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Booking Musicians for your Wedding

So, your wedding date creeps on apace and you haven't hired musicians yet. Before you start looking up bands, though, ask yourself how many musicians you actually need for your special day.

Considering the Size of Your Wedding

The number of musicians you'll need to hire corresponds directly to the size of your guest list. In general, you can entertain a party roster of 70 or less with a two-person band. Keep in mind, however, that these aren't hard and fast rules, but rather a rough guide. The more people you've invited, the more musicians you will likely need. A trio would fill the gap between 70 and 100 people, but you might want a larger ensemble to entertain wedding parties of 100 people or more. And, remember, the larger your guest list becomes, the more important amplification systems will be for that band you hire. After all, what's the point of hiring a great jazz ensemble if nobody can hear it?

You can expect to pay several hundred dollars for a duo performance (somewhere in the area of 400 to 600 dollars) and perhaps $2,000 to $3000 for a 4-piece-plus with amplifiers and lights.

Listening to the Band Perform

And, speaking of greatness, always make sure to hear the band perform before you put down any money. If the band you're investigating has some live recordings, you certainly will want to listen to what they have to offer. At the same time, you can't always tell how well a band will perform based on a studio recording. Therefore, seeing a live performance is still necessary.

Researching the Band

It is also important to do your homework before hiring a band. Find out the answers to certain questions. For example, how long has the band been performing? What's their repertoire look like? How does the band fit within the overall aesthetic plan you're imagining for your wedding?

It is also a good idea to see if you can find someone who's hired the band in the past. Be certain to ask that person plenty of questions. Your questions should ask about everything ranging from professionalism to on-stage manner.

Planning Your Music Sets

You can expect about three 45-minute sets of music in a four hour period, or two one-hour sets, depending on your preferences. The band will generally take breaks between these sets and will often play filler music in between these sets. You can specify everything you want played when you talk to the bandleader. This conversation usually takes place a few weeks before the wedding. Also, keep in mind that the first dance is a pretty special part of the reception. Therefore, be sure to clear it with the band ahead of time and give them plenty of time to learn it if they don't already know the song.

Taking the time to research the band for your wedding is an important step in the wedding planning process. After all, a band that is bad usually tends to be really bad - and you don't want your wedding to be remembered for the wrong reasons.

Jennie Evans runs Hop Till You Drop, a company that provides music of all styles and types for weddings, birthday parties and corporate events in the UK. Hoptiludrop

Wedding Planning Tips and Ideas

Wedding Anniversary Dance

Anniversary Dance starts with all married couples at the wedding on the dance floor. The MC then asks everyone who has been married less than 12 hours to sit down (obviously the bride & groom). Then you move on to 1 year, 5 years, 10 years etc.. until only the longest married couple remains.

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