frequently asked questions


We always say this is the most important topic related to wedding bands. Turnover is a real part of our industry. Anyone who tells you otherwise is being disingenuous. Consider this subject with the following questions in mind:

“What happens if a lead vocalist has an emergency the night of my event? Or leaves the band?”

If there is an emergency that bars a lead vocalist from performing, we spare no expense to bring in a replacement of equal or greater talent. After 30+ years we have the most extensive network of performers in New England and beyond. We will have your back in the case of an emergency.

If a lead singer is permanently replaced, we notify you, introduce you to the new vocalist and invite you to a showcase to view the band. If you are unhappy after the viewing, we will refund your deposit, and you’ll be free to pursue any course you wish. While the changes we undergo make our bands stronger, you should still have confidence you won’t be locked into a group if you’re unhappy with a change of vocalists.

We suggest you go in with your eyes open. You are not buying a person or persons, but instead, an experience, a brand, the guarantee of an incredible party. This can be achieved with different personnel if necessary. If you are emotionally prepared for the possibility of turnover, it will help you make a more informed, less emotional decision as to whether you retain your band after turnover.

We kindly request that you provide the band with vendor meals. Your venue or caterer will offer these hot meals at a lower cost than your guests’ plates.

Contact us today to request availability.

We often say that “vendor meals are to the band industry, what tipping is to the service industry”. While it is customary to feed the band, our bands do not require gratuity. Clients who choose to tip generally do so in the $25-$50 per member range.

Contact us today to request availability.

We have a no drinking policy and our band members do not consume alcohol under any circumstances. Neither do they help themselves to any food other than the vendor meals that are served to them. It’s that simple.

Contact us today to request availability.

Unless otherwise requested, our male musicians dress in suit/ties and female musicians in elegant evening dresses. Attire for Black Tie events is also available, upon request. A recent client had this to say about one of our band’s attire:

The band looked great for the party. We had a “business casual” event, and the band’s attire fit the bill perfectly. They were well dressed without outshining any of the guests (ie, not wearing ball gowns or tuxes).

Mike and Elana, State Room

Contact us today to request availability.

Many venues won’t allow a vendor through the door without an Insurance Certificate. We are fully insured and routinely provide General Liability Insurance Certificates for our bands (up to $2,000,000).

Choosing & Reserving a Band

Our bands range in cost from roughly $6000-$12,000 per event, depending on the band, location, and date. People commonly compare one band to another based solely on cost. But it’s important to keep in mind not all bands or companies are created equal. While budget is important, we recommend you ask as many questions as you can about a band or company’s tenure, approach, style, ethics and policies.

Band cost is determined by several primary factors:

Band size. Larger groups (9-11 pieces) tend to be more costly than smaller groups (4-6 pieces).

Tenure. Recently formed bands may be priced more aggressively than bands who possess longer tenures.

Location. Our bands price themselves relative to your venue’s distance from Boston, MA. Locations approaching 2.5 hours from Boston may require overnight accommodations.

Event Date. The calendar year is separated into prime months and off-season months, each with varying costs. And within peak months (April to October), there are Fridays and some Sundays that yield lower call/inquiry volume. Many bands tend to discount for such dates.

Supply and Demand. This has more to do with a band’s cost than any other factor. The most requested ensembles, those who book 1-2 years in advance, will be the most costly.

Contact us today to request availability.

Hiring a band for your special event isn’t just about music and instruments. It’s an investment into life-long, priceless memories.

Our band pricing reflects a standard four hour, dinner/dance reception performance, to begin at the conclusion of your cocktail reception. We provide quotes specific to your location and event date. There is no tax associated with our costs.

Our bands are self-sufficient and provide all the necessary equipment to perform a dinner/dance reception, including:

  • MC Services
  • DJ Services
  • 2 New Songs of your choice
  • State of the Art Sound System + Engineer
  • LED Lighting to illuminate the performance area
  • All Musical Equipment

We include a DJ from within the band who is available throughout the entirety of the dinner/dance performance. We MC the evening, directing the flow of events based on a timeline you have devised. We’ll also learn 2 new songs, just for your event.

With any of our artists you receive the backing and support of New England’s most trusted entertainment company, with over 30 years and 20,000 events to our credit. Wilson Stevens is a second generation family business that is held in the highest regard by all New England’s top venues, event planners, and thousands of past clients.

Additional Services

While our paperwork and costs contain no hidden fees, there are a handful of additional services our bands can provide, such as:

  • Cocktail Music. Our most commonly used cocktail instrument is electric piano, though depending on your needs we can utilize additional musicians (a duo or trio). Cocktail musicians perform background jazz/swing and other music from the “Great American Songbook”.
  • On-Site Ceremony Music. Our most commonly used ceremony instrument is electric piano, but we can utilize additional musicians from the band as well. We will learn the special songs you require for your ceremony.
  • PA System & Wireless Microphone(s) for On-Site Ceremonies or Alternate Locations. Should you need a wireless microphone for your vows, readers, and/ or a lapel microphone for the officiant, our sound engineer can provide & monitor this service. The PA allows access to mp3 music, DJ’d by the sound engineer. This is also available if you want to support formalities in a location separate from the band.
  • Overtime. This refers to extending the full band performance beyond 4 hours. This is a service you can decide upon during your event. However, we suggest you contract Overtime ahead of time if possible, which allows the band to structure their performance accordingly. Cost varies per band based on size.
  • DJ Overtime, to keep your party going well into the night.
  • Architectural Uplighting, Pinspots & Concert Lighting

These services can be added at any time, and do not have to be decided upon when you book a band. One of our consultants will be happy to provide pricing on the above-listed services.

Band Break

We take two breaks during our performance. The first generally takes place while guests are consuming the main course and lasts 20-25 minutes, during which we DJ appropriate music. The second generally takes place during the dancing portion of the evening and lasts 10-15 minutes, during which we DJ high energy music to keep the dance floor packed.
The above is administered seamlessly. Our reviews underscore the success of this system.

We understand that choosing a band is very much a matter of taste. Our goal is to pair you and your family with a band that matches your personality, preferences and budget. Call us anytime, M-F, 9AM-5PM.

Often times people have been referred to bands or saw a particular group at a recent event. We’ve even taken calls from brides-to-be who were recommended a band while they sat at the salon. Whether you’ve received a referral or not, you should follow through with the steps below:

Request Availability, as it isn’t worth reviewing bands on-line who may not be available for your date!

Review Band Videos. Band videos help you gauge what you are drawn to, as well as what turns you off. Taste in music is very subjective and different people are drawn to very different things.

Read Reviews from Recent Events. Websites like weddingwire.com also offer instant and easy access to verified band reviews and info on many types of event professionals.

Read Blogs. Blogs can also be a helpful way to gain insight into the types of events at which bands have been performing. They also offer a peek into real events, where you might gain inspiration for ideas related to your own celebration.

Attend Live Showcases. We offer monthly events where you can sit down, have dinner and a drink, all while watching some of our most requested bands perform a range of their material.

View Song-lists, Biographies and Other Available Materials. The more data you review, the better informed you’ll be.

Talk to Your Other Vendors. These are the professionals who work along side ensembles every weekend. They may be able to offer valuable insight.

Contact us today to request availability.

We accept bookings on a first come, first serve basis. We are unable to offer “rights of first refusals” or “soft holds”. This is a policy put in place to protect your interests, because if we held bands for others, we couldn’t make them available to you!

Our booking procedure begin with the verbal indication you want to move forward. We then initiate the following steps:

1.) Determine if the artist is still open for your date. If so, we take them off the books, immediately, so no one else can book them.

2.) We email paperwork to you outlining the details of the event (date, time, venue, etc.). Many of these details can be fine-tuned at a later time as well. We ask that you look over the paperwork and sign & return with a 50% payment within 5 days (payments can be made by personal check, Visa or Mastercard). The remaining balance is payable to the artist on, or before your event date, by personal check, bank check, money order, or cash (the remaining balance cannot be paid by credit card).

3.) The band liaison’s name, number & address is in the paperwork so you can contact them directly regarding all musical questions.

And always know— we’re here to help throughout every stage of the process.

We are often asked about our cancellation policy. If you are forced to cancel for any reason, we are able to refund all but $250 of the deposit at the point at which we are able to re-book the band for your date. Otherwise, the deposit is retained by the band as damages.

Contact us today to request availability.

#1: Request Availability.
Recently, we were forced to inform a bride that we had no bands available for her wedding date. Dismayed, she replied that all the books she consulted suggested beginning the booking process nine months prior to her date.

While this can be true in some instances, roughly nine months is hardly the industry standard anymore—and generally, it isn’t nearly enough time. So when someone asks us “how far advance should we book our band,” the best advice we can give is always: “As soon as you are able.”

Other things to keep in mind: Peak season generally falls between April and October. So if you’re planning an event outside of those months you may have more flexibility with your timeline. And of course, there are always great bands that fall through the cracks for prime dates. We recently asked our Facebook fans how far in advance they booked their band and answers ranged from 7 to 23 months. We often advise our clients not to move forward until they’re comfortable, but to try and get comfortable as soon as possible!

#2: Don’t move forward under duress.
This should be a joyous process. And while we’re always working with multiple clients for the same date, there is always more than one band that can give you the party of a lifetime. So give yourself a break and try to enjoy this special time.

Contact us today to request availability.

We offer events where you can sit down, have a cocktail, all while watching some of our most requested bands perform a range of their material. Our showcases are free and simply require an RSVP to attend. These events take place in a low pressure, casual environment that we’ve created in response to our clients’ needs. Our bands perform exclusively at private events, so these showcases (and some public club events) are the only options for live viewing.

While people often ask if they can attend a private event to view a band, we have a policy that bars this practice. Most venues in which our bands perform have a very strict non-viewing policy as well. They perceive this as an insurance liability. But most important, we aren’t comfortable inviting strangers to our clients’ private affairs.

Unfortunately, showcases cannot accommodate everyone at all times. And while you should ideally be able to see bands you’re interested in, if you limit yourself to reviewing only those with upcoming viewing opportunities, your options become limited. The majority of our bookings are taken sight-unseen based on band videos, reviews, referrals and our reputation.

Contact us today to request availability.

My Event

It’s a compromise…

We’ll go to great lengths to understand your favorite music, so your event feels personalized. We also require you to trust our ability to read your crowd and call songs on the fly.

Your band will ask you to peruse their song list and star every song you like. This alone tells them so much about your preferences! They use this as a reference to include some of your picks. The exact number ranges anywhere from 10-20.

You’ll see many of our reviews mention the packed dance-floors. This occurred by letting us do what we do best. Our bands require substantial discretion in this area in order to create the best party possible.

You can read our policy on this subject in a streamlined form below. If the above doesn’t sound like a good fit for you, that is ok! However, we should talk about it to make sure we can meet your expectations.

Our bands’ song-lists are generally updated 2-3 times a year as new music is added each season. Song-lists are never truly up-to-date because each group is always learning new material and keeping up with emerging trends. Which specific songs we perform at any given event is based on 3 factors:

1) Popular music that will create an unforgettable party. We “read” your crowd and all the age groups in attendance, calling songs accordingly. 

2) General musical styles that fit into your personal preferences.

3) What we perform best; songs that help to make us who we are.

We don’t work with pre-determined setlists, but we will try to include many of your preferences & favorites. This in addition to you choosing all the material for your formal dances. Our artists require that you place trust in their ability to call songs throughout the party. And of course, you will choose all the material for your formal dances. We’ll also learn 2 new songs just for your event.
We came across a pithy blog on this very subject, HERE.

Our ensembles perform under tents often throughout each season. We have several requirements put in place to ensure safety as well as uninterrupted performances:

1) Band needs 12 x 20 foot flooring if there is no raised stage or platform. Band is unable to perform directly on the ground.

2) Performance area must be in a three sided tent with available side wall flaps in case of rain.

3) Band requires (3) three separate 20 amp circuits solely for their use. These circuits must be located within twenty-five feet of the bandstand.

4) All band equipment is on wheels. Band requires close road access or paved access to the area where they are required to set up, or a cartage fee will be applied to basic charge.

(The 12×20 foot print is an approximate size and the cartage fee can be avoided if the equipment vehicle can have direct access to the tent.)

Contact us today to request availability.

The band’s primary sound equipment will arrive approximately 3 hours prior to the start of your reception. Individual band members will arrive 1 hour prior to their start.

The band will work hand in hand with your venue. Upon arrival, the group does a final check of your timeline with the event coordinator. They also sync their music with the service of food courses and formalities. While the flow of events is based on the timeline you have devised, the band also takes cues directly from your venue or event planner.

Some venues have cocktail receptions which take place in the same location as the band. This may require the band’s equipment to be fully set up by the start of cocktails. We refer to this as an early set up. If this is the case, our bands can be set up 1 hour prior to the start of your dinner/dance reception at no additional cost.

Contact us today to request availability.

Certainly. We have several options to help you extend the evening…

Overtime refers to extending the full band performance beyond 4 hours. This is a service you can decide upon during your event. However, we suggest you contract Overtime ahead of time if possible, which allows the band to structure their performance accordingly.

We also have a popular alternative to overtime, where the band DJs music to keep your party rocking into the night. You can even use a combo of the both, though it needs to begin with band overtime.

Contact us today to request availability.

Unfortunately, we’re unable to make a recording upon request.

The only way to share a recording suitable for repetitive choreography practice would be to go into a recording studio. This isn’t feasible; thank you for your understanding.

Rest assured, our musicians are professionals and will do a great job of reproducing any song they are given. If you’re more comfortable knowing exactly how a song will sound, we can also DJ the original recording. This is especially common for choreographed dances.

We begin this process 3-4 months before your celebration. You’ll work directly with our liaison on all details, including timeline, formalities, special songs, and more. One thing to remember: we must finalize all your music choices no later than 14 days prior to your event to ensure adequate preparation.

Payment & Contract

Leading up to the event, your conversations with the band may spark the need for a time change or perhaps the addition of cocktails and/or ceremony musicians. If this is the case, let us know and we’ll re-issue your paperwork with the changes. Timing and additional services are never set in stone and can be updated at any point (ideally, no less than 30 days prior to the event).

Contact us today to request availability.

The total cost is the band’s compensation. We hold ½ of the total in a non-interest bearing business account, to be forwarded to the band the week before your event. You then complete the other ½ with your final payment, on or before the event date. Our clients do not incur any cost for our services. We are compensated by our bands.

We accept Visa, Mastercard and personal check for the first payment. The final payment is payable to the artist on, or before your event date, by bank check, money order, or cash (the remaining balance cannot be paid by credit card).

Final Payment is payable to the band only, and is due on or before the event date, by check only.

Contact us today to request availability.

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We’d love to hear from you. Give us a call at 978.256.0360 or email us. e-mail us Wilson Stevens Productions
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