The Ultimate Wedding Band Contract Checklist

Are you thinking of hiring a wedding band? How good do you feel about signing a contract with them? Everyone has heard the story of artists who demand a jar of only green M&M’s in their dressing room. But wedding bands and DJ’s aren’t like “those people,” right? Or are they? Can you trust them to write a contract that protects you and your interests? Unfortunately, you can’t.

A good contract is clear, specific, and spells out

what each party will provide.

I am always saddened when I see couples struggling with an artist’s last-minute demands because the contract was unclear.

So what should be in the contract? A lot, friends. A lot. Before you sign your dream band or DJ, make sure you read through this checklist and cover your bases. Don’t get stuck with surprise costs because you didn’t know what to ask!


1) The Basics

  • Name of wedding band or act and name(s) of performers
  • Include a clause about substitutions or understudies if you want a specific singer or musician
  • Name of purchaser (usually the couple getting married or the host of the event);
  • Date;
  • Location (including a physical address);
  • Band arrival time;
  • Band performance time

2) Performance Specifics

  • Length of wedding band’s performance;
  • Time for sound check (about 30 minutes) before any guests arrive;
  • Duration and number of breaks;
  • Specific songs the wedding band or act needs to perform and if they will learn any new songs;
  • Description of performance area. Most artists need to perform in a covered area sheltered from the elements.
  • They cannot perform in the rain due to their equipment and instruments.

3) Payment Terms

  • Artist fee;
  • Form of payment (check, credit card);
  • Due date of payment (day before performance? day of performance?)
  • Cancellation clause – What are the terms or monies forfeited if either party cancels? How should the party give notice?

4) Hospitality

  • Are you providing a meal for the artists?
  • When will the band’s meal take place – during a break or before the performance?
  • Most acts have a hospitality rider that states the number of meals, including any stagehands. It will also give examples of an acceptable menu and dietary restrictions. This might be obvious, but never agree to provide alcohol!
  • Dressing room or green room requirements. Where is the wedding band going to wait before their performance? Where will they take their meal? On what furniture will they sit? Are the artists going to share the same restroom with your guests? What if there’s a line during their 15-minute break?

5) Technical Requirements

  • Most artists provide a separate technical rider that includes the following:
  • A stage plot with the stage dimensions required for the performance;
  • Audio/lighting support;
  • Power requirements;
  • Instruments they need to perform – Do you need to provide them because they are traveling from afar or will they?
  • If they do not have a rider, make sure the contract specifies all the equipment they are providing. Make sure it also states what you as the purchaser may need to provide.

6) Legal Stuff

  • Force Majeure Clause – Included in most contracts, this paragraph includes language that relieves the parties from performing their contractual obligations when certain circumstances beyond their control arise, making performance impracticable, illegal, or impossible. What if a blizzard hit? The band could argue they don’t have to perform because they can’t get to the venue.
  • Governing Law – Each state has their own set of laws. If a dispute arises, whose state’s laws take precedence? Where will the litigation occur? Will it occur in your state where you live or where your wedding is taking place?

CONCLUSION

When you’re planning a wedding, most couples don’t know what they don’t know. I hope the list above gives you some peace of mind when hiring your wedding band or DJ. I also hope it prevents you from any stress or heartache because you were well-prepared. I am always shocked by the ridiculous things artists try to pull and am glad I have a good contract in place when they try anything!

Are you thinking of hiring a band or DJ? I would love to work with you to help you make sure you have all your bases covered! Reserve your wedding date today!

DISCLAIMER: Of course, I am only a wedding planner. If you have concerns about any type of contract, please consult a legal professional. This blog post is not legal advice. 🙂

Happy planning!

Blog Signature-Desiree | Verve Event Co. | Upstate NY Wedding Planner

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Ultimate Wedding Band Contract Checklist | Verve Event Co. | upstate ny wedding band


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