The Hireaband "How To" guide to hiring musical acts for your wedding.
Popular bands book out first, so if you’re getting married in the spring or summer, start thinking about the entertainment for your wedding 12 – 18 months in advance. Don’t panic though, even popular bands have the odd summer date available and most will be less busy in the autumn and winter months.
You should be wary of bands or agents who don’t take a deposit. By accepting your deposit the band has agreed to keep the date of your wedding reserved for you which will prevent them dropping your booking for one that pays better or is closer to home.
You should expect to pay anything from £50 upwards as a deposit. It’s essential to get the fact that you’ve paid something in writing. Where possible always pay by debit or credit card as this acts as another guarantee of your booking. Admittedly this is difficult for many bands but all agencies should be able to offer this facility.
Get a contract from your band – at least a letter confirming all the details, including the venue, date, performance times etc. Don’t leave anything to chance. Get every detail in writing.
Check with your venue about their requirements from the band. Does the band need to be insured or have their equipment tested? Most venues now require this. Don’t wait till the day of your wedding to find that the band isn’t allowed to play. If a band doesn’t have these essential documents in place, hire another one.
If the venue has a sound limiter, which is increasingly common, check if the band is OK with that. Many are not and won’t perform in venues with these in place.
Trust your agent. An agent’s reputation (and therefore success) is based on them providing you with good advice. They know the best bands, deal with all the paperwork, handle all the payments and make sure the bands keep to an expected standard of performance and behaviour.
To find the best agents, look for testimonials from previous clients. Make sure they’re members of The Agents Association of Great Britain and see if they’ve won any awards (i.e. The VOWS Awards.)
Here are the top ten questions you should ask your band (or the bands agent) before you hire them;
- Do you have Public Liability Insurance and is your equipment PAT tested?
- Do you have testimonials from previous couples
- Do you issue contracts?
- What happens if more than one of you is ill on the day of my wedding?
- How long do you play for?
- How long is your break and do you play backround music during this?
- Will the band I hire be exactly the same band that turns up on the night?
- How long do you need to set up your equipment?
- Can you play a ceilidh set if required?
- Will you acknowledge all payments including the final payment in writing?