Skip to main content


7 Things you should expect from your wedding band (and one thing some bands don't want you to know).

Frankenstein image

The entertainment at your wedding is a huge part of what makes your big day fizz or flop. Get it right and your guests will have nothing but fond memories, get it wrong and you won’t want to remember what should be one of the highlights of your plans.

So what should you expect from such an important part of your wedding arrangements? Here’s a list of the 8 things you have a right to expect from your wedding band and one dirty secret your band may not want you to know.

  1. You have the right to expect your band to actually turn up. While it’s rare for ‘no shows’ at weddings, most agents can tell stories of frantic calls from venues looking for a band to cover a wedding because the original band that was booked just didn’t turn up. Get the details in writing.
  2. You have the right to expect the band to know what they’re doing. Playing at a wedding is a completely unique experience for musicians. No event involves more pressure to get things right, so just booking a band from your local pub is a massive risk.
  3. You have the right to a written contract. Quite simply, if you don’t get everything in writing then you’re taking a massive risk that some or all of the aspects of your big day will not go as planned. That’s a great reason not to ask your friends or family to perform for you no matter how talented they are – it can be awkward getting into a legally binding arrangement if someone is ‘doing you a favour.’
  4. You have the right to a well-rehearsed first dance. Most bands will be happy to learn your first dance. If it’s simply not possible for technical or artistic reasons, the band will play the actual track through their system. Not being prepared to do your first dance justice simply isn’t on. Real bands rehearse regularly, so there’s simply no excuse.
  5. You have the right to expect good behaviour from the band members. They should stick to agreed break times, not drink to excess and be smartly turned out while on stage.
  6. You have the right to expect the band to have reliable equipment. Most experienced wedding bands invest thousands of pounds in their gear plus they carry spare parts to cover some of the more common problems. Technical issues happen and some just can’t be helped but on the whole an experienced wedding band will be ready for (almost) anything.
  7. You have the right to expect the same band you booked to turn up on the night. Illness happens and can strike last minute (remember Covid?) so in order to make sure you have entertainment it’s perfectly acceptable to have what we call ‘deps’ covering for members of the band who are ill or not available due to other unforeseen circumstances. Most bands use the same ‘deps’ regularly who know the material well and are familiar with the band’s set and style. However this leads nicely to something that is a growing concern for the wedding entertainment industry …


Beware the Frankenstein Bands

There is a worrying and growing trend in the world of wedding entertainment.  Bands are being advertised, usually with very impressive promotional videos and slick web sites that, believe it or not in many cases are made up of musicians who have never played together before (or in some cases never even met). We don’t mean new bands, but bands that have been put together for the first and only time for your wedding!

We know musicians who have been tempted into performing in these cobbled together bands and they tell us that on many occasions they turn up on the night never having met or performed with the other musicians. Your first dance may be unrehearsed and the sound system probably unfamiliar to them. That’s not great if there is an issue.

The businesses behind this worrying trend have access to a pool of musicians to cover every spot so it’s entirely possible that the same ‘band’ is playing at several different events on the same night. When the people behind these bands, often referred to as ‘producers’ get a booking they’ll use their first choice musicians and if you’re lucky, you’ll get this line up. There may even be a chance these musicians have performed together before. That’s great and you’ll probably have a good experience. But what if you’re the second or third couple to book that same band on the same night, or what if the first choice musicians are all busy performing elsewhere?

So next time you see a band that looks and sounds great from any source, here are the questions to ask;

  1. Is this a real band that have rehearsed together and have a single identity?
  2. Will I get the band members I see in the videos (unless illness requires a dep)?
  3. If a ‘dep’ musician is required, have they performed with the band before?
  4. Is the name and branding of this band being used for a performance by other musicians on the same night as my event?
  5. Is my contract with the band or the ‘producers’?
  6. If my contract is with the producers, what percentage of what I’m paying goes to the band? (We’ve been advised that it’s common for only half of what you’re paying to go to the musicians).

Hiring a great wedding band isn’t cheap, but it’s worth every penny when you consider how essential fantastic music is to your big night. Make sure any band you book agrees to your seven basic rights. In fact, show them this article and get them to acknowledge their obligations to you. And please please please get a contract in place.

We hope this article is helpful. Congratulations, good luck and if you’ve booked one of Scotland’s many talented bands, get ready to have the time of your lives!