To help you choose the best entertainment for your wedding, we’ve put together this free band DJ wedding checklist – all about what to ask your wedding band or DJ before you book them. We’ve gone straight to the experts for the finest advice – Lorna, the booking coordinator for The Connor Mc Keon Band and Aisling from All Talk Wedding Band.
It’s hard to imagine a wedding without dancing – whether it’s an all-out latest tunes DJ extravaganza, a jazzy big-band arrangement, or a few waltzes around the floor to an old gramophone. Nowadays, couples are lucky to have an amazing choice of reception venues with plenty of space to dance, so DJs and bands are always more than welcome to take up that spot on the podium and make sure the floor is full throughout the night. Feet may be aching by the end of it all, but everyone will remember what a fantastic night it was!
Our experts shared some immensely helpful insights for all the future newlyweds. Aisling from All Talk Wedding Band says, “remember to ask if the band can play at the ceremony as well as reception – in other words, an all-day package. It will save you money and ensure a quality service throughout the day. Details are very important, so be sure to discuss things like breaks, travel, meals etc, and you’ll find it’s the perfect way to tick off a hugely important thing off your to-do list. And always feel free to ask about the ceremony music, whether it’s church or civil. We know very well how to tailor each performance to fit the vibe and surroundings. We can supply anything from piano, acoustic guitar and even double bass to create the right mood.”
Lorna, the booking coordinator for The Connor Mc Keon Band says, “I cannot stress enough how important it is to book your band as soon as you have the venue and the date reserved. Many couples leave it far too late, because they don’t realise just how fast bands, singers and DJs get booked up. Unlike with some other suppliers who may have flexibility in how they arrange their work, bands aren’t like that – once they’re booked, they’re booked. Cancellations happen, but you can’t count on them, and the longer you wait the harder it will be to get the entertainment you really really love. The result – you’ll have to settle for a band that’s simply available on your wedding date, sometimes without even having a chance to see them in action first. It’s really in your best interest to book early – you don’t have to settle for anything less than the best. Finally, if there’s any chance for you to see the band play live before you book them – grab it! Video is great, but nothing compares to seeing a live performance to get the best idea of what to expect at your wedding.”
Here are all the essential questions to ask your band or DJ before you book them:
• Do you have our date free?
• How far in advance do I need to book your service?
• Is there a deposit?
• Is the deposit refundable?
• Is there a contract to sign?
• Do you offer a payment plan?
• Does the price include everything, or are there any extras?
• Is there an extra charge for particular dates/bank holidays, mileage, etc?
• Do you have any special requirements?
• Do you require a meal to be provided for you/your band members?
• Are there testimonials from past brides available for me to see?
• How many weddings have you played at?
• Do you take multiple bookings for the same day?
• What will you wear?
• Do you offer an all-day package – including ceremony, pre-dinner, live set followed by DJ?
• Do you offer church music?
• Do you offer different arrangement options for church, for example acoustic guitar or piano?
• Can you help me with song placement for my ceremony?
• Can you provide a list of popular songs you perform?
• Have you played at my reception venue before?
• Do you have your own PA system/travel with your own equipment?
• Do you provide lighting or any other special effects?
• How much time do you require to set-up and pack up again at the end?
• Will you be able to accommodate my venue if they require an early set-up?
• Can the band start playing earlier if I want them to play my first dance song live?
• Will you mind if my first dance song is pre-recorded?
• We have a ceilidh band playing during the break – will they be able to use the band’s PA system?
• If the band is also providing a DJ – does the DJ start immediately after the band?
• Will you also act as an MC?
• Are you interactive with the audience, and to what extent? Can we ask for more or less?
• Can we give you a list of songs we would like to hear?
• Can we give you a list of songs we don’t want to hear?
• Are you able to play a mix of music so everyone can dance?
• Do you take requests?
• How many hours are you available for?
• How long does your set last?
• What if we wanted you to play a shorter/longer set?
• What are the overtime charges?
• What happens if you fall ill/can’t attend the wedding?
• What is your cancellation policy?
• Are you insured?
• Are you playing anywhere in my local area soon and can I come see you play live?
Main image from Ailish & Vinny’s real wedding courtesy of Insight Photography
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If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.