So you have weighed up your options, and decided a live band is the way to go. Fantastic decision – great live music stimulates a festive atmosphere, provides the day with structure, highlights key moments and will help ensure that you and your guests can relax and simply enjoy the celebration.
However bad live music can result in your dream day turning into a nightmare.
Imagine your band showing up an hour late, and sound-checking as your guests are arriving, only to then perform a completely unheard of song for your bridal waltz. Or a covers band that seems to have a repertoire consisting only of Barry Manilow’s greatest hits, succeeding only in frightening you and your guests off the dance floor…
In order to avoid such catastrophes, it’s important you ask all the right questions! The following should ensure that you get the wedding music you want, exactly the way you want it:
1) Can I see the musicians live, or hear a recording? You want to make sure you actually like the music in the first place! Any good group will have song samples or a demo CD to give interested brides and grooms, and most musicians will have public performances you can go and watch.
2) Am I able to make song requests? You don’t want to book a band, only to find that they perform from a very limited song list. If you are set on having particular songs for your bridal waltz, bouquet toss etc., it’s important you let the musicians know in advance so they have time to prepare.
3) Do you provide PA, and can I use it for speeches if need be? This should be expected of every band. Make sure PA is included in the initial quote, and not an ‘added extra’ you find out about a week before your wedding. Also, some venues don’t have an in-house PA system, meaning you will require the band PA for speeches. This should not cost any extra, and if it does, make sure you find out up-front. You don’t want to receive a bill for it when you get back from your honeymoon!
4) How early will you be sound-checking? A good band will make sure to sound-check long before the start of your ceremony or reception. That way when you and your guests arrive, the band is set-up and ready to go.
5) Are sound engineers included in the price? For larger bands in particular, the presence of a qualified sound engineer is essential. While a large band with a markedly cheap quote may seem appealing, they may be sacrificing the sound engineer to get the gig, meaning the sound quality will noticeably suffer.
6) Will the band/agent liaise with your wedding venue? You don’t want the group to show up on the night, only to find your chosen venue is too small, or has noise restrictions.
7) Does the band have flexible set times?At weddings, anything can happen, and a great band will be able to adjust accordingly and keep things on track. After all, they’re wedding professionals.