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5 Insider tips for saving money on wedding entertainment

5 Top tips on getting the best value from your entertainment budget

1 Be a talent spotter

New bands will be keen to fill their diaries. We often have great offers on new bands because they need your booking. New bands don't necessarily mean inexperienced; some are made up of ex members of more established bands. If you're using an experienced entertainment agency, they will already have checked the band out so you won't have to worry about whether they're good or not.

2 Hire locally wherever possible

If you're wedding is in Inverness but your band is from Glasgow, remember it'll take them about 5 hours just to get to you and the same to get home, That means the musicians will expect the time travelling to be taken into account. Then of course there is also the cost of fuel and probably accommodation. Many bands will now charge for fuel even for bookings more than an hour away from their base. Local bands won't have these additional costs.

3 Finish at midnight

Many bands will charge for performing past midnight. To be honest the latest I'd recommend is 12.30am and even then only if you really have to. It's best to end your evening with a bang than a whimper. You'll find your older guests and those going home to children will start to leave even before midnight, so your last hour will probably be spent with half your guests. Use the time after the band is done to chat to your guests and say your goodbyes before you head off on honeymoon. The last thing you want is to have everyone rushing to catch the bus at the end of the night without the chance to say goodnight properly.

4 Go for quality rather than quantity.

Although some very popular small bands are at least as expensive as their larger colleagues you can often save some money going for a four or three piece band, after all there are less musicians to pay and if you do need to pay for accommodation, it's cheaper to do this for three than five. In fact there are a handful of great sounding duos out there using backing tracks that can sound just like a full band at a fraction of the cost of a larger band.

5 Avoid early set ups.

Don't pay extra because you want the band to start before 8pm. We do over 2000 weddings every year at Hireaband with only half of them actually starting on time. Speeches can run over, photographers can hold things up looking for the perfect shot, and uncle Tam can disappear for 20 minutes. Don't be rushed, take your time and enjoy the day. We've noticed a worrying trend among venues advising couple to have the band set up in the morning or before the wedding meal, but that's to suit the venue and not you. You'll be footing the bill. Any band can get set up within an hour which is about the time it takes to turn a room around making it ready for the party. Why pay expensive musicians to sit around waiting to play? Have them arrive at 7pm and so long as the meal is over by then they'll be ready for 8pm.


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