June 18th, 2014 | Julia Braime
Its our job (and calling!) here at Brides Up North to hook you up with the wedding industry suppliers who can help to make your wedding rock. If you’re on the hunt for some awesome wedding entertainment this afternoon, you can tick that off your to do list. Brides Up North Featured Supplier music agency Function Central are ready to bring the beat. Count me in…
What is the story behind the business and your background?
Function Central was founded in 2005 by two friends who met playing music at university. We started out with only one band on our books (our own!) and built up our roster of acts from there. Our website now lists hundreds of bands, musicians and DJs covering all music styles, based in all counties, from Plymouth to Aberdeen!
What does Function Central do?
We provide an easy way to hire incredible wedding bands, musicians and DJs online. Our website lists bands in every available genre, from rock to reggae. Each act has a profile page where you can read about them, view their song-list, check out what previous customers had to say, and watch videos of them performing. Bookings are secured with easy-to-understand contracts and the Function Central team are on hand to provide help and support around the clock, right up to your event date.
Where are you based and what areas do you cover?
Function Central is London-based but we provide live music nationwide; in fact, over 50% of our clients book wedding entertainment in the North West, Yorkshire and the North East. Our mission is to offer a varied selection of acts in every corner of the UK and we are constantly working on expanding and refining our artist roster.
Why should a Bride & Groom use Function Central?
Unlike most other band booking agencies, Function Central is run by a team of professional musicians with a passion for supplying the highest quality acts possible. We believe our acts should not only sound fantastic but look great and act professionally at all times too.
How can a Bride & Groom use your website to help find their wedding music?
The Function Central website has been designed to make finding the perfect wedding band as simple as possible. Clients are able to narrow down their selection of acts by genre, location and price, making the search for the ultimate act quick and easy.
Can you help Brides & Grooms to find an act to suit their requirements?
It’s absolutely our job and our pleasure to help clients find the right act for their event! We know our roster inside out and can therefore listen to clients’ requirements and offer suggestions on that basis.
What happens once a Bride & Groom have chosen an act – explain the process?
Once a client has chosen an act the booking process couldn’t be simpler:
1. We issue a contract which details every aspect of the booking, from act requirements to timings and cancellation policy.
2. No postage is necessary to complete the booking – our contracts are all e-signed so simply typing your name and pressing will secure your booking.
3. A deposit amount is payable in order to confirm the booking, and the outstanding balance is then due on the event date.
4. Our support doesn’t stop there! We are on hand to help at any point by phone or email as we understand that clients will have questions regarding repertoire, final timings and set up.
Tell us about the range of acts available to book via Function Central?
We cover a huge range of genres: rock, pop, jazz and soul bands, vintage bands, classical musicians, tribute bands, and more unusual acts, from bluegrass to Bavarian Oompah. We aim to offer anything and everything that falls under the category "musical entertainment" so we’d like to hear from anyone that thinks we’ve missed a trick!
Are your bands and DJ’s recommended by you personally?
The majority of our bands are sourced through personal recommendation, and all acts are subject to a rigorous application and vetting procedure. Only the very best of British bands make it on to our roster; we are meticulous about who we choose to represent.
Who would be your dream clients?
Our acts have performed for the likes of Paul McCartney, David Beckham and Poppy Delevingne…
What would be your top five tips for Brides Up North when choosing their wedding music?
1. Choosing your music is a little like finding the dream dress – check out a wide range of acts on our website and see what sits most comfortably with you and your fiancé.
2. Don’t cripple yourself financially just because you want the biggest band. Big isn’t best and there are some fantastic solo, duo and trio options available.
3. If you are on a budget and you haven’t yet confirmed your wedding date, consider holding your wedding in low season (October to March) or on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, when many bands charge lower rates.
4. As well as getting the dancing started in the evening, many of Function Central’s wedding bands can provide background music for your ceremony or reception, earlier on in the day. This saves money on hiring two completely separate acts.
5. Similarly, many of our bands offer their own “in-house" DJ service before, between and after their live sets, ensuring you have music non-stop throughout your evening, and saving on the cost of a separate DJ.
Which acts would you recommend where money was no object?
What about for brides on a budget?
The Buskers – a guitar/cajon duo with outstanding vocals and harmonies – the sound of a full band at half the price – or Clemenza String Duo who we recommend for the ceremony or reception if you can’t afford a full quartet.
How does your pricing work?
When you enquire about an act, we will send you a quote within 24 hours, and this will be inclusive of travel and VAT. Guide prices are available on each act’s profile, but bear in mind that fees may vary according to day of week (Fridays and Saturdays are typically more expensive, and time of year (many acts charge more for “peak” season – April to September).
What about insurance?
All acts on our books are required to have Public Liability Insurance and PAT certificates for their equipment.
How can Brides Up North get in touch to discuss their requirements or book an act?
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Former lawyer and bride to be Julia founded Brides Up North in 2010 with a chip on her shoulder. Frustrated by the poor Northern presence in glossy bridal magazines and online, she decided to do something about it herself. Astounded by the rapid growth of her blog and brand, Julia now manages Brides Up North’s online content alongside their busy wedding exhibition season, industry events and related commissions. And she’s always, always, got a new project on the go…