Saturday, July 4th

Weddings & Honeymoons - Magazines Since 1992

Wedding Reception Live Band Top Hiring Tips

December 1, 2015 1:34 pmViews: 469

Bandleader Sandy Vine tips for your wedding reception live band.
Wedding Reception Live Band Hiring Tips.

Just remember when hiring a wedding reception live band, no one ever had a great time dancing to a cake!

Where To Start when shopping for a wedding reception live band.

It may sound obvious. But word of mouth is always the best form of advertisement. 

Ask friends, co-workers and family if they have been at a recent function where a great band has performed. 

When checking out reception venues ask the coordinator for recommendations of bands. Make sure that they have performed in the room you are looking at. Most will be glad to refer you to any reception service that they know is professional. And who they can trust with the recommendation.

Ask other wedding service professionals for referrals. Especially those in photography and video. Wedding planning and catering. These services deal directly with bands during the reception evening.

Even with the best recommendations it is still your responsibility to check out the wedding reception live band. To see if they are the right choice for your reception. 

Be Prepared Before Calling Around for your Reception live band.

Here are some pointers to have ready:

• A reception date preferably anywhere from 3-to-18 months in advance.  Anything under 3 months runs the risk of not getting the band that you want.

•  A specific reception venue or choice of venues if you are still deciding. The reception city as rates may vary if there is travel involved.

• Styles of music that you will require. If your guests range from teens to great-grandparents then hire a band that can cover all the bases. At least for the first part of the evening when everyone is there.

• Is there some traditional ethnic music required? Will the band be able to play these songs? Do you need quiet music for the ceremony? During Cocktails. Over the dinner hour?

•  These are all very specific aspects which may require various music styles. Can the wedding reception live band provide them all? Or will you need to contract these with other musicians?

• A realistic price point. Have a budget in mind. An average timing for live music could be anywhere between 60-100% of your entire evening. Try not to under-budget.

Don’t get me wrong, things like food are extremely important too.  Just remember the following saying: “No one ever had a great time dancing to a cake.”

Searching From Scratch for you Wedding Reception live band.

It’s an online world. Most everyone under 40 goes straight to Google for anything. This includes searching for bands. Focus on the region where your reception is being held. Do a search for mixed words including wedding band, live music, entertainment, live dance band, party band. Include the region or reception city name. Work outwards into areas of about 100-150 km in radius from the reception hall. You should find bands within reasonable driving distance to the venue.

Before calling, search through each band’s website and/or Facebook. Do they look professional? Is their promotional material well organized? The basic stuff – do they look like they know what they are doing?

Next search the site for more specific things that will qualify them for your phone call. Listen to their audio demos. Watch their videos. Sound and look good?  Check out their song list. Do you recognize and like these songs? Will your wedding guests feel the same way? If the answer is yes to all of these questions then it’s time to make the inquiry phone call.

Contact The Leader.
You will probably contact a few different bands so make notes on each. Inform each bandleader of your reception plans by starting with the wedding date (to check band availability). The timing required. The name of the venue. The city where the wedding is being held.

If the band is available then continue to discuss the live music ideas. Will the band be required for dinner music as well as dancing afterwards?  Can the wedding reception live band provide music for the cocktail reception. Can the band provide certain musicians for the ceremony? Some bands can do it all. Others prefer to specialize in only specific parts of the reception. You will need to ask to be sure.

Wedding Reception Live Band Hiring and Music Tips.

Here are some other basic questions for hiring a wedding reception live band.
• How much wedding reception experience do you have?
• Do you take and play requests?
• Does the band come with its own sound system? Is it adequate for my reception?
• What does your cost include? How many musicians? Hours of the performance? Number and length of sets? Number and length of breaks?

The Quote for a wedding reception live band.
Find out the costing in full for the services. Get it in a written quote. Research what each band is bringing to the table before you decide. A quote might be less expensive but may offer less service. Less playing time, less musicians or even a less experienced group.

Some dos and don’ts when hiring a wedding reception live band.

• Always try to see the band perform. Whether in person or by viewing a live video. See some clear photos of the band in action. Hear some recorded songs. Be aware that the recorded demo music itself should be live. Not be enhanced by recording studio methods. A singer performing live will not have a computer to fix flat notes.

• Insure that you are getting the same band members as those heard in the demo. From time to time musicians have time off. What is the band’s backup plan? Do they have substitutes that are as experienced as the regular members?

• Make sure that the band dresses appropriately. Be specific as to what is appropriate dress for your reception. Most experienced professional bands know about wearing the appropriate dress attire. Check to make sure.

• Insist on some form of written agreement that lists the timing of the performance. The exact amount of cost. The method of payment including cancellations, deposits and the agreed final payment.

• Deal with one person only as representative of the band. All your planning details and song selections go to one place for safekeeping until your wedding day.

• Do not assume that a band you heard somewhere will be appropriate for your wedding too. Some bands are excellent and can cater to all sorts of different venues. However, many do not have the experience needed in order to pace the evening. Or to involve all age groups that are guests at most weddings.

• Get a detailed song list. Have both older and younger family members and friends look it over. If everyone does not recognize 80% of the songs or artists on there immediately then move on. In conclusion, the band is probably not for you.

Rethink your plans with any wedding reception live band if they:

 – Do not give you something in writing pertaining to the details of your event.
– Does not reply to your emails or phone calls promptly with clear answers to the questions and concerns you raise.
– Avoids giving you answers on what they can or cannot perform for song material.
– Cannot or will not control their volume if asked.
– Is more concerned about getting their drinks rather than how to please your guests.
– Has a limited repertoire. A typical evening contains about 50-60 songs. It is crucial that a band has other material ready if songs they are playing are just not working with the crowd.

Wedding Reception Live Band Important Dos and Don’ts.

OK – Found A Wedding Reception Live Band – What Next?
Each band will have their own method of the booking process. Some offer a contract to be signed and returned with a deposit. Others take your info down and give you some sort of email summary as to what is agreed upon. Either way the recording of details is important so that there is no confusion on your wedding day.

As time leads up to the wedding, touch base with the leader. Tighten up performance times. Confirm song choices for special dances for the evening. Give the band leader updates as to the general plan for the night. A final cheque/check should be made approximately 3-10 days out from the wedding. To make sure everything is running smoothly on both sides.

When the wedding day finally arrives enjoy yourself! All the professional services you’ve hired are going to give their best efforts to make your day a memorable one.

Photo & Tips courtesy: Bandleader Sandy Vine

Wedding Bands Top Requested Songs.

W&H | Wedding Reception Live Band Hiring Tips.


Leave a Reply

Receptions, First Dance, Entertainment, DJs, Movies