Updated: Oct 18
Booking a band for your wedding can be an exciting and important part of the wedding planning process, especially if you and your partner love live music!
But how do you go about booking? Most people will probably (or should we say hopefully!?) only book a band for their wedding once in their lifetime.
Whilst it can seem like a daunting task, with the right research and preparation, you can find the perfect band to make your special day even more memorable. Here are some tips to help you!
1. Set a budget:
As with all parts of planning a wedding, it’s important to set a budget. This will help you narrow down your search and ensure that you don’t overspend. Consider the size of the band you’d like and the type of music you’d like to hear them play.
You should also think about how long you want them to play for, and when you want them to play during the special day. For example, if you and your partner love soul or motown music, you may want to consider booking a 7 piece band, complete with horn section. Or if you’re more into your indie rock music, you may want to consider a smaller 3 piece band or 4 piece band.
We've been know to squeeze into the smallest of spaces for celebrations, such as this living room!
If you love acoustic music, you may wish to consider booking a duo or solo musician for the wedding breakfast or drinks reception of your day. Some bands offer this as an additional extra, which helps bring costs down, but you can also look for specialist wedding singers too.
You may wish to consider live music for your ceremony, too. Having a solo musician or duo play you down the aisle can really create an unforgettable experience, especially if you have a special song in mind!
When you’re considering booking a wedding band, it’s also important to find out whether your venue has any noise restrictions or sound limiters you need to know about. Check out this guide for more information on the topic.
It’s also important to consider the space at your venue. This may seem obvious, but a larger band will take up more valuable space for your dance floor rather than a smaller band. Check with your venue about where bands usually setup, and when you get in touch with bands you like, make sure they can work with the space you’ve got.
2. Research bands:
Once you have a budget in mind, it’s time to start researching bands. Look for bands that specialize in the type of music you want for your wedding. Make sure to look through setlists and make sure that your favourite songs are in there! It’s also worth asking friends and family who have gotten married recently if they have any recommendations. Your venue may also have some suggestions of bands that have worked well in the past, too!
There are a huge number of band agencies out there, such as Entertainment Nation, who can help you find the perfect fit, music wise too. Make sure to read reviews and listen to samples of their music to get an idea of their style and sound. Most professional wedding bands will be booked up with private events, but reach out to them to see if they have any public dates coming up where you can see them live. This leads us nicely to the next point!
3. Contact the band:
Once you’ve found a few bands that you like, it’s time to contact them. Ask for a quote and find out if they are available on your wedding date. Make sure to ask about any additional fees, such as travel expenses or sound equipment rental.
You should also find out what happens when the band isn’t on stage - do they provide a free playlist service? Or can they offer a full dj service too? This is the perfect time to ask about options for the daytime too, as they may be able to do you a full package deal!
Find out about what the band does in terms of deposit or booking fees, and when you’ll be expected to pay the final balance, too. Some bands may also be able to offer a payment schedule to help spread the cost. Ask about booking contracts and terms and conditions, and make sure you read through everything carefully to make sure you’re protected. It’s also worth checking in to see what happens if a band member falls ill or can’t make it to your wedding for whatever reason - do they have backups in
If your venue does have a sound limiter or any noise restrictions, check if the band can work with them. This is really important as some bands may not be able to work with your venue if they’re not set up with the right equipment to handle it!
It’s also worth noting that popular bands will be booked up many months in advance, so if you find a band you really like, don’t hang about!
4. Meet with the band:
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, and made your decision, it’s worthwhile having a phone call (or even a video call in this wonderful age of technology!) with your chosen band.
This is a great opportunity to get to know the band and make sure they are the right fit for your wedding. Ask questions about their experience, setup, and any special requests you may have. Can they play your first dance live for you? Do they offer a free playlist service in between sets? Would they be able to provide acoustic sets for the daytime too?
It’s especially helpful to have a phone/video call when your venue has a sound limiter as your band will be able to tell you how they will be able to adjust their setup to work with it.
5. Sort out the contract:
Once you’re happy with your chosen band, it’s really important that you sort out the contracts and booking fees. The contract should include the details of the performance, such as the date, time, location and when the final balance will be due. Make sure to read the contract carefully and ask questions if you don’t understand something - some contracts are full of legal-ese that can often be explained in more simple terms.
Check what happens in case of emergencies on the day and make sure that’s factored into the contract too - for example if a band member is ill on your date and is unable to perform. Most professional bands should have a terms and conditions document available for you to have a read through as well.
We hope this guide was helpful in helping you to book the best band for your wedding! If you do have any questions about anything please feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help with any questions you might have. If you know someone who’s looking to book a wedding band soon, please feel free to share this with them too!