The best way to view a band is to see them playing at a similar type of function to your own, so it's best to see the band in 'wedding mode' if possible, although seeing them at a dinner dance also gives a fair indication of the band's abilities.
Generally though we try to arrange for you to view a band playing at someone else's wedding. This is rarely a problem, as the couple getting married would have seen the same band at someone else's wedding and most likely won't mind you going along at all.
We are able to put a 'Provisional Hold' on your band the moment that you confirm a viewing date. This viewing date will typically be within a week or two of when you make the provisional booking, although some bands will hold dates for longer periods if there are mitigating circumstances, such as a prospective couple living abroad and only being able to view a band on a specific weekend they are coming over to Scotland.
Once a band accepts a 'Provisional Hold', they will not accept another booking on your wedding date until you have seen them perform. The deadline for a 'Provisional Hold' is 48 hours after viewing (or 72 hours if you've viewed a band on a Friday night).
Viewing the Band
Most bands are booked from 8pm to midnight, and will take their break around 9.45pm-10pm when the guests are being fed and watered. However, late-afternoon ceremonies (especially if they are held at a church away from the venue), over-indulgent speeches and boozy guests can sometimes delay the start of the evening's entertainment, so the following recommendations should generally be used as a guide only!
We suggest you dress fairly smartly, arrive around 9.30pm... and head straight to the bar! Although the band and the couple will already have been informed that you are attending, having a drink in your hand will instantly give you a 'wedding guest' appearance and appease the staff. We usually only send couples to venues where there is a non-residents' bar/lounge (and often a restaurant as well), so you will usually find yourself amongst others that are also not attendees of the wedding party. It can also be quite a pleasant option to book a meal/bar supper during the earlier part of the evening, which allows you to familiarise yourself with the layout of the venue, and even further ingratiate yourself to the staff.
When the band take their break, we suggest you introduce yourself to the band leader (we will have already given you his/her name), who will be expecting you. After having had a chat about music etc., he/she will then organise for you to go through to the back of the function room to listen to the band for a while. At this stage it is usually fine to stay and listen for quite a while, so if you're booking a band that play both pop covers and Scottish set dances, do try and stay long enough to hear them do both.
Booking the Band
When you call to book the band, we will take down all the necessary information and post both you and the band out a contract that each party is required to sign and return. The 'Hirer' is required to pay a booking fee (normally 15% of the gross fee, although this may be 20% if the band was booked as a 'split-commission' through a fellow agent or management company).
The balance is payable directly to the bandleader on the night of performance, before the band commences playing. This must be in cash, as band members always want to be paid on the night. However a cheque is acceptable providing the bandleader receives this at least 14 days prior to the date of the wedding.
That's it, basically!