When on Earth Should You Book Your Live Wedding Band?
Generally speaking, you should book a wedding band 7 to 12 months in advance as it fits in perfectly with the booking and planning of every other aspect of your wedding and will mean you avoid any possible availability disappointments. Leaving the booking of a wedding band to anything much later than 5 months is not advised but there is no limit or real disadvantage to how far in advance you hire a wedding band.
We can’t always keep to a schedule however, so read on to understand why you should usually book in advance and what to do if you cant. I want to help all you bride and grooms to be!
Below, I will explain the pros and cons of booking a wedding band 2 years in advance right up to the last minute as after working in the wedding industry for 15 years, I know that not every wedding can work to schedule and some are even lovely last minute surprises! I’m sure I can help you all today.
Booking a live wedding band far in advance
I’m going to start with the pros and cons of booking a wedding band well in advance. When I say in advance, I am generally talking about 8 months to 2 years in advance. In our 15 years experience, this is the most common time in which couples book their wedding entertainment. Let’s start with the pros as I’m sure you are trying to be a thoroughly organised couple. Well done! Booking a wedding band in advance is generally the best way to avoid any disappointment and here’s the first reason why…
Wedding bands everywhere!
One of the biggest pros of booking early is that most live wedding bands are still available so your choice will be fantastic. From our experience and when chatting to other wedding agencies we find that every year, most live wedding bands are all booked up by February, meaning many couples are booking at least 6 months in advance.
We get plenty of couples booking in the autumn of the year before meaning they miss this early year booking frenzy. Come February 60% to 70% of our live wedding bands are booked for the year ahead so booking early really does mean you have greater choice and hopefully, find the perfect wedding band just like Good Fellas below!
Booking a wedding band in advance can save you money
I’d say this only really applies if you are booking 1 to 2 years in advance but the friendly musicians here at Seventh Second will sometimes offer or accept a 5% to 10% discount on their usual wedding prices if they are booked well in advance. Why? It’s just nice to know you have some weddings booked years in advance. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I’d hope other wedding bands would do the same. It also means you should skip the typical yearly inflation based-price increases the whole of the wedding industry usually experiences.
If you are looking for more ways to save money on your wedding band, read our post on how to book a wedding band on a budget in 2020. It’s a must-read.
One item crossed off the wedding planner!
It’s a simple one but booking nice and early means it’s done! I remember organising my wedding with my husband and managing to get one item ticked off the to-do list was worthy of a party in itself! It feels good to get a live wedding band sorted early on.
Oh, and in case you are interested, From the Top (below) performed at our wedding.
Time to get to know your live wedding band and maybe add some extras?
Booking your wedding band well in advance does mean you get to know them and properly discuss those amazing wedding plans you have. After a chat, you might discover that adding an extra musician or acoustic set during the day is what you secretly wanted all along, you just didn’t know it!
If you fancy an acoustic wedding band, have a little look at Acoustic Captain below. They are fab and can double up as a big live band too.
The cons of booking a wedding band far in advance
There are cons to booking a wedding band far in advance? Have you gone mad? Nope, there are a few and I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t explain further.
Live wedding band costing just a bit too much…
I will say right now that this isn’t how our wedding bands operate but because live wedding bands know booking demand is high 6 months to 1 year in advance, they sometimes add 10% to 15% to their standard prices during these peak booking months. I’m not saying all bands do this but I don’t want to see you paying more than you should. Have a little look at our how much do wedding bands cost in 2020 post so you get a feel for how much you should be paying.
Your wedding band telling you whos boss?
I maybe overdid that title a bit but again, if you are looking at booking 1 to 2 years in advance, some popular wedding bands know the bookings are going to be flooding in at the beginning of the following year so they may not be willing to offer discounts or work with your wedding specifications. They know they can just get a wedding gig elsewhere later. Again, this isn’t what we are about and many wedding bands won’t be either but it’s worth being aware of.
The latest, shiniest live wedding band
I love to look at the latest jewellery on Instagram and have a bit of a bad habit of feeling like im always missing out on something new. It could be the same with a wedding band for you. There are always new ones popping up. Southside Sparkle above are one of our newest bands and let’s say you booked your band 1 or 2 years ago and suddenly saw their amazing video. You’d have every right to feel like you’ve missed out! Oh no! Booking a brand new wedding band isn’t always the best route to go down and you can learn more about that in our post titled wedding bands to avoid in 2020.
I’m having to book my live wedding band pretty last minute. Panic!
Don’t worry yourself silly, booking your wedding band with 5 months or less to go before your wedding doesn’t mean you need to panic. It’s 6 months or less until your special day, so soon all the stress and organising will be over! Yey! Around 20% to 30% of our couples book with us in this time frame so let’s go through the pros of booking later.
Saving some wedding pennies!
It’s more likely that booking a wedding band later rather than sooner could land you a nice little discount, sometimes up to 10%! If a wedding band has struggled to fill a particular Saturday and you come along like a bride and groom in shining armour, they may be happy offering you a thank you discount to secure your booking. Our wedding bands sometimes do this.
Wedding bands can be pretty accommodating
Again, because you’ve potentially done them a favour, or because like our bands, they are just really nice, you may find wedding bands are more flexible with timings, set lengths and any manner of extras or logistics. The League of Gentlemen (above) get quite a few last minute bookings through being flexible and it pays dividends for them and you!
Brand new, shiny wedding band looks
Remember my Instagram story? Well, booking a bit nearer the big day means you get to see wedding bands most recent videos, photos, setlists and repertoires. You are getting the most up to date version of a band so you really know what you are booking. I’d say that’s a bonus!
Brand new shiny wedding bands
Still don’t remember my Insta story yet? Well im sure it’s obvious now that booking nearer to the big day means you do get to see all the brand new wedding bands out there. Maybe you’ll find your perfect match. We get quite a few bride and grooms struggling to pick a wedding band so new ones are sometimes just what they need.
The cons of booking a wedding band with under 6 months to go…
Sadly there are a few cons to booking a live wedding band when your wedding day is looming. Sorry guys! Let me run you through them.
Lack of live band choice
One of the obvious issues you can face with booking a wedding band late is availability. Especially if you have your wedding on a popular Saturday, there’s a good chance that most good wedding bands are all booked up. It’s not the end of the world but it does restrict your choice.
Here at Seventh Second we all perform in the wedding bands you see so sometimes we can help with this situation by designing bespoke wedding bands by pulling all available musicians together. It’s worked really well in the past so chat with us to learn more. You can still have that dream wedding band!
Not quite the right fit for your wedding
I’ve never been great at maths but here goes.
The wedding season generally starts in late May and finishes in September so you are looking at 17 to 20 prime Saturdays a year where 1000’s of people get married. The best wedding bands out there like the Harmony Collective (below) easily book those Saturdays up well in advance so leaving booking your band late on may mean you don’t get the greatest wedding band or one that doesn’t quite tick all your boxes. You can get lucky of course and great live wedding bands do have last minute cancellations or the odd free prime Saturday but the odds are against you.
I feel like a headless wedding chicken!
I’m not great when in a rush and im sure you’re the same. Booking your live wedding band last minute can add extra levels of stress. You don’t get time to chat with them about all your ideas properly, they probably don’t have time to implement them properly or quite as you’d like. They may not be able or have the time to add that extra keyboardist or singer you really wanted either. What a faff.
There may be a solution to all this last minute hassle however…
Last-minute wedding bands
For loads more detail on this, hop on over to our post what if my wedding band cancelled on me but our dedicated last-minute musician’s page is there to help you when you really need it. This page shows all acts that are free at a moments notice and are used to gearing up and delivering the best wedding experience they can for you with little or no notice. We’ve helped loads of lovely couples over the years and we can help you too. Don’t panic, a brilliant wedding can be achieved, even at a moments notice!
So how far in advance should you book a live wedding band?
I’ve covered a lot of ground here but on balance, we would always suggest you book at least 6 months in advance so you get the overall best wedding band experience. I know it’s not always possible so I hope the extra advice can come in useful. Always come and chat with us if you feel you need more help or advice. We’re always happy to help.
Wedding stats say it so well…
I actually looked at all of our wedding bookings from 2019, noting when they were booked in so we could get the final word on booking trends for you. There weren’t any major surprises in there but it’s a good way to end the post. Booking early is the trend and its here to stay!
- Booked 2 years or more in advance 6%
- Booked 1 – 2 years in advance 27%
- Booked 7 – 12 months in advance 45%
- Booked 4 – 7 months in advance 20%
- Booked 1-4 months in advance 2%
That’s all from me today. I hope I could help and I wish you all memorable weddings with amazing live wedding entertainment!
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Oana and the Seventh Second Team