What Should You Do if the Band Gets Drunk?

Etiquette, Music
what to do if band gets drunk

Photo: Getty

Weddings are a great opportunity to let loose and have a few drinks with your nearest and dearest. But what if the people tossing them back aren't guests at all, but your wedding band? They're the only vendor that regularly has a clause in their contract or rider that allows them to have a few alcoholic beverages, and thankfully most of them know where to draw the line between "really getting rocking" and "forgetting the words." Here's our expert advice for handling a band that has had a few too many.

Most wedding planners will tell you they don't allow any vendors to drink, under any circumstances. Before you book a band, check with your wedding planner about their policy, as well as their past experience with a band. Does their rider allow them to drink, and your planner has never had a problem with them in over a decade? You should be totally fine. If it's a band your other vendors are unfamiliar with, you might want to talk to them about adjusting the rider.

Says Emily Campbell, founder and lead planner of Bella Design & Planning, "You can decline the clause in their rider that covers alcohol, or ask to amend the rider with a drink limit that makes it clear they're expected to say sober." You might limit it to two or three drinks each, or specify that they can have a couple beers but no hard liquor. After all, you're paying for their services, and while you love the rendition of "Love Shack" that's on their website, it might not be such a crowd-pleaser if they're all sloshed and can't keep tempo! "If they can't play well without getting drunk, then they're not the right band," adds Campbell.

See more: How to Choose Between a Live Band and a DJ

If it's mid-reception and they're already drunk, there's not much you can do — especially if their rider doesn't specify limits on how much they can drink. "A contract that gives a band full access to your bar means you don't have any recourse after the fact," Campbell explains. "But if you specified a limit or asked them to change the contract to say they won't drink at all but they still get drunk, then you can at least get some of your money back."

It's also a good argument for hiring professionals over talented friends. If your buddies are in a fantastic band, you might be tempted to ask them to play at your wedding — but how can you ask someone who'd be on your guest list not to raise a glass for every toast? Says Campbell, "Instead of asking your friends not to have a good time at your wedding, let them celebrate with you as guests instead, and leave the entertainment to the pros."

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