Choosing the right band for your wedding reception needn’t be a daunting task. The key is finding a professional band that is experienced performing at wedding receptions, is diverse enough to accommodate a wide range of musical selections, is efficient, professional and reliable service…and most of all turns up on the day with a smile and produces a great sound!
It takes more than just good musicians to ensure wedding entertainment runs smoothly. Not only will your wedding band provide party entertainment, but the bandleader will often times act as emcee in introducing the wedding party and turning your guests attention toward particular highlights of the evening, such as the first dance, father/daughter dance, and any special requests.(Even announcing the buffet!)
So great care and consideration should be placed in choosing the right band as well as the right bandleader.
When contacting different bands you should have several goals in mind. You want to know something about the band, the musicians, their history and level of experience performing at weddings, the general style of music they play, how they dress, and of course the logistics… rates, packages, options, availability, etc….
Of course one of the most important factors in choosing a wedding band or orchestra is their sound, however most professional function bands only play private events so it’s not easy to see them first. But a good band should be able to provide you with a live music sample or live showcase video performances on their website.
Firstly, make sure the videos are truly live, not mimed. You’d be surprised how many bands (sadly) do this and it really does make a difference, as some bands are simply better on stage performers than others. If it looks acted on the video, then how good are they at managing a live audience…a very important skill to keep the party flowing!
Make the investment in a professional band, and always speak to the bandleader before booking-you won’t regret it!
Top quality entertainment is crucial to the success of your party and you and your guests experience(and memories), so Its important to put as much emphasis on the band’s budget as you would on any other part of the event, otherwise you may be disappointed on the day.
With wedding entertainment and function bands it is definitely a case of “you get what you pay for”. It’s a common mistake to start by booking the wedding dress/suits, venue, catering, flowers etc. and then use the remaining budget for the band, which means the decision is made on price. Although more expensive is not necessarily better, this is a key investment area, especially for the one day you need to be certain that the entertainers really know what they are doing. Some key points to consider:
• If you choose a band on price alone, then you may be disappointed. Professional bands do cost more because they pay good rates to professional musicians, have top quality equipment and insurance, give better service and have a great repertoire.
• Bands that charge more tend to offer higher level of service and attention to detail. They have better quality musical arrangements and most of all simply sound great and give great live performances!
• Choose a professional Band with experience of performing at weddings, who take the time to understand what you require before you book them. Talk through your plan with the bandleader first.
• Look for video and audio examples. An established group should have their music on their website and references from previous clients available for you to view.
• Where possible, book the band direct rather than through an agent. From years of experience I can tell you that most entertainment agents are simply salespeople who don’t necessarily understand much about music (yes really!) or event entertainment, whether the bands they market are actually capable of providing a great live performance or know how to act and deal with situations that arise on the day of an event. Many of the bands they market are hobby bands. Put simply, the importance of the occasion warrants a decent investment. Would you ask a hobbyist plumber to install your central heating and new boiler just because he has a nice website and he’s cheap?
Some bands and agencies take double or triple booking for the same band on the same night. This can be a quality control nightmare and you may end up getting a completely different level of musicianship than what you saw on the video.(you might have the substitute reserves) Once again, check this with the bandleader.
• Contracts and booking. Once you have found your ideal band, it is important for both yourselves and the artists to have an agreement in writing. The band should send you a contract, so make sure you have an agreement that covers these points:
o Date, venue, arrival time for artists and time they should be finished setting up
o Performance times, length of sets, how many
o Can the artists provide recorded music during their breaks / is this required?
o What equipment do the artists provide? (Sound system, lighting)
o Artist’s performance area requirements (stage size, power supply, dressing
room, storage for cases etc, meals and or drinks)
o Total fee including all extras. Also how and when this will be paid.
o Artists equipment and public liability insurance
It is imperative to have the whole agreement written down so both you and the artists know what to expect. The last thing you want is a nasty surprise on your special day!
Great entertainment can make or break an event, and is one of the things that people will remember for years to come. Whoever you chose (and of course I hope you choose us!) I hope this helps in your selection process. Call me if you would like to chat through things.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]