How to Find a Wedding Band

How to Find a Wedding Band

When it comes to your wedding, you want things to be perfect, especially the evening's entertainment. Everybody loves live music, and a wedding band is a foolproof way to ensure the dance floor never empties.

If you're thinking about hiring a live wedding band but are feeling a little out of your comfort zone, then not to worry - you're not alone!

Every day we speak to hundreds of newly engaged couples who are just making a start on their wedding planning. Most couples have lots of questions before choosing their wedding entertainment – after all, booking a wedding band isn't something you do every day!

Before we look at the booking process, the first thing you'll be asking is how do I find a wedding band?!

There are several aspects to consider when picking a wedding band, from your overall budget to the wedding theme and, of course, the style of music you and your guests enjoy. Let's dive in and break it down!

wedding band music hire
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1. Where to find a wedding band

If you've found your way here, then you've already discovered the easiest way to find a wedding band - a live music agency! However, there are many other places to discover wedding bands, including:

  • Wedding directories
  • Facebook groups
  • Instagram hashtags
  • Twitter hashtags
  • Watching live bands on the local music scene
  • Recommendations from friends
  • Facebook recommendations
  • Wedding planning forums
  • Wedding planning apps

Why use an entertainment agency?

On your initial search, you may be overwhelmed to discover just how many wedding bands there are out there - from the local pub band to well established high-end wedding bands.

While there's clearly an abundance of function bands to choose from online, judging a band without watching them live can be challenging. Scheduling gigs every week isn't possible for most couples, so you'll need to rely on the band's promotional material to make your decision.

As an experienced live entertainment agency, we've spent years building our roster and developing a network of trusted musicians so that you don't have to. We have a reputation to protect, and so by booking through a live music agency such as Bands For hire, you can be sure that your chosen wedding band makes the grade.

2. Set an Estimated Budget

Before deciding on your entertainment budget, it's essential to establish the level of professionalism you're hoping to receive, as this will be reflected in the price.

The price of a wedding band can vary from a few hundred pounds for a local pub band to a few thousand pounds for an experienced wedding band with solid credentials. The wedding industry is hugely diverse in that respect, but the advertised starting prices on a website such as ours will give you a rough idea of the quote you can expect to receive.

Several factors affect the price of a wedding band so bear in mind that website prices are for local bookings and are purely a guide. Factors that may affect your quote include:

  • Travel expense (and time spent travelling)
  • Time of the year
  • Day of the week
  • Number of musicians
  • Early arrivals
  • Late finish time

Learn more about wedding band costs on our blog.

3. Choose your Style

Finding the right wedding band may require some careful thought, but it's worth taking the time to sit down with your partner and agree on your musical direction and style.

Most couples choose a wedding band that covers a broad range of music to appeal to guests of all ages. The repertoire will generally go through the ages to include 50s and 60s rock 'n' roll, soul, Motown, 70s rock, 80s pop/rock, 90s Britpop, indie, UK garage, modern pop, dance music and more.

By picking a wedding band that plays music from every era, you'll ensure that all of your guests are catered for, from younger guests to elderly relatives.

Themed wedding bands

If you're having a themed wedding, you may like your wedding entertainment to match the theme. For example, a 1920s swing band works perfectly with a vintage theme, or perhaps an indie-folk band if you're going for a rustic outdoor festival themed wedding.

There are many unique wedding music ideas to consider, from 50s and 80s tribute bands to Mariachi bands, Caribbean steel bands, and more.

soul wedding band

4. Venue size and number of band members

When searching for a wedding band, one of the primary considerations is the size of your venue and the number of musicians. Your budget may well dictate the band's size, but you'll also need to be sure it's relative to the number of guests and available performance space.

For small weddings, a lively duo or trio is a great option. With a relatively small footprint, they'll fit into just about any venue space and won't be too overbearing.

For larger weddings, you may want to explore larger bands of five or more members to include male/female vocals and even a horn section.

Don't forget to speak to your venue to check they can accommodate a live band. To find out more, check out our blog with questions to ask your venue before booking a band.

How to Hire a Wedding Band

The process of booking a wedding band is very straightforward, but let's go through the basics of what you need to know and how the booking process usually works.

Make a shortlist of your favourite bands

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.

Bands work hard to create a promotional video that reflects their live performance, and without watching the band live, a video is the best indication of their quality and style.

Using the video as your starting point, you can then put together a shortlist of your favourite bands.

wedding band shortlist

Make your enquiries

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 be able to create a shortlist by adding bands to your favourites list - remember, the more bands you enquire about, the more chance some will be available.

Wait for your quotes

Once the band or agency has received your enquiry, they'll need to check on availability before putting together a bespoke quote based on your wedding date and venue location.

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 exclusively, and so you can often expect to receive a same or next-day reply.

Choosing your wedding band

Once your date and venue are both secure and contracted in, it's time to make the big decision.

Your decision ultimately comes down to your preferences as a couple, but of course, there's no harm in getting a second opinion from family and friends.

Before you make your booking, check the following:

  • Does the band cover the type of music you're after?
  • Does the band offer sets that work with your schedule?
  • Does the band include a PA system and lighting in their quote?
  • Does the band provide playlists before and after sets?
live wedding band performing

Book your wedding band

At Bands For Hire, we have a booking process that's typical in the industry:

  • 1. We'll request your details, such as your name, phone number and address, along with confirmation of the venue address.
  • 2. We'll send over an invoice for a small upfront deposit payable by card or bank transfer.
  • 3. We'll send over our contract with our standard terms and conditions, which you'll be required to read carefully and sign online to secure the band.

Be sure to check the contract terms carefully, as you'll need to forward the band's requirements to the venue to check they can accommodate the band.

Make the Arrangements

Once the deposit is paid and the contract is signed, it's time to confirm your booking.

Every band and agency will have their own 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 remain your main point of contact for the most part and can advise you on everything from song requests to logistics on the day.

Make Contact with the Band

Four weeks before the date, you'll receive an email that will put you in direct contact with the band. This is the ideal time for the band to start focusing on your day and finalising arrangements such as the load-in, set times, and list preferences.

Sit back and relax

Sit back and relax: you've made your arrangements, the band know what time to turn up and have 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.

Now you've got the low-down, it's time to start browsing and find a wedding band for your big day. If you need help choosing a wedding band, drop us an email, and one of our team will be happy to put together some options based on your requirements.