w-band-frontWedding Band  – $1500 to $3500

A semi-professional band verging on the full-time professional. Band members will likely be making a full time living from music whether directly from the band, other similar bands or from other music-related work.

  • Inclusiveness of Fee – Fees should include at least a PA sound system and stage lighting good for up to 150 guests.
  • Dress and Behaviour – You’ll get a good standard of dress from your musicians in this price range.  Probably shirts and ties,  not necessary co-ordinated, but no-one will dress like they belong in a bar.  The musicians will most likely have a fair bit of wedding experience and will most likely not cause any problems with your guests or consume TOO much alcohol.
  • The Standard of Musicianship / Entertainment – Expect good and competent musicianship. As a fully fledged professional band, the musicians will have clocked up significant performance hours which will be reflected in their overall standard. These musicians don’t always play together all the time, in fact, there’s a chance that some of the players are “sitting in” for the first time.  That’s totally fine, they’re pros and the music won’t suffer. What may suffer from playing with different “hired guns” each night is the “group Chemistry” and overall entertainment factor that only comes from playing with the same people night after night. Their ability to interact and really wow the crowd is less than a group that always plays together all the time. (See X-Factor)
  • Adaptability, Flexibility & Experience – Expect good levels here. The band should have the ability to be able to cover your first dance request with ease and should be open to adapting their set to cover at least your requests from their repertoire list.
  • Reliability & Customer Service – Expect good and competent levels of service with a properly drafted contract that clearly outlines the terms that you are requested to sign. Expect a relatively responsive band representative. They might not yet have professional guarantees in place and it’s unlikely they’ll have money-back guarantees.
  • Professionalism – As a professional outfit expect a good efficient service although the band will unlikely have a dedicated representative that isn’t in the band so expect to deal with a band member/leader.
  • The X-factor – At the higher end of this price band you can expect to find some great bands that have a real ‘zing’ about them.

My personal recommendation about this category of bands: If the price is an issue and you’ve got some time to do “your homework” definitely consider a band in this price range over a DJ.  The live musical experience just can’t be beaten.  BUT Word of warning: just because someone is priced in this category doesn’t mean they’re good.  CHECK their references and testimonials, ask what venues they’ve played. Ask how many of their members are FULL-Time musicians, ask if they offer a free consultation and see what type of “vibe” you get from them.

livebandWedding Band Price Category #3 – $3600 and upwards

A full-time professional band working at the ‘top of their game’ producing consistently excellent and entertaining performances.

  • Inclusiveness of Fee – Expect a full PA system, stage and dance floor lighting for up to 250 guests. A lot of bands are also including DJ service for between sets in some of their packages. Travel expenses should be included within at least a 50 to 60 miles radius of the bands base.
  • Dress and Behaviour – You should be able to pick the attire of your wedding band at this price.  A band at this price will have matching suits (or tuxedos) and matching elegant dresses for the females. Their attire should come across as professional, consistent but not “cheesy”. Expect absolute professionalism a near silent load in an extremely unobtrusive setup.  They will treat each guest at your wedding respectfully and will refrain from drinking and other unprofessional conduct.  For example, the musicians who work with my company are all required to sign a Zero-Tolerance alcohol and drugs policy. This is becoming increasingly popular with the Top of the High-End professionals in the wedding industry.
  • A standard of Musicianship / Entertainement– Top-Notch music performed by top-notch players and so effortlessly they can have FUN and ENTERTAIN the crowd at the same time. Expect packed dance floors and a great sound, even if you’ve hired only 3-5 professional musicians as a group.
  • Adaptability, Flexibility & Experience – Expect the band to cover your reasonable requests and effortlessly weave them into their set. The band should be open to understanding your more specific musical requirements based on for example a theme you may have in mind? Wedding’s almost never run to time – The band should be able to adapt to an ever-changing schedule…with ease.
  • Reliability & Customer Service – Expect a contract that safeguards both you and the band, which covers all the essential elements of your day. Expect high levels of customer service with responses to your questions within 24 hours of you asking them. We personally have a number of money-back guarantees that ensure YOU get exactly what you were expecting and nothing goes wrong during the biggest party of your life. For a good example of guarantees you should EXPECT to get from your wedding entertainment, you can go ahead and steal mine right here
  • Professionalism – The Professional wedding band should be a well-run business. It’s made up of fully professional musicians – that means they PERFORM music for their Full-time career. In the event someone gets sick the band leader can draw on a wide network of Professional musicians should he need to find a replacement, so performance levels are never compromised. Professional bands will have the budget to maintain their equipment, so from PA to lighting, to the vehicles they use, everything should be in top working order.  Any issues that arise are dealt with before they become a problem because professionals have got a backup plan for everything.
  • The X-factor – The purpose of a live band at your wedding is not to crank out your favourite tunes and look increasingly bored as the night goes on. A band without a spark or a personality is pointless – you’d have been better to hire a DJ and save yourself a chunk of the budget. Expect the band to have charm, personality, chemistry, energy, dynamism, charisma, likeability and magnetism. The band should pour their life & soul into their performance. Look for a charismatic frontman or woman with a natural empathy for their audience and the ability to put your guests instantly at ease. It’s also about the whole band having a great chemistry together, being fun and entertaining without a hint of self-indulgence.
  • The above is very much based on broad generalizations. There are a number of other factors that affect the price of bands that are outside the scope of this guide. If you’re still feeling lost, comment below and I’ll try my best to answer any questions you may have and then use your feedback to update this guide for future iterations.

What Band Will Make Sure the Dance Floor is Full?

header4Everyone’s fear is that you have this elaborate wedding, pay all this money, gather your friends and family together and… it’s a boring snooze-fest and nobody dances…

Don’t let this happen to you! Hiring professionals that can adapt and entertain a crowd will go a long way. I’ve actually created a Free Report ( Downloadable PDF)  that talks about the challenges of filling a dance-floor and how to avoid being embarrassed on the biggest night of your life!  This Free Report talks about the “8 Critical Mistakes Most Couples Make” and you can download it right now to your phone or computer.

How else can I help?

We offer a free 90-minute consultation where we’ll go through your vision of the perfect wedding entertainment and create a plan as to how we can achieve this goal. My genuine desire is that you’ll book the absolute best band or DJ for your wedding and that it truly will be “the best day ever”.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADavid Fraser is the founder and bandleader of DCF Weddings based out of Erin, Ontario. He specializes in live music that’s exciting, entertaining and engaging and has been involved in the wedding industry professionally since 2007. To meet David and learn more about his services visit https://meet.dcfweddingmusic.com