How To Pick A Band For Your Wedding
We live in an era of short attention. Phone apps such a “Vine” work on the concept that the longest we can concentrate for is six seconds. Therefore, the app limits your video footage to a mere six seconds.
In regards to the music business, television shows such as “Idol” and “The Voice” condense performances to ninety seconds. We are getting more and more accustomed to these short performances, and we sit at home and judge a singer by what they can deliver over these ninety seconds.
The irony is that as singers on television are performing for shorter periods, wedding receptions seem to be getting longer. When I first started playing at weddings back in the 1990’s, all wedding receptions went for four hours. That was the standard. Nowadays, the average length of a wedding reception is five and a half hours, although we frequently get booked to play longer than this. A four hour wedding seems rare these days. So…when looking to book a band, the question you have ask is this –
Can they go the distance?
When I get inquiries, a typical question I get asked is, “Can I come and see you play somewhere?” My response to this is is that unless you actually see us play at a wedding, you will have no idea as to what we are like when we play at a wedding.
Watching a band play one set in a pub shows you little as to what they sound like four hours into your wedding, when it’s time to motivate your wedding guests to dance.
Another consideration is, are the band going to playing throughout dinner, or are they going to be spending this time hitting the bar and drinking up your bar tab. If they are going to play through dinner, will your guests be able to comfortably hold a conversation?
What about pre-dinner drinks? What vibe can the band generate when your guests are still sober and arriving at the reception? Can they play outside without electricity?
A singer with a great voice is one thing, but the ability to read the audience and connect with guests is far more important in the context of a wedding. Other factors that you need to consider are versatility and adaptability. Typically, guests at weddings have a broad range of ages, usually from 18 to 80 year olds. Can the band connect across these different generations? Many venues have idiosyncracies that the band has to deal with. Can they adapt to whatever arises without it affecting their performance?
So, how do you pick a band?
One word answer – references
Consider that you are hiring someone for a job (which is what you are actually doing).
Have you ever applied for a job?
Were you asked to provide references?
Did your employer check the references that you provided?
Unless the employer was desperate, of course s/he checked your references.
Therefore, when hiring a band for your wedding –
CHECK THE BAND’S REFERENCES
If the band is one the venue’s preferred supplier’s list, you need to find out if (A) they have paid money to be on this list, or (B) are they on this list purely on their merits.
If the band has testimonials, can you get in contact with the person who wrote it?
Photographers see a lot of bands. They will have an excellent idea as to what bands are best going around.
And, of course… word of mouth is unbeatable.
To see my band’s testimonials, please CLICK HERE