Is this the best way to ensure your band turns up?
Revealed! The big secret most bands don't want you to know when booking wedding entertainment.
Are the preparations for your wedding fun and exciting, if occasionally stressful? One of the nicest things you have to do is find the perfect band for your reception.
There are lots of great bands out there – all willing and able to perform at your wedding. Some have been around for years and have built up a good reputation for providing a great night's entertainment.
There are other bands that are perhaps a bit past their sell by date. Rarely adding new songs to their show, with no real pride in what they're doing, but still happy to take your money and bash out a few worn out old songs roughly in tune. Thankfully this is the exception, but they do still get bookings from inexperienced bookers – after all, when was the last time you actually hired a band?
There's one thing they all have in common though. Something you already know at the back of your mind but that they'd prefer you didn't think about. Something that you really should take in to account when booking one of the most important aspects of the biggest day of your life…
Here it is. Almost without exception, the vast majority of wedding bands in the country perform part time. It's probably only occurred to you now, but playing in a band is not the day job.
At its best, it's a fairly well paid, enjoyable hobby, a valuable addition to a musician's income and a chance to enjoy performing music to a high standard with friends for an appreciative audience. At worst it's a drag – something they've been doing for years that has become routine but that has given them a steady income which they've grown too used to want to give up.
What does this mean to you and what impact can it have on your big day? If you're lucky, everything will go smoothly and you'll put this information down to needless scare mongering.
However every week, especially in the summer months, we'll get a call from an anxious bride or groom telling us that the bands they've booked direct have cancelled due to illness or bereavement, double booked themselves, split up without letting anyone know or that they just can't get hold of them.
We're not saying all bands are like that. But when you think about it, how important isyour big day to someone who has been told by their boss that he/she can't get time off work, or who is genuinely ill, or who has made a genuine mistake with your booking, or, and this happens more often than you'd believe, has lost their diary (band diaries can be anything from an online system that not everyone knows how to use, to an old notepad kept in a drawer near the phone.)
With the best will in the world, their plans to perform at your wedding are going to take second place when a major problem presents itself.
Here's a true story.
In the summer of 2011 we had a good band booked for two weddings over a July weekend. As is normal, we had called the band on Monday to check everything was OK for the coming weekend. Everything was fine. As is our policy, we also contacted the bride and groom with a courtesy call to wish them well and tell them that all their entertainment arrangements were checked and in place.
On Friday at about three O'clock, we took an anxious call from the band leader to say that their lead singer had been rushed to hospital with an extremely serious condition. (It's important to tell you that she eventually made a full recovery.)
We were faced with a wedding which was actually taking place and one for the next day, on one of the busiest weekends for wedding bookings of the year.
Our team swung in to action and we were able to identify all the bands on our books who we knew to be available. Within this list we were able to identify a band similar to the one our Friday client had booked and who were based close to the venue.
Within 20 minutes we had the new band in place and ready to attend the wedding. We even knew that the new band were able to play the couple's first dance choice. A quick call to the venue, and we were able to let the couple know that there had been an unavoidable last minute change but that everything was under control.
For the Saturday couple, we were able to offer a choice of bands.
On the Monday, we were contacted by representatives of both couples to thank us for saving the day. We were also in the nice position to rebate some of the original band's fees because the replacements were slightly lower in price.
The interesting thing to note is that, like many others, the band that cancelled has a web site stating that in the event of an emergency, they have lots of contacts with other musicians who can cover for them. They say this with the greatest sincerity.
But when the proverbial hits the fan, its human nature to panic. Who would be contactable and available at 3PM on a Friday for a booking in 5 hours time? How can this be organised when most of the affected band are at work in their day jobs and would find it impossible to get the time to call round other musicians? And no matter how good a musician is, how can she be expected to slot in to another band with no rehearsal time at all?
The truth is, with the best will in the world, it can't be done. What actually happens is they call us. Why? Because sourcing, booking and managing live entertainment is our day job. It's what we do, all day every day. We have the time, resources and experience to handle situations like this.
We even have a permanently manned emergency contact number – here it is – 07816 844 623. This means that we can be contacted out of normal office hours, allowing us to bring our considerable talents to solving virtually any entertainment problem that may arise.
Although there are lots of agencies around, most are also run on a part time basis, often by people actually in bands. Try calling them on a Saturday night when you're band has not turned up. They'll be too busy playing in their own band to help you.
Hireaband is one of the few, full time, office based, professional businesses that can cope with the responsibilities involved in looking after someone's wedding arrangements.
We are full members of The Agents Association of Great Britain and three times winners of the prestigious VOWS Awards (Voted Outstanding Wedding Supplier)
We have a dedicated wedding team – and we source, book and manage considerably more wedding entertainment than any other company in the country.
So, imagine you're on a transatlantic flight and the pilot takes ill. Who do you want to step up and take control of the aircraft? A pilot with a licence to fly light aircraft, or an experienced and confident British Airways jumbo jet pilot?
Fly Hireaband – we'll get you there!
To put your wedding entertainment in the safest hands in the business, contact us on 0845 226 0494 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll provide you with a free consultation on the best bands available for you – all backed up with our unique triple guarantee.
Here's to your wedding. We wish you everything you wish for yourself.