Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

music to your ears: how to book the most professional wedding band

November 10th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

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Here at Brides Up North HQ we’re the first to recommend using trusted and experienced suppliers to contribute to your big day, which should greatly reduce the risk of any aspect of the celebrations going wrong.

Through our ‘Suppliers We Love’ online directory, we highlight those from across the North that we know are talented, skilful and creative, and that will enhance, not hinder, your special day. One such supplier is entertainment agency Bands for Hire, who are here today to offer their top tips on securing a professional wedding band.

As providers of jazz bands, party bands and more throughout the UK, including Liverpool, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and the North East, the agency team are well placed to reveal the best way to secure top entertainment for your big day…

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bands for hire say: Let’s face it – you’re pouring so much time and effort into all other aspects of your wedding that only the best and most professional band on the circuit will do. And although there are a lot of contenders out there for this title, there’s also quite a wide margin in terms of quality if you don’t know where to look or what to look for. The following is a quick checklist to help you identify and book yourself a band worthy of this happiest of occasions.

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How do they present themselves?

When trying to attract new clients, presentation is everything to a wedding band. This includes how they conduct themselves on the phone, how frequently they update and monitor their online presence, and the quality of the photos and videos they submit. Low production values suggest a lack of professionalism that you don’t need to be dealing with come your big day. You want a band that cares about what they do, and wants you to know it. In a tough and highly competitive business climate, a band must cover all of its bases, and if to you they don’t seem to be, you’ll soon be able to find another act that does.

Can you book them via an agency?

We always recommend going through an agency. While there are a lot of untethered wedding bands out there that we’re sure are fantastic, using a live music agency will give you the assurance that your chosen act has been thoroughly quality checked – plus, they’ll have all the requisite experience, so you can trust you’ll be getting hitched without a hitch. An agency is also a handy way to compare services and rates of a selection of wedding bands, so your search time would be cut in half.

You may think that the rates at which agency bands are available seem astronomical in comparison to your local pub band, but in reality you’re forking out for a far superior service you can rely on to deliver – and, at any rate, every agency will be vying for your custom, and will therefore be keeping their prices competitive. You may be fortunate enough to know a great wedding band personally – in which case, take advantage of those mates’ rates – but an agency is otherwise your safest bet. This way, your act is contractually obliged to both show up and entertain for the agreed fee. Heaven forbid anything should go wrong, but at least you’ll be covered for any eventuality.

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What’s their track record like?

Wedding and function bands will more often than not list for you their past gigging experience – most likely dropping the biggest client names they have in their arsenal. While these won’t necessarily be a sure-fire ascertainment of the standard of the service they’ll deliver to you, a band that can boast a recommendation from the BBC, Apple, Virgin or another major corporation will be able to perform at a certain level – and should at least be able to behave themselves. Bands worth their salt will also list any other achievements they’ve had during their careers, such as quotes from satisfied customers, prominent appearances or awards.

What services do they provide?

It’s one thing to book a band to play two 40-minute sets for you; it’s another entirely to receive a tailor-made service that follows you through each stage of the ceremony, from the cutting of the cake to the knees-up at the reception. Even a solo performer will have a range of music for you to pick from, and a real pro will know precisely what to put where. Bands should also clearly state what their protocol is when it comes to their own requirements – if providing their own PA and lighting rig is extra, this needs to be confirmed well in advance. Nobody wins if they just show up with nothing to plug into. Furthermore, if the band is expecting to be fed and watered, they should give you a heads up regarding any additional costs or dietary requirements.

It’s not unheard of to have live musicians provide the music for one part of the ceremony and for a DJ to provide the other. Often, bands will include a DJ set (or something similar) in their wedding packages, whether it be an additional performer or one of the band members themselves. It’s definitely worth sorting this out early on – you don’t want to get caught short with a spell of radio silence, or have to go on a mad dash for a last-minute DJ on the day. The best course of action is to have a clear idea of what you want from the outset, then clarify with the band exactly what it is they’ll be doing for you, then see if anything else needs addressing. A proper professional wedding band will most likely offer everything you could possibly want, and will be willing to work with you to maintain a tight ship.

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Now you’re a little more clued up on the subject, we hope you can make your choice with confidence. Remember – there are professionals out there who’ll do the hard work for you, so you can concentrate on the other aspects of your perfect wedding. It’s always going to be tempting to cut corners wherever you can when the budget’s hurtling through the roof, but with something as integral to the wedding experience as the music and entertainment, risking an anything less than excellent wedding band is not one you can afford to take.

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play that sax: bands for hire

January 18th, 2016 | Julia Braime

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What makes a wedding memorable? For us a large element comes down to the atmosphere and entertainment. That moment the bride walks down the aisle to a string quartet playing a moving Adele track, sipping on a glass of champagne while an acoustic act sets the scene in a venue’s beautiful grounds, or later on when the band strikes up at the evening reception and you just can’t step off the dancefloor no matter how much your feet hurt.

So to make sure your wedding is one to remember, today we’re quizzing Adam Mezzatesta, the founder of musical entertainment agency Bands for Hire, about the different types of musicians available for couples’ big days and how live music can enhance the celebrations.

Having just expanded into the North of the country, there are plenty of acts on the books to choose from and Adam is even offering Brides Up North readers an exclusive discount for bookings made in the next 30 days. So, listen up…

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Tell us about Bands for Hire and the services that it offers to wedding couples?

adam says: The agency has been going for over five years. Having performed at weddings and events myself for a number of years, I found many of the agencies we were working with weren’t moving with the times, and booking a wedding band via the net had completely taken over. As a web designer and musician myself it seemed like the obvious step forward. We started out with just four or five bands on our books and since then have always made it a priority to keep our standards extremely high. We now represent almost 200 weddings bands, jazz bands and classical acts across the country.

We’re pleased to hear that Bands for Hire has recently expanded into the North of England. What was the reason for doing so?

Whereas some agencies are keen to add as many bands as possible, we prefer to only accept bands who we feel are the best out there; that’s meant our roster up North has taken some time to grow but I think it’s been worth the wait. We now offer function bands in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds going right up to North Yorkshire. As our roster up North continues to grow we’ll also be covering Newcastle and eventually Scotland. But one step at a time!

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What types of bands do you offer for weddings?

We try to cover a broad range of bands, our most popular are wedding bands that focus on hits from the past six decades, from rock ‘n’ roll and 60s music to Motown, indie, rock and contemporary chart songs. Classical, jazz and swing is very popular for wedding music and we’ve recently extended our world music section to cater for those couples looking for something a little different from the norm.

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