Planning a wedding reception is as daunting as planning for the wedding ceremony itself. Whether you’re planning a large or small reception, you still need proper organization, close attention to details, and careful preparation.
Aside from the venue, the catering, the decorations and the guest favors, another important aspect to consider is the entertainment. There’s no doubt about it: music can either make or break the celebration. While some opt for DJs, a majority of other couples choose live wedding bands.
Where to search for your wedding musicians
In the past, couples had to check the directory, newspapers, or magazines for advertisements of wedding musicians. Nowadays, thanks to the internet, booking your wedding entertainment has become so much easier.
You can either search for bands or DJs through search engines and social media networks or contact a live music agency such as Music For Scotland and ask them to connect you to their best bands. You can also ask family and friends for suggestions.
However, you shouldn’t jump into conclusions immediately. Just because they come highly recommended by a friend doesn’t mean they’d work perfectly for you, too. Here are a few factors to consider before choosing the wedding band for your big day.
The first thing you ask a wedding band is a sample of their performance. Watching a public performance lets you see the way they perform, the way they dress, their effect on the crowd. If they give you a CD, make sure the musicians you hear are the same who’ll play at the reception.
What songs do they play? What genre do they like best? Do they have new songs in the list? Ask the band for a playlist and look for the songs you know and love. If they have a lot of tunes you adore, then that’s good! Consider your first dance song as a test. If they don’t know it and are hesitant to learn it, then move to the next option.
How much do they ask? The price plays a part in wedding decisions. You should stay frugal, but not to the extent of compromising quality. If you have found the perfect band for you, negotiate with the price. Do your research on the average price of wedding bands and make that a basis for negotiation.
Aside from their fee, ask if they have other requirements. Do you need to rent instruments? Or is that included in the fee? A number of bands need food and drinks during the reception. To avoid any delays, you should also ask how long they need to set up their gear before the celebration begins.
How many hours will the band play? When choosing a band, you should first discuss how long they’ll be entertaining your guests. Some wedding bands typically play three hours out of a four-hour period. Also ask the band if they go on short breaks. If so, ask how many times. Knowing their plan in advance is beneficial so you can have someone play a CD in between a set.
Working with people you are comfortable with is very important before making a decision. By meeting them or talking with them on the phone, you’ll get to know what vibe they give off. Musicians with good attitudes will most likely capture the heart of the crowds as well.
In the end, when you do find wedding musicians that pass the above standards, make sure you come to an agreement before signing the contract.
About the author: Melissa Page writes wedding articles for a music agency in Edinburgh, and Ayrshire