There’s so much to think about when booking wedding entertainment! Of course, finding the perfect act is the right place to start, but what about setting the right tone in the venue, set up times, setlists and set length, performance space, technical and catering riders, and so many other details?
Recently awarded London’s Best Jersey Boys Tribute Group 2019 & 2020, our show Frankie’s Guys celebrates the music of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons and over the last 6 years, we’ve performed at over 200 weddings. That’s a lot of brides, a lot of venues and of course a lot of cake!
In order to ensure your big day is stress-free and oodles of fun, we’ve put together our 10 Top Tips for booking your Wedding Entertainment, from us… ‘The Band!’
01. BOOK EARLY
First things first, most reputable acts usually get booked up around 18 – 24 months in advance – especially for weekends and summer dates. The earlier you get in touch and request a quote, the more likely you are to secure your chosen band for your special day.
Quotes are usually based on distance from the band’s hometown to the venue, the number of sets/set lengths and the size of the wedding reception. The more guests, the bigger the venue – the bigger the venue, the bigger the bands sound system will need to be. Some groups also offer early booking discounts which are well worth asking about.
02. SET LISTS
Of course, it’s your special day and you should definitely be a fan of the music you’re paying for, but let’s not forget about Auntie Brenda and Grandma Joyce. In order for your dance floor to be filled and to create the awesome atmosphere you’ve been dreaming of you need to make sure you strike the perfect balance for all your guests and that your music choice has something for all ages.
Let’s take our show as an example, even though we are a Jersey Boys Tribute act, in order to ensure we’re a hit with all generations we often add other groups hits into our wedding setlists, handpicked party classics that everyone knows and loves, sometimes we even perform more modern requests, family favourites from artists like Take That, Bruno Mars & Ollie Murs.
You can find our standard setlists below: As you can see, even though we specialise in one particular group’s music, even with our standard repertoire we ensure there are songs from all decades and even hit movie soundtracks.
For something even more bespoke, pop us a message today, we’re always happy to tailor our tunes.
- DEC ’63 (OH WHAT A NIGHT!) – Frankie Valli (1975) & Clock (1997)
- SHERRY – The Four Seasons (1962)
- BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY – The Four Seasons (1962) & the hit movie Dirty Dancing (1987)
- STAY – Hit movie Dirty Dancing (1987)
- RAGDOLL – The Four Seasons (1964)
- WALK LIKE A MAN – The Four Seasons (1963)
- RUNAROUND SUE – Del Shannon (1962) & The Overtones (2012)
- SWEET SOUL MUSIC – Arthur Conley (1967) & The Overtones (2012)
- BEGGIN’ – The Four Seasons (1967) & Madcon (2007)
- CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU – Frankie Valli (1967) Covered by over 20 top artists
- FOUR SEASONS MEDLEY – Jersey Boys Soundtrack (2005)
- LET’S HANG ON – The Four Seasons (1965)
- WORKING MY WAY BACK TO YOU – Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons (1966) & The Detriot Spinners (1980)
- GREASE – Frankie Valli & the hit movie Grease (1978)
- PRETTY WOMAN – Roy Orbison (1964) & the hit movie Pretty Woman (1990)
- WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE – The Teenagers (1956) & Diana Ross (1981)
- DO YOU LOVE ME – The Contours (162) & the hit Movie Dirty Dancing (1956)
- SAME OLD SONG/REACH OUT – The Four Tops (1965) & Boys II Men (2007)
- MY EYES ADORED YOU – Frankie Valli (1974)
- BYE BYE BABY – The Four Seasons (1965) & Bay City Rollers (1975)
- WHO LOVES YOU – Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons (1975)
- DEC ’63 (OH WHAT A NIGHT!) FINALE – Frankie Valli (1975) & Clock (1997)
03. SOUND & LIGHTING
Lighting your performance area and act is really important – there’s no point spending all that money on the group of your dreams for them to perform in the dark. Any experienced band will be able to guide you on this. The same goes for the sound – even an awesome group on a bad PA system will inevitably, not sound too great. Make sure to ask lots of questions; ‘Will your PA fill the room?’, ‘Do you supply different lighting packages?’. This will most certainly let your act know that you’ve done your research and put you in the driving seat.
So, you’ve checked your act has the right gear, but does your band’s lighting and PA equipment fit in with the tone of your day and venue? Say, for example, you’ve booked a decadent reception room and your band turns up with a large, tatty and unattractive PA & lighting system – unfortunately, this is a common occurrence.
As one of the UK’s most established wedding bands we’ve worked hard to ensure the ‘Frankie’s Guys’ show looks perfect in all wedding & party environments, from our classy silver up-lighters to our slimline PA system, our set up not only looks and sounds great but quick to build and pack-down, (and when timings are everything, this really is a small but major detail). Make sure you find out exactly what equipment your band is planning to bring to your venue.
On to timings… Weddings are notorious for running behind schedule, so when putting together a schedule for the day and your group’s performances, be realistic and ask your act and or the venue for advice, don’t forget they do it week in week out so they will most certainly know the all-important do’s and don’ts.
Most acts would expect to play 2-3 sets throughout the day and evening, usually between 3-11 pm. We would recommend each set lasts for around 40-50 minutes. Enough time to build up a great atmosphere, but not too long that people aren’t also getting time to socialise and mingle. It may be your wedding, but no doubt it’s also a long-overdue social event for your friends and family.
Booking an act for multiple sets allows for maximum flexibility on the day, should you need to extend or shorten a set to keep to your schedule, this will avoid any awkward conversations on the day of ‘you only booked us for an hour’, or similar.
Sending out & printing a running order in advance with guide timings and also putting it up in the groups waiting area would be a huge help for your act. It lets them know your expectations and even if the timings fall behind or even ahead, the order of events will keep them in the picture whilst they patiently await their next set.
TOP TIP – Your act will most likely be driving home or may even be en route to their next gig after their performance for you. Ensuring you know your acts cut off timing is of the utmost importance and if things were to fall drastically behind it would most certainly be worth having a chat with them at your earliest convenience. A job for the best man I hear you cry!
05. TECHNICAL RIDER & CORRECT CERTIFICATION
Your act will have most likely performed their show in venues of all shapes and sizes. We’ve performed our Tribute to Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons all around the world, from Cruise Ships and Holiday Parks to Theatres and Hotels. Providing our technical rider/requirements and the correct certificates with every booking is an absolute must and most venues will require these at least a year in advance.
Here are our top 5 things to you need to ask your act to provide;
- PAT Certificates – Portable Appliance Testing; This certifies that all of your acts electrical items are in good working order.
- PLI Certificates – Public Liability Insurance; Your chosen venue will most likely have a minimum requirement for this, usually between £5-10 Million.
- Performance area dimensions – Ensuring the performance area works for the requirements of your act is paramount, the last thing you want to do is lose half of your dance floor or have one of your musicians hidden behind a post on the day.
- Power Requirements – Powering a whole band, lights and PA takes quite a bit of energy. Providing your act with the venue manager or event organiser’s details will allow them to talk in technical jargon, ensuring that both parties are happy and have everything they need and in the right place, which will most certainly bring that extra ‘spark’ to your day.
- Emergency Contact Details – Being able to get hold of your act or the person in charge when you need them is really important, this information should also be passed on to the venue manager, the wedding planner and most certainly the best man and maid of honour for contact on the day.
06. VENUE RESTRICTIONS
It’s tempting to choose an idyllic country barn or stately home for your wedding reception but be sure to check with the venue about sound/live music restrictions. Certain venues have sound limiters in place to stop noise pollution and disruption to the local environment. This means that if the band plays over a certain volume, the system automatically cuts out the music and lights, leaving everyone in silence and sometimes darkness! Discussing this with your venue and wedding planner is a must, usually, a fair compromise can be agreed.
To make sure that our Jersey Boys Tribute show performances always go without a hitch we put our technical manager in touch with the venue to discuss and ensure that everyone is aware and in full agreement with all restrictions and venue policies.
07. BE NICE TO THE BAND
It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised as to how often this gets overlooked. Your band have usually set off early to avoid or even encounter traffic, travelled for a good few hours, they’ve eaten at service stations and have most likely lugged their heavy equipment across the car park and up and down the stairs of the venue, all whilst trying not to disturb you and your guests.
Here are a few little ideas to show the band some love;
- A quiet room in which they can sit and relax pre-show before they change into their performance outfits ready to wow your guests.
- A large mirror, running water, plug points and some clean towels.
- Fresh drinking water, fizzy drinks and maybe even a beer for after the show
- A hot meal goes a long way with any band or act, let yours know in advance and discuss a time so they can plan/eat accordingly.
- Hotel Discounts; Many acts will go from one venue/event to another so a hotel is usually on the cards. If your venue can offer a discount, big or small, it’s always nice to share this with your chosen act.
Even the smallest of gestures will let your chosen act know that you’ve thought of them and will certainly go a long way when your guests are cheering for ‘one more song!’
08. TAKE ADVICE
Bands LOVE being part of a happy couple’s big day and want to make it as memorable as possible. Our Jersey Boys Tribute group Frankie’s Guys have performed at hundreds of weddings over the years and have gained the knowledge and experience to know what usually works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and just like us, any good act will always offer advice on how to entertain your guests best.
09. THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAIL
From hand-picked pre-show music (ensuring no repeated songs) to helping to light the venue in pink for that first dance moment, we’ve done it all. We’ve even had brides handpick what colour jackets we wear to tie in with their flowers… (OK, we admit it! we’ve got a collection). Not to mention the groom that had his own Frankie’s Guys jacket made so they can join us on stage!
The smallest details often have the biggest impact, speaking with your act regularly and making sure that these things are discussed and noted will make your big day stand out for all the right reasons.
10. IF YOU DON’T ASK, YOU DON’T GET
Don’t forget bands and acts are small businesses who need to pay the bills too, they’re usually run by very passionate individuals who want the best for their product or group.
When booking our Four Seasons Tribute group to different events/parties, like many groups we would much rather perform for a bit less money at a wedding that sounds like really good fun, especially if you know the Bride and Groom are a big fan of your music and passionate about what you’ll bring to the event.
Don’t be embarrassed to be enthusiastic and sell your big day and plans to the person you’re dealing with. Once you’ve built a rapport with them, be sure to let them know what your maximum budget is. If a band simply can’t go any lower on their fee they can only say no, who knows, they may even come back to you later down the line if that date is still available.
To get ‘bang for your buck’, instead of a discount, why not try asking your chosen band to learn and sing your favourite song for your first dance. It won’t cost them anything but adding that extra special ‘je ne sais quoi’ to this poignant moment, not only makes their performance more individual and bespoke for you, it will also have a huge impact with your guests and get your night off to a great start.
I know we said 10, but this one is super important…
11. BOOKING A BAND DURING A NATIONAL PANDEMIC – Covid 19
Ensuring you have a flexible agreement with your band should be a top priority. Unless you’ve been hiding under a large diamond rock you will most certainly know that over the last year weddings have been hit with just about every rule and regulation going. From bubbles & social distancing to venue capacity and live entertainment restrictions, in short, it’s been a complete nightmare for anyone planning or going ahead with the biggest day of their lives! Nobody likes a stressed-out bride which is why here at Frankie’s Guys HQ we have put together some special Covis booking policies for our client’s peace of mind.
- Only a £100 deposit to book the group (Usually 25%)
- Payment Instalment options that work around your budget and timeline
- One free reschedule for any Covid related reason*
- Our Covid Guarantee – You may cancel the act free of charge up to six months before the performance date for any Covid related reason*
* Date must be mutually agreed based on availability
That’s it! Following these simple rules will ensure that you have the perfect entertainment for your dream wedding, and will most certainly allow you to tick off one of the more important aspects from your now doubt, HUGE, to-do list.
Whoever you book, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get in touch whenever you feel you need info or want something clarifying. We at Frankie’s Guys love chatting to our clients and hearing how their plans are coming together.
Below you’ll find our wedding Q&A which features lots of fab information which may be useful.
For your tailored quote from the world’s Number One Jersey Boys Tribute Show please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.frankiesguys.com for more information.
Best of luck & happy planning!