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Getting the Most Out of Your Wedding Band

Darren George, Mirage manager and drummer, suggested we do an interview about the wedding band business, and how their clients can select and work with a band. We covered business and operational aspects of shopping and working with these bands to help assure the music for the event will be perfect. Consider not only music that appeals to the bridal couple, but more importantly to the guests. A wedding reception will likely have guests ranging from teenagers to those 65 and older. Considering age diversity, a band that plays a wide variety of music will more likely keep the guests entertained and on the dance floor throughout the evening. When you've decided on which band to hire, do it quickly. Many bands book 12 to 18 months out, so waiting may cost you to settle for your second or third choice. Ask the bands you are considering if you can stop by a reception or event to listen and see the band live. While some engaged couples feel awkward stopping by a reception, it’s not uncommon; simply ask the band to coordinate the audition by asking the bride and groom for permission. Include as many details as you’d like in the contract with the band. For example, are there clauses in the contract that cover:

  • Is there a charge for the band learning a few special songs for the evening?
  • How many breaks will the band take?
  • What type of refund policy does the band have for cancellation or moving the date of the reception?
  • What type of payment terms does the band offer including deposit, when is the balance due, checks accepted, et al?
  • Cost of overtime.
  • How does the band handle if a band member is unavailable the night of the reception?

Be certain to hire a band that is experienced in playing receptions. Hiring a "club" may be appealing, there are many nuances to a reception that requires previous experience. Those include:

  • acting as the emcee (announcing the wedding party in, announcing the first dance)
  • assistance in planning the overall reception
  • familiarity with different venues and their acoustics
  • logistics of loading in and out.
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