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How to Book Live Music For Your Wedding Reception – Strategies For Getting the Band You Want

How to Book Live Music For Your Wedding Reception – Strategies For Getting the Band You Want

When you start gathering information about live bands to perform at your wedding reception, it is important to ask the right questions to get complete information.

Some of my calls sound like the bride or groom is going down a list in the yellow pages. “How much do you charge?” is the first question they ask. This makes me wonder – how important is the success of your reception to you? If the music is based only on price – not event experience, music timeline, expansive play list, attention to details, etc. – you can make a lot of expensive mistakes. The economy is challenging and price is important – but it should not be the only factor in your decision. “You get what you pay for” is an old adage that is particularly true in the music business.

Take for instance couples who decide that the “bar” band they saw last year was perfect for their wedding reception because: 1. the band was inexpensive; 2. the couple wanted something different for their wedding reception. The bride and groom sign a contract and put down their deposit. The couple do not know how large a play list the band has, they do not know if the band knows how to act like professionals and not raid the bar every time they take a break, or how to perform at an wedding reception without “concert” volume. Two months before their party, the couple find out from the band leader that the band broke up. It can be very difficult getting an established event band that late in the party process, let alone trying to get your deposit back from the “broken up” band.

Your best bet is to look for an established event band that has been performing at weddings for years. You will not be disappointed. You can decrease your stress level by knowing that you have hired a band that knows what they are doing, is an established business, and will be reliable. Remember that an established band’s best advertising comes from the successful events they play.

Here is some information that will help you make a more informed decision on your next step to booking the band:

– What kind of music do you like?
– Do you and your partner have similar tastes in music?
– What are your invited guests like? Family, friends from college, work related friends, parents and their friends, majority age?
– How many hours of music will you need: Ceremony, cocktails, dinner, and dancing?
– What did you enjoy/dislike about some of the music at the recent weddings you have attended?

How can you tell whether the band is experienced? Look for a long play list with a lot of variety; many recommendations from previous clients; many referrals from previous clients; great attitude; on-site video; audio demo.

Let me address band viewing at this point. Many books and magazines tell you to view the band if you are considering booking them for your event. Crashing a wedding – uninvited – to look at the band is tacky. If you have an experienced event band that has successfully performed at hundreds of weddings, with the references and videos to back it up, there is no need to look at them at someone else’s wedding. An established, experienced band will be playing song selections of the host, bride and groom. What if classic rock is the preferred style by the party, but you hate classic rock and want disco? Your presence divides the loyalty of the musicians – do they play for you or play for their current client? You signed the contract and paid for the band’s services explicitly for you and your guest’s tastes in music, not to provide a showcase for potential buyers.

Choosing a band is a big decision for your big day. Cut down the anxiety and hire an established band that knows what they are doing, so you won’t waste any valuable time worrying!