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7 Tips To Booking An Entertainer

Updated on September 3, 2013
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Getting married is a huge and exciting time of your life, and the process of arranging your event should be a fun and enjoyable experience. But in reality, it can be hard work to find the right suppliers to make your dream a reality, unless you are armed with the correct information and advice.

1. Be decisive on your music style!

Decide on the style of music you’d like played at your wedding before you contact any entertainers. The style of music you choose will create the soundtrack for your day, and it should express who you are as a couple.

Also take into consideration your guests when choosing your music and how they will react to your chosen style. For example, do you want to see your guests up and dancing or mingling, quietly chatting with each other?

2. Set a realistic budget

The music played at your wedding can have the most lasting impact on your day. It might not seem as glamorous as your gown, but how the music entertains your guests will be remembered long after the last cake crumb has been consumed. So you should value this component of your celebration also and set a budget accordingly.

The reality is artist fees vary greatly and the more people you have in the act, the greater the cost. It’s important to value an entertainer’s fee as they are the ones who will be enhancing the atmosphere you want to create; they’ll be performing your key songs, at the key moments in your wedding. They’ll be entertaining your guests and helping to create memories for them to remember in years to come.

If you hire an artist or band because they are cheaper, just remember the old saying: “Pay peanuts and you get monkeys”.

3. Just do it! [With apologies to Nike]

Don’t leave your entertainment until the last few months before your wedding date. If you leave booking music to the last minute, you’ll most likely end up disappointed that:

  1. the entertainer you had your heart set on is booked on your date, and/or
  2. there aren't many quality acts available that suit your needs and budget.

This just leads to additional stress that you don’t need as you approach your special day.

4. Only use a reputable agent

Would you hire an unlicensed builder or plumber? The same should be said for music Agents and Managers.

If you’re booking your entertainer via a musician’s Agent or Manager, make sure they hold a current licence. NSW Legislation states that all musician’s Agents and Managers must be licensed. NSW Agents are regulated to a 10% commission. Manager’s commission rates are higher and unregulated. (If in NSW, check Office of Industrial Relations website for a current list of licence holders where you will find Music for My Wedding under “Primal Entertainment”.) In other States and Territories of Australia, check with your Office of Industrial Relations or Department of Fair Trading and ask if the Agent or Manager has had any complaints lodged against them.

5. Listen
Before you book, ask your short-listed entertainers for a sound file or CD and take a good listen to it a couple of times. Do you like the tone of the singer’s voice? Are there notes they just don’t quite ‘hit’ that make you cringe? If you aren't completely in love with their singing within the first 30 seconds of each song, move onto the next act. “Listen” to and trust your gut instinct.

6. Read/Research
Read the act’s bio and song list. If they pass the ‘listen’ stage, create a ‘must play’, ‘OK to play’ and ‘do not play’ playlist.

Most artists will have an extensive repertoire of songs and it's likely they won’t all be listed for you. If you are interested in booking the band and have created a short list of songs, ask them what other songs they have in their repertoire that fit with the ones you have selected, or if they are open to learning a special song for you (this may be at an additional cost).

7. Look at Looks
Ask for photos of the band. Yes, they’ll send you ones they've had taken professionally and that’s good! It means they know the importance of creating a good impression through their appearance. The last thing you want is an artist dressed in casual clothing when performing at your formal wedding!

Ask if they have any photos from other weddings they've performed at; this will also give you a very good idea of their dress code.


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What next?

Booking entertainment should be a fun aspect of planning your wedding. Just ensure you have clear goals of what role you want the music to play on your day and understand the value of a good entertainer, and understand that the best quality acts will be booked quickly. Don’t panic in your choice, but don’t dawdle either.

If you need any advice regarding your wedding entertainment, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or leave a comment below.

© 2013 Music4MyWedding

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