By Yvette Loveless
Besides having proof of excellent musicianship, wonderful reviews and videos, check to see if your wedding band measures up for some of these points.
Willingness to Listen to You
Many times neither member of the family of the bride and groom has ever hired music entertainment. For this reason clients have questions about the procedure of hiring a band for hire. Of course, you want to ensure your wedding ceremony and wedding reception goes as planned. Experienced musicians have found it helpful to meet with their customers in person or by phone. In this meeting, both parties are able to define each parties’ responsibility for the wedding.
A meeting of the bride and groom should be arranged to consider suggestions of all songs including; special dance songs, including; (the father/bride, mother/groom and bride/groom dances.) The pronunciation of the names should be discussed to ensure there are no errors in the first and last names of the wedding party to be announced.
After meeting with the band you should have a written contract presented by the band that protects both parties. The written contract formalizes the discussions of you, (the client), and the band for the wedding day. With the importance of a great wedding at stake, listed are examples of what should be included in your signed contract?
Wedding Ceremony & Wedding Reception Songs
Other songs that should be confirmed include: the entrance song for the bride at the ceremony, wedding song, the first dance song, the garter toss tune and bouquet toss song as well as the cake cutting song. If you are not sure of popular or perfect songs for each category, song suggestions should be provided by your band. Having a list of songs for these special occasions and save time and allow the couple and band to get a consensus.
Timeline of Events
A timeline of events for the evening should also be designed to ensure every aspect of your special day is completed before the evening ends. This attention to detail in the form of a timeline is very helpful to communicate with your wedding coordinator or on-site event coordinator.
When your guests arrive to the wedding reception, make sure your band plays an appropriate soft volume of background music to put your guests in a relaxed mood to socialize.
Do not forget to supply the specifications of the sound system from the venue manager. Discussing if the location where the event will be held has a sound system is important. During your meeting, you can also find out if the band’s equipment will be available for special announcements, presentations is important.
The amount of space to be used should be disclosed your chosen band and given to the venue manager for their set-up plan. Many experienced bands will provide a “stage plot.” This diagram shows the diameter the band will require and the position of all band members. Your venue should also supply you or your wedding coordinator with a plan of the entire room so each element has enough space. Sometimes all items are not accounted for and the lack of planning causes a jam of people in a particular area of the room. Dance floor, buffets, open/cash bars, coat check, DJ (if applicable), cake table, gift table, wedding party table; all should be considered to maintain a good flow in the room.
It is a good idea to get permission for the family and guests to use the band’s sound system to make congratulatory remarks to the couple, express memories about the couple or even present gifts.
Try to select a band that will pay outside booking fees as a courtesy. Sometimes bands use an outside agency, such as; GigMasters, GigSalad, and Thumbtack, to find prospective engaged couples. Typically, a non-refundable deposit will be requested at the time of the booking to secure your date on the band’s calendar and insures no other client takes your date.
As an option, the band leader could serve as MC for your event. A typed program should be available for the MC to include all events for the evening. Many bands provide a competent DJ "free of charge" which can save you a lot of money. Confirming the MC for the reception should be discussed.
Find a band that will accept requests from your family and guests during the event so during “band breaks” your guests are able to enjoy all the music they love despite the presence of a live band. It is important to hire a band that keeps the party going by playing a variety of music that is enjoyed by people of many generations young and old!
We hope some of these tips are useful in your search for a great wedding band.