A lot of research should go into the wedding musician or band that you ultimately hire for your wedding. You may want them to play at both your wedding and reception or just one. Either way, even before you start to ask questions, there should be a few things that you do.
Research the musician or band to find out about their style. See if you can find YouTube videos where they’re playing at real weddings. It can give you a better sense of what to expect at your own wedding. Additionally, look for reviews on Google to see what other couples have had to say about their experience.
Once you like what you see, we have 10 questions that we recommend that you ask. If you prefer to have a DJ, see our list of questions you must ask a wedding DJ before hiring them.
Questions To Ask Before You Hire A Band or Musician?
How would you describe your music style?
The musical style will vary dramatically from band to band and musician to musician. Some may have a laid back approach while others may be edgy. Consider the kind of environment that you want to create and how the musician will fit into it. Remember that it’s completely acceptable to pass on a performer because they don’t offer the kind of style that you want.
Can we listen to you perform?
You don’t want any surprises at your wedding, so it’s a good idea to see the musician perform live if you can. They may perform live periodically at local bars and venues. Then again, they might have “concerts” for the public to attend as a way of gaining new business. This may even happen at various bridal events. Either way, find out if you can hear them perform live. If the answer is no, see if they have videos uploaded to YouTube so that you can get at least some kind of idea as to what to expect.
Are you familiar with the acoustic power of our venue?
Some musicians and bands have been on the circuit for a while and know what venues are capable of what. Be sure that they are familiar with your reception space to know what supplies they will need. If they’ve never been to it, be sure that they’re willing to visit it beforehand so that they can adequately prep. Otherwise, you may get some unwanted surprises on the day of when the sound that they promised cannot be produced within the confines of your venue – and that’s when it’s too late to do anything about it.
Will you take special requests?
You may have a few songs that have special meaning to you, whether it’s for a Jewish wedding, a way for you to remember a lost loved one, or something else. The musician should be able to download the song or learn it in time for your wedding. You will also want to find out how they deal with other special requests as it’s a guarantee that one of your guests will approach them at some time during the reception.
Do you provide your own audio?
Some bands have their own audio while others plan on tapping into what you provide. This is a critical question to ask as you don’t want to find out that there’s no way for them to amplify their sound until after they show up on the big day. Further, find out if the volume is going to be suitable for all guests who may be in attendance.
Who handles the setup?
Your venue is going to ask who will handle the setup of your band or any live musician. As such, it’s a fair question to ask of the group that you hire. In most instances, they should be responsible for setting up for themselves. Be sure that you allow enough time for them to do so. This will involve giving them the contact person at the venue to coordinate those details.
What do you wear to weddings?
This may sound like a crazy question but it’s worth finding out. While you would assume that the musicians would dress appropriately, that is not always the case. If you have an ultra-formal wedding, you need to make sure that the musicians are going to honor that – and some aren’t going to change how they dress for the occasion. Many musicians who have performed at enough weddings will have a few professional choices for you to choose from, ranging from coordinated outfits to tuxedoes.
How long do you play for?
In many instances, the answer is, “for as long as you need.” However, there will be costs associated with this. Find out what their packages are to ensure that they will be there for as long as you need so you don’t run into a situation where they’re packing up before your reception is actually over.
Additionally, find out if they have gigs before or after you as it can affect how long they’ll actually play for. You don’t want them showing up late to your event or packing it up early to get to their next gig. You should be getting them for the entire day.
What makes you unique?
Some musicians or groups may have something that allows them to stand out. It may be that they play a unique instrument, bring fog lighting, or even offer a fun experience on the stage. Whatever it is, find out what it is so that you can determine if that’s something you want at your wedding.
What are the costs?
While this is a fairly common question, you want to make sure that the cost encompasses all that you want them to do. You don’t want to have any hidden costs popping up after you have already booked them. Consider that they’ll need liability insurance – and this is something that they should provide rather than you having to provide it for them.
In the end, you want to be confident about the wedding musician or band that you hire. My Wedding Songs can also serve as an inspiration to ensure that you have the songs you want to create your wedding soundtrack.
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- Popular Musician song lists