1. Wedding Bands - What You Need to Know

Learn the language! Become familiar with these common wedding terms and important details.

  • Cover or Variety Band - a band that plays a wide range of songs from different eras and genres. Bands may have anywhere between 4-7 members depending on the numbers of instruments being played but generally consist of a guitar, bass, keyboard, drummer, vocalist, and possibly strings and horns.
  • Continuous music – a band will often play for 45 minutes with a 15-minute break, playing recorded music during the break.  Requesting the band to play for longer stretches or take shorter breaks may result in increased costs. 
  • Rider - bands may require a rider outlining their specific needs like stage, sound systems, dressing room, meals and travel. Musicians playing for more than 2-3 hours often request a meal. Be aware of each band’s policy and consider the number of musicians.
  • Backline - high end bands often require audio amplification equipment that stands behind the band on stage, including amplifiers for guitars, bass guitars and keyboards.
  • Sound and noise restrictions - discuss with your site manager any restrictions that might affect your event, like noise limits, a music curfew and availability and load of electrical circuits. 
  • Travel and accommodations - you may be responsible to pay for travel and expenses depending on the distance a band has to travel.
  • MC – bandleaders may or may not be able to serve as your MC so be sure to ask.


TIP: When considering if a band fits your budget think about this: It stands to reason that if a DJ is one performer, a 5 piece band of similar quality should be five times the cost.

Thought bubble

2. Ask Yourself about a Wedding Band

Does a live band fit into your music budget?
Do you like the look and feel of live music?
Do you want a band only for dancing at the end of the evening or live music for the whole wedding?


TIP: Discuss with your site manager any restrictions that might affect your event, like noise limits, a music curfew and availability/load of electrical circuits. Also check with your facility and caterer about where and what to feed the performers.


3. Ask your Band Leader

Will the same vocalists I saw in the promotional video be playing at my wedding?
Describe your set up  - stage, lighting, sound, power, and other requirements?
How much time will you need for setup, sound check and breakdown on the day of the wedding?
How will you be dressed?
Can you provide musicians for the ceremony, cocktails, and dinner?  Is there an additional fee?
Do you play continuously?  If not, what is your policy on breaks?
What music is played during breaks?  What options do I have?
Will you sing the songs for our first dance, father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, etc.?
Is your song list a full or partial list? If a song is not on your list can it be added? Is there an additional fee or time needed for this?