6 Steps To Choosing The Right Band
This guide was written by Connotations, a Melbourne wedding band. Of course we’d love to be the band that you choose to have at your wedding. BUT… regardless of who you choose to have playing at your wedding, there are a few things that you need to think about before hand. This post will tell you what you need to know when booking a band, regardless of who you end up choosing. That being said, let’s look at the 6 steps to choosing the band that’s right for you.
1 – Do Some Research
This is the first step in finding a band. Chances are you’ve already started doing this. There are a lot of bands around and all you really need is an internet connection and google and you’re away.
When researching different bands, there is no right and wrong as to what is good and what is not. Obviously, you need to like how they sound and the style of music that they play, which is why showreels are very important. When looking at band websites, try to find videos. While audio recordings can be of some use, they just don’t give you the full picture like a video does. These days, it’s very easy to put an audio recording together and edit things to make them sound better, so you don’t necessarily know what you’re getting with an MP3. With a video, you get a much better feel for the quality of the band.
2 – Don’t Go Cheap
When researching bands, you’re obviously going to be comparing prices. Of course price is a factor. Weddings are an expensive operation and every cost adds up. You’ve got a budget that you need to stick to. That being said, music is really something that you shouldn’t cut costs on. We’ve already discussed the importance of music, so we don’t need to do that again. What we do need to look at though is the difference between quality bands and poor bands. Paying top dollar does not necessarily mean you will get great music, but going cheap usually means you won’t get good quality music. At the end of the day, you want a band that’s going to make your night a party to remember. Ask yourself if it’s worth risking that for the sake of a few hundred dollars. The best way to know the quality of what you’re getting beforehand is to attend a live showcase.
3 – Attend A Live Showcase
Once you have done a bit of research, you’ll probably have a shortlist of a few bands that you’re interested in potentially booking. The next step is to go to a live showcase. A showcase is where a band performs a selection of their repertoire for couples who are interested in booking them. It’s a chance for couples to see the band perform live and also meet them in person. Seeing a band perform live is important because it’s the best way to get a feel for the quality of the band. Videos and showreels are insightful, but nothing compares to watching a band live and experiencing a performance in person. Once you have been to a few showcases, you will know intuitively which band is right for you. Showcases vary in format depending on each band, but the important thing is that you can watch the band performing live.
4 – Chat To The Band And Ask Questions
When in contact with the band through email, phone and in person (at a showcase), it’s a good idea to ask questions and have a chat. While making sure that the quality of music you will be getting is important, it’s also just as important to make sure you will be dealing with people who are professional, easy going and knowledgable. As we have discussed, the band will play a big role at your wedding reception, so you want to make sure that you’re hiring people who are on top of everything and can give you peace of mind. Ask any questions you have about your wedding and the role that the band will play.
5 – Decide On Line-Up/Packages
Once you have decided on a band that is right for you, you need to decide on which line up you would like to have playing at your reception. The line up of the band is basically to do with the number of musicians that you are hiring – drums, bass, guitar, horns etc. Most bands have a core line-up (for example drums, bass, vocals, guitar) and optional extras, such as an extra vocalist, horns, percussion etc. Whichever line up you choose will depend on the band that you hire, price and other factors like the size of the venue. You will also get a good idea of which line-up might be best for you based on the showcase that you attend.
As a general guide, you should go for a minimum of drums, bass, guitar (or keyboards) and vocals. With this line up (from a good band), you can expect a good, full sound. If your budget allows however, you might wish to add extra instruments. By adding extra instruments, the repertoire won’t necessarily change (because a 4-piece band should be able to cover most songs) but the intensity will go up a few notches. The sound generally gets bigger, more intense and more diverse with every instrument that is added.
Another thing to decide on is whether or not you would like live music at your ceremony. Live music at ceremonies is recommended, however you need to remember that music is not the focus. We say this because if you are budget conscious and want to save a few dollars, you could probably do so by not having live music at the ceremony. You should definitely have live music at your reception though!
Keep in mind that bands offer different packages based on a number of variables, such as how many people you want in the band, whether you want live music at the ceremony or just the reception etc. Often bands will offer live music at the ceremony at a discounted rate, when coupled with the reception package.
You should ask for a few quotes based on a few options that you are considering (line-up, ceremony etc.) and then make a decision based on your budget and what feels right.
6 – Book In When Happy
It’s important that you book your band as soon as possible. Remember, most good bands are quite busy and often get booked out more than a year in advance. Once you know what you want, book it in. It will be one of the best investments in your wedding that you can make!
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to get in touch with us so that you can come along to a free, live showcase.
Here’s a video of Connotations performing as a trio: