How far in advance should you book a band or DJ?

Caroline and Dave's wedding rings

So you said yes. Now you’ve picked a date and you’ve picked a venue. Yay! Those are the two biggest components to lock down when you get started planning a wedding, so you’re off to a great start! But now what?

The next two things people usually lock down is:

  1. The caterer
  2. The band/DJ.

That’s all fine and dandy, but starting to make arrangements comes the tough part of wedding planning that no one likes to talk about: All those expenses and down deposits!

Because of this, you might start prioritizing and see how far you can spread out the bookings for your vendors. Totally understandable! So how far in advance do you need to book a band or dj to get exactly what you want? Well, the answer depends on a few variables concerning your wedding-

Wedding photo

1. HOW POPULAR IS YOUR WEDDING DAY?

 As with any in-demand resource that’s limited in time and space (especially during wedding season), it’s usually best to book sooner than later. One big reason for this is limited time. Bands and DJs can only perform so many weddings in a day! If you ever work in the wedding industry, you’ll find that a CRAZY majority of wedding dates fall under 3 criteria:

  1. Saturday wedding date
  2. The date is usually one of the two middle Saturdays of a month
  3. The date is one of the two middle Saturdays in June, August, September, or October

Last year, in Georgia (where KLF Pro Entertainment is based) there were about 59,000 weddingsOver 90% of those had a band, DJ, or soloist performing.

As we’ve learned, most weddings happen on a Saturday, and most happen during 4 main months of the year (June, August, September, and October). So if the majority of people are getting married on those 16 Saturdays in a year, spots will fill up fast!

Turley Walsh Wedding Reception Dancing Band

2. HOW IN-DEMAND/GOOD IS THE ENTERTAINMENT?

No real surprise here: the best bands and DJs will book up first and fast.

If you’ve had your sights set on the #1-rated DJ or band in your area, chances are you’re not even close to the only one.

Those bands and DJs are the first ones to fill up. A lot of really popular bands are booked up 12, sometimes 16 months out EVERY weekend. It’s a great problem for musicians, but not so much for brides and grooms.

Live Exchange Party Band wedding reception

3. HOW MUCH MUSIC DO YOU NEED?

Some couples are stress-free and laid back with their planning. They may have an idea of what they want, but are more go with the flow. In those cases, where you’re ok with things being a little more free-flowing, it might be ok to wait a little longer.

However, if you have a very specific vision, with specific songs/arrangements, and you’re having a bigger band (and maybe they’re playing the ceremony, cocktail hour, AND reception), more lead time for the musicians = better results. Not to mention you won’t be pulling your own hair out trying to get everything thrown together last minute.

Same with a DJ- if you have a very specific playlist or song list in mind, it can take some time to put that together and make sure all the transitions and ebbs and flows of songs are in order.

DON’T START FREAKING OUT YET….

Despite all the warnings and stats in this post however, don’t let it stress you out too much.

Because there are a lot of DJs. And there are a lot of bands. And because of that, you’ll 99%-of-the-time be able to find some sort of entertainment option if you ‘accidentally’ wait till the 11th hour to find one.

Now, this is no guarantee you’ll get a Michael Buble or Bruno Mars protege, but you’ll be able to get SOMETHING.

The advice and guidelines listed here are just for getting your vision of your wedding delivered by a very capable entertainer. The longer you wait, the less the quality the entertainer (unless you get lucky of course, in which case, many props!)

TAKEAWAY

Although each and every situation is a little different, here is the rule of thumb for booking your wedding band or dj:

If your wedding is…..

  1. On a Saturday, try and book 8 months out
  2. On a weekday/Friday, try and book 5-6 months out
  3. In June, August, September, or October, try and book 10 months out
  4. Any other month, try and book 8 months out
  5. One of the two middle Saturdays in June, Aug, Sep, or Oct, try and book 12+ months out

Ready to book a band or DJ for your wedding? Click here to browse our entertainment options!