Before booking your wedding entertainment discover how to get more for your money with these top tips from Entertainment Nation…
“There’s no getting around it, weddings are expensive. After you’ve booked the venue, negotiated a deal on the perfect wedding dress, bought the rings and the thousand and one other things that need paying for, there might not be as much left in the kitty as you’d like for your wedding entertainment.
If you’ve got your heart set on a live band and your budget is a little stretched, there’s no need for despair; while professional wedding bands don’t come cheap, there are a few sneaky tips and tricks you can employ to get yourself a better deal.
Our number one tip for getting a good deal when you hire a wedding band is to book early. The most popular wedding bands get booked up anything up to two years in advance (and sometimes even farther into the future – we’ve had enquiries for 2022!). By booking early you’re able to book a band at their current rates, rather than those of one or two years down line which tend to increase with inflation and a band’s growth in popularity.
Apart from anything else, booking in advance will give you a much wider selection of bands to choose from before they all get booked up. Of course, if your wedding is imminent we’d still do everything in our power to get you a great act at the last minute, which leads us to our second tip…
Leave it to the last minute
Yes, we’re contradicting ourselves here, but bear with us. While we stand by our advice of booking your wedding entertainment as early as possible, if you do leave it until the last minute you might be able to negotiate a deal with a band without a gig on the date of your wedding and bag yourself a bargain. This is a high-risk strategy, especially if your wedding is on a popular day during the main wedding season, as you’ll find yourself with a limited selection of bands to choose from.
Avoid the main “wedding season”
The peak wedding season runs from May to September, when the gamble on the British weather is slightly more in the favour of prospective brides and grooms. If you’re organising a wedding outside of these peak months, you’ll find that many bands will be far more willing to negotiate on price to secure a booking during the quieter October to April period.
Book a mid-week wedding
In a similar vein to tip number 3, by arranging your wedding on an off-peak mid-week day, you could save yourself some money on the fee for your wedding band. Fridays and Saturdays are by far the most popular days for weddings, and wedding bands get booked up accordingly. Given the demand for their services on weekends, bands don’t tend to offer discounts for these busy days. However, for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday wedding, bands will jump at the chance of adding a bonus date to their diary and may be more amenable to negotiation on price.
Stick with standard band timings
Standard timings for a live band tend to be a 5pm arrival to set up and sound-check, followed by performance with a midnight finish. It may seem more optimal for a band to arrive before the ceremony to set up, thus minimising any interruption to your wedding day proceedings, but this will drive up costs – the longer a band is with you, the more you’ll pay. Early arrival for set up isn’t really necessary anyway, as professional bands are well used to setting up with minimal intrusion. Similarly, asking a band to stay on after the midnight curfew will push up the price you pay. Sticking with the standard timings will help you keep within budget.
Book a band that offer a complete entertainment package
You can make a big saving by booking a band who offer a complete wedding entertainment package that includes professional lighting and sound equipment, a complimentary DJ service and the option for the band to learn your first dance. Many bands will offer all this within their fee, saving you money on hiring equipment and a separate DJ (for before, between and after sets of live music).
Hire a local band
The further a band has to travel to get to your wedding venue, the higher their fee will be. It makes sense, therefore, to hire a local band for your wedding, so you’re spending your budget on performance and not petrol. In addition to getting a better deal, if your band doesn’t have to travel as far, there’s less chance of them getting caught up in traffic on the Great British motorways!
Book a band with fewer members
The more musicians in a band, the higher the band’s fee will be (the musicians need to get paid after all). By opting for a band with 3 or 4 members instead of 8, 9, 10 or more, you can still achieve a spectacular live music experience but at a fraction of the cost. This doesn’t mean giving up on a band you’ve fallen in love with just because they have too many members. Many wedding bands are happy to offer a reduced line-up to bring the cost down, giving you the best of both worlds.
Book through a reputable agency
While you might not make a direct saving by booking through a wedding entertainment agency, you will benefit hugely from the peace of mind that comes through knowing that you’re covered in the extremely rare instance that your wedding band is unable to perform at your event. With a vast selection of acts to call upon, a good agency will do everything possible to supply a suitable alternative band, even at the very last minute. You’re also safe in the knowledge that your booking is covered by a legally binding contract.
Armed with these tips, you should be able to save a pretty penny on your live wedding band. Congratulations and we hope to hear from you soon to help you book your wedding entertainment – please go easy on us in the negotiations!”
To find wedding bands near you and discuss your requirements, head to entertainment-nation.co.uk today!