Tip #1 – First, decide if you want a band or a performance.
There are many different types of live music available, so consider if you want your band to play in the background, if you want them to get involved with your guests on the dance floor, or if you want the band to put on a “performance” for your guests. One way isn’t better than the other – it all depends on the type of event, your audience and the type of atmosphere you want to create.
Keep in mind if you’d like the band to help run the evening’s events; the Band Leader can help you create a schedule that corresponds with the band’s schedule. If you have any special requests, such as a song you want to have played or a special type of music, make sure to ask your band about your request upfront.
Also, make sure to confirm your choice with your venue, as some spaces are not idea for a band or performance.
Tip #2 – Select a band or performer for your audience, not yourself.
You and your significant other may be total hip-hop fans, but your wedding guests may not be ready for the club scene. If you want guests to dance, hire a band that will keep people interested. Think about the characteristics of your crowd. You may love the sounds of Motown, but if the majority of your guests are recent college buddies, they might need to hear the newer hits to get their groove on.
Tip #3 – Determine your budget.
Fees can vary based on the size, quality and experience of the band, as well as how long they will be performing, if they have to travel to the venue and if they have to rent any extra equipment for the space. When it comes to professional musicians, they deserve to be paid what they are worth. If you want the best, you will have to pay for it. However, if you need to select a smaller or less experienced band because of budget, don’t sacrifice quality. No matter what band you select, ask for references and see what past clients have to say.
Tip #4 – Visit a performance.
A lot of bands have past performances and demos online and some will give you a CD to listen to, but nothing can take the place of seeing the band perform live. Ask the band if they’re playing a public show in the near future or if you can attend a practice. If you’re working with an agent or wedding planner, make sure you have a chance to meet the Band Leader who will be your on-site contact the day of your event.
Tip #5 – Don’t wait to book!
Bands are often hired 8-12 months in advance, so don’t hesitate to book the band when you find the one you like. With weekend weddings and events so popular, chances are there will be other brides or clients looking at your same date. In addition to a contract, most bands will require a deposit to hold the date.
Bonus: Tips from a Professional Musician
We asked Kimberly Racan, owner of studio e entertainment, to share her tips for selecting a band:
“First, the best band for a wedding is a total variety band. This means that the band has a library of songs that scan the decades, musical genres and includes top pop hits. Second, the band should carry a front line of singers who each sing that sound (for example male, female, black, white). Third, always look at who controls the sound for that band. The best bands keep volume under control when it needs to be, toasts to be heard by all, and then kick it in for dancing. This involves using a sound technician who is NOT in the band! Remember, your band is like your bar: you serve ALL the drinks at your wedding … you need to have a band play ALL the genres of music!”
For help choosing a band for your wedding or event, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.