Choosing a ‘live’ band for your wedding is something that may take a little bit more work than you initially think. Sometimes it’s just easier to hire the band you heard at Mary and Frank’s wedding rather than think of questions to ask any prospective act you’d like to hear play in the background, or foreground of your reception.
But it’s worth bearing in mind that one of the major contributors to the memories of your wedding guests is going to be the music. If you can find a band that will have them on their feet, then you’ve found a band they’ll remember.
We’ve put together a few guidelines to help you:
- Do you want a DJ or a band? – the advantage of a band is the atmosphere they create, and the visual impact and interaction with your friends; recordings just don’t have the same effect
- Know how long you will need them to perform – how many sessions
- Book way in advance, as some bands need as long as a year’s notice, if you’re going to manage to get them to your wedding
- Get recommendations from friends, particularly those who’ve attended a lot of weddings recently
- Follow up on references – many bands will be able to refer you to happy clients, don’t just read through the written references, actually phone and speak to them
- Ask for a demo tape, or better yet, go and watch them at a gig, and ask for any visual demo they may have so that you can watch that too
- Make sure that the size of the band will fit – no good having a small stage with a full-size brass band
- Ask to see the list of songs the band usually perform – make sure there is something in there for all of your guests
- Make sure they’ve performed at weddings before
- Ask for a full breakdown of costs, and find out if they charge extra for over time
- Whilst they’re taking breaks, what music will they provide?
- Make sure all arrangements and agreements are included in a written contract
- The contract should cover all musicians, singers, band equipment and sound systems, and should also include actual playing time, agreed hours and the cost
- make sure you feel at ease with them
Happy Wedding Planning!