Having a talented, well-prepared wedding band can make all the difference for you and your guests on your wedding day. But even the most rehearsed and experienced band will need your direction and help to ensure there are no problems or misunderstandings along the way. Here’s some helpful advice on working with the band:
Make sure you provide a written list of all your required songs, and a schedule of when they should be played. It is also a good idea to mention the version of the song you like if there is more than one. If there will be speeches, videos, or other times when the band will need to be quiet, let them know in advance. This way, they can plan their breaks to coordinate with those speeches, avoiding downtime for your guests. Most bands will be happy to provide some recorded music and help out with microphones for speakers. Just ask and plan ahead.
Schedule Meals and Breaks
If you are going to feed the band (a courtesy that can go a long way) that should be scheduled in advance, too. Let the musicians know that you will be providing a meal for them and when it will be served. Again, this avoids down time during breaks, and will surely be appreciated.
Know Who’s Who
When you audition the band ask if the musicians you heard will be the musicians at your event. A lot of professional wedding bands keep a rotating roster of musicians to make sure they always have, say, a drummer. If you really love the singer, or if the piano player is top notch, request them specifically.
Get Everything in Writing
Speaking of special requests, make sure you have a written contract that includes any “must have” details. Make note of the song selection, schedule, and special considerations, as well as any specific needs the band might have. A good contract will help avoid misunderstanding and disappointment.
Let The Band Prepare a Set List
Don’t make the set list for the band (special songs notwithstanding). They are naturally going to want to play their best songs, so you should let them choose. While some bands are happy to take requests, that can be a slippery slope. They may know the song you requested, but they might not know it well. That could lead to an underwhelming performance. Also, if the band is in a groove, and people are having a good time, breaking into the requested “Wind Beneath My Wings” will bring the party to a screeching halt. Trust the band to know what to play.
Do Your Research
The best way to build that trust is to thoroughly audition the band before you enter into an agreement. See if you can find videos of them online other than the ones they provide. Ask for references and check them. Oftentimes catering managers and event planners know the local musicians and can provide excellent, first-hand feedback. A little due diligence can go a long way toward ensuring top-notch entertainment at your reception. The musicians in your wedding band are professionals who have spent countless hours rehearsing songs and honing their craft. They take pride in what they do and will welcome the opportunity to work with you in planning the details of your event. Remember, prior planning prevents poor performance.