At Alive Network we work with our artists to ensure their fees are both fair and good value for money, but there are always ways to shave a little off the bill! So, we asked our team of experienced entertainment coordinators, “How do I get the best price for my wedding band?”. These are the ideas they came up with...
When you're trying to make your wedding budget stretch as far as possible, you need to be sure you've got the best price you can for everything, including your wedding entertainment. At Alive Network we work with our artists to ensure their fees are both fair and good value for money, but there are always ways to shave a little off the bill! So, we asked our team of experienced entertainment coordinators, “How do I get the best price for my wedding band in 2017?”. These are the ideas they came up with…
Book early, but not too early! Most wedding function bands are happy to confirm gigs 12 to 16 months in advance, which should ensure you get one of your top choices. However, some bands will add a surcharge if a client is booking between 16 and 24 months in advance. This is because most band’s fees usually increase slightly year on year in line with inflation, and as their increasing experience and reputation makes them more in demand.
If you're planning a wedding outside of the peak summer months, you'll be saving money on all sorts of costs, from venue hire to wedding band fees. Most bands will do a deal on weddings in the quieter winter, early spring and autumn months, as demand is lower and they need the work! There's another benefit to out-of-season weddings in that more guests might be able to attend without the restrictions of school holidays and competing wedding invites…
Book Last Minute
OK, we know this contradicts the 'book early' advice, but stick with us! If a wedding band has a Saturday night free in the busy months during the summer, they will probably be keen to fill it, if your enquiry is made only a month or two before the date. However, this tactic will greatly limit your available options, as the most popular party bands at Alive Network will have filled all key summer 2017/2018 dates by February or March at the latest.
This is a superb way to get the best deal possible for your wedding band. Most professional bands will do a deal on a wedding booked during the week, as most of their demand is for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. However, be advised that this may not work if the wedding band you choose are more of a part-time outfit, with other work commitments during the week. Just call us at Alive Network and we'll check the band’s midweek availability on your behalf, no obligation.
If you can find a function band that are based near your wedding venue, you will always get that band's best price as it will not include travel or accommodation fees. Most bands are really happy to play local venues as it is so much more convenient for them too. To find a professional function band near your location, simply search for the artist style you want, within the budget you’re looking to spend, and then re-order the search results by location, to see who’s based in your local area.
Finish At Midnight
Most wedding party bands charge extra per hour for playing after midnight, so if you can wrap up the band's part of the entertainment by 12 o’clock, you should not incur any additional after midnight finish fees. You can always continue the party with a DJ if required, but do check with your venue how long after midnight you are allowed to continue playing music - it does vary. You might like to entertain your guests with something special at midnight, such as outdoor fireworks or fire and glow performers, which has the added advantage of clearing the room of guests (temporarily) so your band can easily pack up and depart!
5pm Arrival Time
Almost every article you'll read on the web advises that you ask your wedding band to turn up well in advance, so they can set up and do sound tests, etc. In reality, most bands simply don't need to be there hours early; they are experienced in setting up quickly and unobtrusively, and know their system well enough to keep the old 'One, TWO, one TWO" mic tests to a minimum. Most wedding, party and function bands assume a 6pm arrival in their price, so if you do want them to arrive before 6pm and not perform until later, they will usually charge a waiting fee per hour. This is different from asking a band to play an acoustic duo set at a drinks reception before 6pm and then a full band set in the evening - if you'd like this option, just ask at time of booking and the band will quote you accordingly.
Provide Your Wedding Band's Accommodation
Most bands include a surcharge for accommodation on events that are outside of a certain radius from their base, when it's too far/too late/too tiring to travel back. If you have already negotiated a good deal on accommodation with your venue, or close to it, or you know of a cheap local hotel, you could save a little extra cash by booking rooms for the band direct. (Check first, of course, how much the band's accommodation surcharge is!) Always ask your band how many rooms they will require, include any breakfast costs, and work on the basis of one room each unless told otherwise - not everyone is happy to share.
Wedding DJ Service
Most wedding bands provide music between their live sets through their PA system, but some also off an optional DJ service. This will be in addition to the band's normal fee, but will save you the not-inconsiderable cost of hiring an separate DJ should you wish to keep the party vibe going all night! Some Alive Network bands offer a free DJ service as an incentive to book quickly, once you have received your confirmed quote from your entertainment coordinator, usually within 7 days. So, if you know you want a particular band for your wedding, don’t hang around once you’ve been given the quote – get booking! Do bear in mind the "past midnight" fee mentioned above, as if your DJ is a member of the band, then every band member will probably have to stay until the end to pack up the gear and drive back together in the van.
Ask Alive Network For Help
If you have any questions about getting the best value from your wedding entertainment, just give us a call. We may be the world's largest online live music and live entertainment booking service, but you can still call us for free advice and suggestions anytime Monday - Friday, 9am - 5.30pm. You can also email us questions, or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter. You'll find all the details on our Contact Us page, including pictures of every member of staff, their phone number and email.
And if you're not quite ready to book yet, why not follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest news, special offers and artist information? You can also view specially-made videos on our YouTube account anytime, to see and hear our wedding bands in performance. Scroll to the bottom of any Alive Network page and click on the icons!