Points for Your Wedding Reception Music Contract

Here's everything you need to know include on your band or DJ contract.
Wedding musician playing trumpet
Photo by Dave Robbins

Before you check off "finding your reception musicians" on your long list of to-dos, confirm everything with your bandleader or DJ. A contract is the key to ensuring that what you’re paying for will be delivered. This is your letter of agreement, so be sure it includes the following crucial points.

  • 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, include exactly how many musicians you've booked. For instance, if you're hiring a 6-piece band or a 12-piece orchestra, note that—plus 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 and they're unable to show up on your wedding day.
  • Attire guidelines: If you have any special requirements for what the performers should wear, put it in writing.
  • A list of what will be played when, if you have specifics wants for events like the first dance and the cake cutting. Also talk to them about some B-list songs to play should they need to fill time.
  • If you're serious about your must-play and do-not-play lists, include them in your contract and attach them.
  • 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.
  • Deposit and balance due dates.
  • Cancellation/refund policy.


Find DJs and bands in your area here.

Get a start to your "must-play" list with popular wedding songs here.

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