I played in a wedding band for years so I thought I’d pass on a bit of help when it comes to getting a good wedding band for your wedding.
The first thing to do is book your venue. They take longer to secure than bands and a lot of them have relationships with bands they use a lot so can make recommendations. The other reason for this is you’ll be able to tell the band the size of the stage (must have a stage/area that is big enough) the access points and so on.
The next thing to do is to shortlist the bands and ask them their prices and whether they will learn a wedding song especially for you. Most will but a few won’t. This will shorten the list a bit more is my guess. Don’t be too worried about the price for now – most bands will negotiate. A good ballpark figure is to give each band member a decent days pay and 20% for the cost of the production. It also makes sense to look for bands that are local to the venue first because this can save you a hotel bill for 5! You will also need to feed them so don’t neglect that – hungry musicians don’t tend to play as well.
The next thing is to ask them for their song list and whether they will provide music in the breaks. You will need to know that the band can provide the right music for all your guests tastes. It is a big family occasion and you want to be certain that all the family will have fun (not just the heavy metal fans).
Now have a listen to them on their website or any other demo they provide but don’t get too carried away here. The amount of wedding bands I know that have recordings of members that left over 2 years ago is scary (I’m still on a band’s demo that I left 5 years ago). No, the next thing is to go and see them perform live. This will take a bit of effort but it is well worth it. This is your big day – it has to be right. If you have someone you trust who won’t get drunk and trash someone else’s wedding, delegate this job if necessary. They can always record a bit on their mobile for you to see.
You will probably have a shortlist of three or four wedding bands at this point. I have done a bit of research and the deciding factor nearly always seems to be cost, but can I say for a couple of hundred dollars or pounds it is worth getting the band you really want. You can try negotiating (I would) but the better bands are nearly always pretty heavily booked in the wedding season. You’ve got a better chance if you have decided to have a wedding on either edge of the season. The thing to keep in mind is that this is it. Your wedding day. It will be videoed, photographed and be a family talking point for years. Get the best band you can and it will go down as the most fun you family and friends have had for years! One band I was in played all 3 daughter’s weddings of one client.