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Q. We know we want live music at our wedding but we're not sure what to choose to suit everyone or what stages in the day are best.
A. Martin Jones says: Martin says: When you're planning a wedding, and haven't booked a band before, there are some important things to consider:
- The type of music is probably the first thing to think about because there's likely to be a wide selection of guests of varying ages, so something that doesn't alienate one section is advisable.
- Find out whether the venue has any restrictions on the type of band they have a licence for, or will allow.
- If you want a specific tune then don't be afraid to ask, most experienced groups know more than is on their current play list and given enough warning may even learn one specially for you.
- Check the dress code so the musicians can be suitably attired.
- If you're having a band find out how many people to expect, especially if space is limited, if they need a changing room or if you're providing food and drink for them.
- Make sure you get what you were expecting. This is where personal recommendations are helpful.
- Find out how long the musicians need to set up so that the area can be made available accordingly.
- Always ask for an all-inclusive quote and whether any extras such as travel costs or VAT will be charged.
- If you think you may want them to play for longer establish beforehand what the extra fee will be to avoid embarrassment (on both sides) on the day.
- Be prepared to pay a deposit and, importantly sign a contract or obtain a letter of confirmation that states when the final payment is made.
- Public liability insurance is often asked for by the venue and any established band should have this, make sure that all members of the band are covered though.