Wedding bands: 13 essential dos and don’ts for hiring a wedding band

Thinking of hiring a band for your wedding? Here are 13 top tips to help you get it right and avoid common mistakes

This article contains paid-for content created in collaboration with 

Rachel Cotton, the successor of
Rachel Cotton, Wedding Entertainment Expert from Hireaband.

One of the things that truly make a difference on your big day is the music. It creates the perfect ambience, sets the tone, and puts your own personal stamp on the whole evening from your first dance right through to the big finale. Hiring a really good wedding band is essential in achieving this.

However, with so many bands out there, all claiming to be the best, arranging a band can be daunting, to say the least. It can be hard just to know where to begin. That’s why we’ve sought the help of Rachel Cotton, a wedding entertainment expert with Scottish family business

The team at are the best in the wedding band scene and know more Scottish acts than anybody else in the industry. It’s hardly surprising, considering they’ve been promoting the best Scottish wedding bands for the past 22 years. Despite the global pandemic, the company is still prospering and Three of their most demanded acts include Cassien, Carlyle, and Chart Society.

A sample of Cassien‘s performance potential. 

Wedding entertainment expert at Rachel Cotton is sharing her 13 essential dos and don’ts for hiring a wedding band on Tie The Knot Scotland today. Perhaps her pearls of wisdom will eliminate the stress, and stop you from pulling your hair out over this component of your special day.


  • Micromanage your big day.  Bands call couples who do ‘Clipboards.’ Everything is timed with military precision and when things (inevitably) overrun, these couples get so stressed they forget what the day is all about.
  • Don’t give your band a detailed list of songs to play. Good bands cater for everyone. Let them know your favourites but leave the details to them. If you’re asking them to learn more than three new tunes, you’ve picked the wrong band.
  • If you’ve practised a routine for your first dance, don’t ask the band to play it live. Get them to play the actual track you used. The slightest change in the arrangement or tempo will throw you – and musicians are human, not machines.
  • Don’t disappear to the bar after the first dance. This is really important early on when everyone’s sober and shy. You, your bridesmaids and groomsmen should ask people up to dance – it’s the perfect way to create a great atmosphere quickly.
  • Don’t ask the band to play right to the end.  If your coaches are arriving at 1 am – book the band to finish at 12:30 am, so your guests can get organised and say their goodbyes.
  • Don’t tolerate drunk friends and family getting on the stage uninvited; they’re a risk to themselves, the musicians and to your entire event.
  • If your reception is running late, don’t expect a band to set up in half the normal time. Something could be missed leading to a technical issue that’s hard to track down, delaying things further. They’ll know things are running late so let them get on with it.
  • Don’t book a band your friend has put together for you. It will end in tears.

A sample of Carlye‘s performance potential. 


  • Use entertainers based as near to your venue as possible. They’ll probably know your venue and you’ll reduce the chances of your band getting lost or breaking down miles away. You’ll also save money on travel costs.
  • Ensure you have a contract in place with every detail included. Sign it and make sure the band does too.
  • Let the band know it’s OK to have some food during the buffet. Good bands won’t go daft. If you cater for the band numbers when planning your buffet, the musicians will appreciate it, returning the favour by working even harder to make your night a success.
  • Agree on break times in advance. They shouldn’t exceed 30/40 minutes.
  • Consider using an entertainment agency like Hireaband, known for representing some of the best wedding bands in Scotland. Then you can leave all of this to and relax knowing you’re in safe hands.

A sample of Chart Society’s performance potential. 

Whether you’ve taken these handy tips on board, or have decided to invest in one of the bands, we know one thing for sure. Your wedding is bound to be rockin’ and rollin’.