Whether hiring a musician for a wedding ceremony, reception, business or social event, it is wise to start your search as soon as your date is set. Professional musicians, orchestras, bands and soloists may be booked a year in advance. Here are some guidelines to use when making a decision about the type of music you want:
Choose the type of musicians & instruments.
Take into consideration the size of the venue and the acoustics. The music should be a compliment to the event, not too overpowering.
Chances are that if other people have been pleased with the musician you will be too. Don't be afraid to ask for and check references of the performer you are considering.
Audition whenever possible.
This will give you an overall feel for the musicians’ style of music and "stage" presence. Auditions can be in person, over the phone, by tape or video. Audio CDs let you sample the style and expertise of the musician. Video and DVDs additionally allows you to see the appearance of the performer. Make sure you like the quality of the music and that it is appropriate for the event.
Give the musicians your musical requests.
If you have a particular selection or selections you want included be sure to discuss this in advance with the musicians so they have time to get the music and rehearse.
Discuss your expectations.
Musicians should dress and present themselves according to the theme of your event. Be very clear on what duties you expect of the musician, such as when to play a certain selection. Be as detailed as possible. Don't leave anything to chance.
Amplification is important.
Ask if the musicians are providing their own sound system and be sure it is electrically compatible with the venue, or is battery powered.
Look for a harmonious working relationship.
If the musician is not responsive to your needs during consultation, look elsewhere.