5 Must Have Tips When Booking Your Wedding Band

5 Must Have Tips When Booking Your Wedding Band

Tip #1

Bands Ain’t Bands

Should you accept a “throw-together” band  just because the gig is your wedding?

What actually makes a band  “a band” is when the same group of musicians do hundreds of gigs together as one unit. It’s the combination. This can’t be replicated easily. Think of what happened to INXS after Michael Hutchence died? The band has kept going, but it’s never been as good. Similarly, think of it like a great football team. If you can keep the same combination going out onto the field unchanged for a whole season, they will run rings around an “all star” team thrown together for one game. Do you want your wedding to be a well paid band rehearsal or would you prefer a well oiled machine? Is it actually a band or has it been “tailor-made” (in other words “thrown-together”) to accommodate your budget.

Tip 1 – Beware of fake bands.

Tip # 2

Work Ethic

How long will the band actually play for?

I went to a wedding as a guest earlier this year. The bride and groom booked a 1950’s style rock and roll band to play. Being a musician, I was intrigued to watch how long they played for. The reception went for five hours, during which they played two sets – a 45 minute set and a 35 minute set. That’s an hour and twenty minutes out of five hours. The rest of the time they just sat around. When I told the guys in my band about it, they couldn’t believe how little they played. We normally aim to play 5 X 45 minutes or the equivalent there of. I didn’t become a musician to sit around on breaks. Do you want your band to actually work, or do you want them sitting around drinking up  your bar tab?

Tip 2 – Find out how long the band intends to play for.

Tip # 3

A Wedding Band Specialises in playing at Wedding

What makes playing at a wedding different to other types of gigs?

The first consideration with a wedding is the diversity in the ages of guests. Generally, ages can range from 18 to 80. In addition to friends, there’ll be parents, grand-parents, uncles, aunties, cousins and maybe some work colleagues. A diverse audience needs a band with a diverse repertoire.

The second consideration is that wedding receptions are usually a minimum of five hours long. The reception will usually unfold in stages. Guests arrive sober and typically want to talk and catch up with friends and family while partaking in pre-dinner drinks. It’s great to have the band playing as guests arrive. It adds atmosphere and can be lots of fun  but it can’t be obtrusive. If it’s a ‘sit-down’ dinner style reception, can the band create ambience without intruding upon guests’ conversations? When it comes to dancing, how many different age groups will be enticed into dancing? The appeal of the band needs to be inclusive of a broad range of ages.

Tip 3 – Book a band that will appeal to multiple age groups

Tip # 4

I’ll Be There For You

Who are you dealing with?

When you talk to the person representing the band, are you dealing with someone who will actually be there at the wedding? Often, the person you’ll be dealing with will be an agent or  professional salesperson who won’t be there. If you can cut out the ‘middle-man’ you’ll be far better off. Talking to and building a rapport with the band leader will lead to a better performance by the band. It’s all about relationships. If the band feel like they know you, they’ll do a better job for you. It’s as simple as that. If there’s no relationship, your wedding will be merely a pay-packet. No relationship equals no vibe.

Tip 4 – It’s a genuine advantage to be dealing directly with the band-leader.

Tip # 5

Reputation and Referrals

How many weddings have you been to?

If you haven’t been to many weddings, a great idea is to let your friends and acquaintances (and even other suppliers) do your leg work for you. Good, strong, credible referrals are ten times better than well constructed websites. Chances are that your photographer has been to hundreds of weddings. Ask him/her for their ideas on the best bands going around town. Venues will often have a “preferred suppliers” list, but you need to be wary as to whether the band is on the list due to their merits, or because they have paid to be on the list. Ask around your friends, colleagues and acquaintances. If the name of a band comes up two or three times, chances are you are onto something.

Tip 5 – Nothing beats a great referral or recommendation.

Final Word On Booking A Wedding Band.

Wedding “Industry“?

The whole wedding scene has changed a so much since I first started playing at them. The fact that people refer to it as an “industry” is something I find disturbing. I find the whole concept of businesses maximising their profits out of a “couple’s special day” as totally off, but so typical of the era in which we live. If you feel the same way, and want a band that’s real, passionate and a bit “old school” about what they do, I can assure you we will run rings around any other bands.

sergeants mess wedding laura
5 Must Have Tips When Booking Your Wedding Band
small - selfie with bride at pymble GC
5 Must Have Tips When Booking Your Wedding Band
small - selfie with sarah at balmain
5 Must Have Tips When Booking Your Wedding Band

small - selfie with megan burrawang

Slide McBride at Gunners Barracks
5 Must Have Tips When Booking Your Wedding Band


Best Band To Hire For An Event At Sergeants Mess

Best Band To Hire For An Event At Sergeants Mess, Chowder Bay (Mosman)

One of Sydney’s premium venues for functions and events is Sergeants Mess. Situated at Chowder Bay, Mosman, this venue has incredible views across to Nielsen Park, Vaucluse. The venue is perfectly laid out to maximise these breathtaking views.

The venue can seat up to 250 for dinner, although typically (when we play there) numbers are between 120 and 180. It is a venue we have played at countless times, and one that we never tire of performing at. Acoustically, it’s a great room. The band always sounds good when we play here. The main room is spacious with ample area to hire a band and set a dance floor for a full scaled party.

Pre-dinner drinks are usually partaken in the bar area at the eastern end of the building. For this early part of an event, we typically set up in our “roving acoustic” format. I sing through my old brass megaphone and the band performs without electricity. This part of what we do is quirky and captures the attention of guests as they arrive on site and sip on their first glass of sparkling wine or beer. It sets up the mood for the rest of the event. It’s fun while not being too loud or overbearing. It’s the perfect start for an event at Sergeants Mess.

When hiring a band for Sergeants Mess,  mindful consideration needs to be given to the main dining room’s natural acoustics. Although the flooring is covered with plush carpet, the parallel walls enable sound to carry with ease throughout the whole room. In practical terms, what this means is that it’s important that the music doesn’t get too loud. Sound travels easily at this venue. We know this, and apply this strategy to how loud we play.

When hiring a band to play at Sergeants Mess, there are generally two options for where to place the band, either in the centre or at the western end. From my experience of dozens of performances at Sergeants Mess, I can say with definitude that the central option works best.

If you have any questions about how a band will fit in with an event you are planning to hold at Sergeants Mess, please don’t hesitate in getting in contact with me.

Best Band To Hire For An Event At Sergeants Mess

Sergeants Mess website – http://www.sergeantsmess.com.au/