It’s a tough question, one we get asked a lot. How to choose your wedding band.
Let’s turn to Google for some help. Rather unhelpfully, Google churns out About 98,300,000 results (in just 0.46 seconds, might I add) for the term ‘wedding band‘. Needless to say, choosing a band can be a bit of a mind field. (not to mention the US term for wedding ring is ‘wedding band’).
We’ve thought of some things which may come in helpful to help you decide and find the right band.
This should be the first port of call to ask about music. Restrictions at the venue may actually dictate the size and type of band you are able to have on your wedding night. It’s good to ask these questions early on before setting your heart on a band who may not be able to perform at the venue.
Some good questions to ask your venue:
– Do you have a limiter? We’ve written a separate blog post all about sound limiters, a necessary evil it would seem.
– Are there any sound restrictions? (some venues specify the use of electric drum kit, which can take away from that ‘live band‘ feel)
– What size band can I fit in my venue? Actual floor/stage space may dictate a 3, 4 or 5 piece band or even a solo singer.
– Is there room for a van to park? Bands will often arrive in a vehicle larger than a car, so it’s essential they can park/access the venue.
– Any loading in restrictions (some venues do request that no equipment is wheeled across the floors!)
– Ceremony Outside? An acoustic band may be better than an electric one, as rain an electrics don’t mix well.
It’s a good idea to pay attention to the acoustics in your venue. Try clapping in the room you want your band to play in, does it echo? More echo can be problematic for a live electric band, but good for an acoustic band. Carpets, curtains and cloth are all really good sound absorbers and can help with the acoustics for an electric band. None of the above are deal breakers, but its good to know a little bit about sound.
The above will hopefully start to point you in the right direction to start your search for the right band for you.
No restrictions at the venue? That’s fab!
So let’s look at other factors are good to consider when choosing a band.
It’s a good idea to get together with your partner and talk music early on. Do you want a heavy metal band? Some country music perhaps? Something with a theme? Or a band in costume? A DJ? A string quartet maybe floats your boat? A solo singer? A pianist? Maybe an acoustic band? A 60s band? A Motown band? The choice is literally yours. thats the beauty of getting married – you get to pick!
Some good questions to ask each other:
– Would we prefer a female vocalist or band with male lead vocalist?
– Do we prefer a type of genre over other genres?
– Have we seen a band we know and like?
– What time of day will we be having the music?
– Is what they wear important to us?
– Do we prefer songs we know or would we prefer an originals band?
– Would we prefer backgroundy type music or the music as the focal point for our evening?
Maybe you’ve never really thought about music, often this will be the first time you’ve booked a band. Ask your friends and family for advice. A good all rounder band, with a large repertoire might be just what you need, as there’s usually something for everyone.
Narrowing down your ideas can help with your search. For example, searching for ’60’s wedding band’ can narrow Google’s results down massively to around 1,350,000 results.
That’s still a lot though, lets have a look what else we can factor in.
Most bands travel, and travel far. We do a lot of work overseas and up and down the UK. When searching for a band, try narrowing you’re search (and saving on costs) by looking in area local to your wedding. This will help Google narrow down the search too. For example ‘60’s wedding band Wiltshire‘ gives about 49,300 results. Now half a 50 thousands still seems like a lot, but it’s a lot less than the 98,300,000 results we had to begin with!
Obvious, I know, but if you’re wanting a 17 piece rat pack band, you’re going to have to budget for this. The larger the band, the greater the cost. Above is a 50 piece ‘Oompah band”
When booking a band, you can expect to pay anywhere between £700 – £2,500. The difference in price depends on several factors:
– Size of band
– Date/day of your wedding
When it comes to music, you do generally get what you pay for. Have a look at our equipment list to check out what we bring to our performances. We have a lot of high spec equipment which creates a very full sound which you can only really ‘feel’.
If you live in Scotland and are booking a band from the South West, you will expect to pay quite a bit more to cover expenses of fuel costs and accommodation.
Some bands are more hobbyists looking to make some extra bit of dosh at the weekends, whereas other bands are full time musicians who do this everyday. This will be reflected in cost, equipment, experience and repertoire. Full time bands are likely to get back to you quickly, be able to meet you before the day and offer a full and professional service throughout booking. The choice really is up to you.
As soon as you contact any band for a quote you should expect the following:
– Documents – Public liability and PAT testing documents should be provided no problem!
They should issue you with a contract, with terms and conditions and an invoice for any deposits. You may want to reconsider booking a band who fails to issue a contract.
Number of Guests
This can actually play a large role in the type of band you decide to go with. A 400 person wedding will require a band with a PA large enough to cater to a big audience. Generally less expensive bands will have smaller PA’s. If you’re having around 100 guests, most bands will be able to cater for this no problem. If you’re having a larger bash, you may want to mention this when contacting a band as they may need to hire in some extra equipment (for an extra fee).
A note about Google
Google works hard to try and sort results in an order reflective of what’s relevant to your search. Companies can, and do work hard to ensure they are the ‘top of the list’. As a general rule, this is a good indicator for bands who are busy, posting news on their website, making regular updates and having lots of visits to their website, and who know their way around SEO. That’s great for those companies who know their online marketing, bad news for those who don’t. This can mean pretty awesome bands get overlooked as they’re on page 29 of the list! Sometimes, just for fun, I’ll click on page 8 or 10 or 22 of the results to see what comes up; there may be a hidden gem at the bottom of the pile!
Agencies are likely to rank highly on top of the Google lists. They can have a lot of choice for bands and can be helpful in helping you find what you want, but we’d always suggest booking a band directly if you want a more personal experience.
Found Your Band?
Check out their website, now it’s important here not to judge a book by its cover, we are musicians after all, not necessarily web designers. But the website should be up to date & relevant with testimonials, demos and a few photos. Something not there? Email the band and ask them for it!
We’d suggest contacting one or two bands to get a feel for them, asking for a price and whats included.
Booked? What to ask your band:
(Above photo of Dan & Kelly, by Your Digital Memories)
– What time will you arrive on my wedding day?
– What time do you finish?
– Do you have a DJ in between your sets?
– Can you play my first dance?
– Do you need food/drinks?
– Can we meet you before the day?
Hope the above is helpful in finding the right band for your wedding,
If you have any questions or need some advice about booking a band, get in touch with us any time.
Lots of love,