So you’re thinking about having a band at your wedding – how fun! Bands bring a lot of energy and entertainment to your reception! Here are 5 things to remember when you start looking for a band! 

Band: Marmalakes / Twinty Photography

1. You need a music plan for all of your wedding

Okay, so we love a great band! That checks off what you need for your reception – but what about all the other times? Be sure to consider that your band generally doesn’t include music for your ceremony or cocktail hour, although some bands offer it as an optional add on. Be sure to talk about this early on and include it in your length of show time to be sure that you’ve covered all the areas and time frames of your wedding from guest arrival to the grand exit. This includes band breaks! Most bands will offer to put on some pre-recorded music for your band breaks from an ipod or something similar, but you definitely need to ask to make sure this is included.

Band: Uptown Drive / Kelly Costello Photography

2. You need an emcee / master of ceremonies

Be sure to ask your band if they’ll make announcements throughout your wedding, including your grand entrance and any dances that you may have. This may mean that they need to make announcements on their break in order to keep the show going for the guests. For example, if you do a bouquet toss between band sets, who will make sure to get the guests on the dance floor to jump for that bouquet? 

Band: Austin Nines / Regalia Photography

3.  You need to feed your band
(which can be quite a few people)

Be sure to check your band rider, this is the portion of the contract that shows the things that you need to provide for your band. It’s standard practice to provide water, etc for them, but what about meals? If you have a 10 person band, you may need to add them to your guest or vendor count depending on their rider and needs from your caterer. If it’s not in the rider, we always recommend asking! With travel and the show and setup and breakdown, they are there for a long time and all performances are best when the performers aren’t starving. 

Band: Will Southern Music / Two Pair Photography

4. Bands need breaks

Every band we have ever worked with needed breaks throughout the night. We planned them into the timeline to make sure they happened and helped to make sure that they were able to plan their sets accordingly so we can take care of some of our band-less items throughout the night. We talked earlier about needing an emcee, sometimes even if they’re on break, so we definitely want to reiterate that your reception may shift depending on your band needs. 

Band: Hot Sauce ATX / Two Pair Photography

5. Bands do sound checks… and they’re loud

Be sure to have a conversation with your band on their arrival, load in times, and sound check time. We want to make sure that they have the time they need to set up and test everything for a smooth evening, but we also don’t want that sound check to happen as you’re walking down the aisle unless they’re in very separate locations #soundtravels. This may mean having your band arrive early and then paying an additional “down time” fee or coordinating their meal during this time to ensure that they’re taken care of and the timing is just right. This is about asking the right questions! Most bands have a policy in place for this, especially if they do weddings often, just be sure to ask! 

Band: Uptown Drive / Kelly Costello Photography