What do you usually need to offer your wedding band on your wedding day?
Any live wedding band you hire for your wedding will usually need a contact number for your venue, ample space to park their vehicles, easy access to the venue to unload equipment, access to toilets, a place to change and relax between performances, adequate food and drink for the duration of their stay with you and a performance area or stage with ample space, power sockets and proper cover and protection from the elements. However, you can usually find your wedding bands specific needs or rider in the booking contract you signed with them.
Why do I need to know what my live wedding band expects from me?
Even after years of experience as wedding musicians performing week in week out for lovely couples such as yourself, this is a topic that is rarely discussed because let’s be honest, you and partner are the priority and there are so many other huge decisions and tasks you have to tick off that wedding to-do list just to get your wedding off the ground!
Don’t forget your wedding bands rider!
Your live wedding bands rider (or what they expect from you on your wedding day) can easily get overlooked by mistake and you don’t want that, trust me. This guide will help with all that and make you the perfect host for your perfect wedding band! There’s a big incentive being the perfect host too…
Get 100% out of your live wedding band
Quality, professional wedding bands like The Usual Suspects above understand you are just about holding it together whilst organising your wedding but at the same time, they are a huge and fairly expensive part of your special day so I’m sure you want to get the most out of them, don’t you? Ask any of our wedding bands and they will always agree that bride and grooms who really looked after them got them performing to their max. They got the best live wedding band ever! Read all about getting the most out of your wedding band here.
Your booking contract
In many instances you can simply check the booking contract you signed with your wedding band to see what their rider consists of and if it seems reasonable or possible for you to fulfil. Check our T&C’s section to see common clauses from our industry-standard booking contact in case you need more clarification. Oh, now is a good time for me to mention our bumper step by step guide on hiring a wedding band as it takes you through all the important steps when hiring a band including plenty of detail on booking contracts.
Self-contained wedding bands
Don’t worry, you won’t be running around like a headless chicken trying to find everything your band needs! A live wedding bands rider should never be that demanding as any professional band should arrive at your wedding fully self-contained meaning they provide pretty much everything they need to perform. Sure, in special circumstances that’s not always the case but any wedding band you hire should follow our self-contained methodology. Read all about what a wedding band should provide here.
Self-contained the Seventh Second way
At Seventh Second all our bands including our live wedding bands like Good Fellas (above) use this self-contained system providing everything they can for any wedding or event they have the pleasure of being a part of. That includes transport, PA, stage lighting, all musical instruments, DJ or background music equipment, stage outfits, PLI and PAT certificates, backups for any equipment and of course a fun and professional attitude!
Your venue and your live band
Hopefully, you may not have to worry about a lot of this or your band’s rider as your venue may be able to step in and either provide you with all the information your band needs or chat directly with them. At the end of the day, they hold the answers and solutions to your band’s requirements and they are getting better and better at accommodating band riders nowadays. Put your wedding venue and wedding band in touch with each other and hopefully, you get to skip that one extra wedding task. Result!
Here’s the list of what a live wedding band usually requires and is subsequently commonly listed in their booking contract with you.
- A contact number for you or your wedding venue on your big day
- A safe place to park their vehicles during their time with you
- Easy access to their performance area to unload equipment
- Ample space to perform with enough power points and space to store cases and gear
- Waterproof, level and safe roofing and flooring in and around their performance area
- Adequate food and soft drinks for the duration of their stay with you
- A place to relax, get changed and rest in between live sets
- Access to toilets is handy too!
The list in detail
I’ll go through the list in a bit more detail so you know that all live wedding bands out there aren’t being big old divas and asking for ridiculous things on their rider. You can learn all about wedding bands for hire here so you know what you are hiring and are hiring smart! No walk-in wardrobes or full-length mirrors are being demanded here!
1. A contact number for your big day
Your live band will no doubt have a contact number for you but understandably you might be a tad preoccupied on your wedding day so it’s best to always try and provide them with a contact number for your wedding venue in case they run into any issues. Some of the most stunning wedding venues we perform at are also some of the most remote and difficult to locate!
2. A safe place to park
One large van or multiple cars? Wedding bands arrive in all shapes and sizes and they will need a safe and convenient place to park and leave their cars for the duration of their stay with you. Don’t forget that wedding bands bring a lot of heavy and awkward equipment with them and they need to lug it in and out of your wedding venue!
3. Access to a performance area
I’m sure it’s obvious that your wedding band need a performance area but the easier it is for them to access the better and safer for everyone. It will cut down on unnecessary delays and give your band fewer headaches and more time to set up and prepare so they can perform at their best for you. Everyone here at Seventh Second has had to climb huge flights of stairs and even traverse down cliff faces in Cornwall to get to their performance area and it can be hard work with a drum kit or guitar amp in your hands!
4. A safe and adequate performance area
Again, if you want the most bang for your live wedding band buck, a safe, secure, waterproof, spacious and sheltered performance area is a must. Space not only to perform but to store cases and other gear is pretty essential. Weddings bands are very resourceful and can squeeze into tiny spaces just like Paper Boats (above) have on many occasions but the more space, access and storage options the better. Our guide on how much space a wedding band needs is a good read for later.
5. Food and drink
We cover this in detail in our popular guide on when you need to feed your wedding band but, in a nutshell, wedding bands can travel for up to 5 hours to get to you and then be with you for well over 8 hours so food and drink are essential while they are with you. Lots of soft drinks and a hot meal goes a long way and will keep your band very happy indeed.
6. A green room
Ok, no wedding band you hire needs a fancy green room but a place to store equipment, cases, personal items, to warm up, get changed, eat, drink and relax between sets is important for your hard-working wedding musicians well-being. A room isn’t essential as we’ve enjoyed mingling with wedding guests at many weddings but it’s always helpful during a long working day.
Yup, there’s a been a few instances where toilets have been hard to come by. Sounds odd I know and I’m sure this won’t be an issue at your wedding but it’s worth mentioning. We’ve had issues getting hold of drinking water and food in the past and these problems usually only arise due to miscommunication from wedding venues so it’s best to spell these things out! You want your wedding band performing happy!
A little goes a long way
As I mention in my guide on getting the most out of your wedding band, I hope you can see that it’s well worth putting in that little bit of extra effort with your band. Their rider requirements aren’t too extensive and most of it can be sorted out by your venue’s staff so it’s not too much extra work. Below you can see some of what bands can request and what they can offer.
Is your live wedding band crazy?
What I’ve mentioned today is the industry standard and you can see more in our FAQ section and in the screenshot above. What I’ve listed is pretty much all a band should ask of you so if you have a wedding band requesting things you see as excessive or impossible to fulfil check your booking contract with them as it should hopefully outline what you really have to provide. Otherwise, you will need to come to an understanding with your live band or pick another act.
Show those diva wedding bands the door
Wedding bands that make excessive, odd or obscure requests or exhibit diva behaviour are to be avoided! The wedding band you hire are at your wedding for you, not the other way round remember! Make sure that before any money changes hands, you and your band know exactly what you expect from each other. You don’t want any nasty surprises and don’t forget, we have loads of handy guides to help you with all this.
Help! I have no idea if I can supply all these things!
If you are worried you can’t supply everything mentioned, simply have a chat with your wedding venue. They should have it covered and usually understand exactly how to manage your wedding bands rider. Speaking with your weddng band would be useful too as they will be able to help and adapt.
What do the Avengers say?
Don’t just take my word for it, here’s what our experienced frontman Adam from the Avengers likes to see at a wedding. Adam performs at around 100 weddings a year and this is what he told us over a few beers…
“When I perform at weddings, a few things can make a difference. I perform better when we’ve have had enough time to get ready and we’ve chatted to the couple so we know what they want from us that night. If it’s easy to get hold of some food, drink, somewhere to park and a place to get changed it helps us relax and have fun. Weddings in the past haven’t always gone to plan but if we’re feeling relaxed and prepared, we can handle any sudden changes or surprises no problem.”
Having a wedding abroad?
If you are lucky enough to have your beautiful wedding abroad and can afford the extra cost of bringing a wedding band over, have a look at the band’s rider requirements as it can vary. Having a wedding band travel abroad can become costly with transport, hotel and equipment hire costs all being possible extra cost. Our live wedding bands often travel abroad and although it costs our couples more and is logistically more complex, it’s always well worth it! Check back in the next few weeks for a full guide all about having your wedding abroad.
Oh, one last thing before I forget…
A regular question we get from wedding couples is whether a wedding band need a stage provided. Our answer would be yes if it’s available to you for free. It’s not necessary so don’t feel you have to pay for one if you don’t want to. They do make a wedding bands performance that little bit more impressive but unless you’re having an outdoor or marquee wedding they aren’t essential. You can read all about wedding bands and marquee weddings here by the way.
At the end of the day, a band rider shouldn’t consist of too much. I can’t honestly comment on other live wedding bands out there but the listed points above are fair and reasonable requests. If you are on the hunt for a fantastic wedding band with no diva behaviour in sight, contact us now. As ever comments and questions are more than welcome and I hope this guide has helped clear up a few things for you! We spend a lot of time making our blog posts the best we can for you so if you liked what you read please consider sharing it with others.
Thanks for reading and see you next time.
Jon and the Seventh Second Team