A major challenge for any couple is picking just the right band for the wedding day. There are so many options, and even the best (ahem) might not have quite what you’re looking for – that’s okay! You have options! Here are some things to keep in mind when hunting for the right band; advice that’s common (and common sense), advice that may seem silly (at first), and some things that will make you go ‘Oh’.
“How live are you?”
This seems like a silly thing to ask. With that said, it’s an extremely good question because your idea of a live band may not match up with what they’re doing – technically, a live performance can just be one person, and if you’re expecting a full orchestra with your opera singer, you’d better make sure that’s what you’re getting. For some, the act relies on pre-recorded music for the singer’s live performance. This isn’t something you want to find out about as you’re introducing the act to your guests.
Your friends might not have the best taste.
Hear us out. We’ve heard stories of couples’ friends recommending this great band for a wedding, only for the couple to find out it was a polka act and they hate polka. Ask your friends for recommendations but don’t stop there – check them out. You might just find out enough to recommend not asking your friends for ideas ever again.
It’s a really competitive world out there for live bands. You don’t have to pay through the nose for a decent act, and your first pick may not be as good for the price range as you’d originally thought. Don’t settle on the first group that you see, just as you wouldn’t settle on the first house that you looked at without looking at a couple of more, at least.
Don’t forget about grandma.
You and your soon-to-be-spouse are huge fans of Reggae. Grandma, not-so-much. In fact, three-quarters of your family are just absolutely crazy about jazz fusion. If you can, compromise. Yes, the wedding is about you, but if your family doesn’t like the music, you’ll be hearing about it for the rest of their (and your) lives. On a serious note: it’s simply better to have a little bit of variety for the sake of more opportunities to catch everyone making themselves look silly with their bad dancing.
Didn’t you have a theme?
Your next-door neighbour’s garage band may be the right price, but are they the right sound? If you’re running a 1970s glitter rock wedding and your band walks in with Ozzy Osbourne in mind, your wedding is, more or less, ruined (that might be exaggerating a little, but it’s definitely taken a turn for the worse). If you have even a general theme, see what you can find that fits it. Earcandy has plenty of options to give you a better idea of what we’re talking about: from rock to jazz to a string quartet, even. If that’s not your taste, the internet, or even your wedding planner (if you have one) can help point you in the right direction.
Everybody has an opinion.
You’ve picked a band that you’re reasonably confident in, you’ve paid your up-front fees … but a bloke at work just told you that same band flaked out on his sister’s wedding, and a few other people have had the same issue. How do you avoid running into this? Look up the act that you’re considering (or even acts that are on your list) on the internet, or ask around. Chances are, if they’ve done something horribly wrong (or not), you’ll find it online and can have more information to help you make your decision. Word of mouth – and fingers – is a very powerful thing and can save you from a bad act … or help you find the best one ever. That’s right, this can go either way.
“Do you have any samples?”
Lastly, ask your potential band if you can see any of their work. Maybe they have a live performance coming up that you can get a peek at, or maybe they have videos online, like we do. Either way, you want to “try it before you buy it”, so to speak, because you’re putting out a lot of money and you want to make sure this band will fit your wedding. If they refuse to provide you with something, then that is a problem and it’s time to move on. That band has something to hide – or they’re really lazy.