"Let's Talk" - Bill Sargent

Part 6: Booking Entertainment – Things To Consider When Booking Your Band Or DJ

Things to consider when you are in the process of seeking and booking entertainment for your wedding or special event:

Alcohol & Drinking – For many bands and DJs, this is a part-time, “let’s make some extra money and have fun”, weekend event.  At the very least, you may wish to limit access to alcohol. Remember, this is supposed to be your party, not theirs.

Top professionals are ones who have reputations for professional behavior.

Meals for the Band – Bands should not require meals from their clients. They are there to work, to provide music and entertainment; not be part of the party.

There may be an occasional exception to that. If the band is traveling a distance, or if someone with the band has been on location for many hours, due to an early setup or early music, then it would be a nice gesture to offer them a meal so they don’t have to leave the venue to eat.

Setup Times – Bands and DJs should be set up before the guests enter the room. There is nothing tackier than a band or DJ setting up during dinner. A good band will set up their main setup before guests arrive so when it comes time to perform the individual musicians are only entering with their individual instruments.

Apparel – A classy, elegant wedding deserves a classy, elegant looking band. Make sure your band isn’t going to show up in blue jeans, casual clothes or cheesy-looking outfits. Tuxedos or suits are best. Creating the proper image adds to the atmosphere and the entertainment value.

All four of the above should be addressed when booking entertainment for your event.


Booking Entertainment


Be very wary of hiring a band who invites you to someone else’s wedding reception to see them perform. They will do the same to you.

I had a woman ask me to see my band at an upcoming wedding. She told me she would be no bother, that it would just be her, her daughter, and her future son-in-law at the back of the room. I told her I could not disclose that information; that all of my client’s private engagements are confidential information. I pointed out that if I were to allow her to do that, and I allowed my other clients to do the same, based on the number of calls I get per week, she could expect me to have about 30 uninvited guests in the back of the room at her wedding.

You can count on that band who invited you to someone else’s wedding doing the same to you at your wedding.

If you are invited to view a band or DJ while in the process of booking entertainment, I suggest doing so at an event that is similar in nature to what you have planned.

A note about our videos and viewing my band:

The vast majority of the events I perform for are private. I respect my client’s privacy. The date, time, and location of your event is never disclosed to anyone.

It may be some time before an upcoming public performance. My band is a unique offering and there is only one of me. It is possible that your date may not be booked for some time; it is also possible that I could be booked with the very next phone call. That is why I provide such extensive video demos, so you can actually see us perform LIVE at these events. You can do it instantly, today, not weeks down the road; and, you can do it in the comfort of your own home!

All our videos and audios are from live performances. Our videos are the real deal. Nothing has been “staged” for the purpose of the videos, nor has anything been “doctored” or altered to make things perfect. What you see is exactly the way we are.

Often, you’ll hear a large amount of audience chatter and conversation. That is because people can carry on a conversation in the same room with my band playing.

In Summary

I have given you my best, most sincere advice. If you choose another band or DJ for your entertainment and the experience was better because of something you learned here, then I have served my purpose. If you think that I may be a good fit for your special day, then I would be honored to have an opportunity to serve you and make your guests happy.

In our hi-tech world, people have become accustomed to texting and email for all interactions. However, a phone call or a face-to-face is still the very best way to conduct business. It offers the highest level of personalized customer service possible. After all, you deserve only the best!


If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 414-777-0100

Keep Swingin’!
Bill Sargent
Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA


This is Part 6 in a series entitled, “The Biggest Mistakes a Bride Makes When Purchasing Music and Entertainment For Their Wedding” by Bill Sargent

Read the whole series:

1: A Band Or A DJ – Which To Choose? Choose Wisely!

2: Wedding Professionals – Hiring The Right One While Avoiding An Amateur

3: Entertainment Agency – Should I Use One Or Do It Myself?

4: Wrong Reasons for Choosing a Band or DJ

5: Mistakes and Problems – How to Avoid Them when Hiring Entertainment


©Bill Sargent. All rights reserved.

"Let's Talk" - Bill Sargent

My First Blog Entry

Why? My first blog entry

Because I think I can contribute and help some people. Over the years, having played with a whole bunch of famous people, having the most successful band business in the history of the state of Wisconsin, and having done more weddings than anyone alive, . . . pardon the pun, but I’ve learned a thing or two because I’ve seen a thing or two.

Hopefully my writing skills, although not my area of expertise, will be adequate to communicate some ideas, some concepts, and some principles that will improve some of your experiences in life, whether that be your wedding, a corporate event, or some totally unrelated area of everyday life.

SECOND WHY – Why do I do this music thing?

Because I need to. It’s as simple as that. Deep inside, I have an insatiable need to be creative and to make people happy. I didn’t learn it, didn’t ask for it, didn’t go to school for it; I was born with it. It’s the way I’m wired; the way God made me.

Along the way, I realized that I was also given the gift of vision and I learned to be totally dissatisfied with mediocrity. Today, the pursuit of excellence is everything. It’s not about competing with others, it’s about competing with myself; to be better each day than the day before. Without that, life gets totally boring; at least for me.

How do I satisfy all these urges and traits in music?

  • Play only the best music possible. There are a gazillion songs from which to choose. Life is way to short to be playing mediocre songs.
  • Play with the very best musicians possible. It is not satisfying to have to struggle with anything less. I always want to be the worst musician on the stage. That’s how I stay challenged and how I grow.
  • Perform for people who place a value on excellent music. The days of my performing to inebriated, drugged out people are waaaaaay behind me. It’s a two-way street – I give people my very best to make them happy and give them enjoyment and memories, and they appreciate the gift, the talent, and the years of learning and effort that went into making all that happen. That creates mutual happiness and satisfaction. My mission is then fulfilled, and it propels me ahead; I have served my purpose.

What’s in this for me?

The hope is that I may help you in some way with this blog.

I will begin with a series of posts dealing with THE BIGGEST MISTAKES BRIDES MAKE when choosing and purchasing music/entertainment for their wedding. DO NOT TUNE OUT if you don’t have a wedding in your future. The wisdom and knowledge I will be putting forth will apply to virtually ANY EVENT for which you will be needing music/entertainment.

If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to call me at 414-777-0100.

Until the next time, strive for excellence and keep swingin’!

Bill Sargent
Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA

©Bill Sargent. All rights reserved.