On your wedding day after vows are made, the register signed, and the speeches are out of the way, there’s nothing left to do but take a huge sigh of relief, and hit the dance floor for the party of your life. And for that, you need a great wedding band (when restrictions allow, of course!) One of the biggest elements to planning a wedding is the music, and having a top-notch wedding band is the perfect way to get the party started. To help you find the right band for your big day, we’ve put together a list of questions to ask your wedding band, along with some handy tips for not only finding the right band, but making sure it all runs smoothly on the day too!
Common Questions to Ask Your Wedding Band
Run through this list of questions with any potential wedding bands, and make sure you’re happy with the answers to all that are relevant to you, before you book!
1. Can we see you play at a showcase before we book?
2. What time will the band arrive to the venue to set up?
3. What are your requirements at the venue?
4. Can you get the party moving and create a great atmosphere?
5. Can you be fun and current, but still cater for our families and not alienate anyone?
6. Can you play our first dance song live?
7. Can you invite the bridal party on the floor after 30 seconds of our first dance, because we don’t want too much attention?
8. Do you take requests on the night?
9. Do we need to select a set list? If so, when do you need it finalised?
10. What happens during the break between band sets?
11. What will the band wear?
12. Will there be any pop-up branded signage or a stage backdrop?
13. Is my deposit refundable?
14. When should the final balance be paid and what method of payment is required?
15. How long will the band play for?
16. If things run behind schedule (i.e. the meal and speeches) will the band play later?
17. Is there a travel fee for venues beyond the band’s location?
18. If a band member is sick, do the band have an alternative musician/singer to take their place?
Things to Remember When You’re Booking a Wedding Band
- It’s always a good idea to really think about what kind of wedding band you want, and what kind of vibe you want them to bring. Are you looking for crowd pleasers who’ll churn out the hits, do you want a band that’s more stylised (like a Rat Pack band) or someone a little fun and novel (like a tribute act)? Perhaps you have lot of older guests or a smaller venue, and you want something a little more acoustic and mellow?
- Try to see your band live before you book them, if possible. If you haven’t seen them before at a gig or another wedding, pop along to a showcase. Many bands take part in showcases, where brides and grooms can come and see them perform in a local bar or hotel. It’s a great way to meet a band and see how they perform for a crowd.
- Wedding bands normally play for two and a half to three hours, assuming that they start at the agreed time. If the speeches run over longer or the meal is delayed, this time may not be added on by the band. If you don’t want to lose any time on the dance floor, time your dinner a littler earlier so you have a buffer if things get delayed.
- When it comes to your first dance song, ask the band if they know it and if they can play it live (if that’s what you want). A band won’t be offended if you choose to go with a CD and try not to take offence if they say they’re not up to playing it live. For example, an 80s tribute band might not be the best fit if your first dance is to a Damien Rice song!
- Your venue may ask you if your entertainment providers have public liability insurance cover. So check with your band and get a copy of a cover note from their insurance company to give to your venue beforehand.
- If you’re concerned about the logistics of the band playing in your venue, don’t worry. In 99% of cases, the venue has hosted music before so it should be pretty straight forward. Once in a while somewhere unusual pops up, like a new venue, marquee wedding or an outdoor setting. The outdoors can pose problems, so if that’s what you have in mind, notify the band, see what their power and staging requirements are and have a back-up plan in case it rains!
- Make sure to check where your guests will be dancing on the night and what tables will be moved. Some venues are quite old and might have an old granite floor for pounding your feet on, which is not ideal, wooden dance floors work best!
While any wedding band worth their salt will be able to bring the tunes, all of our recommended wedding bands – who are all great BTW! – say that it’s the couple who make the party and set the tone for their guests. So kick off your heels, make sure your dancing shoes are on and get front and centre on the dancefloor!