When it comes to wedding planning, entertainment can often take the back-burner to all of those dreamy design details—but it’s arguably one of the most important aspects of your wedding day. After all, if your guests aren’t having a great time, what difference does stunning design make? It’s so important, then, to put as much effort (and research) into your entertainment decisions as do into things like floral choices and tablescapes. To help you on your quest to keep your guests entertained—and your budget in tact—we’ve tapped the expertise of Kate Swee at Entire Productions to talk what to look for when booking a wedding band. Read on for Kate’s top tips when it comes to booking a band that will have you (and your guests) cutting a rug like never before.


Bands are definitely on the upswing, and becoming more and more popular. That being said, they're not always cost-effective, and it's easy to fall into a couple of "traps" during the booking process. Make sure you keep the following three things in mind:


1. Does the band's website have any live recordings or live performance videos?

Produced highlight reels can sometimes be misleading. You want to make sure the band you’re considering booking sounds just as good live as they do in their produced reels. Look for live performance videos or live song recordings to get a true feel for what they’ll sound like on your big day. (Pro tip: Ask if you can attend a rehearsal or band practice. That way, you'll get a feel for the band's live sound as well as the energy and overall vibe they bring to the table as a group.)


2. Do they have a set lineup of artists, or are they a “pickup band”?

For the best musical experience, you want to look for a band with a set lineup of artists who know each other and play together frequently. A “pickup band” means that the artists are booked individually for a single event and may not have even met each other, played together before, or rehearsed as a group. Aside from some of the obvious issues this piecemeal approach can cause, it also may mean they’re not aware of your song requests (and just as important, your “do not play” list).


3. Are they providing their own sound equipment?

This is a biggie. Make sure you’re not being misled in your original quote—providing the sound equipment should be included in the band’s rate. If it’s not, ensure you have them quote it out for you separately. This can cost up to anywhere from $1k-$10k, depending on the band and the amount of equipment needed—and it can be a huge surprise down the road for couples who aren't aware of it.


Photo courtesy Shelby Rae Photographs