6 Tips for Booking Live Wedding Music

I should start this post by telling you all that I am biased. I am a big, biased biatch. Why? Because to me, there is NO comparison between live music and a DJ. None. Now, with that said, I do realize that live music might not always be a priority for a budget bride. I, like many of you, was a little worried about spending upwards of $1,500 on live music. I thought: “Will it even make a difference?” The answer is yes. Specifically, HELL to the YES!

Booking Live Music

If you still need a little convincing, here are a few reasons why a live band is SO worth the extra money. 

They’re Professionals
One of the best gifts a bride can receive during wedding planning is help. By hiring a live band you won’t have to worry about setting up and tearing down sound equipment, assigning a friend as an MC, or building your own music library.

You Get Dinner and a Show
Unfortunately, it’s just a fact that not everyone at your wedding will be social. For your shy friends and family, hiring a live band is a wonderful way to keep them entertained and keep the “awkward silence” to a minimum. Unlike DJs (with the exception of this one), live bands provide great music AND a show!

Live Music Sets the Tone
Yeah, I’m sure our wedding guests loved to see my husband and I vow our undying love for each other, blah blah blah … but to this day, the number one compliment I get about my own wedding was how great the band was. Unlike the food or your centerpieces, your guests will actually remember the band … and isn’t that what it’s all about? Creating a night that your friends and family will remember forever?

Now that you’re convinced, read on for …

6 tips for booking live wedding music

6 Tips for Booking Live Wedding Music

Most bands worth their salt will have more gigs than just weddings. Taking the extra time to see your wedding band live BEFORE booking them is a very worthy investment. If you’re preferred band doesn’t have other gigs, ask to see if you can sit in on one of their practices, or arrange for an audition.

Choose a band with a memorable and specific sound. In general, bands that cover all genres of music are also pretty mediocre at all genres of music. A band with a specific niche will have spent their time studying a smaller range of songs and will be much more practiced and talented in the long run. GigMasters is a great website to find live music available for hire in your area.

Because some venues aren’t equipped to handle sound equipment or stage lighting, it’s important to shop for bands and venues at the same time. You’re wedding date isn’t set in stone until you book the venue so make sure to check availability with your band before hand.

Don’t hire any band that doesn’t ask you to sign a contract! Contracts can seem a little intimidating, but they actually protect YOU just as much as the talent. Without a contract, what’s to stop your band from canceling just because it’s Shark Week? Signing a contract commits you AND the band. Be very specific about your expectations and make sure any additional services you request (an extra hour of music, etc.) are included in the contract.

Nobody wants to walk into a beautiful wedding to be met with a screeching electric guitar and speaker feedback. Coordinate with your band to make sure their sound checks are completed by the time your guests arrive.

Here are some other questions to ask your wedding band:

  • How many hours does your price include?
  • Do you have a song list to choose from? Can guests make requests?
  • How many breaks will you take?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • Will you book other events on the day of our wedding?
  • What do you normally wear to a wedding? Can we make wardrobe requests?

Follow these easy tips and you’ll be a booking pro in no time. Most importantly, make sure you love your band. After all, you’re asking them to share in one of the most important days in your life!

{Pictured} The Frim Fram 4 performs in Boise, Idaho | Sara Gray Photography

Allison is the owner and editor of MarryThis! With a love of weddings and a flair for budget-friendly ideas, she feels that gorgeous weddings don't have to cost an arm and a leg. A graphic designer by day (Allison Doty Graphic Design - allisondoty.com), Allison also creates the visual presence of MarryThis!

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