Live entertainment can make or break an event, particularly one as important as a wedding. But with a vast number of performers specialising in weddings, finding and booking the perfect act doesn’t sound half as bad as securing the ideal venue, or the best caterer, right?
When booking a band for their wedding in 2013, Maria Hayden and Stan Mcleod found it so complicated that they decided to make it easier for everyone to organise wedding entertainment by starting Headliner. You can read more about Headliner at the end of this guide. But now, without further ado, here is our mini-guide to booking the perfect entertainment for your big day.
Step 1: Deciding what Type of Entertainment You Want and Need
Make sure to have an idea of what you want from the get go. Are you looking for a particular style like jazz, swing, funk or maybe a tribute band dedicated to your favourite artist? Niche bands like these can be fabulous, and if your day is themed, niche entertainment can help you accentuate it. Another common type of wedding bands specialise in chart hits, and have a large repertoire, often spanning decades of best sellers.
Regardless of your preference you might have a special song you want played. Be upfront and ask about it as soon as possible, and book the entertainers far in advance in case they have to learn and rehearse the song.
However, before you book anyone you should to talk to your venue.
You need to know a few things before you go searching for your dream entertainment. Below is a list of topics to cover with your chosen venue:
- Is there a dedicated space for the band, and how big is it? Will it fit a 3 piece, 5 piece or maybe even a 9 piece band?
- Is there a changing room for the band? This gives the entertainers somewhere to get ready, and means they don’t have to hang out in the main venue before going on stage. They may also have a few hours of travelling behind them, so it’s in your and the band’s best interest that they can freshen up a bit.
- Does the venue have any constraints like sound limiters? A sound limiter is a device installed to control the level of sound, and the band needs to know the details of the venue’s specific sound limiter.
- Is there a loading area so the band can quickly and easily get their gear into the venue? Is there somewhere they can park afterwards?
- What level of PLI is required and do they need any documentation from the band? The standard level is between £1m and £5m, but some venues might ask for up to £10m. All Headliner acts are required to have PLI as part of the quality screening they undergo when joining
Step 2: Choosing and Booking the Perfect Act
Now that you have armoured yourself with lots of information it’s time to wade into the sea of entertainers and choose your preferred act. Although there are other services out there, we obviously recommend Headliner as the best place to look. This is because we have quality screening, replacement acts for unforeseen artist cancellations, and in addition the entire process, including payment, all happens on one site.
Once you have found a selection of bands within the style you want, these are the things we recommend you do:
- Listen to their audio tracks. This might be obvious, but the most important thing should come first, and surely that is the sound that will be streaming out of the speakers at your wedding.
- Look at their videos. You want to make sure that they can deliver visually too. This can also be a good way of checking how they perform live. Although you can ask, actually seeing the act live can prove tricky as many function bands play at weddings and corporate events only.
- Look at their pictures. As with point no. 2, presentation is important and you want to make sure that they look the part.
When you have decided on the act you want it’s time to secure them! We always recommend booking through a trusted platform or agency, like Headliner. If you book the band directly make sure there is a contract in place as it will protect both you and the band. For agencies and platforms their T&Cs will act as the contract, so be sure to read these.
Step 3: Sit Back and Relax
Good news, most of the hard work is now officially over!
Now you hand over the big stack of information provided to you by the venue as well as any other practical information, sit back and get ready to enjoy your special day!
Headliner is the one-stop site where you can find top quality entertainment for any event. Check out how to acts look and sound on their professional profiles, and get peace of mind knowing that all acts are quality screened and carry public liability insurance.
Payment is made securely through the platform, and acts get paid after the performance.
PLUS get the chance to WIN your wedding band with #TNWS competition All entries get £50 discount on a Headliner booking* terms and conditions apply.