Five ways to save money when booking a band - a financial plan in five episodes


1. Book your Wedding Band well ahead of your Wedding Day

Booking a band is rather like booking a flight with Ryan Air. If you book well ahead you get the cheapest deals. If you book close to the flight date, it will cost you more. It's the same with booking live music, whether it is a Party Band, a Ceilidh Band or a String Quartet, but the reasons are different.

We and the bands don't charge you more for short term bookings (as the airlines do), BUT if you book your wedding band 9 to 12 months before your wedding day, most bands will be available, so you can usually find a band that you like close to your wedding venue. Travel is expensive, so local band equates to a lower price to you.

Also, the bands set their prices, not us. There is a huge range of prices that doesn't always equate to the size or quality of band you are hiring. So if you book early, you get the pick of bands and can chose the lowest cost option that meets your requirements.

If you book a harpist, barn dance band or other kind of music close to your wedding date, you will find that many bands are booked, your choice is more limited and you may end up having to hire an expensive band whose cost is increased because they have to travel a long way.

We always try to offer you the best options for you, taking into account the kind of music you want, be it a jazz band or a covers band, selecting just from those bands that are still available, and the overall cost to you, taking into account the band's pricing structure, how long you want them to perform for and the travel costs.

Whether its a Function Band or a Classical guitarist, they are all usually very busy during the summer with weddings, and over the Christmas period with corporate events. So if you leave booking late, you will get less choice which is likely to mean higher price to you.

Don't assume that if you are booking during the 'quieter' months of the year, things will be any better. Ceilidh bands and Barn Dance bands that do the public dance circuits are often extremely busy from October to March. There are events like St Patrick's day and Burns Night, where bands can get booked more than a year ahead, and finding a true Scottish or Irish band can be like finding hens teeth.

Some people are surprised that September and October are very busy for String Quartet, Jazz Bands and Covers Bands, assuming the wedding season has ended. It hasn't. With climate change having an effect on weather, September and October has been better than July and August for some years, and many people are putting off their wedding until later in the year.

Some people think they can get 'special deals' during the quieter months or if they book last minute. This just isn't the case. Any really good band is well booked through a lot of the year, and band members are only too glad for a weekend off during the hectic season, or in what you may regard as the 'quieter months' to take a well earned holiday.

So don't make the mistake of thinking that booking a live band is like buying an airline ticket, haggling over the price of a second hand car, or that the band members sit on a shelf in an Amazon warehouse waiting to be packed and delivered the next day. Bands are rare items. Indeed, each band is a one off. Think of them as valuable works of art. Their value is in the fact that there is only one party band or jazz trio like them. When they are sold, they are gone. You can't buy another one the same.

So, remember, to get the best deals book well ahead (some people book 2 years ahead, but normally 9 months is sufficient to get the best options). If you are booking short term, we will still find you the best options still available, and you never know, you may be lucky. This is a probability issue, and you may find that a very competitively priced band is still available who live just a mile from your venue. These things do happen. We have people booking right down to two or 3 weeks ahead. They still get excellent bands and are our happy customers, but on average they will have had to pay a bit more than if they had booked further ahead. It's simple, it's logical and it is about statistics, but there it is - fact.

2. Booking one or more bands to cover your wedding day

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