Chicago Entertainment Agency has made a TON of mistakes over the 15+ years we’ve been in the industry. We feel that it is important to share some insight with our clients so they can make the best decisions. Enjoy our Top 10 list – We hope that this information is valuable for planning your wedding.
Mistake # 1
Waiting too long to secure your musician
Most great wedding bands are in high demand and therefore booked (on average) 8 – 12 months in advance – or more. Don’t freak if you have less time… just find someone that can help. Waited too long to hire the talent… and now the dream band is already booked – Call us and we can help!
Mistake # 2
Not telling the agent your budget!
She was asked “what’s your budget”… and said $5,000. The agent can now find a band that you can actually afford, and is not sending offers to bands who are way out of your price range.
Lesson: Make sure you know your budget. This is crucial! If you have thought about all the expenses in advance… you are more likely to stay on track. If you want a soloist at the ceremony, a string ensemble at the cocktail party, and a 10 piece wedding band at the reception… it is going to cost. Layout your expenses in advance. Your agent should care about your big day and will help you succeed on any budget.
Mistake # 3
Micro-managing your talent
Talent is often the most micromanaged aspect of a wedding. Too many song requests will actually impede the flow of your reception. You hire a professional to use their best judgement and when to play what music. You wouldn’t instruct your caterer step by step on how to prepare food, or your photographer on what angles and lenses to use. Limit your talent request list to a few favorites and a do-not-play list of only the songs you cannot stand. Do not get carried away, and try to trust their expertise.
Mistake # 4
FIGHTING over DJ vs Band
The bride wants a band, and the groom a DJ. Maybe you should hire both and make everyone happy. The good news is you can typically find a combination that is affordable and qualified. Ask your buyer for suggestions!
Mistake # 5
Playing one type of music all night
In the end, it is your day, so what you select is your prerogative. But, you want your guests to have fun and dance! Remember that you can only fit 12 – 15 songs into each hour… so do not request too many songs. Also, don’t pick too many wacky songs – remember that lots of guests (that hopefully gave you an envelope of money) are in attendance. Make them all happy!
Mistake # 6
Forgetting to get a stage and a sound system for the band… and not checking the size of the dance floor
If there is nowhere to maneuver, then congestion on the dance floor can be a nightmare because people get bumped into, glasses break, and drinks can be spilled. Having more room will encourage your guests to get on the dance floor!
Mistake # 7
Relying on a digital music player (i.e. ipod)
No matter the occasion there will always be song requests no matter how thorough you are with your playlist, and you don’t want your guests fishing through your Spotify or Apple Music for The Macarena. What it comes down to is that someone is going to have to man the music and that is not how you want your guests spending their time.
Mistake # 8
Not signing contracts for all the talent
If you don’t sign a contract, how do you know your date and band/DJ is secure? The last thing you want to worry about leading up to your big day is whether or not you are going to get the band you requested or if they are going to show up. Make sure you sign and carefully read over the contract so you, as well as the band, know correct dates, times and day of timelines complete with first dance songs and any other details of your day.
Mistake # 9
Not looking into the local noise ordinances (if your reception is outside)
If your event takes place outdoors, make sure you check with local ordinances to ensure you do not get in trouble for playing music too loud or too late. Some venues have a restricted sound level and end-time points, especially outdoor venues. You don’t want your reception to end early unexpectedly. Chicago Entertainment Agency does this for all of our clients. We make sure there are no surprises on your BIG night.
Mistake # 10
Letting the talent pay a commission to your buyer (the double dip effect can be costly)
A talent buyer should either ask you to pay a commission, or ask the band to pay the commission. Sometimes, though, shady agents will try to get both parties to pay their commission for a double pay day. Ask your buyer if ALL fees are described in the contract. You do not want the buyer negotiating against you. Chicago Entertainment Agency will never double-dip, and our transparent website and trustworthy agents can help you navigate through the craziness of your big day.
We hope these tips help you plan the most amazing day ever. If you're in need of a musician or other entertainer for your wedding, reach out to us today.