As future brides and grooms plough through a long list of to-dos ahead of the big day, inevitably one question comes to mind: what do we do about the music? While every wedding is beautifully unique and the event itself is the result of preferences and personalities, the options typically revolve around wedding music bands, DJs or as of recent years, music playlists. Of course, that is only the beginning of the planning process.
Following years of experience, our recommendation is to go for live wedding band entertainment, even if as just for a part of the evening, as it has several advantages – the most notable one being that nothing compares to listening to a good band live. As the process progresses, there are a couple of essentials to know, be aware of and address proactively.
Drinks reception, during dinner or the evening’s entertainment moment?
As the day unfolds, there are specifics moments one should consider the aspect of music. After the ceremony is over and the fun part of the day begins, making sure the drinks reception sets the right mood for what’s next. Whether this part takes place in a sophisticated or more casual location, whether it’s outdoors or indoors, as everyone’s enjoying a drink, some nibbles, and a chat, a band can handle the atmosphere. Picture a swing or blues band playing some of the classics or an acoustic trio doing heartfelt versions of your favorite songs of all time. If that’s not really a good fit, a string quartet can also be a feasible option.
Another important part of the evening is dinner. It may seem like a good idea to go for that chill Spotify playlist as everyone is enjoying their meals, why not take the opportunity to make it an experience for everyone? It is a special celebration after all. Background music bands are a thing and there are so many amazing ones to choose from, depending on taste.
Lastly, even if for the majority of the evening the music is handled on the turntable or coming from a music library, introducing a live music band as a surprise will give guests something to talk about for months and remember with joy. Again depending on preferences, a band can do covers in a broad range of styles, be a tribute band, can specialize in singalongs, and can even put on a truly unique show with their very own music. The possibilities are endless.
Equipment, space, and briefing the band
Before and after booking a band, everyone should have at least a mental checklist of what needs to be taken into consideration before committing to avoid any disappointment. Think space requirements before choosing a band. If the wedding is taking place in a restricted space, there is really no point in going for a big band. Be very greedy with space allocated for a stage if the dimensions are already making dancing a bit crowded and uncomfortable with the number of guests expected. Certainly, there’s always the option of going for a two-artists number. If possible, speak to the person managing the location and ask for advice and previous experiences, they’ll surely know what works and what doesn’t. Similarly, it’s worth speaking to the band as well, not only because they are positioned best to say how much space they would need to perform, but also because there are some cases where the band would have their own space requirements before accepting an offer.
As a rule of thumb, professional wedding music bands should be fully self-contained and own all needed equipment and instruments. Depending on the venue, sound equipment should also be available as needed.
After all these technicalities have been resolved, the last thing that remains is briefing the band – and it’s important to be very specific. Discuss styles, the wedding’s theme or motif, get involved in putting the set-list together, discuss willingness to learn new songs or taking requests on the day, participate in at least one band rehearsal before the day. It might seem puerile to inquire the practical details such as what happens if a band member gets sick or how many breaks will they take, if they require meals or if they could stay overtime if needed, it’s always best to be informed than to have to worry when there should only be a carefree celebration.