Updated: Jan 21
Choosing your wedding entertainment can be a tricky task… there are so many different factors to consider! Fortunately, help is at hand. In this blog, we at Last Minute Musicians offer our thoughts and top tips on how to book the perfect band for your wedding, in just 6 steps.
Step 1: Think about your venue
Chances are if you’re far enough down the line to be thinking about booking your entertainment, then you’ve already got an idea of a theme for your wedding and probably booked your venue. Both of these things are big factors to consider when choosing the music!
When it comes to picking the right music for your venue, it is mainly practical concerns that you have to think about – how big is your venue? Do they usually have live music? Do they have any noise restrictions? When you’re thinki
ng about space, the factors are obvious… If your venue is very small, perhaps a 12-piece soul band are not going to be the best choice!
Speak to your venue contact and make sure there is adequate space for a band, with power sockets nearby. Wherever possible, it’s also preferable to have a space for the band to get changed in and prepare for the show. When it comes to noise restrictions, there is a new (and worrying) trend appearing in UK wedding venues, and that’s the installation of Sound limiters (either voluntarily or imposed). When the volume reaches a certain level for a specific period of time, limiters will cut the power and plunge your wedding into awkward, silent darkness!
Top tip: If your venue has any strict noise limits, consider hiring an acoustic band or a solo singer who can manage their volume more effectively. Your contact at the venue should be able to answer any questions you have. The crucial things to ask them are what sort of bands they usually have, where the space is in the venue, and do they have any volume restrictions. Convey all this information to your contact in the band before booking.
Step 2: Come up with a budget
It’s a fairly simple step, but do come up with a realistic figure for how much you’d like to spend on entertainment. It may sound obvious, but your band isn’t an area in which you should be looking to skimp. Great live wedding bands can take your celebration to the next level and leave your wedding a talking point with your guests for years to come.
While there are many cheap and inexperienced bands around that will probably be prepared to play at your wedding, experienced professional musicians are always going to be better equipped to deal with any situations that may arise. Their value for money will always shine through in the performance they give and level of organization.
Top tip: On Lastminutemusicians.com, you can search the entertainment directory by price, making it easy to find the right act for your budget.
Step 3: Consider when you want live music during the day
There are many points during your wedding day when you might want to consider live music… it’s not just for your evening’s entertainment! Here are some classic choices for a music-filled wedding!
Nothing contributes more to an intimate atmosphere and romantic ceremony than the classic choices of a harpist, classical guitarist or string quartet to serenade you down the aisle!
If you’re looking to add some class to your drinks reception, having a swing singer performing your favourite Sinatra, Bublé and big band classics, or an (aptly named!) “cocktail” pianist can really add to that air of sophistication!
Why put on a CD over dinner when you can hire a live band! A Jazz band or acoustic rock/pop solo singer will offer a fantastic solution for music over dinner that will definitely get your guests talking!
This is the more traditional time for live music, and should have your guests partying long into the night! A standard wedding band will provide a great mix of rock and pop classics, both old and new, but If you’ve gone with the popular “wedfest” theme, then consider a foot-stompin’ Folk band to get your audience up and dancing!
Step 4: Do your research
Now comes the fun part! It’s time to get creative and find yourself a band that matches your budget, practicalities and theme. Remember, you can make enquiries to the band without committing – if you have any questions, they will usually be more than happy to help.
Reflecting your theme in your choice of music is something we could write an entire book on, but there are several big principles that you can stick to.
Firstly, do you want your wedding to be a formal, black-tie type event? Or do you prefer a more informal party atmosphere? Think about your choice of music in that context.
You should also take a moment to think about who is going to be there… You might love the idea of a Metallica tribute band, but your 89-year old Nan may not be such a fan!
When you have found a prospective band, take some time to read their biography, listen to audio samples and watch any promotional material that they might have. Reading a band’s testimonials is a great way to get an idea of where the band has performed before and what type of events they generally do.
Step 5: Get in touch
Email is generally the best way to enquire about entertainment and organize the show, but this can always be followed up with a phone call if needs be!
The reason email is generally better is that you have all the details in writing and can refer back to them at any time to avoid confusion. Your initial enquiry should contain the location of your wedding, date and any other information you think the band might need to know.
Step 6: Confirm the booking
Once you’ve worked out all the details, it’s time to book the gig. Some bands will require you to sign a contract and pay a deposit, others will provide booking forms for you to fill in. At this point, you should already have the payment terms worked out.
Top tip: Many bands will require full payment on or before the day of the performance.
Lastly, from all of us at Last Minute Musicians, we wish you huge congratulations on your engagement and all the best for the big day!
More on Last Minute Musicians…
Looking to book entertainment for your wedding? Lastminutemusicians.com has over 2900 diverse and creative acts waiting for you on the online entertainment directory…
Visitors can see pictures, read bios, watch videos and listen to audio in order to ensure the act they select is perfect for their special day. Couple this with our independent reviews system, and you can be sure that the entertainment you book will turn your wedding day into an evening everyone will be talking about for years to come! Just browse through the listings (searching by price, area and genre) and negotiate directly with the band you’d like to book.
“The key to finding affordable but bespoke musicians when you have around two days’ notice is a website like LastMinuteMusicians.com – you choose the musical genre you fancy, find a band photo that looks good, listen to a few audio examples of your shortlistees, click “book” and they will appear at the right moment, in the right outfit, playing the right music. As if supplied by God.” – Emma Freud, The Guardian
Two professional musicians founded Last Minute Musicians over a decade ago. It has since grown into a team of over 10 people, dealing with 50,000 enquiries and dealing with over 70,000 customers… in the last 12 months alone.