Get your venue booked before the band! If you are a muso it’s likely you already have a good idea of what music or entertainment you want at your wedding. You may already have had your fave act picked out for months! (If you have no idea or you are somewhere in between that’s ok too !) It’s crucial you have your venue booked first as there are some really key points a band needs to know. Space and power availability, inside or outside, any sound / volume limitations. You may have your heart set on a 7 piece funk soul band but if you book a hotel in a residential area with an 80db sound limiter it simply isn’t going to work and end in disappointment and faff!
Visualise, imagine the flow of your day. How do you want the day to feel? How do you want your guests to feel at different points in the day? We’ve all been at weddings that seem to drag on for all eternity with lots of awkward milling about, not knowing what’s going on or what to do. This will tell you where you might need some entertainment for your guests. If you are unsure what to have, get yourself to a few wedding fairs and see what’s out there. Chat to suppliers about options and then contact the ones that tickle your fancy for a chat about the possibilities. A great supplier is one that guides you through multiple options and how they could collaborate with others too.
Meet the act. This goes hand in hand with my next point too. As a business owner I LOVE having a good old chinwag with my clients. Getting to know them, what they envisage for their day – regardless of the stage they’re at in planning and booking. This could be in person or over zoom and gives you a chance to get a vibe for each other. Are you on the same wave length? Do you trust this person with entertaining your guests to the highest possible standards? Are they warm, friendly and professional from the word go? Trust your gut on this one, it will pay off.
See and hear your act perform live! This sounds obvious but you’d be amazed how many don’t. Now they may not have a public gig as such you can go to, but ask if they have live videos or are showcasing at any exhibitions or wedding fairs. How did you feel when you watched them? Where is this music going to occur in your day? Was it fun? Did they work the crowd? Did they create the perfect ambience or did they nail that perfect ‘entrance’ song? Do they live up to the spiel on their socials and website? The proof is in the pudding….. or the performance in this case!
Paperwork! The boring but really blooming important bit!
Make sure you have a contract, not just emails, a formal contract detailing the exact level of service you have discussed and make sure you have read it inside out! Ask questions and be 100% comfortable you can fulfil the terms of that contract as a client too. Most suppliers are happy to work directly with venues to take the stress off the couple but it’s your responsibility as a client to make sure that it’s possible to fulfil before signing. An experienced band will provide all the necessary info as part of the contract or rider. Believe me…turning up to a venue as a 6 piece band and realising you only have a 3×3 meter space to set up and play in makes for a very tight squeeze! The very expensive band you have booked and paid for just won’t be able to play to the best of their ability.
A few last words….
Get in there and book! Don’t faff about! If you have your venue and you’ve found a great supplier that feels right and you’d love to work with, get that deposit paid and lock ‘em in!
Traditionally you could book a band at around the 9 month mark but as most suppliers will tell you we are booking dates now that are 2 to 3 years ahead.