Caught up in the chaos of wedding planning, it’s all too easy to forget some essentials in the run-up to the big day. And with flowers, dresses, and cakes to consider, you might forget that hiring live wedding bands can come with its own complexities. Have no fear though, just don’t forget these 10 considerations, and your wedding entertainment will be sensational AND stress-free.
1. Does your band offer a DJ service?
One thing that might not immediately spring to mind when booking live wedding entertainment is that there will be intervals between sets. Typically, bands play two 60 or three 40 minute sets, and you’ll need to plug the gaps between if you want to avoid awkward silences and a jolting end to an electric live performance. Finding a separate DJ is one idea, but a simpler alternative is booking a band which provides their own DJ playlist to switch on when they’re not on stage – some even offer a manned service so that guest requests are still an option. Just remember to ask whether this add-on will cost you extra!
2. Will your wedding band learn your first dance?
Is there anything more special than your first dance as a married couple? Arguably it’s one of the most important things to consider before your wedding day, and for a delicately personal touch many wedding bands will learn your chosen song for the big moment. However, as they’ll need time to learn it and rehearse it to perfection, it’s important that you think about which song you’ll request well in advance. Again, it’s also worth checking if this feature is offered as standard or if they’ll be charging an extra fee.
3. Don’t rush into hiring a wedding band
It’s tempting to begin your search for a wedding band, find one you like in the first ten minutes, and let yourself become convinced that this is the only band for you. But take a moment to pause and ask yourself if that’s really the case. By jumping for the first one you see, are you potentially missing out on an even better fit for you and your wedding? A top tip on this front is to peruse some entertainment agency websites – they’ll provide the essential information and will note the biggest perks of each act, as well as including photos, videos and sample songs so that you can have a flavour of their performance before the big day. Once you’ve taken the time to compare and contrast, there won’t be any pangs of doubt about your choice when the day is just around the corner.
4. Book through a wedding entertainment agency
Speaking of entertainment agencies, it’s definitely worth considering hiring your wedding band through a trusted agency. Booking your chosen band can feel like a huge investment, so a guarantee that they’re going to be as good as they seem is priceless, along with the assurance that you’re covered should disaster strike. Wedding planning can also be hugely time-consuming and stressful even for the most laid-back of fiancés, so cutting the work and letting them find you the perfect band (or a replacement should yours become unavailable) can serve as a huge source of relief. Just make sure that you check that the agency delivers on the service it says it will – client testimonials, social media reviews, and unbiased review sites like Trustpilot are key.
5. Remember your guests
Another thing to remember when looking for your perfect band is that not everyone shares the same music tastes. You might have been enchanted by the look of a quirky gypsy jazz group or a high-energy metal band, but it’s worth considering that they won’t warrant a heaving dance-floor by the end of the night. Still, don’t fret – there are loads of diverse acts out there who will play guaranteed floor-fillers in their own signature style, so you won’t need to sacrifice personal tastes to ensure that everyone’s happy. Take a look at your favoured band’s setlist for an indication of whether they’ll be able to excite even the most discerning guests, and to attract a crowd both young and old.
6. What about the noise?
Unfortunately, not all acts are perfectly suited for all venues, with the latter sometimes setting a decibel limit that your band won’t be able to exceed. It’s up to you to let your band know in advance that this restriction is in place, mainly so that they arrive on the day with the right kit in place. Some venues don’t provide opportunity for any amplification at all, so you’ll need to establish this before perusing acts which focus on providing a massive production.
7. Is there a sound limiter?
On the subject of sound, it’s important to check whether or not your venue has a sound limiter. This piece of equipment measures the decibel level, and can cut the band’s power if they go over it. So to avoid live entertainment disaster, make sure you let your wedding band know not only that the venue has one, but additionally what the maximum decibel level is and if their power will be cut if they go beyond it.
8. Plan the day beginning-to-end
Something which is also easily forgotten is the amount of downtime before the evening’s entertainment. But wedding music’s not just for the dance-floor – it could add some magic to you or your partner’s walk down the aisle, and can be crucial in achieving the ideal atmosphere for your drinks reception. By padding the day with live entertainment, you can make sure that there aren’t any dips in energy or enjoyment – and the entertainment doesn’t need to be a band! Why not consider a hilarious magician to mingle with your guests, or some jaw-dropping flash mob dancers to ramp up the energy?
9. Does the venue have any general restrictions?
We mentioned sound limitations earlier, but unfortunately this isn’t the only limitation your venue could pose. For example, it’s possible that yours might not have much space in which the band can set up, or that it has a curfew for music or insufficient parking for band members. Thankfully this is easily overcome as long as you let your band know about the issues in advance – just don’t leave it to the whirlwind day itself to come up with solutions!
10. Have you told the entertainment agency your budget?
And finally – money! It’s not the most enjoyable thing to remind yourself of, but obviously it’s an essential thing to remember. By being honest and open about your budget with your agency, you can ensure that they secure the most suitable entertainment for you. And while you might be hopeful that the stunningly high-production band you’ve fallen in love with can come at a lower price, just remember that (especially during ‘wedding season’) busy bands have little reason to reduce their prices. This is where an agency can also come in handy, as they’ll know all the best alternative acts at a more realistic premium, or even whether the band comes in another line-up at a lower price.
So there you have it – don’t forget these top 10 tips and your day will flow like a dream!