HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO BOOK MY WEDDING?
So usually the order goes: your venue first and then your photographer/videographer and DJ/band/entertainment all around the same time. Media or Entertainment is usually the second most important step in the process of booking your wedding. With a venue, that depicts the date. So that is pretty important. However, sometimes we have a lot of clients who actually book the date around their entertainment availability. Couples might know this one photographer, or this one DJ, or this one acoustic musician that they love and they have to have them there. So they work with their venue to find a date in advance that that works for their beloved photographer or DJ.
Then after that: follows other suppliers usually in no particular order: cake, transport, bonbonierre, invites, florists, all that stuff. These suppliers are usually booked after your venue and then followed by your photographer or DJ band, acoustic musician, entertainment more broadly.
The one thing you want to think about is…
How important is your wedding entertainment?
As I mentioned, we have brides who do book their date around their wedding entertainment. And you’ve got to think about, who do you what? Do you do have someone in mind that you really want to specifically book? If so you may need to book them further in advance.
Or are you looking for a more of a no-frills entertainment approach and just don’t really mind who the DJ is? As long as you have one, that’s fine.
And another consideration is…
How popular is your wedding date?
Think about: Are you on a weekend? Are you midweek? Are you Friday night? Are you Saturday night? Are you Sunday night? Are you on a long weekend or a public holiday? These are all considerations that make wedding dates more or less popular.
A little interesting fact is that the majority of weddings (I think it’s something like more than 50% of the weddings enquiries that we receive) happens, on about 37 nights of the year. So if you can imagine, most of those are going to be Saturdays, but some Fridays as well.
But obviously, summertime is more popular, as are the months November, December, January. The warmer months are usually a little more popular for weddings. And things do quiet down in the winter months because it’s cold and it’s just less popular.
So these are all considerations to think when you’re thinking about how popular is your wedding day. Because if you have, for instance, the Labor Day weekend in March or something, (which is a long weekend) and you want people to go away and make a weekend of it, you’re not the first person to think of that. I guarantee you a lot of other people have the same idea. So that’s very, very important consideration.
Some people do like New Year’s Eve weddings as well. Of course, New Year’s Eve is a popular time. Everyone’s away. Jobs are in demand on New Year’s. All entertainment is in demand. And there’s usually a small premium to pay for New Year’s Eve bookings.
So those are things that you want to be considering, because if you’ve got a popular wedding day, you’re going to need to book well in advance. If you’re on a midweek (say a Thursday) wedding, then you’re probably going to be able to wait a little bit later to get to secure that ideal entertainment or that ideal DJ that you’ve been hoping for. So that’s a big consideration.
Obviously, public holidays, long weekends, the most popular Saturday nights in November, December, February, March, are hot dates!
Our busiest wedding month is usually March as well as November, December. But Nov/Dec are more about Christmas parties. But similarly, it’s going to be just as hard to get the entertainment you want on those dates.
OK, so the big question…
When, how far, how soon is “too soon” to know when you should be booking?
Three years, four years, one year, two months? Realistically, the majority of our brides and grooms are booking between 6 and 12 months before their wedding day. That’s the majority. But we do have a lot of people who book more than that. And our top talent (the ones that are most sought after) are usually booking at 12 months in advance minimum.
Some are getting booked in that 18 month to 24 month out period for our real top tier. So if you want the best of the best, and you want someone who’s going to bring the house down, they’re going to be a show stopping performance and it’s going to have your guests raving about the entertainment and the dance for years to come, that’s how long you want to be looking.
So of that 12 month plus range is usually where you want to be looking. But look, if you want to wait a bit longer, you’ve left it a bit later and there’s only 6 months til your wedding day, you still find some great options, they just might be a little fewer options. And again, it comes back to how popular your wedding date is and the day of the week and the time of the year as well. So there will still be plenty of options available, but there will just be less if you leave it into that 3-6 month out period.
So when should I book a wedding band or versus the wedding DJ?
So it’s kind of part and parcel. I don’t think there’s a huge difference between the timing of booking a wedding band at an event or a DJ. However, bands do have replaceable members. They’ll have the lead singer, guitarist, bass and a drummer and they might have a second guitar or a second drummer as backup when that person isn’t available.
There’s usually one or two lead core members of the band. And a band member may come down with a cold, because obviously with the band you got five or six people playing.
It’s much more likely that someone’s not going to be available on a particular day. So they allow for that contingency plan. So maybe a band might be a little bit more flexible in that regard. However, the key components of that band may not be flexible, so that’s something to consider. And if you know the five exact five people that you want in your band, then you will obviously need to book a long way in advance. However, do keep in mind that bands need to have those contingency plans in case there’s an illness or something like that, which is less likely when there’s only one person performing.
If you were to book a DJ or something because you’re only relying on one person as opposed to 5 or 6, the chances that one person is going to get ill on the day, very, very low chances that 1 out of 6 will fall ill, is six times higher effectively, but still it’s still very unlikely. OK, so hopefully that sheds a bit of light on that. And similarly with acoustic acts, just think about the number of people in your acoustic act. If you’ve got a trio, same thing. You’ve got a duo or soloist, it’s the same situation.
How soon is too soon to book your wedding band or your wedding entertainment?
Usually 24 months plus is too soon. If you’re thinking two to three years in advance. Most artists won’t book more than twenty four months in advance because a lot of artists don’t know what they’re doing in that time. Some artists will have other musical ambitions. They’ll be wanting to travel overseas and play the music in the states or somewhere overseas or something like that. So you might struggle to book someone more than twenty four months in advance. A lot of artists will actually have a maximum 12 month policy, but they are usually outside a bit harder to book. So I would recommend if you can book someone between 12 and 24 months, you usually in good stead. But I would suggest that two years plus is you is usually a little bit too soon.
However, you definitely can still be gathering prices in a two year plus market and go get a ballpark quote. And as I said, some of the most sought out acts, the ones that are really popular, they will book out 12-24 months plus in advance. So they’re more likely to accept a booking in two or three years in advance..
So hopefully that answers that question. In summary, firstly look how popular your date is, is very important, secondly look at how popular act is and thirdly how important the entertainment is to you. Those are probably your three top most important considerations when thinking how soon is too soon to book my wedding entertainment or “how far in advance should I book my wedding artist”?