Top 11 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Band

Their answers should be music to your ears.

Before hiring the musicians for your wedding, you should get to know them a bit. Ask them the following questions, and hopefully their answers will be music to your ears.

What’s your music specialty?
If you want a swing band, asking a country music group to play doesn’t make sense. Find out what genre the band plays. Ask if they can incorporate a few different ones for your reception.

Is your sample recording live or in a studio?
Anyone can sound amazing if they have enough technical enhancement. The clip you should hear should be live and untouched—just like it will sound at your wedding.

Can we stop by a wedding you’re playing?
This is the only way to find out exactly what you’ll be getting. Performing live provides the big picture for your big day.

Do you know our reception site? If not, can you check it out before the wedding?
Good musicians will want to know important things like a site’s acoustics, power sources, and amplification. Even something as silly as being unprepared for an extra extension cord need can ruin the night.

Can you learn new songs for us?
Most bands leave spots on their roster for new songs, but ask if they charge extra per tune.

How many musicians and vocalists are in the band? Do I need to hire all of them?
From horn sections to backup singers, a band can usually be as big as you want. Or as small. Hiring only a portion of your choice band is a way to lower costs but still get a great sound.

Are all the instruments and equipment included in your price?
It might be a piano for that knock-out acoustic slow song or extra speakers for pumping up the volume in a giant room. Whatever it is, find out exactly what they bring and what you need to rent.

Do you use special lighting or special effects?
Some bands like to use spotlights or even effects like disco balls and fog machines. These may be standard, or they could cost extra.

Who will do the setup?
Someone sets up the sound system on the big day, so you’ll need to find out their name to supply to either your venue contact or your wedding planner.

What do you wear during a performance?
Typically you’re looking for tuxedos or simple coordinated outfits—professional clothing that won’t detract from the music. Unless you want something more “festive,” like Hawaiian shirts on your Beach Boys cover band or vintage garb on a swing band.

What if a member of the band is ill?
If a key musician or vocalist is sick on your wedding day, they should have a reliable replacement that’s the same caliber as the talent you’re hiring.

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