Booking a Wedding Band
Today we’d like to introduce you to Mel Lazarus, who manages My Fabulous Wedding Band. Mel talks us through the bride (and groom)’s booking a band checklist. Over to you Mel…..
The Fabulous Bride’s “Band Booking Checklist”
It’s crunch time. You’ve been working hard to find the perfect band for your perfect day for the last 3 weeks, and you’re frazzled.
You’ve followed up on all the personal recommendations. You’ve looked at every single music-related website on the internet. You’ve sent emails to so many bands that your Gmail is about to explode. You’ve spoken to band leaders, agents and managers, and your note pad is all dog eared from the endless page flicking.
You have all the info you think you could EVER need to make your final choice of band…… But what if you get it wrong??! You’ve never done this before, and the success of your wedding party depends on it!
Panic not, lovely brides & grooms. Here’s your handy “Band Booking Checklist” to test against all the bands on your shortlist & to help you sort the wheat from the chaff. Listen carefully now…
1. Do you know exactly what it’s going to cost?
You want to avoid choosing a band that leaves you with a long and expensive list of ‘extras’ at the end of your wedding. A quotation from a professional function band should include a PA system (sound system, speakers etc) and basic stage lighting – this usually covers events of up to 200 guests. Also be sure that transport costs are included – particularly important, for example, if you’re schlepping an 18 piece Big Band up to Gretna Green.
2. Do they have a reliable contact person?
Seriously people, this one is NOT to be underestimated. Your contact person can be the band leader or band representative. As you move towards your wedding day, you’ll become busier and busier with an ever-increasing ‘to do’ list. You’ll need answers to your questions, and you’ll need ‘em quick. Do not be left wondering who to call for those answers and, more importantly, do not find yourself waiting for more than 24 hours to get them. Make sure you know who you’re dealing with.
3. Have you signed a formal contract?
If a band is happy to make a verbal agreement with you, or even to confirm with just a couple of lines on an email – alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear! A bit like marriage itself, a contract commits the band to you and you to the band. Don’t leave home without one.
4. Are they happy to perform songs you request?
Every band should be open to allowing you the songs that you want to hear from their repertoire list. But remember, there is a balance to be struck between the band leader’s choices, based on his experience and intuition, versus the songs that you’ve specifically requested. In our experience, the bride & groom tend to want the songs that the band leader would have picked anyway, so everyone’s singing from the same song sheet (ahem).
5. Are they giving you all the right answers to your questions?
Before taking the plunge, you must do your research, get a feel for the market and formulate some questions to ask your shortlisted bands. ‘Love at first sight’ with a band is a wonderful thing, but don’t be so love-struck that you forget to ask some pertinent questions and get some satisfactory answers. There is a lot to be said for the chemistry between you and the band leader/representative and how much they listen to you and try to understand your particular brief. Ask yourself if they’ve demonstrated a level of respect for you and your wishes, or do you feel like you’re just another client? If it’s the latter, then it might be time for a break-up.
If you’d like to see some professional live bands that have band leaders to fall in love with, transparent quotes, watertight e-contracting process, and all the answers you’ll ever need… Come check out our handpicked portfolio of bands at My Fabulous Wedding Band – the boutique for live bands with authentic style & personality.
Thanks for the excellent advice Mel – here’s hoping it helps lots of brides and grooms this Summer.