Can you trust a live wedding band you book online?
You would imagine, considering what we do, that our answer to this question would be yes! But it’s not quite as simple as that. We could pretend and say booking any live wedding band online is totally safe but that’s not fair on you and at the end of the day, we want happy couples enjoying their special day – it makes us happy too. It’s what we’re all about – helping create that special moment for you, your family and your guests just like at the lovely wedding below that our band The League of Gentlemen performed.
What we’ll chat about
In this post, we will go through a checklist of essential things any wedding band should have before you consider booking them. We will also list anything you should count as a red flag against any wedding band you are thinking of booking. We will use our live wedding bands as examples but what we explain here really is the standard you should expect from any band you book. Don’t settle for less!
We totally understand that it can be a little nerve-wracking and daunting booking a band online that you’ve probably never seen live and even if you have seen them or they’ve been recommended to you, it’s nice to have as much reassurance and confidence in the wedding band and agency you book them through as possible.
Therefore, this article should be a must-read before you book any band for any event, especially your wedding! Of course, bad things do happen and even the most professional wedding bands can let people down so don’t see this guide as foolproof. 9 times out of 10 it is but always be wary and choose carefully and book with people you trust. Thankfully, the world of music is generally a world of word of mouth and recommendation and this does help you generally avoid the bad eggs out there.
Moving on to the good stuff…
So, let’s crack on with the minimum you should expect from any wedding band that you are considering booking. As a side note, we also have some other great guides on here to help you pick your live wedding entertainment including the big little guide to live wedding bands and should I pick a DJ or live wedding band? We will be adding new, unmissable guides for you every month so keep checking back.
If a wedding band has good reviews it’s a sure sign they are a genuine wedding band and worth looking at. Ideally, a band should have plenty of reviews spanning years including lots of recent ones showing they are still regularly gigging and popular.
However, if a wedding band is relatively new they may not have accumulated lots of reviews yet and bear in mind that only about 1 in 4 people leave reviews (even if they all loved the band). Popular and furiously busy wedding bands can sometimes fall behind updating their promo and reviews so if in doubt, have a chat with them or their representative about their history and popularity. Our act The League of Gentlemen are a good example of a very popular band with plenty of reviews spanning years.
Responsible agencies and agency recommendation
At the end of the day, agencies and websites should be promoting and recommending great wedding bands. If they don’t, they usually remove said “below par” bands or definitely should.
!Shameless plug alert! This is why we perform in the bands you see on our website. We don’t want you worrying about your live entertainment in the slightest and so when we say a band is great and will deliver the live music you want, they will. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t exist as no one would ever book us. What you see is what you get with us.
Some websites and agencies simply barrage you with loads of wedding bands and even though they don’t really know how good most of these bands are, they do know that through the law of averages you should get a decent live wedding band. Personally, we’ve been doing this long enough to not settle for decent. We want to be the best and be the best for you so we only have wedding bands that will blow your socks off!!! Learn more about our unique approach here.
Extensive promotional material
As well as reviews, we’re a huge fan of good and extensive promotion. Any wedding band that is of a high enough quality for your wedding should have some lovely promo. Audio, video, photos, biography, line up, repertoire, pricing, booking options and requirements are all pretty standard. Sometimes a band that is very established and busy can have promotional material that’s just a bit old so check with their representative to see if they have new promo on the way. Most good bands update their promo every 3-5 years or so.
Our fantastic live band From the Top shown above, demonstrate a profile full of fantastic promo here.
Realistic pricing, booking options and freebies
If a wedding band seems to have fair or realistic pricing and a healthy amount of booking options or freebies when you book them it suggests you are looking at a wedding band with a fun, positive and professional attitude. This can only be a good thing! Wedding bands that are flexible and open to ideas but also experienced enough to know what works are usually the best bands to help design your perfect wedding experience. Our live wedding band The Harmony Collective excel in this regard.
Good attitude and professionalism
This follows on nicely from our last section but when dealing with the agency or live wedding band themselves you should expect a professional, understanding and friendly attitude from day 1 and right up to your big day. This will bode very well during the build-up and for your big day which can be hectic! A positive, professional band won’t be fazed by anything thrown at them for your wedding and this will ensure you can relax and enjoy your special day.
One of our most professional and accommodating wedding bands are The Usual Suspects with years of experience under their belts.
Although this isn’t a must as we explained in the reviews section above, a live wedding band that has been around for years is a band that is trusted and regularly recommended. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t book a fresh, new wedding band as we’ve all had to start somewhere but if you are unsure which band to go for and you need some reassurance, the more experienced band will give you that extra peace of mind. The Avengers are one such band having been around for years wowing people at all sorts of weddings.
That seems suspicious…
Let’s now look at what to look out for so you can avoid those dodgy or strange wedding bands.
Awful promo or lack of
If a live wedding bands promo looks a bit cheap or poorly done its unlikely that their performance at your wedding won’t be much better. Live bands should take pride in their promo and presentation. Your wedding is important and the band should reflect this so you all have a great time. If a band doesn’t seem to have much promotional material, this is worrying as you aren’t getting a true feel for them.
Bad reviews and/or no agency recommendations
If you regularly hear or read bad things about an agency, website or band, they are to be avoided. There’s plenty of fish in the sea after all! Lots of bad reviews are obviously a big red flag but if you don’t see many reviews and the wedding band has clearly been around for some time, ask the agency why this is. Also, be very cautious about booking a band through their own unique website. Unless you’ve seen them before or know them, you really have no idea how good they are or if they will even turn up to your wedding. Band community websites like ours exist to guarantee the quality and professionalism of any live wedding band and most importantly, make sure they arrive at your wedding!
Another red flag to look out for is if a band seems to be very cheap compared to similar acts or seems to be willing to offer an awful lot of freebies. It’s likely this is because they can’t get enough work and that may mean they aren’t very good, aren’t unreliable or aren’t very professional. Always check with the agency or website as fantastic live wedding bands do offer special deals sometimes.
Disclaimers explaining you won’t get regular band members
Although this doesn’t always spell doom, if a wedding bands promo seems to include wildly varying musicians in every photo or section of video this could be worrying. Are they a real band or just a random collection of musicians who don’t really perform that much together? Also, if a band has a disclaimer explaining you won’t get the same band members shown in their promo or you just get the singer with random musicians making up the rest of the band, proceed with caution.
Of course, with any live wedding band, regular band members do leave or sometimes can’t make a show for multiple, important reasons and excellent stand-in musicians should be used but if a whole band line-up is liable to change, its best to avoid.
Bad communication and/or attitude
Musicians can have a habit of letting the old rock god ego creep in and this is something to watch out for. Although most musicians are professional and highly skilled in their art, they are still there to perform for you and your guests and should display professionalism and respect. Any live wedding band that bosses you around, is rude or unprofessional in any way should be avoided. Wedding bands that don’t let you discuss booking options, setlists or first dance ideas for example, clearly don’t understand their job and should be avoided. Although you should always listen to a wedding bands advice, they are there for you and to make you happy. All wedding bands you deal with should have this attitude.
Suspicious contractual and monetary demands
This may seem obvious but always check any contract you sign and know your rights. Any live wedding band that tries to charge extra money or claim you need to pay for extra items or add-ons should be avoided 100%. When you sign any contract with a band or agency all parties should understand and agree on what you have paid or are going to pay. No sneaky extra costs or add-ons at a later date should be tolerated unless you have agreed to them.
Few, all done!
So that’s it from us! We hope we’ve made booking a wedding band a bit simpler and safer for you but if you feel we’ve missed something out or you have any questions, please contact us.
Oana and the Seventh Second family.