If you regard your wedding as the most important day of your life then you will want everything to be perfect and also want your guests to remember that it was a fantastic day. They probably won’t remember if your chairs had sashes, how many courses they ate, or how many tiers your wedding cake had, but for good or bad reasons, they will certainly recall whether they enjoyed your entertainment! Therefore, as a proportion of your wedding budget, you need to ensure that as much attention is given to hiring your wedding singer or wedding band as with anything else.
The amount that you will pay will depend on what time you require them to arrive, how long you want them to play for and what time they will finish. For example, a wedding band will charge less if they don’t need to arrive until 6 pm and have finished by 10 pm, than if you ask them to set up earlier and finish later, so do not ask for arrival / finish times or playing times that you might not need. Remember that weddings can be long days and many people will be travelling and so you don’t need to be paying a wedding singer or wedding band to play to a near-empty room at the end of the night, when some background/dance music will suffice.
These days a professional wedding singer or wedding band will provide an option of playing music through their PA to finish the night, for which they might charge a little extra, but will be cheaper than booking a DJ separately. They will usually allow you to link your ipod / laptop to the PA so that you can have music of your own choice to finish the night if you wish.
If you are having your wedding entertainment in the same room as your wedding breakfast, then you need to check with the venue if there is room for the band to be set up at the same time, or if they need to ‘turn the room’ around after your meal / speeches to make space. If the latter, then you also need to check how long your wedding singer or wedding band will need to set up before booking them to perform for a period of time that there might not be time for.
Always ask them to quote for different arrival / finish & playing times and you will then be able to select the one that fits your budget rather than compromising on quality. Always better to get a great band that might play for less time, than a cheap band that might play for longer. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for!