How to make sure you're getting a good deal on your wedding band
01 Dec 2017
Get the most out of your money with this expert advice on how to get the best deal for your wedding band
Your wedding is going to be one of the most special and most expensive days of your life, so, to save yourself any unnecessary cost, it's sensible to take a look at it from every angle to see where cuts can be made. When it comes to booking a wedding band to give your guests some great live music at the reception, there are few things which, if you take them into consideration, can save you a sizeable chunk of your wedding fund without compromising the quality of the act.
The first thing to remember is that a live wedding band is, just like all your other wedding suppliers, a business. And like other businesses, wedding bands base their rates on their popularity and experience. Also like other businesses, wedding bands have a host of competitors vying for your custom. It can be overwhelming when faced with so many options, and all too often the easiest option isn't the most cost effective. For this reason, we've outlined for you what you need to look out for when choosing a band for your wedding.
It stands to reason that a band based further away is going to have higher travel costs, so to save money – and also the environment – it's worth looking for local wedding entertainment. Musicians who are required to travel further afield have to consider not only the expense of petrol and vehicle maintenance; they also have to factor in the taken time that could have otherwise been spent fitting in more gigs. There are professional wedding bands waiting for your call in all corners of the country, so you'd be making things easier for everyone involved by picking one that's in yours.
Wedding bands have to be as versatile as the weddings themselves. Ceremonies and receptions take place in all kinds of venue, so it's essential to have the ability to adapt. Many wedding bands manage this by offering different line-ups, adding or subtracting members depending on the size of the venue, as well as the size of your budget. Naturally, a bigger band with more members will cost more money, so if you think a scaled down version will suffice, go for that option. You can still get the crowd going without backing singers and a brass section.
Most wedding suppliers are aware of the idyllic image many of us have of a summer ceremony, and for this reason, the sunnier months are considered peak season. However, this also means that some wedding bands may offer an off-peak discount. So if you're tying the knot in the autumn or winter, it's worth mentioning this when booking your band. It's possible that this will be a quiet period for your wedding band, so it's possible they'll be willing to knock a few pounds off their fee.
Booking in advance
What with all the other preparations, it might make sense for you to book your wedding band well in advance. While this is indeed true to an extent – you'll enhance your chances of ensuring you get your first choice – there's something to be said for waiting until nearer the time. Your wedding band will be likely to quote more for a booking that's, for example, two years away, as they couldn't be certain at that time what their fee will be like that far into the future (they may not even want to agree to anything that far ahead). The optimum time to book your wedding band lies in the region of 9-18 months – that way, you leave yourself plenty of breathing room, and won't find yourself paying a premium. If you're graceful under pressure, you could even leave this until the last minute and see if there are any even better deals to be had.
Typically, a wedding band will calculate their quote based on the understanding that they'll set up around 5 or 6pm, and finish at midnight, to be in accordance with venue licences and people's bedtimes. Expecting their services to stretch outside these parameters will incur further expense, so be sure to agree the terms beforehand. Things are bound to overrun somewhere along the way, but if you give your band fair warning of when you expect everything to happen, there won't be any surprise charges waiting for you at the end.
If you want to avoid agency fees, you might want to go straight to the source and contact the band yourself. This is, however, not without its drawbacks. Booking via an agency will grant you a contract to protect your investment, and in the event of a cancellation on the band's part, the agency will offer you alternatives without you having to hunt for them yourself. Essentially, if you're willing to take matters into your own hands, then booking direct can save you a small amount of money, though this could result in extra work and stress for you.