Through our trusted Sponsors we’re able to hook you up with the top pros in the industry who can guide you safely along the wedding planning path, helping to avoid any trips and falls along the way. From how to pick a standout venue and dream dress, to tips on styling and completing your day, our guys have got it covered.
Today on the blog, we’re inviting along an expert who can assist in the ‘live music’ category, with a host of incredible acts on their books that can bring the added wow factor to your celebrations – step forward the team from Entertainment Nation.
Covering oodles of weddings every year, the team have mastered the best way for couples to go about picking the right band and ensuring the logistics of the performance go to plan too, with an easy to use website and friendly staff available to answer any questions or queries.
And so keen to help make the entertainment task that bit easier for brides-and-grooms-to-be they’re sharing some of their pearls of wisdom with us this afternoon as they list their top tips on booking a live band. Take it away team…
entertainment nation say: What better way of rounding off your special day in style than by hiring a live wedding band?
The atmosphere begins to build from the moment the band arrive and start setting up fancy instruments and equipment. Short bursts of song and isolated chords from the soundcheck build anticipation further, and then, before you know it, the band are on stage, delivering an adrenaline-pumping performance that encourages even the most reticent of dancers to unleash their inner Michael Jackson!
But, as much as we hate to be the boring folks getting in the way of the dream, we need to let you in on a few things you need to consider when hiring a live wedding band. We’ve been helping brides and grooms book their dream wedding band for years, and during that time we’ve encountered every potential issue possible – and figured out how to solve or avoid these hiccups altogether.
As such we’re sharing our golden band booking tips with you today ensuring that you can sort your evening entertainment without a hitch and be on that dance floor with your new husband or wife, surrounded by family and friends rocking it out before you know it!
If you don’t book your wedding band early, you risk missing out on your number one choice. Just like with wedding venues, the best wedding bands get booked up well in advance; peak dates getting filled two years ahead of time is common, and we’ve often received enquiries for even farther into the future.
So, if you want the biggest and best choice of wedding bands possible, make sure you book as far in advance as possible. Booking well ahead of your wedding date also means you can benefit from paying this year’s prices, rather than the inflation-adjusted prices of two years’ time.
check with your venue
Generally, you’ll secure your venue before you book a wedding band (although we’ve seen it done the other way around when a couple has their heart set on a particular band). If you’re keen on having live music at your evening wedding reception, it’s important to find out whether your venue is able and willing to host a live band.
There’s nothing more soul-destroying than spending hours finding the perfect musical entertainment and then discovering the venue won’t allow them to perform.
“What’s a sound limiter?” We hear you ask. A sound limiter is a device to monitor the volume levels in a venue, usually installed to comply with regulations and ensure the venue’s neighbours aren’t disturbed by loud noise into the night. Great for the neighbours’ sleeping patterns, not so good if you’ve hired a band to rock out at your reception!
There’s no need to worry though, as long as you check whether your venue uses a sound limiter and what decibel level the limiter is set to, ideally prior to booking your band, you’ll be fine.
The use of sound limiters is on the increase and professional wedding function bands have to be willing to work with this reality. Most wedding bands will be able to work within specified sound limits and still give a great show, but you’ll need to let them know in advance to ensure they bring along the right equipment.
Of course, if you’re absolutely set on having a loud and proud performance from a 13-piece band with cymbals crashing, drums thumping and horns blaring, then you’re going to need to find a venue that doesn’t use a sound limiter!
If you are in the market for that 13-piece band, then they’re going to need adequate space to perform. Even smaller bands can find things a tight squeeze at more intimate venues, so before booking, have a chat with your band about how much space they need to set up all their equipment. It’s also worth ensuring there is an easily available power source for your band to plug into.
Your venue may ask that any band you book has Public Liability Insurance and fully PAT-tested electrical equipment. A professional wedding band should hold these certificates as a matter of course. Make sure that yours does.
One last venue-related thing to consider – if you’re hiring a band to perform outside, make sure they’ll be protected from the elements. While we’ve got our fingers crossed for dry, sunny weather on your wedding day, as we all know, the British climate is notoriously fickle and your wedding musicians’ valuable (and fully PAT-tested) instruments and equipment need to be shielded from any sudden downpours.
do your research
How many venues did you visit before you decided on the perfect one? Sometimes it’s love at first sight, but generally you’ll have browsed a variety of venues to ensure you booked the one you really wanted. The same is true of finding the right band. Wedding entertainment is a crucial part of a successful wedding, so it makes sense to invest time into finding a band that ticks every box.
That doesn’t mean you have to go trailing round pubs and clubs watching function bands in the hope of discovering the ideal act. Professional wedding bands don’t often give public performances anyway, as they’re too busy playing at weddings up and down the country every weekend. But that’s ok, wedding entertainment agency websites like Entertainment Nation are the perfect place to browse and compare hundreds of bands in a whole range of genres.
Reading reviews and testimonials should be another facet of your research – you want to ensure you’re sharing the biggest day of your life with trustworthy and reliable professionals who you can count on to arrive on time and put on a great show. Another added benefit of booking through a reputable entertainment agency is that the bands featured on their books have to meet strict quality standards before being represented.
tie to your theme
Themed weddings are all the rage right now, and your wedding band can be the centrepiece that ties the whole theme together: a Mumford and Sons style acoustic band at a rustic barn wedding; a glamourous Gatsby swing band at a decadent vintage wedding; or a cutting-edge DJ and live musician combo act at a trendy urban venue.
If you are planning a themed wedding, it’s worth putting some thought into how you can enhance your theme through your choice of entertainment. There are tons of diverse acts out there, so if you need someone to fill you in on the wealth of options available, a chat with one of the expert advisers at an agency like Entertainment Nation is a good place to start.
Your choice of wedding band is a chance to stamp your personality on your wedding reception. What sort of music have you shared as a couple? What concerts have you been to together? Draw on these experiences when deciding upon which act to book.
If you’re a keen festival-goer opt for a band that plays songs by the big headline acts like Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon and the rest. Or maybe you bonded over a shared love of Stevie Wonder, in which case a soul, funk and Motown band is the only way to go!
remember your guests
Don’t forget that even though it’s your special day, it’ll only be truly special if your guests have a good time too. You don’t want to alienate half the room by booking a niche act that leaves the dance floor deserted! Think about who’ll be invited to the evening reception and try to hire a wedding band that can offer something for everyone. Full-time wedding bands are used to performing for diverse crowds and are able to read the mood of the room to keep everyone dancing throughout the evening.
Compared to 20 years ago, it’s much easier for a function band to record some top-quality promo and promote themselves across the UK. This means you have a much wider selection of exceptional bands to choose from, all of which can be viewed from the comfort of your own home. Even though lengthy journeys are a fact of life for professional musicians, it’s still worth considering how far your band will have to drive to get to your venue. Travel expenses soon add up and can dramatically increase the price you pay for a band, so if budget is a factor, choosing a local band is a great way of getting the best deal.
Always agree the band’s arrival time in advance. Most bands will have a standard arrival time which they base their prices on. If you’d like your band to arrive early for any reason, this must be agreed with the band, who will generally charge for the extra hours spent on site.
The same applies to the band’s finish times. If you want to extend their stay with you for an all-night party, discuss this with them beforehand – you’ll find that screaming for an encore at 12am simply won’t work if the band are contracted to finish at this time. Again, late finishes will generally incur an extra fee.
So, there you go, you’re now armed with all the knowledge you need to navigate the choppy waters of finding and hiring your perfect wedding band. If you need any extra advice or you’re just excited to start your search, visit Entertainment Nation today!