San Francisco Wedding Bands Guide

Booking Live Music for Your Bay Area Wedding Reception

Music in the City by the Bay can be smooth blues, swinging jazz, or like Native Huey Lewis says, the heart of rock and roll. Your own live band choice depends on the style of your wedding, your personal tastes, and your budget. Read on for heartfelt tips.

Your San Francisco wedding band search should begin about 8 months’ prior to your wedding, and after you’ve picked the site. Great bands are booked early on, so don’t wait until the last minute. When searching, ask friends and relatives, check out clubs, and talk to other vendors. The price of wedding bands varies tremendously, depending on where you live, the type of band, and logistics. Expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000. Always get references, and contact the Better Business Bureau for complaints.

When interviewing San Francisco wedding bands, ask for sample DVDs and CDs, and be sure to catch a live performance (but never crash someone else’s wedding). Talk to the band leader about hosting duties, as they work like D.J.’s; introducing dances, cake-cutting, etc.  A great band can “work” the crowd with the right music, but you still need to go over favorite songs and tunes you don’t want played. Make sure the band has a list of all wedding sections. If you’ve hired a San Francisco D.J. as well, the two need to coordinate their performance schedules.

When you’re ready to get serious about music, visit the OurWeddingDay.com San Francisco/Bay Area Local Vendor Section for a great list of top-rated wedding bands in the San Francisco area.

If the band you hire knows your site, they’ll already have an idea about where the equipment can be set up, where the dance floor is, and electrical challenges—bands often charge you for extra equipment, so try to avert hassles ahead of time. If the band doesn’t know your site, take them on a guided tour.

Wedding bands usually have a day rate, as well as overtime fees. If you are also hiring a D.J., find out if the band can work a fewer number of hours. The band generally takes two breaks, and they should be served a meal. Live wedding bands are generally tipped 20%, provided the service is exceptional. The contract should cover all fees, names of band members, and names of substitute players, should there be an emergency.

-David Toussaint

Check Out the San Francisco Bay Area Wedding Guide
Check Out the San Francisco Wedding Makeup Artists Guide
Check Out the San Francisco Wedding Photographers Guide
Check Out the San Francisco Reception Locations Guide
Check Out the San Francisco Wedding Florists Guide
Check Out the San Francisco Wedding Day Transportation Guide
Check Out the San Francisco Wedding Cake Bakers Guide
Check Out the San Francisco Officiants Guide
Check Out the San Francisco Wedding Reception DJs Guide
Check Out the San Francisco Reception Caterers Guide
Check Out the San Francisco Videographers Guide

Check Out the San Francisco Hairstylists Guide

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