Booking a wedding band may be just one of a huge number of things on your wedding “to-do” list, but it’s often overlooked and left to the last minute. Thinking about your wedding entertainment is extremely important as it can completely change the dynamic and mood of your wedding reception (or, in some cases, the ceremony!). Therefore, there are many things to consider when booking your wedding band.
1. What Type Of Wedding Band Do You Want?
The term “wedding band” is extremely broad. Just by looking through various entertainment listings, you will come across a variety of different genres such as acoustic bands, 1950s and 60s style bands, jazz bands, duos, string trios and quartets, tribute bands and many, many more. The first thing you need to consider is the type of band you want to book for your wedding.
String trios and quartets are popular with weddings because they are seen as traditional, sophisticated and the perfect backing music for a classy wedding reception. On the other side of the coin, there are some fantastic full bands (often four or five-piece) who provide a more focused, gig-style approach to the event. Acoustic music is also extremely popular because it gives a good balance between providing background music, which is perfectly suited to canapes and reception drinks, as well as providing upbeat renditions of songs to keep your guests entertained.
2. How Much Will The Wedding Band Cost?
Different types of wedding bands will cost different amounts. Generally, bands with more musicians will cost more than soloists and duos – mainly because they have to split their fee between more people. An exception to the rule would be specialised musicians, such as harpists, who may command a comparatively high fee for one person than a solo singer.
A four or five-piece wedding band can easily cost upwards of £1000 to book, whereas a solo acoustic act or duo will look to charge, on average, between £250 – £500.
It’s also worth considering the band’s location and if they charge for travel. In our case, we include the cost of travel in our quotes, but some people may charge per mile. Don’t get caught out!
3. When Will The Band Play?
Something to consider when choosing your wedding entertainment is to work out when you would like them to perform. In our experience, people often book a wedding DJ as their late-night entertainment – this is often from around 9pm until midnight (or whenever the party ends!). As an acoustic duo, we often perform directly before the late-night entertainment from around 6/7pm until 8-9pm. This is often the point in the evening when your guests are just entering “evening mode” – everyone is mingling after dinner, drinks start flowing, and the chilled acoustic music settles everyone down. We often increase the tempo toward the end of our set to get everyone in the mood for a boogie on the dancefloor for when the DJ kicks in!
However, booking a full band can often be used in place of a DJ. The cost of the band may be higher, but you will be saving money by not hiring a DJ, and these bands will easily have your guests dancing along all night.
Another popular time for wedding entertainment to play is during reception drinks and canapes, either before the wedding ceremony or directly afterward. This is a perfect time-slot for acoustic bands/duos and string music.
4. Does The Wedding Band Need Any Equipment?
Hopefully the answer to this is no, as any good wedding band should have all of their own equipment. However, often a band needs at least one power socket to plug into in order to power their gear!
5. How Much Space Does The Band Need?
This depends on the size of the venue, the time of the booking and the nature of the band. A solo singer with an acoustic guitar will need hardly any space at all – however, a full band or string quartet will require a lot more space. String trios/quartets, who often play old, expensive instruments, may often ask for extra space so that Aunt Jackie doesn’t accidentally jive too close to the band and stumble over their beloved cello.
6. Does The Wedding Band Have Good Reviews?
When narrowing down your wedding bands, always ensure you check out their reviews. If the band proudly displays their numerous top-notch reviews, you can be pretty certain that they’ll be great at your wedding. However, if they don’t have any reviews or testimonials on display, this could be a bad sign and booking them may be a risk.
7. How Does The Wedding Band Take Payments?
The payment process is something that needs to be worked out before the booking is confirmed. On your wedding day, the last thing you want to be doing is scrambling for cash to give the band – this looks rather embarassing for the hosts, as well as unprofessional for the band. Bands will often ask for an up front deposit to secure bookings, with the remainder to be paid nearer the date of the event. We try to make things simple by taking electronic payments via a secure, online invoicing system. We send out a deposit invoice (usually 25% of the total fee) which can be paid with a credit/debit card online, and then we send out another invoice for the remainder of the fee on the week of the event.
8. Does The Band Require a Contract/Agreement?
Many wedding band/entertainers don’t bother with this, but it’s something to look out for as it can benefit both you and the wedding band. We have a very simple booking agreement which states the simple things such as the date, venue, duration and fee. It also outlines our cancellation policy to protect both us and the client from any ambiguity when it comes to money. Again, our agreements can be signed electronically – no paper, please!
Hopefully these things will help you when deciding to choose your wedding band. If it has, or if you have any other suggestions, do let us know in the comments! And if you’d like to request a quote to book our Acoustic Duo, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.