How To Book A Wedding Band

Your wedding day is going to be one of the happiest days of your life, but we all know that planning a wedding can be a little stressful and you’ll definitely encounter some things you’ve never done before! So we’re here to help you with such encounters and this time it’s….
How to book a wedding band!

Hopefully you’ll only do this once so take a look at our Q&As about the hows, the whys and the whats into how to go about booking a band for you big day.

How much will it cost?

Every band will have it’s own fee and this will depend on the date of your wedding, the time you want them to play, the duration they’re playing for, the distance and travel time to your venue etc. As an average, you can expect to play a couple of hundred for a solo artist, reaching up to £500/£700 for a duo and more for a band with three of more members. Remember, the larger the band, the more people you are paying.

Will they be insured?

If fully fledged wedding performers, the band in questions should have evidence of insurance docuements and PAT certificates should you need them. Your venue may need to see their Public Liability Insurance documents and Portable Appliance testing (PAT) certificates for them to play at the venue. Make sure to ask the questions to both your band and venue before you book your band.

How do we know what type of band to book in terms of size?

This is completely up to you and will depend on the music you want, what you’re wanting them to do in terms of entertainment (are they just background music, are you using them as your evening do ‘disco’, are they playing your first dance song?), and the size of your venue and number of guests. For example, a small intimate wedding in a small venue would fit a solo artist or duo perfectly, but if you’re having a hundred or so guests in a large ballroom style venue, you might want to look at a bigger band to fill the space and the acoustics.

Do we need to feed the band?

Completely up to you, but personally I always think it’s nice if you give some refreshments to those you’re hiring to be a part of your day. People won’t expect it so it will be a welcome gesture if you offer, even if it’s just drinks throughout their set or a plate from your buffet. You could also place a pre-loaded tab behind the bar so they can get what they want up to the value you choose if that makes things easier.

Will we need to provide any equipment?

Most bands come as a self-contained unit, carrying everything they need with them, especially if they need any additional amps/electric cables etc. Of course, if your band needs electric and your wedding is somewhere off grid, let them know in advance as they may have generators they can bring, but this might be something you’d need to provide.

How long will it take for them to set up and when will they arrive?

Depending what kind of band you’ve booked, their set up times will differ. If you’re hiring a 12 piece orchestra or a 5 piece heavy metal band, it may take time for them to sort out their instruments, positioning, electrics and acoustics - but remember, they are professionals so they’ll do all of their prep in a timely manor. Whereas if you’re having a single saxophone soloist they can literally rock up with their instrument and be ready to play - so see how they operate and you can base your timings accordingly when asking them what time to arrive.

How long will a wedding band perform for?

Generally a wedding band will stay with you for 2 to 3 hours, usually doing two 1-hour sets with a break in the middle. Of course, this is up to you and them to decide and they may offer a longer or shorter performance time according to the layout of your day and your specifications. If you’re wanting them to do certain things, such as welcoming your evening do guests with music at 6pm but also doing your first dance at 8pm, discuss with your band how best this would fit into a performance time. They may suggest something like three 40 minute sets instead of two 1-hours.

Can we choose the music they play?

Many wedding bands have their own set lists which they will play at weddings and events with songs you can swap in or out to suit you and your day. Make sure to research your band before hand and have a listen to their examples set lists which the majority have up on their websites, so you can get a feel for what music/songs they’d be playing at your wedding. Many wedding bands are flexible and will perform your favourite songs, but make sure you give them plenty of time to learnt anything new, and of course if they can’t do what you want, they’ll give you a valid reason.

What will they wear?

Most wedding bands will dress up for the occasion and if it’s their style, many will have a specific ‘look’ that they always have when they perform. Their website should give you a good idea on what to expect on your big day. If you’re hiring an Abba tribute, you wouldn’t expect them to turn up in formal suits would you and an Elvis impersonator in a tux might not be what you’re after.