Some couples may find the prospect of booking live entertainment a bit challenging, especially if they’ve never hired musicians for an event before. Here are some tips to make the process go smoothly.

• Get recommendations. Just like you might before booking other vendors, seek advice from friends or family members who have recently gotten hitched or had live performers at their events. They may have wonderful things to say about particular bands or performers. Individuals also can consider a resource such as, a global musician database that can help couples narrow down their options.

• Decide on when the musicians play. Live musicians can entertain guests throughout the ceremony and reception, but the longer musicians play, the more they’re likely to cost. Work with musicians to develop a schedule that suits your budget.

• Discuss the theme. Make sure musicians understand the type of atmosphere you’re hoping to create. A band that customarily plays swing or big-band era songs may not fit in at weddings with more modern themes.

• Understand the fees. Musicians may have fees related to their agents, cartage (extra given to musicians who carry large equipment), mileage costs, travel time, lighting, and other factors that affect the overall price. Discuss these fees before signing any agreements.

• Be sure the venue fits. Live musicians are great but not if the space is too small. Otherwise, the music can be too loud and overpowering, or the band will not have adequate space to set up. Consider these factors before making any decisions.

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