Here some top tips on hiring a wedding band – perfect for you and your big day!
So you’re at the stage where you have to find a more than decent wedding band and you are surprised by the sheer amount of bands available. How do you find the good ones? You don’t want to end up with a bunch tuneless codgers rattling away on the stage giving it the big shu be do be do!
There are now 1000s of wedding bands in Ireland and some of them have a massive online presence and give the impression that they are on the ball and well organized. They organize additional lighting and even provide a top DJ while they are at it! You check out some of their videos and they look good and sound fairly ok, so you decide to contact them to see if you can arrange a viewing date.
They tell you that there are no free slots at the moment but they have a public viewing date coming up in a couple of months in Dublin and they will put your name down on the door, so you can get into the free gig. You understand that other couples are ahead of you on the viewing list and wonder how many people can a band actually sneak into someone else’s wedding? Maybe 3 couples? At different times perhaps? We have all seen them, the odd couple dressed differently, looking slightly nervous and lurking down the back of the room.
OK, you decide to wait for the free public gig coming up in some pub to check them out and in the meantime, you go back to square one and resume your search online. You also follow up on suggestions from friends but don’t have any luck either way. You find some more directories online with even more lists of bands claiming to be the father of the mother of all wedding bands! Then it’s time to check out some more videos and you finally decide to contact some of the bigger more well-known bands and you find out that they are currently free on your date.
When you eventually get to see them in the flesh you quickly realize it’s not the band in the video.
Hello! you think, the drummer was blonde and it was a male lead singer! They look and sound completely different but you wonder how many bands are going around the country under the same name? When you get to this stage you start the entire process over again but make the decision to see as many bands as possible and try your best to set up and arrange some more private viewing dates. This goes well for a while until you realize that you’re not too fond of the sounds the bands make.
You’re no snob but my word, some of those acts would eat you for breakfast. The other bands you saw were looking for over three thousand euro for an hour and a half work and the PA system was not included in the price. Let’s call off the wedding you think, this is turning out to be a pain in the neck.
The groom is chilled enough and suggests a rock and roll band or maybe a swing band?
You have been avoiding the agency websites, thinking they are expensive or overpriced. They seem to be pushing the same acts over and over but you stumble upon a video of a cool band that your friend sent you and decide to make contact. The girls in the agency are very polite and helpful, probably to earn their massive commission you think, filling their bank accounts in the Cayman Islands no doubt.
They suggest a half dozen acts that are free on your date, send info and links to even more videos and give you all inclusive prices that are not bad at all. They then organise to sneak you into several weddings with full permission from the newly married couples saying “sure we did it ourselves you’re welcome to check out the band” They also send you dates of all the showcase gigs happening so you can see other bands in action also.
Low and behold!! You found a band and just love them and want them really badly. Phew ! turns out the agency had them on provisional hold for you. You pay a small booking deposit to properly secure the date and that’s it, done. The smooth-talking agency girls send over a booking form and a receipt so that’s the paperwork sorted. Next, they get all the details and arrange the first dance, they leave nothing to chance and deal with the band on your behalf. Timings, directions, music, sound equipment, lighting, monitors, microphones, etc. They also supply a seriously cool DJ who contacts you to go over your favorite music and get a suitable playlist together. Looks like the agency just took the stress out of booking the ideal wedding entertainment and you’re wondering why did I not call them in the first place?
Turns out our band can play as a duo at the drinks reception also! SCORE!! They just arrive nice and early and get set up. The agency will offer you all sorts of things like Singing Waiters, Fire Jugglers, Star Troopers, Silent Headphone Disco and a 9 foot tall Dancing Robot but that’s ok.
Now you’re all sorted, you’re all organized from a musical perspective, everything is booked in and ready to go. You now have time to get on with the rest of the planning and keep an eye on the groom so he doesn’t do anything stupid.