What to Know When Hiring a Band
When you ask a bride what’s most important to her on her wedding day, usually the answer is the Band! A desire for everyone to have a good time is so important to all of our clients. Bands book out far in advance so we try and get the band booked within the week of the engagement. Below is my step-by-step approach on how to hire your band quickly and a few things you need to know before you sign the contract.
01 | Determine your Budget
First, determine your budget. Bands have a wide price range and this is an area you truly get what you pay for. The more polished, professional bands are going to be more expensive but they are also easier to work with and are more likely to accommodate your requests. However, if your budget doesn’t allow for the pricey band, booking a lower priced band through a booking agent will help!
02 | Use a Booking Agent
Second, reach out to a booking agent and ask them to send you bands that are available and in your price range. We love working with Music Garden and Eastcoast Entertainment as they manage the bands well and never lead us wrong. The biggest mistake I see is when a couple goes on their own random search. They waste a lot time looking at bands one by one on the web without knowing if the band is even available or in their price point. Both Music Garden and EastCoast will send you links to bands available on your day. Therefore you are only looking at bands you can book. This makes the search so much easier.
03 | Length of Play
Third, you need to determine if you want a band to play 3 hours non-stop or 4 hours with breaks. The bigger show bands do not have a problem playing 3 hours without a break. We usually recommend you cut the cake first then get the band started with your first dance. This way you are not wasting dancing time! If your band insists on 2 breaks, ask them if they will consider playing for 3.5 hours and 1 break instead. This break needs to be timed right so get some help from your planner.
One misconception we see is a couple thinking they get to choose the entire set list. Bands will not commit to a set list but they will allow you to give them some guidance. We recommend you give them 5 songs you LOVE and 5 songs you really do not want played. This helps the band know what you like and don’t like while also guaranteeing your favorites are played. The planners at Mariée Ami will always say no to choreographed dancing or rap.
04 | Read the Band Rider
Fourth, if you are not working with a planner, be sure to read over the band rider. It will tell you the stage requirements, meals, power, and dressing room wishes. While the items on the rider are required, they are all negotiable. For example, your venue may have a stage 2 feet shorter than what they require. Most riders request a 16×24 stage but I have seen a 14×24 work just fine. Most bands are willing to work with you if you just ask, but try not to interfere with their show. Always try your best to keep the band happy.
I hope you find this information helpful when booking your band. Be sure to remember your friends will have fun if you have fun! Get ready to dance your heart out!