the knowledge and experience, it just took the right push from the universe to go all-in” says Michaels. “I bring a personal touch to each event and dig in deep with my clients. We are not owned and operated by a large entertainment agency. That allows me the ability to meet with clients and collaborate with wedding planners and venues.”

Singers in stratosphere wedding band dancing on stage in bright red lights

Different bands often specialize in particular genres of music. For events like a wedding, it usually is best to be fluent in a wide variety. “Stratosphere was built to deliver an up-scale and sophisticated dinner set. We feature music from Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble to Etta James, James Taylor and beyond. Once dinner is complete, it’s party time! We take you on a journey through every decade and genre of popular dance music, from 1960’s Motown to the hits of today.” says Michaels. “My goal is to learn as much about my client and the nature of the event as possible. That way, we can create something that is special for that specific day.”

Cell phone screen being held up photographing live wedding band scott michaels stratosphere
Events are not like concerts. Having a band who can adjust quickly on the fly is very important. Your band leader needs be be adept at playing multiple roles including MC. “Reading the crowd is my speciality. The energy of any event can shift at any given time. It’s my job to be aware of the changes that are happening in the moment and make the right calls. We always want to keep the dance floor full. Having a strong pre-game strategy is a must. Things like the age of the couple, average age of guests, and the timing of the event. It is always our goal to create a unique experience for each event.” Says Michaels.


Scott also works with his couples before hand to make sure the song selections. “We invite the family to an entertainment consultation to dig into these selections. We have a huge library of the most requested special dance material. We are always excited to hear what the bride and groom would like to choose for their special moments. My goal is to roll out the red carpet and create a trusting space for my clients.” Michaels says.
Scott Michaels singing holding microphone with stratosphere wedding band in bright yellow lights
Scott makes this difficult decision of band or no band simple, get the band!  But also, make sure you can customize it to YOUR needs.  Now you can see why having a band is a no-brainer for me.  Check out some of Scott’s work here.

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