Tips For Booking Your Perfect (Wedding) Band
Here's some tips for booking your perfect (wedding) band:
1) Decide on a budget
The cost of a band can be a huge surprise for many people wanting to book a band so it's important to do your research and budget accordingly. Most good bands will cost anywhere from £1500 upwards, and depending on the amount of band members could go much higher.
Some smaller line-ups can be much cheaper, but you'll need to decide whether this is really what you want when making your budget. For example, do you want a solo singer/guitarist? This will be much cheaper than a full 7-piece band, but will it be the entertainment you need?
For more about what affects the price of a band, check out our article: "What Affects The Price Of A Band?"
2) Book well in advance
Most good bands are booked well in advance of the date, and it can be slim pickings if you leave your music until the last minute.
"When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment."
This quote counts for all types of events. For example, what would your Oktoberfest event be like without the Oompah Band? Most Oompah Bands are booked for most Fridays and Saturdays during Oktoberfest from the year before, so make sure you plan well in advance for the best acts.
3) Check out promo material
When looking at bands/acts, make sure you check out their promo materials: videos, photos, recordings. This will give you an idea of whether they will be the best act for your event. Even better would be to go and see them live - our own Hosen Brass have a band at Katzenjammers Bierkeller every Saturday night so you can hear exactly what you're getting. You won't be surprised to hear that a lot of bands get a lot of bookings from other live performances
4) Book through an agent
An agency like ourselves will have a lot more information about who is booked and who is not, will know a lot more about busy periods for the bands you're interested in, and may be able to recommend suitable alternatives if the one you'd have liked is already busy. They also have a good knowledge of what types of events acts are suitable for, and may list them by occasion like our own page here.
5) Check with your venue
Your venue may have restrictions or requirements for the band, such a decibel limit, time restrictions or limited equipment/access to electricity. If they have a decibel metre, check if it is linked to the electricity/amplification, or it is an acoustic metre - I have played at a venue myself where the client didn't check what type of metre was fitted, and the unamplified brass band caused the venue's lights to cut out!
6) Ask questions
Ask all the questions you can think of and more. An example of some questions you may need to ask:
- How long can you play for?
- Do you require electricity?
- Do you take requests?
- How long do you take to set up?
- Do you need to soundcheck? (And ask yourself whether this affect your own schedule at the venue)
- Do you have a rider?
The agency may also be able to answer these questions for you, so ask, ask, ask!
7) Tips for planning a schedule
- Like above - ask questions! When you have all the answers you can plan the rest of the day. With a wedding for example, you don't want to end up having the band soundcheck during your evening meal.
- Don't schedule the band too early - you want the band to be the highlight of the night, so plan them to start around 9pm. Too early and you're left with a playlist to end the night, but too late and you'll be getting cut short when the venue try to kick you out! Obviously this depends on the event you're planning - if you're planning a corporate event and the entertainment is for a specific moment then schedule away, but for your wedding you want the night to end with a bang (in a good way!).
- For weddings, the band and the food will be the two most expensive parts of your day, so don't plan them together! Food will always win, with the need to soak up the better part of a day's alcohol consumption amongst your guests, so save it until they're nourished and ready to dance.
- Try to stick to your schedule as best you can. Some bands will charge extra money for having to stay longer than contracted.
8) Song choices
We all want the best song choices for the event, but the best experts are the performers. The best performers will know what goes down well and what doesn't depending on your type of event, but are also able to respond to the crowd's mood. If you have certain songs you desperately need performing, then a band will usually cater for your requests, but don't try to micromanage as the bands are the professionals - trust them!
Plan your event early, ask lots of questions and trust your performers! Even better, use an agent like ourselves to do most of the work for you and have peace of mind that you're guaranteed a quality band at your event.