So, you’ve finished deciding between a DJ or a live band at your wedding, and since you’re here, I’m thinking live band won. But, now what? 

There a many things to consider, but based on years of experience, there are a few trends that remain true. 


One of the first questions you will be asked in the process of hiring a band will be “Will you also be needing cocktail and ceremony music?” Our recommendation is: 

  • Instrumental music for both ceremony and cocktails. 

The most popular combination for both ceremony and cocktails is a duo. If you choose a duo, we like to recommend keyboard and guitar for ceremony and keyboard and saxophone for the cocktail party.

You can also consider a string trio of violin, viola and cello or quartet of 2 violins, viola and cello for either the ceremony or cocktail party.

Typically for both ceremony and cocktails, music is no longer than about an hour. To put that in perspective, reception music is usually around 4 hours but it can be extended! Just ask your band.  


Your contract is a wealth of information. Your contract holds the details about the timing of your ceremony and cocktails, what time the reception starts and ends and whether there is any scheduled overtime. It also has information about payments, such as when the deposit is due and when the balance is due. 

Depending on when you started planning your wedding and when you chose to hire a band, it can be up to a year (or more for some of those “overachievers”) from signing the contract to your wedding day. We put together a list of important milestones: 

Photography by Nikki Cole

6 months from your wedding date 

  • Begin your outline for your wedding day. We typically refer to this as your run of show. You might work with a wedding planner to help put this together.

Things to keep in mind when drafting your run of show: 

  • Songs for procession, recession, introductory song, first dance, parent dances if you are having them, and last dance.
  • Timing for introductions, speeches, cake cutting, and any other traditions you might have. 

Photography Credit: Gabrielle Marks Photography

3 months from your wedding date 

  • At this point you should check in with your band manager to start talking about music selections and finalizing the run of the show. 

2 months from your wedding date 

  • At this point you should have all music selections made and make sure that the band knows if they are going to play the special songs live, or if you prefer the original to be played through the sound system. 

1 month from your wedding date 

  • The day is almost here! By now, you’ve been posting about how many days until you’re married for a while now, but one month marks the time where your followers will be getting daily countdowns. – This is also the perfect time to check back in with the band one final time to make sure they are aligned with your musical vision

Now that you are armed with this information, you can mark one more thing off your seemingly never ending wedding planning checklist! The only thing you have to do, is dance the night away!

Photography Credit: Zev Fisher Photography