Finding the perfect wedding band can be really tricky. There are so many factors to consider, from the age range of your guests to the space available. However, once you’ve found the perfect act for your big day, what comes next? In this post, we’ll look at five questions to ask your wedding band to get you started.
To be clear – every wedding is different, and there may well be more information you require. No one is saying that these are the only questions you should be asking. However, if you’re looking to cover many of the bases, asking these questions to your wedding musicians is an excellent place to start.
What are your payment terms?
An important topic to bring up early in the booking process is payment terms.
Every act will be different, but it is generally accepted that (once you have your act confirmed) you will usually be asked for a deposit to secure the date, followed by the remaining balance reasonably promptly. Most acts will require payment by (at the very latest) the date of the performance. Some will be happy to take cash on the day, but it is more common nowadays for your band to request BACS payment in advance of the date.
Remember, although it is not unheard of, most bands will not take card payments on the day of the performance. Always work out a plan for how you intend to settle your bill in advance and agree on it with the group.
How much space do you require?
Everybody wants their wedding to run as smoothly as possible so there are a couple of questions about the practicalities of the big day that it are worth asking in advance.
It is important to remember that your wedding band isn’t likely to just be a couple of people with their instruments – most bands will require an entire van load of equipment that will include a PA system, lights and more.
Ask your venue where they usually have the band set up and make sure they have the information regarding how much space your band will require – it will usually be more than you think!
How long does it usually take you to set up?
Again, to help ensure your big day runs as close to time as possible, getting a few details about your band’s set-up time is a good idea.
A standard 4-piece wedding band will generally need at least an hour to set up and soundcheck if access to the performance space is relatively straightforward, so it’s important to factor this time into your day to avoid rushing or delay.
Because a soundcheck will involve some noise (not all of it pleasant!), it’s usually better to have your set up when the performance room is empty, if possible. For instance, if you’re planning an outdoor drinks reception as your evening guests arrive, this is the perfect opportunity.
When is the deadline for any requests?
If you plan to have your band perform your first dance (or any other requests), it is essential to get that information to them as far in advance as possible. Some bands charge a nominal fee for this, but most will happily take a couple of requests in advance for free if they are given enough time.
It’s important to remember that musicians aren’t jukeboxes – learning new music takes time and effort to transcribe and rehearse, so it’s not always possible to have a go at something “on the fly”.
When making requests, it’s also essential to think about the line-up of your band. For instance, a 3-piece rock band is unlikely to do justice to a big band jazz tune.
Is there anything else you need from us?
This is possibly the most crucial question on the whole list. You can never really give your wedding band too much information in advance of your wedding day.
If in doubt, include anything that you think they should be aware of. It’s always better to double-check that the band don’t need anything further from you, just in case.
Guest post by Jon Fellowes of Last Minute Musicians