How to choose the right band for your wedding day

For many, music is a hugely important part of life. It forms the basis of our favourite memories, creates the mood for many occasions and evokes passion and emotion in a way very few other things do. Music has played a huge role throughout history when bringing humans together, from hunting and working songs to social events and celebrations, and that’s why it’s one of the top things on many newly engaged couples put on their list when the wedding planning starts!

Music and weddings in many ways go hand in hand. From the moment the guests begin to arrive music starts to play a part in their memories of the big day. The song the bride walks down the aisle to, the first dance, the song that ends the night… they’re all moments you and your guests will cherish forever, so you want the music to be good.

But how do you choose the right wedding band for your entertainment? Unless you’re an event planner or a music promoter it’s unlikely you’ve had to hire a wedding band before, and that can make it a daunting task.

To make it a little easier for you we’ve put together our 5 top tips on choosing the right wedding band for your wedding entertainment that will keep your dance floor full and make your day memorable.

1. Do your research

When choosing your wedding band research is important as you’re not going to want the first time you hear them play their music to be on your big day! The internet will likely be your first port of call – search for wedding bands or wedding entertainment and see what comes up near you.

Most bands will now have samples of their music online check sites like YouTube for videos of them playing, listen to demos available on their site, or search for more information on the specific band you’re interested in and see what videos come up.

Live performances are not always the same as a recording though, so if you can then you should definitely go and check out the bands on your shortlist live. Many will run sessions or gigs where you can come along and see them play, or others may be able to get you the opportunity to attend a small part of a wedding they are playing at so you can see what they’re like live.

Given a wedding band is generally quite a big portion of your wedding budget, doing your research and knowing that you will be happy on the day with your choice is so important. 

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2. Look for recommendations

Ask friends and family about the weddings they’ve been at recently and what they thought of the bands that played. This might give you a great place to start your research.

Likewise once you’ve narrowed down your search looking for reviews and recommendations of the wedding bands you’re considering is always a good idea. This impartial feedback will allow you to get a feel for what the band are like and how previous customers have found their entertainment to be.

3. Work out what type of music you want

Although it sounds obvious take some time to have a clear idea of the type of music that you want. Do you want a band that plays popular music or jazz? Do you want a ceilidh or a DJ? Once you have a clearer idea on this it will be easier to search for the type of music that you’re looking for.

It will also help a band understand if they’re right for you, because if you like a band, but they don’t play any of your favourite songs then hiring that band might not work.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices ask for a set list so you can be sure that you will get what you’re looking for from the band. Many will let you ask for specific song requests, but sometimes this can cost a bit more because it takes time to rehearse and arrange a new song.

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4. Set your budget

The budget available is always going to be a consideration when picking a wedding band. Before you begin to look set out an idea of the maximum budget that you’re willing to spend. This is important for 2 reasons; firstly to ensure that when you’re searching for bands you only consider those within your budget, and secondly so you can effectively negotiate with bands that do make your shortlist.

Being upfront about your budget with wedding bands is good as it allows them to accurately quote for what they could do within that price range. Different bands will quote their price differently. Many will offer a fixed price for a fixed offering e.g. 3×45 minute sessions for £x with anything additional being added on. Others will create a tailored quote that builds up depending on what you’re looking for.

Some bands will also expect food/drink, travel costs or accommodation to be included which are all further costs that could impact your wedding budget, so be sure to ask these questions when getting a quote so you can ensure you’re getting value for money.

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5. Logistics

Unfortunately as with most things in life logistics will have to play a part in your band choice. Where your wedding is in comparison to the wedding band you’d like, the size of your venue versus the number of people in the band and the amount of the equipment they have will all come in to play in your choice at some point.

Larger bands can usually play a wider range of music or offer more flexibility in terms of repertoire, but they will take up more space (both their equipment and them!) meaning the overall size of your dance floor could be reduced. Quite often larger bands will cost more too, however the repertoire you’re looking for and size of the venue will likely be the biggest things to think about.

The other logistical thing to consider is the location of your preferred band in comparison to your wedding venue. Most bands will travel to wherever you want them to, but many will charge travel expenses and if overnight accommodation is required then you will need to provide/pay for this too. This means that when you’re choosing your wedding band, if you live in Scotland then you might be better searching for wedding bands in Scotland rather than ending up sourcing your perfect band only to find they’re in London and logistically it won’t work!

Music will play a really important part of your wedding day and is something that you should consider carefully. Hopefully these tips on choosing the right wedding band have been useful for you.

If there’s anything that we can help you with then just get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer your questions so you can be sure your wedding band is right for you.

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