Any decent wedding band can provide beautiful and tasteful music for the ceremony, and then ramp up the energy to deliver high quality dance music for the wedding party. And hiring one band to provide music for all of the wedding activities will lower the overall entertainment price. Taking a singer and maybe a musician or two from the band, and using them as the live music for a wedding ceremony, dinner, or cocktail hour, and then bringing in the full band for the reception, is much easier and cheaper than booking a separate music group for each activity.
You may think that hiring a wedding band through a booking agency will only drive the price higher, but this is not necessarily true. Reputable booking agents can actually provide higher quality bands at lower prices in many situations. Once you give them your estimated entertainment budget they will be able to provide you with several good options in that price range.
Band booking agents know the available talent and what their prices are. Some bands will have a set price that they go out for, but most have prices that are negotiable. A good booking agent has a much better chance at getting the band to drop their normal performance fee than a one-time client. The agent is the lifeblood of the band, getting them many gigs throughout the year. And to keep the agent happy, the agent they rely on to get them gigs and income, they are often willing to reduce their price.
Some live wedding bands don’t use an outside booking agent to book their band. Instead, one of the band members will double as the band’s agent, what is sometimes referred to as a double agent. Some of these double agents are honest and reputable, but many will do their best to sell you their band at any cost.
When an agent has a conflict of interest, meaning they will make a lot more money if they can to get you to book their own wedding music band instead of a better, less expensive wedding band located around the corner, it may be difficult for them to be totally honest. They may do their best to convince a potential client their music wedding band is the most exciting around, and that the price they’re charging is less than other similar bands, when in actuality there exists another band in town that’s far superior in talent and much lower in price.
A reputable agent will have many bands for you to choose from and won’t care which one you pick. Their only objective is to make sure you’re happy with the outcome. If the band they sell you puts on a show and provides dance music that everyone loves, and is also reasonably priced, you’re much more likely to return to that agent the next time you want to book a band. Make certain you ask the agent if they are a member of any of the bands they are promoting to you, as this could give you a clue as to whether or not they have any conflicts of interest. On the other hand, even if they are a member of the band they’re promoting, it doesn’t mean they’ll be dishonest, it’s just something that you should be aware of. When using a double agent you may run the risk of hiring an inferior band at inflated prices.
If you look around, it’s very likely that you can find a high quality wedding band in or near the city you live in. Out-of-town music groups will usually have to be flown in, and be provided with hotels, ground transportation, and food. Depending on the number of members in the group, this effectively may double the price. Some wedding reception bands may be worth the extra cost, but others will not. If you want the best, you’ll probably have to fly them in from another state, but if you’re number one goal is to keep the cost to a minimum, you’ll want to try to find a decent band in your local area.