Hiring a Wedding Band
Choosing a wedding band requires some research and thought. Personal recommendations, or a band that the couple has seen at another party or event, are often the best choice.
Before a band is booked, it is advisable that the bride and groom see them live if at all possible. For example, the band may be playing at a venue where the couple can go along at watch.
Demo CDs should not be relied upon unless the band is booked through a reputable agency that has heard all their acts play live.
The band must be suitable to the wedding - make sure that a range of genres and eras are covered to appeal to all the guests. The couple must discuss with the band what type of music they want and come up with a rough playlist. Any special requests should be thought about in advance.
The band must be briefed about the chosen song for the first dance. Usually, they will then play 3 sets lasting approximately 40 minutes each, with 20-minute breaks between each set.
Hired bands usually come with a list of requirements. For example:
- They will need somewhere secure to store their instruments and equipment.
- They will usually expect to be catered for and to eat at the same time as the guests.
- They will need to know for how long they are expected to play.
- They will need to take planned break between sets.
- If possible, the band should arrive in good time to set up and sound check before the wedding guests arrive. If they are local, they can go away and come back again when it's time to play.
- It is a good idea to have an MP3 player at the ready: this can be put on during the band's breaks, in case of emergency or used if the party goes on later than expected after the performers have gone home. Just make sure there is a sound system with all of the right cables to connect the MP3 player.
- Often the performers will need to be paid on the night, so the best man must have the requisite amount of cash ready and remember to attend to this.