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7 Tips For Booking Your Wedding Entertainment

“When asked 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment.” 

Booking a live band for your wedding can be a daunting prospect and something that is often overlooked by newly-weds-to-be in favour of the venue, catering, the dress and much more. Here at Euphonica we realise that there is a lot to think about, so we have put our heads together to create a list of tips to help you plan the perfect entertainment, so that it is as perfect as the rest of your day.

1. Book in advance

Many bands are booked between 12-18 months in advance, so think about enquiring with bands that you like before then.

2. Decide on a budget

Depending on the size of the band most event entertainment will range from between £1.5K up-to £5K. There are THOUSANDS of wedding bands out there so have a look at your budget and think about which bands could work best within your venue.

3. Check whether your venue has any restrictions, requirements or limitations.

Venues may have a number of requirements and limitations which may affect what type of entertainment you can have. Remember to check the following with the venue before booking your band:

  • Sound Restrictions (Amplified sound etc.)
  • Equipment (Is equipment supplied onsite? Are there any restrictions?)
  • Timings (What time does the venue require the entertainment to finish?)

4. Check out the band’s promo.

Most bands will have promotion material available to give you an initial insight into what they may be like at your wedding. Check their photos, videos and repertoire lists as well as any published recommendations and references. Where possible, you should go and see the band live at a showcase event, open rehearsal or at a public show if the band practices this.

5. Ask the band/agent questions.

It’s good to find out as much information about the band as possible before you book. A pub audience is very different to a wedding, and some bands may not be as experienced as others. Check that your band has performed at weddings before and has good testimonials from other clients. Other questions to ask:

  • How long does the band perform for? Depending on the type of band performances can range from two 45 minutes upwards with breaks. Knowing this will help you plan your running order for the day.
  • Does the band take requests? Will they perform the first dance? Bands may be able to learn songs on request including the first dance but may charge extra fees for this.
  • How long does the band take to set up/soundcheck? Is there enough time between the load-in time and when you need the space for the band to set up/soundcheck?
  • Is travel included in the price?

6. Some tips when planning the schedule:

  • Don’t start the main band too early as this could leave you with an anti-climax at the end of your night with just a playlist on standby. 8 or 9pm is a good starting time and means the performers will be on right up to the end of the night so your party goes out with a bang!!
  • Don’t schedule the band with the buffet or the main meal – the food will always win no matter who the band is. Food and Music are the most expensive items of the day, so make these the priority in your schedule and don’t schedule them together.
  • Think about when the band will set up. You have two choices here:

a) Before the guests arrive. The best option if your venue only has one room. This may cost extra due to the extra time out of the band’s day. A space for them to wait will also need to be arranged.

b) After the meal. Many venues turn around the room after this point ready for the evening’s festivities which is the perfect time for the band set up and soundcheck whilst guests are in a different area.

7. Song Choices 

Lots of clients like to micro-manage the band to the point they want to choose the whole set list. Experienced bands are professional outfits and usually know best about how to read the crowd and make a great set list. Do give the band a list of a few songs you would like to hear and not hear, but for the most part, trust your band!

In summary…

Do you research early, set your budgets and don’t be afraid to ask questions. For even more peace of mind, you could use an agency to book your band. Euphonica have a wide range of artists to choose from, including Classical ensembles, function bands and the best DJs in the business. Take a look at our artists page, get in touch via the contact page, or give us a ring on: +44 (0)20 3397 9018 to discuss your options.