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wedding reception music contracts

Wedding Reception Music Basics: Contract Points

If you remember one thing, remember this: Nothing’s definite until you get it in writing! Here's the 411 on your reception music contract.

Photo: Laura Black Photography

Before you check off your reception musicians on your long list of to-dos, confirm everything with your bandleader or DJ. Be sure your letter of agreement includes:

  • Exact date of event, arrival time, and location with address.

  • Equipment that you are expected to supply and equipment they are expected to supply -- such as chairs, music stands, or amplifiers. If the musicians are bringing their own equipment, record any extra charges.

  • For bands, be sure you include exactly how many musicians you’ve booked -- that is, are you hiring a six-piece band or a 12-piece orchestra? Make sure you also note the instruments they’ll be playing.
  • The names of the particular musicians or DJ who will play at your reception, plus the names of their substitutes should there be an emergency.

  • Attire guidelines: If you have any special requirements for what the performers wear, be sure to note them.

  • A list of what will be played when. Also talk to them about some B-list songs to play should they need to fill time.

  • If you’re serious about your do-not-play list, include that in your contract and attach the list.

  • Amount of time you’ve booked them for.

  • How many breaks are needed and when they plan to break for dinner (remember to think about what you’ll do for music during these break times).

  • Fees and overtime rates. Write in a clause that ensures their flexibility should you need them to play longer (your dad missed the last dance song and now your mom wants just one more dance, for example).

  • Deposit and balance due dates.

  • Cancellation/refund policy.

-- The Knot

See More: Wedding Music + Dancing