There are a lot of things you should consider when choosing a band for your country themed wedding. In Florida, we are a bit partial to The Easy Posse, but no matter who you choose you should make sure, at a minimum, your band can meet these criteria:

  1. Have at least 3,000 watts of digitally powered speakers.
    Even if your event is small, high power doesn’t mean loud, it means it will sound clear at all volumes and will be consistent throughout your venue. Low powered systems will tend to sound ear piercing close to the speaker and whisper quiet from far away. High powered system means your front row won’t get blasted out of their seats so the back row can still enjoy background music. It also means the speakers can work to their full range effortlessly and will not overload (turn off) or feedback easily.
  2. Have enough lighting for each band member +
    If you don’t have the proper lighting (unless it’s outdoor during the day), all the effort you made in making your setting perfect can be overrun by bright lighting or a dark corner where the band plays.  Attention to detail is key and your band should show they care not only about the way they sound but how they look.
  3. Have references from at least 2-3 wedding planners or brides
    Don’t let the band play guinea pig on you for your big day.  Make sure they are professionals and know what they are doing.
  4. Have a sound man
    If you’re hiring a 2 man show this might not be so important but if it’s 3 or more musicians and there isn’t a sound man, you’re asking for a disaster.  A good sound man (or woman) will notice problems before they are noticeable to an untrained ear and keep feedback loops, loud pops and other issues from happening in front of you and your guests.
  5. Have a contract and take a deposit
    A band that doesn’t have a contract or take deposits probably hasn’t been around long enough to see why these are so important.  Not only does it allow the band members to block out these day(s) on their calendar in advance but it also gives you the security to know they aren’t going to bail on you a few weeks prior to your wedding because a better opportunity came up for the band (or one of the members).  A contract protects everyone and a wedding band that doesn’t use one is a recipe for disaster.
  6. They should have a plan for set breaks
    A good band should give you the option to plug in your iPod during their breaks or ask you for a set of songs to play while they are taking a break.  Nobody wants the vibe to stop just because the band is taking a quick rest.
  7. They should be flexible
    An experienced wedding band knows no two weddings are the same and should give you options as to how many musicians you can have, availability for ceremony if needed, ability to allow the dj to use their system for the late night party, work with you on ideal times and be as accommodating as possible.  If the manager doesn’t make it extremely easy for you prior to the wedding, just think about how stressful their complacency is going to be on your big day.
  8. They should be expensive
    Funny how everything costs double when you put the word wedding in front of it.  Well for a band, a wedding usually requires learning a few songs (1-2 days of extra practice for songs they will likely never play again), early set up, late breakdown, travel, sound man, audio and lighting rentals, trailer rental, the stress of playing extra perfect, and the inability to enjoy as many beers as they would in a bar where most of these items are provided for them.  If your wedding band is charging less than $500 per musician, it’s very likely they aren’t going to be professional.  A good band will typically cost around $1,000 per musician to cover all the costs associated with this time and resource intensive gig and they will be worth every penny and more!