The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Wedding Band

August 15, 2023 Jessica Stewart

Wedding planners are no strangers to managing and organizing all aspects of the wedding process. They handle everything from the food to the flowers and can be especially helpful when it comes time to choose the entertainment.

There are many wedding entertainment trends in 2023. Entertainment options encompass a wide variety of different areas such as magicians, circus performers, and photo booths. But what about music options to get the dance floor moving?

For couples looking for entertainment options on their big day, a wedding band may seem ideal. But is a live band really the best option for every couple? There are some potential pros and cons to consider first to ensure the best choice.

Keep reading this guide below for the pros and cons of hiring a live band for an upcoming wedding reception.

Pros of Hiring a Live Wedding Band

A live wedding band can be a terrific addition to your wedding entertainment options. When compared to music options like a wedding DJ, a live band can enhance your wedding in many unique ways. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the pros of hiring a live wedding band here.

Offers a Distinct Live Musical Experience

A live wedding band is a superb choice for entertainment at a wedding reception. It gives wedding guests the opportunity to experience the music instead of listening to pre-recorded tracks piped in over a speaker system.

Live wedding bands amp up the fun and excitement at wedding receptions. When hearing that live music beat pulsing through the floor, the bride and groom and their wedding guests won't be able to resist the urge to get up and dance.

Hiring a live wedding band is a good idea for couples who love to dance and want to create a vibrant reception atmosphere.

Adds a Personalized Touch

A live wedding band adds a personalized touch to your wedding. For example, the first dance is one of the most integral parts of the wedding. Choosing a wedding band that is able to play the bride and groom's favorite song to dance their first dance to is essential.

A wedding band may also be able to accommodate special requests from other wedding guests. This personalized touch creates a more intimate affair between the couple and their guests.

It also serves to offer a highly memorable and meaningful experience overall. Especially since 81% of wedding guests surveyed find the wedding entertainment to be the most memorable aspect.

Enables Interaction Between Band Members and Wedding Guests

With a live wedding band, band members often act like built-in Masters of Ceremony for your wedding reception. This means if there is a lull in activity or a break is needed for giving wedding toasts, the band can cue the wedding guests back out onto the dance floor and keep the party moving.

They can also liven up the party by encouraging guests to sing along or by initiating a dance contest among wedding guests. A live wedding band can engage with key members of the wedding party like the mother of the groom or the father of the bride during the mother/son or father/daughter dance portion.

Elevates the Entertainment Factor

Hiring a live wedding band means you're getting professional entertainers who do this for a living. They are seasoned musicians and therefore will have a good grasp on what is expected of them during their time at the wedding reception.

A professional live wedding band knows how to perform with high energy. Because no one wants to see a static live performance that feels phoned in or forced. Band members will also interact with one another and emit a feeling of infectious enjoyment for wedding guests to pick up on.

Ensures a Seamless Flow of Wedding Reception Events

Because a live wedding band is made up of professional entertainers, they are also experienced in maintaining a proper flow of wedding reception events. They can seamlessly transition and pick up between songs, speeches, and other wedding events like the bouquet and garter toss and ensure a smooth flow of the celebration.

When these events are laid out over the course of the wedding reception, the band can facilitate transitions and sound effects accordingly. For instance, playing a drum roll during the bouquet toss or some playful cabaret music during the garter toss. They may also play intro and outro music between wedding toasts.

Allows for Musical Versatility

Most professional wedding bands can perform a wide range of musical genres and songs. This means that they are able to cater to various age groups and musical preferences. Having versatility, when it comes to live music entertainment, ensures that everyone in attendance will have something to enjoy.

Be sure couples don't limit themselves by choosing too specific of a niche cover band. Look through live wedding band options to verify that the band of choice has an extensive catalog of material they can play. You will want to have a good mixture of fast and slow-tempo songs.

Cons of Hiring a Live Wedding Band

As with every upside, there are possible drawbacks as well. These can range from music selection options to budget issues. Let's explore some of the cons that may arise when hiring a live wedding band.

Higher Budget Concerns

Live music can be an excellent wedding reception element, but it can come with a high price tag, especially with increased inflation. The average cost of a live wedding band can range anywhere from $2,000 to $7,000. This will account for setup fees, travel expenses, equipment, lighting, and fair compensation for services rendered.

This amount can vary based on many factors, such number of hours the band is slated to play and how many band members there are. You will also need to account for the time of year you're booking and the popularity of the band because this can also affect the overall price consideration. Most band contracts require that you provide them with a meal as well.

If the band exceeds their contracted playing time because the reception runs long, this can result in hefty overtime fees. If you opt to have the band play at a cocktail hour or during the ceremony, this can result in additional charges.

Potential Limited Song Repertoire

While a live wedding band strives to be able to perform a large catalog of songs, they may not know every single song in existence. Unlike a wedding DJ, a live band can't flip through a digital list of conceivably millions of songs to play one in an instant.

If a band has to learn a custom song, a brand new song, or an old one they don't already know, they may impose a fee for this as well. There is also concern over the quality of the song if it is a last-minute request.

Limited Band Availability

Because live wedding bands are a finite resource in some areas, this can hinder your ability to book a band in time for your wedding. Popular bands may book up a year or more in advance because of demand. Last-minute bookings are possible in some cases; if a cancellation occurs, however, this may incur a hefty fee.

Certain busy wedding seasons, like summertime and the holidays, can also impact band availability, as can the days of the week. Saturdays and Sundays are often the most popular days of the week for reserving bands.

So if you're trying to get a particular band, you may need to consider alternative periods like a weekday during a non-holiday or wedding off-season. This may not mesh well with your initial wedding plans.

Incorporation of Necessary Set Breaks

Hiring a live wedding band means dealing with real people, not a piece of electronic equipment you can put on autopilot. Human musicians exert a lot of effort playing for your wedding reception so they will need frequent breaks to hydrate, go to the bathroom, or simply take a breather.

Typically, wedding bands play around 2 hours of music during a 3-4 hour long wedding reception. When it comes to live wedding band sets, bands will play in two 45-minute sets or two 60-minute sets with a break in between. Some wedding bands may also offer an option for three 40-minute sets.

During these band breaks, you may still need to have a source of background music playing to fill the void and provide additional entertainment to compensate for the lull in activity.

Space and Sound Constraints

The size of your wedding venue may negatively impact the way your live wedding band will sound. In smaller venues, you may not have the necessary space required to comfortably fit even a medium-sized band and all of their equipment without experiencing difficulty.

A smaller venue may also offer poor sound quality or make it so the band is so loud the guests cannot have conversations or hear the music properly. While a large or outdoor venue can make the music sound distant and echoey.

Not Choosing the Right Live Wedding Band

Soon-to-be wedded couples may face an inevitable time crunch when wedding planning. There is always a possibility that the bride and groom may settle on a band too quickly without taking the time to ensure it is a good fit for them.

72% of brides surveyed after their wedding stated that they wished they had spent more time choosing their entertainment. Taking the necessary time is essential to selecting the best choice for wedding vendors and wedding entertainment.

More Great Ideas for Wedding Event Planners at Event Planner Expo NYC 2023

The ultimate decision to hire a live wedding band will depend based on budget, timing, and the bride and groom's personal taste preferences. An experienced wedding event planner knows exactly what to do to help couples find the perfect entertainment options to meet all of their needs.

The Event Planner Expo is the #1 Networking Event and Trade Show for the events and hospitality industry in New York City. With over 150 different booths, keynote speakers, and fantastic networking opportunities galore, you can discover great resources for phenomenal event planning. Don't miss out!

Register today to get your tickets to Event Planner Expo 2023 in NYC.

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