While you may envision live wedding music at your reception, there's a good chance that you don't have a lot of experience finding or booking musicians. Learn how to find and hire a wedding music band and what you can expect from these professional musicians on your wedding day.
What type of wedding music band should you hire?
As with every other part of the wedding planning process, you'll find you have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to wedding musicians. You may choose a band that specializes in weddings and other special events, hire musicians who play a specific type of music, or ask your favorite local band to play your wedding.
Although the choice is ultimately yours, the easiest option is to work with a band that has experience performing at weddings. An experienced wedding music band will be familiar with managing the flow of the reception and announcing specific events throughout the night. Wedding musicians usually play a wide range of music as well and have a good idea what type of music will create the atmosphere you desire.
In addition to the type of music played, you will also need to continue the size of your wedding music band. Budget will be one factor as most bands charge per musician. However, you'll also need to consider the size of the venue where the band will be playing.
Where do you find a wedding music band?
The best place to find wedding musicians is at other weddings. If you've attended a reception in the past and enjoyed the band, ask the couple for the band's name and contact information. If you don't already have a band in mind, contact a local entertainment agency for referrals.
Do not hire a wedding music band before hearing them. You should have the opportunity to hear a band audition by audiotape, video or live audition. You might be able to attend another wedding reception or event where the band is playing.
What do you need to tell the band before your wedding day?
You'll meet with the wedding musicians before your reception to discuss any songs you specifically want played or not played as well as any special events that will be included in your reception. It's a good idea to have a schedule of events to give to the band so that they can keep everyone moving from one thing to the next.
You should also discuss how many breaks the band will take, how long each break will be, and at what point during the reception they will take a break. Decide whether CDs or other music will be played during breaks in the live wedding music.
Confirm which members of the band will be playing on your wedding day. Include the names of each crucial band member in your contract to ensure that you get exactly the sound and entertainment you're expecting.
Of course, you will also need to discuss start and end times for your live wedding music. Be aware that the specific time of your reception may affect the cost. For example, scheduling live music for a reception that begins at 5:00pm and runs until 9:00pm may be more expensive than an 8:00pm to midnight event because the earlier time slot makes it more difficult for the band to schedule other events on the same day. When scheduling your wedding music band, ask how start and end time may affect your rate.