So you want to book the best wedding band?
When all is said and done, one of the most important parts of any wedding day is the music. The wedding band you decide to hire can make or break the occasion for you and your guests. It can be a nervy time for any couple choosing a band, especially when you have to hand over a large wad of your hard earned cash in return for a great night’s entertainment. It’s your wedding so you’ll want a top class band, professional to the hilt with talented musicians capable of turning their hand to any style or genre of music that will please guests of various ages and personalities. But how exactly do I secure a top performing and professional wedding band I hear you ask? Well, they say knowledge is power so we have compiled a list of not very romantic but very important questions you’ll want to ask before you book a wedding band.
Where do I begin my search?
Ask the right people! Couples who’ve already celebrated their weddings is the first place to start. They’ll have gone through this very same process and will know which bands to avoid and which wedding bands to contact. This is the initial step. You can view it as the first stage of a type of wedding-band-filtering system. But your friends won’t have all the answers, so take it up a notch and contact industry experts. Contacting hotel wedding coordinators and wedding planners is a very safe and trustworthy way to get opinions on wedding bands. It’s in their best interests to provide you with the best recommendations as the quality of their referrals reflects on them! Venues have seen countless wedding bands in and out over the years, and they know the good ones!
You need to ensure that you book a band that specialises in weddings and that they have been doing it for a number of years. Weddings are very different to pub gigs and require a different style and presentation. You want a full dance floor for the night so book a band that know how to do this!
It is also good to see a band live in the flesh before booking them, so go to a showcase to check them out. All professional wedding bands run showcases to make it easy for you to see them without having to stand against the wall of someone else’s wedding. Start your search early, good wedding bands get booked up to 18 months before a wedding date. Your guests will get over a bad meal very quickly if it is followed with quality entertainment. Not so easy to forget a bad band however – it can just really kill a night. Do you want to risk this at your wedding? A recent poll by WeddingWire.com said that 80% of brides wished they had spent more time researching entertainment.
Get a booking contract.
All professional bands will prepare a booking contract that clearly outlines the services being provided and the fees to be paid. It is best to insist on a contract or booking form so everyone knows where they stand. Contracts should also include a ‘Force Majeure’ clause. No, don’t worry, Google translate hasn’t taken over your screen! The Force Majeure clause protects both parties in the event of some unforeseeable disaster happening that prevents the event going ahead. In such circumstances neither party is obliged to or can be compelled to fulfil the engagement. There is a plethora of reasons events don’t go ahead and this is to protect YOU!
Request a copy of the bands public liability insurance.
This may not sound very romantic, and there’s nothing more boring than insurance, but this is a very important factor to consider when booking a band. Brides and grooms sign a legal booking-contract with their wedding venue and, generally speaking, the only stipulation it has about outside vendors is they must have public liability insurance – but not all ‘vendors’ do! Nip this in the bud early before confirming your booking and get a copy. It’s amazing what stories get uncovered two weeks before your wedding when a venue requests to see it!
Can the band play the first dance?
Not all bands – even long established wedding bands synonymous with the industry – actually play the first dance live. We feel all couples should be given the CHOICE of either having the band play the song live, or a recording of the song. There are good reasons why couples may choose the original recording over a live performance. If the first dance is an orchestral / Disney monster unable to come to life outside of a ginormous production studio – then stick to the recording. Similarly if the first dance has been tightly choreographed discuss the rhythm and timings with the band. However, sticking to what you know i.e. the original recording, may help those nervous dancers. Click here to listen to our Top 10 First Dance Songs !
Check what payment methods your band will accept?
So you’ve decided on the wedding band and now you want to secure them before anyone else does! A deposit is required which will be payable via the usual methods i.e. cash, credit/debit card, cheque or via bank transfer. Be wary of bands who insist on a cash deposit – no record of a transaction gives very little room to manoeuvre if that band disappears. Easy come, easy go – stick with the Pro’s for peace of mind.
It is YOUR Day !
Employing these tips will soon sort the men from the boys. Remember it’s your money, it’s your biggest day, so invest time on the wedding entertainment to ensure you’re getting the very best!
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