FAQ

frequently asked questions

Bands

Our bands range from roughly $6000-$12,000 per event, depending on the group, 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. We recommend you ask as many questions as you can about a company’s tenure, policies, and ethics. 

Several factors determine band cost:

Band size. Larger groups (9-11 pieces) tend to be more costly than smaller groups (6-7 pieces).

Tenure. Recently formed bands are often priced more aggressively than bands that possess longer tenures.

Location. Cost is relative to your venue’s distance from Boston, MA. Sites exceeding 2 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 volume. We reduce our costs 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.

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

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

We 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
  • Sound System + Engineer
  • LED Lighting to illuminate the performance area
  • All Musical Equipment

We include a DJ from within the band throughout the entirety of the dinner/dance performance. We MC the evening, administering the formalities and timeline you devise.

Optional Services:

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

  • Fantasia Strings is one of the best String Ensembles in New England. Featuring classically trained artists, Fantasia performs everything from Bach to The Beatles.
  • Musicians from within the band you choose are a great ceremony option as well. We offer singles, duos, and vocalists.
  • PA System & Wireless Microphones for On-Site Ceremonies or Alternate Locations. This is used to amplify voices and mp3 music
  • Our ‘a la carte cocktail musicians come from within the band you choose. These musicians perform upbeat jazz/swing music to create a lively atmosphere. We offer singles, duos, and trios.
  • Band Overtime: This refers to extending the full band performance beyond 4 hours. Cost varies per band (based on size).
  • DJ Overtime: This is a popular alternative to band overtime.
  • 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 Breaks:

We take two breaks during our performance. The first generally occurs while guests are enjoying the main course and lasts 20-25 minutes. The second usually takes place during the dancing portion of the evening and lasts 10-15 minutes. We DJ music during these breaks.

We believe this is the most important topic related to wedding bands. Turnover is frequent in 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 more exceptional talent. After 35+ 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 vocalist and provide video. If you are unhappy, we will refund your deposit, and you’ll be free to pursue any course you wish. The changes we undergo make our bands stronger. However, you should still have confidence you won’t be locked into a group if you’re unhappy with a change of vocalists.

Ultimately, what you’re really hiring is an experience, a brand, and the guarantee of a perfect party. This can be achieved with different personnel if necessary. It will help you make a more informed decision if you are emotionally prepared for the possibility of turnover.

One thing is for sure, we will help make your wedding unforgettable.

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.

We often perform under tents and have several requirements to ensure safety and uninterrupted service:

a) ARTIST requires a performance area 24 feet wide by 12 feet deep.

b) ARTIST is unable to perform directly on the exposed ground. Some form of staging or flooring is required.

c) Tent must have available side wall flaps to be bused in the event of rain.

d) ARTIST requires (3) three separate 20 amp circuits solely for their use. These circuits must be located within fifty feet of ARTIST.

e) ARTIST equipment is on wheels. ARTIST requires close access or paved access to the performance location, or a $500 cartage fee will be applied.

Note:

The 24×12 footprint is an approximate size. The cartage fee can be avoided if the equipment vehicle can directly access the tent i.e., backing our vehicle up to the tent) or if paved access exists between the equipment vehicle and tent. We reference this subject because all our equipment is on wheels and cannot roll over grass, dirt, or exposed ground.

We often say that “vendor meals are to the band industry, what tipping is to the service industry”. While it is customary to provide vendor meals, we do not require gratuity.

Those who feel we have gone above and beyond and elect to tip, generally do so in the $25-$50 per member range.

Choosing & Reserving a Band

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

It’s easy to be overwhelmed at first, or struggle to understand the criteria on which to make a band decision. Choosing a band is like anything else in life; If it feels right, it probably is. Conversely, if you aren’t feeling it, it’s probably not the right fit. Go with your gut. But also follow through with the steps below:

Request Availability, as it isn’t worth reviewing bands 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, The Knot and Google Places offer instant and easy access to verified band reviews.

Google Search. You’d be surprised how much you’ll learn after a few simple google searches.

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.

View Song-lists, 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 alongside ensembles every weekend. They may be able to offer valuable insight.

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 begins with the written or verbal indication you want to move forward.

If the band you wish to reserve remains available, we take them “off the books” immediately, so no one else can book them. We’ll email paperwork to you outlining the details of the event such as date, time, venue, etc. Many of these details can be fine-tuned at a later time as well.

First Payment:

We ask that you sign & return with the first Payment of 50% payment within 5 days (first payments can be made by personal check, Visa, or Mastercard only).

Final Payment:

Final Payment is due 14 days before the event. This may be paid by check only and mailed to our offices. We’ll reach out with a friendly reminder in the days leading up to this due-date. We’re unable to accept final payments on-site at the event or accept credit cards for the Final Payment. Thank you for your understanding.

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

When is the best time to hire a band? As soon as you feel comfortable!

Request Availability ASAP:

Every month we are forced to inform someone that we’re sold out for their date. It’s the least fun part of our job. Most people feel dismayed and react with shock. We’ve often heard “but all the books say to begin 9 months out!“.

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 advise our clients not to move forward until they’re comfortable, but to try and get comfortable as soon as possible!

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.

Experience 

35 Years | 25,000+ Successful Events | Five-Star Rating | Family Owned & Operated

The above is documented proof of pedigree. Search Wilson Stevens on Google, and you’ll find 1,000+ Five-Star testimonials and an A+ Rating by The Better Business Bureau. These credentials underscore the promise that you end up nothing short of thrilled when you choose Wilson Stevens.

Support 

Most people assume an entertainment company is a middle-man. That’s true for most of our industry, but not WS…

We don’t “represent” the bands; we are the bands. We build our groups from the ground up, using only the top talent in The Northeast. You work directly with our personnel throughout all steps of the process. The resulting support and oversight equal total peace of mind.

Ethics 

Policies and Contracts aren’t flashy, but if 2020 taught us anything, a company’s ethics matter as much as their music.

How did you handle couples’ bookings throughout Covid-19?

We crafted the fairest and most transparent policy in the industry. When other companies stuck with non-refundable deposits, cost increases, and transfer fees, we rescheduled 300+ weddings with zero cost to our clientele; no strings attached. We also refunded over $1,000,000 in deposits to over 200+ families who were forced to cancel their wedding.

– Read what real clients said about us HERE.

– Learn about the Covid policy HERE.

It’s unlikely your wedding will be affected by a pandemic. But how a company treats people in the most challenging times matters.

If we cancel for personal reasons, is there any option for a refund?

Yes. So long as we re-book the band for your date, we’ll refund all but a small $295 administrative fee. Please know: many companies consider your deposit “earned income upon receipt,” with no option for a refund.

Do you have a Force Majeure or “Act of God” clause?

Absolutely. If our performance is rendered impossible by an Act of God, we’ll refund your deposit, minus our nominal fee. Force Majeure isn’t standard in the entertainment industry, but it should be.

My Event

The Song Selection Process is a compromise between two parties. We will lean towards your preferences but ask that you trust our ability to call songs that create the best party possible.

We perform a multi-generational mix of music to engage guests of all ages. But which specific songs we perform is determined by the following criteria:

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 and songs 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 play roughly 10-15 of your favorites.

You’ll choose all the music for your formal dances, and, we’ll also learn 2 new songs if needed (formal dances take priority).

If the above doesn’t sound like a good fit for you, that is ok! However, we should talk about it now and make sure we can meet your expectations. Lastly, we update our song lists 2-3 times a year as each group learns new music and incorporates emerging trends.

We came across a pithy blog on this very subject, HERE.

Our primary sound equipment will arrive approximately 3 hours prior to the start of your reception. Our artists will arrive 1 hour prior to their start time.

We work hand in hand with your venue. Upon arrival, we’ll do a final check of your timeline with the event coordinator. Throughout the evening, we sync our music with the service of food courses and formalities. While the flow of events is based on the timeline you have devised, we ultimately take cues directly from your venue or event planner.

Unless requested otherwise, our male musicians dress in suit/ties and female musicians in elegant evening dresses. Black Tie is available upon request as well!

Certainly. We have 2 options to help you extend the evening…

1) 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.

2) 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 both band overtime and DJ overtime, though it needs to begin with band overtime.

Unfortunately, we’re unable to make a recording upon request. The only way to produce a suitable recording would be to use a studio, which isn’t feasible. Thank you for your understanding.

Rest assured, our musicians are professionals and will do an excellent job of replicating any formal dance. 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 us on all details, including timeline, formalities, special songs, and more. One thing to remember: we must finalize all entertainment related details no later than 14 days prior to your event to ensure adequate preparation.

Payment & Contract

Absolutely. We can always re-issue your paperwork with timing changes or the addition of services. The only limitation is all details must be finalized no later than 14 days prior to your event. But don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of time for event planning!

Our booking process begins with a written or verbal indication that you are ready to move forward. If the band you wish to reserve remains available, we take them “off the books” immediately, so no one else can book them. We’ll email paperwork to you outlining the details of the event such as date, time, venue, etc. Many of these details can be fine-tuned at a later time as well.

First Payment:

We ask that you sign & return with the first Payment of 50% payment within 5 days (first payments can be made by personal check, Visa, or Mastercard only).

Final Payment:

Final Payment is due 14 days before the event. This may be paid by check only and mailed to our offices. We’ll reach out with a friendly reminder in the days leading up to this due-date. We’re unable to accept final payments on-site at the event or accept credit cards for the Final Payment. Thank you for your understanding.

Many venues won’t allow a vendor through the door without advance proof of Liability Insurance. We are fully insured and routinely provide General Liability Insurance Certificates upon request (up to $2,000,000).

If you are forced to cancel at any time before the event, we take the following actions:

1) Issue notice of cancellation

2) Aggressively pursue any opportunities for a re-booking of the canceled date

If we can re-book the band for the canceled date, we will refund your first payment (minus a $295 administrative fee).

If we are unable to re-book the band for the canceled date, we retain your first payment as damages for the loss of work. It is the musicians themselves that receive this partial income.

We have a great incentive to re-book a canceled date because A) we want to work and B) we take no pleasure in retaining first payments. However, we are almost entirely at the mercy of the call volume we receive post-cancellation. The closer to the date you cancel, the fewer opportunities we will have. Most people search for entertainment 10 months – 2 years in advance of their celebration.

Lastly, we also have a “Force Majeure” clause, under which our agreement would become null and void, and the first payment returned. This protects both parties if performance is rendered impossible by “acts of God,”; defined as worldwide pandemics, extreme weather conditions, including but not limited to blizzards, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes; as well as man-made disasters such as acts of terrorism and war; and unforeseen government regulations or restrictions. 

Load More

We’d love to hear from you. Give us a call at 978.256.0360 or email us. e-mail us Wilson Stevens Productions
Copyright © 2021 Wilson Stevens Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
71 Commercial Street, #167, Boston, MA 02109 | Website Design by Verse Media
Bostons Best Winner Weddingwire Couples Choice Style Me Pretty Little Black Book Member The Knot Best of Weddings Boston Music Awards Winner