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Complete Guide to Common Mistakes Hiring a Wedding Band

Hiring a wedding band always gets the guests dancing

Hiring a wedding band is an essential part of any wedding planning. From elegant string quartets to rockin’ function bands, music elevates the event and allows you and your partner to show off your artistic personality.

However, there are some common bumps in the road you should try to avoid — especially if it’s your first time planning an event. You don’t want to end up having a silent first dance!


In this blog, we’re looking at the top 10 mistakes couples make when hiring a wedding band and how to avoid them. We’ve taken these points from bookings experts and musicians to ensure you have experienced advice for the big day. Bookmark this page to ensure your wedding soundtrack runs without a hitch! Let’s dive in.

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The Top 10 Mistakes When Hiring a Wedding Band

Considering live wedding music for your big day? Here’s everything you need to know before booking.

Perfect your first dance with professional wedding music.

  1. Not Allowing Enough Time For Soundchecks

    Soundchecks are crucial when it comes to wedding music. Without them, the sound might be faulty or simply non-existent!

    Soundchecks might not even cross your mind if you’ve never hired a band. But they’re a must for all musicians. Schedule soundchecks into the day to ensure the artists have everything they need to put on a perfect performance.

    Unsure how much time you should set aside? Ask your wedding band how long they typically need. It’s best not to guesstimate!

  2. Forgetting To Check Equipment With The Venue

    Preparation is the key to a fabulous event. So, checking and double-checking the venue’s equipment and sound levels are paramount. This way, you’ll know exactly what’s on offer from your venue, and you can grab any last-minute PAs and microphones if needed. Some musical acts will bring their own PA systems, but some will expect the venue to provide the sound system – it’s always best to check!

    Top Tip: Never assume the venue can provide music equipment! It’s safer to arrive with spares.

  3. Not Having Enough Space

    Do you know how much space the wedding band takes up? Again, this is a question you might not have considered if you’ve never planned an event before. But knowing the answer can make or break the evening.

    Chat with your wedding music providers and find out how much space they’ll need in advance. Then cross-reference this with your venue. As a reference, a typical 5-piece band will need a rectangular area of about 5 x 3 metres.

    You should also consider how much space you’ll need for dancing, too. And remember, bigger is always better for a dance floor!

  4. Ensuring Power Points

    Similarly to checking whether your venue provides wedding band equipment, check whether they have enough power points for your act.

    This is extra important if you’ve hired a four or five-piece band or if your band is playing in a marquee or outside. Most musical acts will need 1-2 plug sockets per person.

  5. Leaving Load-In Info Until the Day

    Musicians don’t appear out of thin air. Before they perform, they need to “load-in.” Load-in basically refers to the time your artists need to carry their gear into the venue. This time is prearranged and usually just before soundcheck. However, to ensure your schedule runs well, you should consider and allocate this time to your wedding planning before the big day.

    After all, you don’t want your band to be setting up while your guests are waiting to boogie!

    Ensure your wedding band is set up for success with these handy tips.

  6. Not Coordinating Packing Up Time Or Set Lengths

    Similarly to the above, you should schedule time for the band to pack up. All good things must come to an end, and endings are much more pleasant with a calm finish.

    You should also confirm the set lengths prior to the day. Being clear on when your musicians are booked to start and end their performances is essential for your peace of mind. Some flexibility around timings at a wedding is understandable, but clear communication around this on the day (with a designated point of contact) is essential to avoid any awkwardness.

    If the end of their set is coming up, but you want to keep the dancefloor pumping, most musicians will offer an additional 30-60 minutes for an additional fee to continue on into the night. But best to check with the artists beforehand if possible!

    All good things must come to an end, and endings are much more pleasant with a calm finish.

  7. Not Planning Song Requests Beforehand

    Did you know that not all wedding bands take requests? That’s right. This works for some couples, but if you know your guests will be keen to get their favourite tunes on, discuss requests with your chosen band as soon as possible.

    Furthermore, make a list of requests in advance to ensure your musicians know the notes. You’ll thank yourself when you’re shaking it with your BFFs!

  8. Not Discussing Preferences

    Alongside discussing requests, make sure you have a general discussion about music preferences before you book the band. This way, you can relax knowing your wedding music reflects your taste.

    You can even generate a “Do Not Play” list to ensure no duds are in the setlist.

  9. Forgetting Your Band’s Breaks

    Though they may seem like it, musicians aren’t superheroes.

    Calculate breaks and mealtimes into the evening so your musicians can rest and recharge. Most couples provide food and drink for musicians at weddings, particularly if they’re at the event from the afternoon into late in the evening. They’ll hit the notes better on a full stomach, we promise!

  10. Overlooking Noise Restrictions

    Finally, double-check any venue noise restrictions. Some venues implement curfews at night, and others might have volume restrictions.

    You should also look at local council restrictions and regulations. This isn’t the most exciting task, but it could save you from getting into hot water when your singer hits the high notes!

    You won’t regret hiring a wedding band when your family and friends are all smiling.

Final Thoughts

Every aspect of a wedding requires careful planning, and your wedding band is no different. We hope these 10 mistakes couples make when hiring a wedding band have inspired you to do a bit of extra due diligence before you tie the knot.
You’ll feel much more confident on the day when this wedding planning checklist is complete, and your wedding band will be remembered for all the right reasons!

Are you gearing up for an unforgettable wedding?

Encore Musicians is on-hand to help. As leading experts in the industry, we take wedding music seriously. We have an endless range of wedding musicians in all genres and a tried-and-tested hiring process to ensure you can find your ideal act without stress.

Enquire with Encore Musicians for your wedding today >


Dan Willis

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