Frequently Asked Questions. 

COMMUNICATION WITH THE BAND

Should I offer gratuity to the band?


Gratuity is always appreciated, but not expected. We support offering a gratuity if the band has exceeded expectations or if they have accommodated you in the planning process or at the event in a way that showed exceptional service. No amount is too small, and musicians will always consider any gratuity as a generous gesture from their client. But again, you are under no obligation to offer gratuity on top of the contracted payment balance. If you would like to offer gratuity, our experience has shown that anywhere from $25 to $100 per member of the band/crew is a reasonable range to consider, depending on the specifics of the contracted event. A gratuity can be provided directly to the bandleader at the event in cash or by check.





SONGLIST

Should I offer gratuity to the band?


Gratuity is always appreciated, but not expected. We support offering a gratuity if the band has exceeded expectations or if they have accommodated you in the planning process or at the event in a way that showed exceptional service. No amount is too small, and musicians will always consider any gratuity as a generous gesture from their client. But again, you are under no obligation to offer gratuity on top of the contracted payment balance. If you would like to offer gratuity, our experience has shown that anywhere from $25 to $100 per member of the band/crew is a reasonable range to consider, depending on the specifics of the contracted event. A gratuity can be provided directly to the bandleader at the event in cash or by check.





How many breaks does the band take and how long are they?


If you plan a 4-hour performance or longer, your band will need (2) 20 minute breaks. If you plan a 3-hour performance or less, your band require (1) 20 minute breaks.




What music will the band provide while on break?


Most bands provide a pre-set, varied mix of recorded music that corresponds to the flow of the event. For example, a dinner break will feature quieter music that does not interfere with conversation, while a late-evening music break will be lively and danceable. The mix of recorded music is not limited to the band's song list. Want to work some of your own favorite songs into your event? You’re welcome to provide your own break mix on an iPod. Just let the band know in advance.




Can the band play recorded music before their performance?


Most bands can play recorded music between the time they complete set-up and the time they start performing. Simply let them know if this is your preference.




Can the band play recorded music after their performance?


Yes, but keep in mind that they can’t begin to break down their equipment and load their vehicles while doing so. This will lead to more time on site, which may be considered overtime and could carry extra fees. It’s best to discuss this with your bandleader prior to the event.




How much time does the band need to set up and sound check their equipment?


Anywhere between one and three hours. The specific needs of your band will determine the time they need access to your venue. If you plan to hire a small group, like an acoustic duo, jazz combo, or bluegrass band, an hour might be enough time because their equipment is smaller and set-up is less involved. If you plan to hire a large dance band with drums, a full sound system, lighting, etc., you can expect them to need 2-3 hours to set up and sound check their equipment. Keep in mind that the band will need time to dress and perhaps eat following set-up and prior to performance. Bands will often specify the time they need for set-up in their contract rider. Please notify us if your venue cannot accommodate the requested access time.




We’re having our ceremony in the same room as the reception. Can the band set up their equipment during cocktail hour while the room is in transition?


Our bands have worked with “room flip” scenarios before and will accommodate your plans as much as possible. Please note that a 60-minute cocktail hour is usually too short if they need to completely load-in, setup, soundcheck, and get dressed during that window of time. We recommend that the band have approximately 2 hours to complete the entire setup process. If that’s not possible, it will help if their equipment can be loaded and staged in their performance area, or an adjacent space, prior to the ceremony so most of the "heavy lifting" is done. Sometimes people will bring in pipe and drape enclosures, wall screens, curtains or other some way to conceal the equipment once it's in place so it doesn't visually impact the ceremony setting and photos. The band will hustle as much as they can to complete setup in a limited timeframe. Please consult your venue for suggestions on how the band's set-up process can be expedited and how “room flips” have been successfully executed in the past.




Can the band MC my event?


Yes. Your band can play as large or as small a role as master of ceremonies as you’d like. Just be sure to give them a detailed itinerary well in advance, including clear instructions on what to say and what times they need to make announcements. If you are asking the band to introduce people or to announce your wedding party, please make someone available in advance to go over names and pronunciations with the bandleader.





TIMELINE

How many breaks does the band take and how long are they?


If you plan a 4-hour performance or longer, your band will need (2) 20 minute breaks. If you plan a 3-hour performance or less, your band require (1) 20 minute breaks.




What music will the band provide while on break?


Most bands provide a pre-set, varied mix of recorded music that corresponds to the flow of the event. For example, a dinner break will feature quieter music that does not interfere with conversation, while a late-evening music break will be lively and danceable. The mix of recorded music is not limited to the band's song list. Want to work some of your own favorite songs into your event? You’re welcome to provide your own break mix on an iPod. Just let the band know in advance.




Can the band play recorded music before their performance?


Most bands can play recorded music between the time they complete set-up and the time they start performing. Simply let them know if this is your preference.




Can the band play recorded music after their performance?


Yes, but keep in mind that they can’t begin to break down their equipment and load their vehicles while doing so. This will lead to more time on site, which may be considered overtime and could carry extra fees. It’s best to discuss this with your bandleader prior to the event.




How much time does the band need to set up and sound check their equipment?


Anywhere between one and three hours. The specific needs of your band will determine the time they need access to your venue. If you plan to hire a small group, like an acoustic duo, jazz combo, or bluegrass band, an hour might be enough time because their equipment is smaller and set-up is less involved. If you plan to hire a large dance band with drums, a full sound system, lighting, etc., you can expect them to need 2-3 hours to set up and sound check their equipment. Keep in mind that the band will need time to dress and perhaps eat following set-up and prior to performance. Bands will often specify the time they need for set-up in their contract rider. Please notify us if your venue cannot accommodate the requested access time.




We’re having our ceremony in the same room as the reception. Can the band set up their equipment during cocktail hour while the room is in transition?


Our bands have worked with “room flip” scenarios before and will accommodate your plans as much as possible. Please note that a 60-minute cocktail hour is usually too short if they need to completely load-in, setup, soundcheck, and get dressed during that window of time. We recommend that the band have approximately 2 hours to complete the entire setup process. If that’s not possible, it will help if their equipment can be loaded and staged in their performance area, or an adjacent space, prior to the ceremony so most of the "heavy lifting" is done. Sometimes people will bring in pipe and drape enclosures, wall screens, curtains or other some way to conceal the equipment once it's in place so it doesn't visually impact the ceremony setting and photos. The band will hustle as much as they can to complete setup in a limited timeframe. Please consult your venue for suggestions on how the band's set-up process can be expedited and how “room flips” have been successfully executed in the past.




Can the band MC my event?


Yes. Your band can play as large or as small a role as master of ceremonies as you’d like. Just be sure to give them a detailed itinerary well in advance, including clear instructions on what to say and what times they need to make announcements. If you are asking the band to introduce people or to announce your wedding party, please make someone available in advance to go over names and pronunciations with the bandleader.





VENUE

BAND EQUIPMENT

Can I use the band’s speakers and/or microphone for my ceremony?


Most of our bands do have access to additional equipment and will offer use of a separate sound system and microphone for an additional fee. Please contact us if you are interested in exploring this option. Your best bet may be to contact an A-V company that's experienced with ceremony audio support. Most have ceremony packages that come with the proper equipment and a dedicated technician who can set up and breakdown that equipment and monitor the audio quality for you. You might ask your venue coordinator if they can make an A-V vendor recommendation.




How much power does the band need for their equipment?


Three to four 20-amp circuits will accommodate most bands in most situations, though requested power supply varies depending on equipment. Your band may request more circuits or access to 220V power. Check your band’s rider (if applicable) and consult with your venue coordinator to confirm that the appropriate power supply is available.




Does the band bring a generator?


Bands do not provide generators. Clients are responsible for supplying one if needed. If you're working with a tent company, you can probably rent a generator from them. Just share your band’s power needs, and they will advise you accordingly. They can also calculate your overall power needs to make sure you’re getting the right size/strength of generator to support all your vendors. If necessary, the band can make the arrangements on your behalf, but you will need to cover any associated costs.





OTHER

Should I offer gratuity to the band?


Gratuity is always appreciated, but not expected. We support offering a gratuity if the band has exceeded expectations or if they have accommodated you in the planning process or at the event in a way that showed exceptional service. No amount is too small, and musicians will always consider any gratuity as a generous gesture from their client. But again, you are under no obligation to offer gratuity on top of the contracted payment balance. If you would like to offer gratuity, our experience has shown that anywhere from $25 to $100 per member of the band/crew is a reasonable range to consider, depending on the specifics of the contracted event. A gratuity can be provided directly to the bandleader at the event in cash or by check.