First off, congratulations on your engagement! We are happy to see that you have come this far, and may be considering booking West Grand Boulevard to be a part of your big day. We play dozens of weddings each year, and look forward to each and every one! After working with many different clients, we have compiled this list of frequently asked questions for weddings. We hope that it will be useful to you. Please do not hesitate to ask for any clarification on this information, or for any questions that we may not have covered.
What do you charge for weddings?
Due to many factors, our rates must be calculated on a case by case basis. Please fill out our quote request form so that we can respond with a custom quote based on your details.
As you will see on the form, some factors relevant in wedding pricing include: date, time, location, venue, guest count, total number of hours of music requested, type of music needed (dance, dinner, cocktails, ceremony, etc.), number of hours between requested load in and load out time, among others. If you have a strict budget, please let us know as we will do our absolute best to work within any reasonable budget.
Can you at least give me a rough price range right now?
Sure! But first, let’s look at what is involved on our end. It’s not quite as simple as “playing for 2 or 3 hours”. We are a 7-8 piece band, so anything that you offer is instantly cut in 7-8 pieces. On the wedding day alone, band members generally work for well over 12 hours, when you factor in equipment load up at our homes, travel time, and the time frame between typical arrival and departure times. Prior to wedding day, approximately 1-2 rehearsals of 3+ hours are scheduled in preparation of the wedding. We also provide professional level sound equipment, in addition to decades of experience as professional musicians.
Now, with that said, here’s your rough range: most weddings fall somewhere around $2,500 to $5,000.
What makes the price go up?
– Travel/Lodging costs (Keep in mind, we’re based in Oakland, CA)
– Renting our sound equipment for the ceremony (includes wireless lavilier mics & speakers, usually $150-200)
– Live Music for the Ceremony (includes special requests for bridal party entrance, bride entrance & couple’s exit, usually an extra $300-400)
– Live Music for Cocktail Hour and/or Dinner (usually an extra $200-$400)
– Miscellaneous Special Request Songs (besides your special dance songs)
How does booking a wedding band work?
Oh, it’s not so complicated. To confirm the date, we’ll need to sign a contract (which we can provide via email) that will lock down the price and rough event timing. You don’t need all the exact details just yet, just a general notion of the event start/end time, how many hours of music you’d like, and what parts of event West Grand Boulevard will provide music for – more on this in the questions below. We ask for a minimum deposit of 10%, or another amount of your choosing.
As the date approaches (generally 4-6 weeks in advance of the event, at the latest), we will need to confirm any pending details of the event timeline and song requests for special dances (like First Dance, Father/Daughter, Mother/Son), as well as any “Do Not Play” requests from the band’s current song list.
Generally, your wedding day will look something like this for the band:
The band will load-in & setup our equipment during an agreed-upon time frame that will be as close to the performance start time as possible, however also determined based on avoiding any potential interruptions to the ceremony, cocktails or any other important portions of the wedding. Sometimes we can set up during the ceremony, while other times we need to be completely done before guests arrive for the ceremony. It all depends on your venue!
Most frequently, West Grand Boulevard is hired for post-dinner dance music only, which usually begins with the Bride & Groom’s First Dance, followed by any other special dances (Mother/Son, Father/Daughter) before opening up the dance floor to the guests. Open dancing generally ends up being a block of 2-3 hours, split up between 2-3 sets of music. Each set is typically 45-80 minutes long, (maximum 90 minutes), followed by no less than a 15 minute break before any additional sets. Our sets may be any length shorter than 90 minuets in order to accommodate any breaks in your event timeline, such as speeches, cake-cutting, garter/bouquet toss, or any other planned or unplanned special moments.
If you would like West Grand Boulevard to provide music for your ceremony, dinner or cocktail hour, please indicate this on your quote request form, as your quote will otherwise NOT include these services. Additional fees will apply for any music performance outside of typical reception dance music set, whether it is requested in advance or after the signing of the contract.
We are not sure the venue is big enough. How much space & power do you need?
Although we have made some pretty tight spaces work, we ideally prefer a raised stage of 16′ x 12′. The minimum band performance area necessary is approximately 100-120 square feet, in any shape. We do not require a raised stage or a dance floor, although both are highly recommended. We absolutely need power outlets and/or a generator within 20′ of the playing area, separate from those used for lighting. We recommend 2 separate 15-20 amp circuits for the 2500-3000 watts the band setup uses. Venue photos and floor plans are always helpful, so please feel free to send them our way for further investigation.
What songs will you play?
Please see our current song list posted on this website. We are always happy to omit any songs from this list that you would not like to hear, if you submit a “Do Not Play” list to us in advance. We will be certain to include your favorites from the current song list, as long as you provide us with that information. Song requests outside of the current list will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We can work best to accommodate more general requests, such as a genre, artist, decade/time frame or mood rather than a specific song. The exception is your first dance or other special dance song requests. See below…
How does the first dance (and other special dances) song request work?
In most cases, as long as your song requests for the First Dance, Mother/Son, or Father/Daughter dances are possible for the bands’ instrumentation and/or vocal range, we are happy to accommodate. However, we need as much notice as possible for requests (minimum of 30 days for songs outside of our list), and we do reserve the right to decline song requests. In the event that you absolutely must have a certain song that is not possible for West Grand Boulevard to perform live, we are happy to play a recorded version for you to dance to at the wedding. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee to provide you a recorded version of the band performing your special dance songs prior to the wedding day.
Do you provide MC Services?
Yes! Basic MC duties are included in the price quote. This involves announcements such as: introducing the wedding party, directing guests to be seated, releasing tables for dinner/buffet, introducing persons speaking, directing attention for cake-cutting, etc. Our MC must be provided with notes on any name announcements as well as timing cues from a wedding planner or family member.
Can we borrow your PA for the ceremony?
We have a battery powered PA system with 2 wireless clip-on lavilier microphones available to rent for an additional fee. Please contact us for details.
What about using your microphone for speeches and announcements?
Yes! You may use the bands sound system for any speeches or announcements that happen in the same room/area as the band performs in for the reception. Generally this will be things like Best Man and Maid of Honor speeches. We have a wired microphone on stage, and we may also provide wireless microphones for speeches, upon request. However, wireless microphones are not always guaranteed, as sometimes our radio frequencies can be disturbed (depending on the wedding’s location, or even on a photographer that is using wireless/radio frequencies).
Do you provide lighting?
Nope, sorry. We deal with sound waves. Anything above 20k Hz is not our department!
What kind of hospitality does the band require?
It is the industry standard for meals to be provided for wedding vendors that work long hours on the day-of, such as bands & photographers. Our contract does require a meal for each band & crew member (usually a total of 7-8 people). We recommend that this meal be provided at the same time or before the guest’s meal, since typically we will start playing shortly after (or sometimes during) dinner. Please also consider where this meal will take place at the venue.
Is there anything else that we may need to know?
Please look over the contract carefully, as it may answer more of your questions (or perhaps raise some other questions). We are happy to assist in any way possible, so please do not hesitate to send any additional questions our way if we may not have addressed your concern in this FAQ.
Thanks for reading! Please email or call us with any additional questions. Thanks!