There are hundreds of live wedding bands advertising their services so here are 10 points to consider when choosing a band.
Musical Ability. This is arguably the most important factor when booking a band, and is also probably the only factor that will be recognised by your guests. Many good bands will have backgrounds in top music schools or performing with 'big name' artists. This does not guarantee quality but it is a very safe bet. It is the band's ability to cover your favourite tunes in a musical way that will make or break the performance.
A good wedding band should have a broad repertoire, and be flexible with it in order to be able to cater to a variety of styles. Bands that can cover a bit of everything (soul, pop, rock, modern chart, 70s, 80s and even jazz/swing) will be the most flexible as they can tailor their performance to the exact specification of the client.
The ideal band will have played at many (possibly hundreds) of weddings before and will have come across most situations. The band will then be able to adapt to a last minute schedule change and they will know when and how to change the set list to cater for the audience. There is no point in playing a set of 60s rock 'n' roll if everyone wants to hear '80s pop!
This is paramount at a wedding as this will be the biggest day of their life for most clients. It can't just be treated as "another gig" to get through. Most people who book a live band for their wedding will never have booked one before, and will probably never book one again, so the band should guide the client in all aspects of the booking including schedule, equipment, repertoire, size of band etc. No two weddings are the same and a good band will understand this!
How do you choose the right musicians from the hundreds out there?
The most important thing is to DO YOUR RESEARCH. The first place to start is the internet. A good professional band should invest in a good website, good demo recordings and good advertising, so they wont be difficult to find. Ask the band where they have played before and how many weddings they have performed at. Speak to the band manager on the phone too, or even meet in person. This will give you a good idea into how professional they really are.