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The Wedding Band Checklist - Eleven Essential Questions To Ask Your Band.

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No other aspect of your wedding day has more of an influence on the outcome than great entertainment.  Even terrible weather and cold soup will soon be forgotten if your guests are filling the dance floor and having the time of their lives.

Get it right and you’ll have happy memories for years to come. Get it wrong and…well, it doesn't bear thinking about.


Here’s a handy checklist that will help you avoid the mistakes that are so easy to make when trusting a band with such a major part of your big day.

  1. Does the band have reliable transport?  The best band in the world is no use stuck in a lay-by.
  2. Does the band have more than one diary holder?  If so, the chances of being double booked are greatly increased.  Bad organisation and communication between band members is the number one cause of double bookings.
  3. Will you get a detailed contract with everything agreed in writing? This ensures the band will start and finish at the agreed time and that they’ll turn up at the right venue.  If the band won’t provide a contract, walk away.
  4. Does the band require a deposit?  It’s best to pay a deposit to your band as this is useful in the event of the band not showing up. The fact that they have accepted a deposit from you is proof that an agreement exists. Get a receipt!
  5. Will the band learn your first dance?  Most bands will, but if your first dance is really obscure you may find a bit of resistance.  Make sure this is agreed in writing.
  6. Will the band allow family members to join in? Again, most bands are OK with this if given enough notice but don’t ask a band if someone can use their instruments – if anything goes wrong it could halt the music for the night and may result in a costly repair bill which you’ll be responsible for.
  7. How long will the bands break last? Half an hour is standard, forty minutes is the maximum you should agree to.  Any longer is unacceptable.  If the break is longer because of reasons outwith the control of the band then you can’t hold the band responsible.
  8. Does the band have reviews or testimonials?  Don’t hire a band without genuine feedback from previous bookers.  If a band is brand new to the scene, only book through a reputable agency which should have checked out the band before signing them.  That way you can make a decision based on the agents reputation.  New bands tend to be less expensive initially so this is also a good money saving tip.
  9. Does the band’s fee include travel? The full financial details should be highlighted in the contract.  Don’t accept ambiguous estimates of additional travel costs, you may get a nasty surprise.
  10. Does the band require accommodation? If they’re traveling more than two hours from home it’s best to check this before booking as the costs for putting up a band can be considerable.
  11. What plans does the band have in place in the event of an emergency? Although emergencies are rare, they do happen.  Ask the band for a written statement of how they’ll cope with emergencies.  It’s simply not good enough that they tell you that they've never missed a gig or that they have enough contacts to call on if someone is ill. There should be a written plan with contact details; otherwise you’d be as well just crossing your fingers.

There are dozens of other things that you may not be aware of that happen behind the scenes when a band is booked to perform at your wedding.  There is one way to reduce the stress and risk of asking four or five people you’ve never met to turn up miles from home at the same time with all the necessary equipment to entertain your guests.  Book your band through an established and trusted agency.

Our next blog will be an Entertainment Agency check list. It’s the one that most “agencies” don’t want you to see.  If you’d like a printed copy of the Wedding Band Checklist just drop us an email and we’ll email it to you free of charge.

Thanks for reading this.  Don’t miss our next blog which blows the lid off of the world of entertainment agencies.