Hiring the right wedding band can make or break your wedding! There is a huge range of bands and performers available, but how do you get the most out of your budget? We caught up with Entertainment Nation who have lots of experience in booking wedding entertainment at the best rate. Here are their top 10 tips on how to get the best deal when hiring your wedding band…
1. Book through a reputable vendor. Booking through a reputable agency or directory with a clear and visible testimonial page will ensure not only quality, but will also give you the ability to chat and discuss your plans in detail before booking an act. Whilst this doesn’t guarantee a better rate, if you word things well and smile nicely it can certainly leave a little more room for negotiation!
2. Be clear about your budget from the onset. There’s no point setting your sights on trying to secure a band that is double your budget; although we consider ourselves as good negotiators, we’re not that good! Be clear about your budget with your initial enquiry – this will make it easier to secure a band within your budget, quickly and efficiently.
3. Book as early as possible. Most wedding bands and acts will book dates up to 2 years in advance with many offering their current rate for future bookings. It’s likely that a band will gradually increase their pricing year by year to cover inflation and demand, so you may be able to avoid any extra fee by booking in advance.
4. Choose an off peak/out of season date. It’s very rare that a band will offer a discount or better rate for bookings made in peak wedding season (May through to September). Booking your wedding between October and April may leave you in a better position to get a little discount from their full price.
5. Choose a mid-week date. It’s also rare that you’ll be able to secure a discount on weddings booked on a Friday or Saturday. With most bands booked for every single Friday and Saturday throughout the entire year, why not pick a Wednesday or Thursday? You may then also get a better deal on your venue and other wedding suppliers too.
6. Book very last minute. Whilst we consider this point a little ‘risky’ it can be known to help secure a good deal! Leaving your wedding band hiring until the last minute can very much limit your options (especially if you have a ‘prime’ date in mind), but if you do find an available band that you love with a few weeks to spare, it may leave you in a better position to negotiate.
7. Band timings (setting up and curfew). As a general rule, bands will offer to arrive and set up anytime after 5pm and finish at Midnight. Asking them to arrive earlier and or finish later will most likely push up their asking price. Therefore considering the time a band requires to ‘set up’ when planning your day can keep prices down. Asking a band to arrive at Midday to set up before your ceremony and then party until 2am will definitely push up any band quote. If on a budget, keeping within the standard offerings of 5pm or later arrival and midnight curfew will help.
8. Choose a band that offers free inclusions such as DJ service and First Dance. Most bands now offer a free DJ service included in their package, meaning you will save costs on not having to book a separate DJ to fill the gaps when they are not performing. This free inclusion is usually a pre-determined playlist on a Laptop / iPod, which they will leave running throughout the evening. Many will also learn your First Dance of choice and perform this too.
9. Book a local band. Booking a band local to your venue location will help keep costs down. If you fall in love with a band from Lancashire but your venue is in East Sussex – chances are, no amount of negotiation is going to get you a great price. The Entertainment Nation can give you a guide price for each act based on location, enabling you to instantly see who is sitting within your budget for your location.
10. Don’t set your sights too high when looking at band size. To explain this a little more, as a general rule band prices increase per member. If you have a budget of £1200 setting your sights on securing a 10 piece wedding band with 3 singers and a horn section may be pushing things, however should be ample to secure a fairly local 3-4 piece band. Some larger bands also offer to reduce their line-up to make things work within budgets. It’s always worth asking the question.
Thank you to Entertainment Nation for the above tips. With highly experienced performers and agents working in the entertainment industry, Entertainment Nation can give clients a great insight into the requirements of both the client and the performers, offering sound advice and negotiation between both parties.