When you’re planning a wedding, there are a million things you’ll have to take care of. Flowers, bridesmaid dresses, table decorations, catering, cake, officiants, venues – on and on. One of the biggest things you’ll need to do is book a band for a wedding reception.

When you’re booking your band, there are several questions you should be sure to ask. Read on to discover what questions you need to ask to make sure your wedding goes as smoothly as possible.

1. What’s Your Style?

One of the most important questions you’ll want to ask a potential wedding band is what their style is. This should include the genre of music they play, the way they usually dress for performances, and the overall aesthetic of their performance. You’ll want to make sure the music they play matches your personal taste and style.

You should also take into account the overall aesthetic of your wedding when you’re looking at band styles. If you’re having an evening wedding in a formal hotel ballroom with a full catered dinner, having a Beach Boys cover band won’t be the best fit. Likewise, if you’re having a barefoot beach wedding, a string quartet may seem out of place. 

2. Can We See You Perform?

You don’t want to hire a wedding band sight unseen. Their website might look great, you might have awesome recommendations, and their musical style may seem to fit. But this is your wedding, and it’s too important to take chances with. 

If the band you hire performs exclusively at weddings, it may be hard to get in to see them, since you can’t crash someone else’s reception. But they may hold a mini-performance at a local bar or restaurant that’s open to the public. If you go see them, pay attention to the volume they play at, their onstage presentation, and the way they handle special song requests. 

3. How Many Performers Are There?

You should be sure to ask a potential wedding band how many performers they have in their group. This will impact both your budget and which songs you can include in your wedding. The trick is to find a balance between a large enough band to perform the songs you want and a small enough band to meet your budget.

Some bands offer options to hire a portion of the band. This can be a great way to stick to your budget and still get the band you want to play at your wedding. If you do hire a portion of the band, be sure to specify how many vocalists and which instrumentalists will be playing.

4. Do We Need to Rent Anything Extra?

Depending on the band you hire, you may need to rent some extra instruments or speakers. If you want a piano player in attendance, you may need to either find a venue that has a piano or rent one. You should also find out if you’ll need to cover the equipment such as speakers to make them fit with your wedding style. 

Some bands also offer more than simple music services. They may include experiences like special lighting or fog machines to bring some pizzazz to the performance. Be sure to ask your band about any of these effects they plan to use so you can make arrangements for these with your venue.

5. How Many Weddings Do You Do?

Your neighbor’s son’s band may have a great sound, but playing for a wedding takes a specific skill set. Your band will need to know how to motivate people to dance when to blend into the background, when to turn up the volume, and what cues they’ll need to watch for to make sure your reception goes smoothly.

Ask your band how many weddings they play every year, and how many weddings they’ve done before. You want to look for a band that has plenty of experience playing for weddings, but not one that’s so busy that they’re playing four weddings a weekend. You may also want to ask them if you can speak with some of their previous clients to see how their experience working with the band was.

6. What’s Your Backup Plan?

No matter how much you plan, something is likely to go sideways at your wedding. You may lose power halfway through the reception, an amp may blow out, you may have to change your date, or someone may get hurt. You want to make sure your band has contingency plans for these possibilities.

Ask your band what their backup plan is in case of a band member getting sick or a piece of equipment breaks. You should also ask them what their liability policy is. And ask about what they do in terms of cancellations, especially if you pay a down payment to hold the date.

7. How Do You Handle Your Set List?

To a large degree, you want to hire a band who you can trust to put together a good set list. But there will be some songs you want to have included in your wedding. You need to make sure your band can handle your first dance and parent dance songs and any other special numbers you want to include.

You should also ask how the band will handle song requests from guests. You need to decide if you want to allow song requests or if you want to stick to the master set list the band provides. If you are okay with requests, you need to talk to your band about how they’ll accept those requests – shouted at the stage by a drunk uncle is not a good option.

Learn How to Book a Band for a Wedding

Planning a wedding is chaotic, and knowing how to book a band for a wedding is an important step. Be sure to ask all the questions we’ve mentioned, and write down any others you may have. Asking these questions ahead of time will help your wedding go as smoothly as possible.

If you’d like help getting a band booked for your wedding, reach out to us at Blue Sky Atlanta. We can connect you with the best entertainment in the South. Check out our band and DJ services and start planning the perfect wedding reception today.