After choosing the wedding date and the locations for the ceremony and reception, it's time to make another big nuptial decision. Most people will probably only book one or two bands in their lifetime, and chances are it'll be for one of the most important days of their lives - their wedding! To make sure you choose the right wedding band for your upcoming union, keep in mind the following tips and considerations. When Wedding Bands Play At the least, your wedding band will play during the reception. However, a wedding band (or some part of the band) is often used for the cocktail or social hour preceding the reception, and sometimes even for the ceremony itself, depending upon your tastes and the venue. Keep these options in mind when looking for a great wedding band - can they handle all the different kinds of music you'd like them to play at various times throughout the day? Wedding Music Bands: What to Look For First, make sure that all the bands you're considering are within your wedding budget. You're looking for a band that will be appropriate for all the family and friends who will be attending your event - this likely means that the band you choose will have a professional sound and appearance, with good references and plenty of experience. How to Find a Great Wedding Band A really good wedding band can be hard to find, but there are lots of ways to make the process easier for yourself. First and foremost, ask your friends and family if they know of any great wedding entertainers - word of mouth is one of the best ways to hear about bands of any kind, the wedding variety included. Wedding magazines may offer further choices, as will internet search engines - the best wedding bands are often well-advertised on the web. Finally, don't discount wedding planners as a great source of information for finding proper entertainment. Choosing a Wedding Music Band Once you find some likely candidates, the fun part begins - choosing between them! You'll likely have to go through a number to find the band that's right for you, but try not to be discouraged. Listen to band demos first - with the tricks and whistles audio engineers can add to round out a band's sound, these should be of a fairly high quality to even be considered for the next step in your selection process. After you find three or four demos that you like, take the time to see these bands perform live - after all, this is how your guests will see them, and you want a band that can entertain your friends and family for hours on end. Take note of the band's stage presence, song selection, and general appearance - are they what you want for your wedding? Now that you've seen the bands, choose your favorite and approach them about playing your wedding. NOTE: Many of the most popular bands are booked up to a year in advance. Schedule interviews to get a feel for the members of the band and their personalities. Choose the one that you believe will put on the best show, and with whom you feel most comfortable. Once you've selected your favorite, draw up a contract, put down a deposit with the group to save your date, and schedule another meeting one month before the wedding to pin down final details. Wedding Band Contracts A wedding band contract should contain the following information to protect the interests of both parties.