Your choice of entertainment can really influence the flavour of your wedding reception. Whether you go for classical, vintage, or more of a modern feel, the genre is almost irrelevant if you book the wrong band.
So, how do you know if you’re booking the right one? It all comes down to asking the right set of questions.
15 Questions to Ask Before Booking a Live Wedding Band
1. Is my date available?
This should always be the first question out of the bag. Because if the band can’t play the date, everything else is irrelevant.
2. Have you played at a wedding before?
If so, how many times? Weddings are unlike other gigs. Set up time, space, venue restrictions are all part of the fun. For newbies it can be disconcerting though, and you don’t want to have to hold your band’s hands when you should be listening to the speeches.
3. How long have you been performing together?
Band line ups can change on a regular basis, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, cohesion brings a certain magic to a performance. If band members have an understanding of the group dynamic and can pre-empt each other’s actions, they’re more likely to not just deliver a memorable performance, but to be able to deal with any hiccoughs along the way.
4. Do you perform at more than one event in a day?
If so, how is this likely to affect your schedule? What happens if your event – or the other booking – runs over?
5. Can we see you perform before we book?
OK, so if a band only plays weddings, it may not be possible for you to attend a live performance. BUT if a wedding band doesn’t have live video footage to showcase their work, then you have to wonder why.
6. Do you have contingency plans?
What happens if their van breaks down? Or if the bassist gets flu? Is there someone else to cover if there is some kind of family emergency? It’s not selfish to want to know your night isn’t going to be ruined by anyone else’s dramas.
7. Can we choose our setlist?/Can we make a do not play list?
Of course, you need to be reasonable here. You will not find a band that can play every track that has ever been written. But you can find a band with a repertoire large enough for you to pick and choose. And avoid the tracks you despise. A band like The Sombodys has a song list spanning six decades and more than 80 tracks. It’s a good variety. Alternatively, the Earcandy DJ can offer you more than 6,000 tracks, so there’s always an option for everyone.
8. Do you know ‘our song’?
This follows on from the last point. No band knows all songs. So, if there is just one special song that you NEED to have at your wedding, make sure that you check that it’s part of your band’s repertoire before you exchange contracts.
9. Can you be flexible?
The best laid plans, and all that. No matter how well you plan your wedding, the reality is that it probably won’t all go to plan. And that’s fine – it’s nothing to worry about. You’ll have a great day regardless… Unless your entertainment decide that their schedule is more important than yours and the room falls quiet at the end of the speeches because the band has packed up and gone home.
10. Do you emcee?
Of course, a band that just plays music is perfectly fine. No one would expect a string quartet or harpist to toast the happy couple. However, if you’re looking for someone to do the emcee honours, or even to just talk to your guests between tracks, it’s always better to ask upfront.
11. How much do you charge? Are there any other fees?
It’s your big day, but it’s also your budget. You need to know what you’re signing up for, and be certain that there won’t be any unwelcome surprises at the end of it. Earcandy always provide tailored quotes so you will never find any hidden extras.
12. What do you need from the venue?
Do you supply your own mics and amps? Do you need any special electrical outlets? What sort of stage do you require? What set-up space and time do you need?
13. Do you have insurance?
This is important because many venues will not host live music if the acts do not carry liability insurance. The chances are, if you’re working with an agency-organised group, like the Earcandy musicians, the band will be covered.
14. What will happen on the day?
If you’re looking for as little stress as possible, you need to know what to expect. So, find out when the band will arrive, when they’ll set up and sound check, how they’ll begin their set, how they’ll interact with their audience, how and when they’ll take their breaks, and when they’ll leave.
15. Is there anything you need to know from us?
You may think you’ve thought of everything to ask, but every band is different. If a live wedding band has a special requirement, or some kind of limitation, they’ll only be able to mention it if you give them the chance to do so.
At Earcandy, it’s our aim to make sure that every wedding we perform at feels utterly unique and incredibly special. Because your event should feel like the event. To you, it’s the only event that matters. And it’s our job to make sure that it lives up to your expectations.