Hiring a band for your wedding is a great idea! You are hiring a group of talented musicians to bring a high level of energy and professionalism to your big day. You are also gaining in-house emcees, party-starters and essentially creating the backdrop and soundtrack that will bring memories for years to come.
Outside of the band’s cost and availability, you must ask yourself whether your wedding venue is equipped even to host a live band. Several factors go into making this decision, so ask yourself the following questions:
Is your venue’s location equipped for the band to load in?
When you hire a professional band, the musicians will be bringing in large equipment, and your venue must have entrances and exits that are large enough to do this before and after your wedding. If there is a loading dock with a ramp, it will be ideal for the band to enter at this location. It allows them to use dollies and roll the equipment into the venue instead of lifting it all. The timeframe for loading and unloading is a factor as well – you don’t want to band loading heavy equipment through the front door while your guests are entering or are within the same space. Work with the planner and venue manager to discuss different points of entry for the band and all vendors throughout the day.
Does your venue have enough space inside?
If you checked the load-in plan off of your list, let’s assess whether the band has enough space to set the equipment in the right place and perform. Professional bands have enough experience to pivot and make due in venues when they vary in size; however, there is a standard amount of space needed to hold the band members, equipment, sound engineers, and dance floor. In some instances, you may have to hire a band with fewer musicians if you are limited in space. Your best bet is to talk to the bandleader and venue manager to determine where the band will be set up so both experts can weigh in on the best way to execute your vision.
Will your venue have the proper acoustics to make the band sound good?
A venue that is too small can create problems when it comes to sound. You want to ensure that you don’t book a large band for a small space because you could literally blow your guests away if the speakers and band play too loudly. On the contrary, a venue that is too large may dampen the guest experience if there is not enough equipment available to project the sound from the front to the back of the room. Coordinate with the bandleader and wedding planner to discuss the layout of the wedding reception hall to see if adjustments need to be made to accommodate tables, chairs, buffet and gift tables, and all of the elements, including the band set up and dance floor.
SPECIAL NOTE: Don’t forget about having outlets and running extension cords for the power needed to run the microphones, speakers, and amplifiers.
Are there any local or regional noise ordinances?
Several venues have noise ordinances and demand that music and loud noises stop after a specific time period. This is a regular practice for wedding venues located near or inside residential areas. Venue managers are usually good about communicating these types of restrictions to clients when they book the venue. Still, it is always best to double-check by asking and researching to see if any local ordinances restrict loud music after a specific time of day or night too.
After asking yourself these questions, make sure you communicate and coordinate with the bandleader, wedding planner, and venue manager to create a workflow, map, and notate special directions to make the band’s performance and transition in and out of the venue seamless.