There are lots of benefits to live entertainment at any event or celebration. As well as being talented musicians, band members are often great entertainers and have a great knack of encouraging people to take to their feet and let their hair down.
Live music provides a great atmosphere and is especially suited to large venues, such as Warley Park, which can cater for several hundred guests. The presence of a live band can also help to give weary day guests a second wind for partying post the wedding breakfast.
Hiring a live band usually tends to be more expensive than a DJ, however if you’re opting for an all-inclusive package at your reception venue, which includes a resident DJ, you won’t have to pay out for both types of entertainment as the disco will already form part of your deal.
Here are our ten top tips for hiring a live band for your wedding:
- There are hundreds of live bands in any one area so the first job is to draw up a shortlist. Recommendation is always a good way of sifting through the talent. The other way is to request a repertoire list and demo recordings – most bands usually upload these to their websites nowadays.
- Don’t be afraid to look outside your immediate county for wedding bands. Lots of live acts travel across the UK to perform so if you’ve got your heart set on a band, ask the question.
- It is always worth seeing a band play live before hiring them for your wedding. In this technically advanced age, it is possible to make anything sound good on a recording so make sure they’re as good as they seem by arranging to watch them play. If the band only performs at private functions, this is a good sign because they have enough work not to be on the pub and club circuit. Hearing them play might be more difficult so you might have to trust your instincts or someone else’s recommendation.
- Ask for a formal contract from your chosen band. Most professional bands will already do this to spell out exactly what is expected of them and you on your wedding day. Such a document helps to iron out any questions and will also detail your liability if you are to cancel prior to your event. Most bands request an initial deposit followed by cash or a cheque on the evening.
- Agree a play list in advance. Most bands will have a repertoire list but are often open to negotiation, especially if you have a favourite song.
- Discuss timings and agree a specific schedule. Most wedding bands play two 45-munite sets so work out when you would like the buffet to be served and when you would like the disco to play.
- Agree the attire your band will wear prior to booking. Most wedding bands will be dressed for the occasion (lounge suits or black tie) however to avoid any horrified surprised, make sure they know ripped jeans and offensive T-shirts are certainly not welcome!
- If you’re hiring a band as well as a DJ, work out which will play the first dance. Some couples prefer to have the original of ‘their song’ so opt for a DJ but both ways can work.
- Make sure the band has all your contact details if there’s a problem. It’s a good idea to call the lead band member at the beginning of the week to reconfirm everything, including venue directions if necessary.
- Some bands write in their refreshments/food requirements within the contract. Others leave it to your discretion. It’s always worth making sure they are fed and watered during the breaks to ensure you get the best performance!
I hope you found this article on ‘Ten top tips for choosing a live band for your wedding’ useful. It might seem scary to put your wedding entertainment into the hands of a live band but remember good wedding bands perform week in and week out and will be both reliable and professional.