You’re getting married, you’ve got your heart set on hiring a live wedding band, but you don’t have the foggiest where to start. There’s no need to develop a case of wedding-induced stress, Entertainment Nation are here to offer 10 expert tips on how to hire the perfect wedding band at the right price.
- Make sure you book your wedding band with a trusted wedding entertainment agency. Working with an established wedding entertainment agency has a number of benefits. First and foremost, reputable agencies only offer acts they know to be talented and reliable, so you can be confident you’re getting a band who can do the business on the biggest of big days.
Booking through a trusted agency gives you the peace of mind that contracts, PAT-Testing certificates and PLI insurance are all taken care of and that any payments you make are made securely.
Wedding entertainment agencies also know a thing or two about what works well at a wedding reception, so can offer you expert advice and guidance on everything from potential band choices to working with sound limiters (more on which later).
- Hunt down independent reviews. Given that your choice of act can make or break your wedding reception, you only want to hire recommended wedding bands. As well as the reviews you find on the agency or band website, search for independent reviews through sites like Facebook, Google and Trustpilot, where you’ll get the unvarnished truth about the wedding band you’re about to book.
- Don’t wait around! All of these tips are important, but if there’s one we’d rate above all the others, it’s this one. Simply put: hire your wedding band as early as you can. Just like with in-demand wedding venues, the most popular wedding bands get booked for peak dates up to 2 years in advance. The peak wedding season seems to kick off earlier each year too, so don’t risk missing out on that whimsical folk band you’ve got your heart set on, get them booked ASAP!
- Book out of season. This is more of a general wedding planning tip that’s also applicable to hiring your wedding band. If you’re on a budget and want to get the most for your money, then opting for a date between October and April will leave you with more room to negotiate on prices. Sure, you aren’t guaranteed good weather, but then you wouldn’t be during the Great British summertime either! Another benefit to booking out of season is the larger selection of available bands to choose from.
- Book a date during the week. If you simply must have a summer wedding, but don’t want to pay the earth, then choosing a mid-week wedding is the perfect solution. As with booking out of season, you’ll save money and have a bigger selection of bands available to you. Your family and friends may be a bit put out that they have to dip into their annual leave to attend, but they’ll get over it once they see the bargain of a wedding band you managed to snap up!
- Leave booking your wedding band until the last minute. Yes, this is the complete opposite to what we said a few expert tips ago but bear with us. If you’re the kind of bride or groom who likes to fly by the seat of their pants, then booking a wedding band a few weeks before the big day could be a great way of securing a hefty saving on the total fee. You won’t have the same amount of choice as you would if you’d booked early and, if you’re getting married on a Saturday in August, there’s a chance ALL the good bands will already be booked. But if you’re a bargain-hunting thrill-seeker, the saving you’ll make is worth the risk.
- Go local. While most bands happily venture up and down the country every weekend, if you’re keen to keep costs in check it’s a good idea to hire a wedding band that doesn’t need to travel too far to your venue. Every mile on the road is money out of your pocket, so the closer the better. Plus, you’re saving the environment. Win win.
- Make sure your wedding band is self-contained. Self-contained? Like, the band comes in a capsule or something? No – a self-contained band is one that supplies everything necessary to put on a top-notch show at your wedding reception. This includes (fully-insured and PAT-tested) equipment such as PA and lighting, as well as a DJ service to keep your party in full swing while the band is recharging between sets. Most good wedding bands bring along everything they need to perform to a high level, but it’s worth making sure.
- Be clear about when you want your wedding band to arrive (and to leave). Individual wedding bands may vary, but the unwritten rule is that a wedding band will arrive at your venue and start setting up at around 5pm or after, and then finish playing at midnight. The price you are quoted will be based upon these standard timings. If you want the band to set up early for any reason, or you want them to play on until the early hours, you need to arrange this with the band at the time of booking or well in advance of the event. Early starts and late finishes incur a fee to cover the extra working hours of each band member.
- Check whether your venue has a sound limiter before you hire your wedding band. This may be our final tip, but it’s a biggie. Before booking a band, make sure you’ve spoken with your venue about any restrictions on live music they have in place, whether the venue is fitted with a sound limiter, and at what decibel level the limiter is set to. Most professional wedding bands are able to work with sound limiters, but they need to know in advance, so they can bring appropriate equipment.
Some bands are unable to work within tight decibel limits, especially larger bands with live horn sections. You don’t want to be faced with a wedding day disaster of hiring a band who are unable to perform to their full potential (or at all), so be certain to check.
That wraps things up for our top ten wedding band hire tips. We hope you’ve found it useful. If you need any further advice or you’d like to get on with the fun of booking a band, visit Entertainment Nation and give our friendly team a shout. They’ve helped hundreds of happy couples find their dream wedding entertainment and are around from 10am until 10pm every day of the week.