Wedding planning can be a stressful activity, which is unfortunate. A marriage should be a time of excitement and joy for the couple and their families.

Finding live entertainment for the reception can especially prove to be a major challenge. You want your reception to be an event that both you and your guests remember with pleasure.

The success of the band could mean the difference between a packed dance floor and a dull party that everyone wants to leave early. So choosing the right band is vital for a terrific party.

Nobody is going to lie and tell you it’s simple, there are some tips and suggestions you can follow to increase your chance of finding the perfect band.

1. Listen to Bands Play

Obviously, you should never hire a band for your wedding without listening to them play. You don’t have to listen in person to decide whether you love a band, thanks to the Internet.

You may search online for videos and demos, so you can both watch and listen to the quality of the band. This will save time and help you choose musical entertainment that’s in line with your personal style.

After you’ve created your short list, try to see the band play in person to confirm your choice. You might attend another venue they’re playing or schedule an appointment for them to perform in front of a private audience.

2. Match Your Style

On what could be the most important day of your life, you needn’t choose a band to impress everyone else. The type of music you choose will say a lot about you as a couple, and the sound will be strongly associated with your memories.

If you enjoyed the music, you’ll think back on the day with joy rather than regret. So choose a band that plays music you love.

If you’re interested in slow dances and relaxing classical music, book a mini string orchestra. If Motown is more your thing, the more horns the merrier.

Narrow your search to include only your favorite style of music for the best experience. 

3. Narrow by Availability

Don’t overwhelm yourself by listening to bands that won’t be available on the day of your wedding. Before you begin listening to samples, make sure the band is available.

You might be able to narrow your search based on availability. If you look at sites that list local bands who seek gigs, such as Craigslist or Bands for Hire, you’ll see a series of bands along with their coming availability. 

4. Consider the Cost

The band you book will largely depend on your budget, and the costs may vary, depending on experience, size, and style. If you’re booking a 10-piece band that’s been playing for 15 years, you’ll probably pay five times as much as when you book a four-piece band that’s been together only one year.

Typically, a larger band will produce a better sound, especially if you’re in a large space. Most people choose a band size in the middle, with six or seven members, for great sound and presence.

This isn’t to say you can’t find a great smaller band that fits within your budget. A small band can still generate a quality sound and fill your reception with good memories … and you don’t have to go into debt to make it happen. 

5. Plan for the Venue

A band can take up a lot of room, and your venue may not be big enough for them. You don’t want the instruments and tech to take up half the dance floor, after all.

If you haven’t paid for the venue yet, find a larger place to fit the band. If you’ve paid a non-refundable deposit, you may have to choose a smaller band for the space.

In addition, there may be certain restrictions within your venue. Some places don’t allow live bands because they want to keep a low noise profile. Run your entertainment plans by the venue coordinator before you make a booking.

6. Screen for Experience

It’s also wise to consider the band’s level of experience before you invite them to your wedding. Experience doesn’t count for everything, but it can indicate important facets like reliability, sound quality, communication skills, and other traits that are worthwhile both for booking a band and hearing them play.

If you want to know how long a band has been playing, just ask. You can also visit their website and read reviews to make sure they haven’t choked in the past. 

7. Book Early

Start thinking about your band early. You’re more likely to get your first choice if you plan ahead. The most popular bands can be booked up to 18 months in advance, but if you’re going with a lesser-known group, six months out should be fine. 

This is especially crucial if you’re getting married at a popular time of year, typically either April or June. It’s simple supply and demand: booking them early will guarantee an amazing live band to create incredible memories.

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