Hiring a wedding band - How does it work?

Hiring a wedding band - How does it work?

If you're thinking about hiring a live wedding band but are feeling a little out of your comfort zone, then not to worry; we speak to hundreds of customers on a daily basis and the majority have lots of questions to straighten out before making the big leap – after all, booking a wedding band isn't something you do every day!

The process of hiring a band is actually fairly straight forward, but let's go through the basics of what you need to know and how a typical booking process might work.

1. Set an Estimated Budget for Your Band

On your initial googlies you may be shocked to discover just how many wedding bands there are out there - from the local pub band to well established corporate party bands.

These days costs might vary from a few hundred to a few thousand pounds, the industry is extremely diverse in that respect but hopefully the advertised starting prices on a site such as ours will give you a rough idea of what budget you're aiming at.

There are of course a number of factors that affect the price of a wedding band so use these figures purely as a guide.

2. Make a Shortlist

Whether you're browsing through individual band websites, Facebook or a website such as Bands For Hire, you'll find every credible band will have demos and at least one performance video available. Use these as your starting point and make a shortlist of your favourites.

If you're enquiring through a band's website, you'll just need to drop them an email with your event date and location and await a response. If you're using a live music agency such as Bands For Hire you'll also find an 'Add to Enquiry List' button on every band's page – feel free to add as many bands as you fancy and then head over to the Enquiry List page to send us your wedding details.

3. Wait for Your Quotes

Once the band or agency has received your enquiry they'll start checking on each band's availability and then put together your quotes based on the location of your wedding.

The turnaround for this can vary from a few hours to a few days. At Bands For Hire we manage a number of our bands and so you can often expect to receive a same-day reply if enquiring during office hours (9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday). Having said that, some bands do work with more than one agency and so in that scenario we have to wait for the band to confirm their availability with us before emailing through the quote. The majority of bands check their emails regularly, but as you can imagine when dealing with hundreds of musicians, there are always one or two stragglers that require a little bit of chasing up! Luckily for you, that's our job so please just hold tight – oh the joys of being an agent!

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4. Make a Booking

Once your date and venue are both secure and contracted in, it's time to make the big decision. There are numerous articles on the web that go into what to focus on, but it ultimately comes down to your own preference. At Bands For Hire, we work hard to ensure that every band we work with is of a very high standard and hopefully that's clear when browsing through our site.

At Bands For Hire we have a booking process that's fairly typical in the industry. In order to confirm a band, we'll just need you to send over your personal details such as your name, phone number and address along with the venue address. We'll then send over an invoice for a small deposit that will be deducted from the final balance – this can be paid by online card payment or by bank transfer.

We'll also send over our contract with our standard terms and conditions which can be signed online in a few seconds.

Be sure to check the terms carefully as you'll need to forward on the band's requirements to the venue to check they can accommodate the band. It's also important to be aware of the cancellation terms, after all this is a legally binding contract and real people's livelihoods are involved.

5. Make the Arrangements

Once the deposit has been paid and the contract has been signed by both yourself and the band, it's time to officially confirm the booking. Every agency has a different system but at Bands For Hire we send out a booking confirmation email with a breakdown of your booking and some other things to think about in the run up to your wedding. We'll remain your main point of contact at this stage and will be here to advise on logistics and schedules etc.

6. Make Contact with the Band

Four weeks before the date we'll send out our 'Final Confirmation' email which will put you in direct contact with the band. For a busy band performing 50-100 weddings a year, this is the ideal time to start focussing on your day and make the final arrangements. At this point, you can also expect to receive an invoice for the balance which will need to be paid by bank transfer before the day of the wedding.

In days gone by you could expect to pay wedding suppliers by cash or cheque on the day but this ultimately caused issues such as bouncing cheques and a drunk best man in charge of thousands of pounds in cash - not always a good idea!

7. Sit Back and Relax

Sit back and relax: you've made your arrangements, the band know what time to turn up and have likely done this a thousand time before. If there's anything you need before the day, your band will be more than happy to discuss it with you on the phone so don't be afraid to give them a call, it's always nice to have a chat before the day.

I've merely gone over the basics of booking a wedding band rather than the ins and outs of schedules and plans for the actual day itself; you'll find lots of further information on our blog and some of the most common queries on our FAQs page.