Prosecco & Petals
The straightforward guide to planning your wedding
A wedding band is guaranteed to light up your dance floor and entertain your wedding guests. Below is a complete guide covering everything you need to do to secure an excellent group for your wedding day.
It is recommended to start searching for bands 10-11 months in advance of your wedding. Wherever possible, it is also recommended to begin your scout earlier if a group is a real must for you.
As bands can only play one wedding per day, the most popular and versatile acts will book up far in advance. Looking early will give more choice and enable you to go with a band whose music gets you excited for your wedding reception.
Wedding band prices vary enormously. A local pub band can often be sourced for £400-£700 pounds, but professional wedding bands will typically be priced upwards of £1,100. For a professional wedding band, it is wise to budget between £1,600 and £2,00.
Fees will often include travel, equipment and playlists in-between sets, but it is worth asking for a detailed breakdown inclusive of VAT from the outset.
Once you have decided on a budget for your live band, it is worth finding out if there are any restrictions on live music at your venue so you can adapt your search accordingly. Below are questions to ask your venue:
It is also recommended to get the name and details of any bands you see at Birthdays and other small festival events as these will often be much cheaper and most versatile to work with.
When reviewing wedding bands, it is worth paying particular attention to the below so you can shortlist effectively:
Contact each of the bands on your shortlist to gather information about their availability, services and costs. Make sure to include:
From the responses, you will be able to gather interest level, relative costs and fit for your wedding. When you have a preference order, it is then worth contacting them to arrange a Skype chat and a time to see them perform.
When organising a time to come and see the band play live, it is recommended to ask if it is possible to see them play to an audience. This will help to gauge, not only your reactions but those of different demographics. Picking a band with a wide-ranging appeal is crucial.
Make sure that the vocals are audible and the lead singer has a good rapport with the crowd in-between songs. Check the range of songs and also how the band adapts to the number of people on the dance floor. A band can make or break a wedding reception, so it is vital their performance goes beyond yours and the expectations of the audience.
Once you have checked out that your wedding band sounds great, it is time to organise a final Skype chat or face to face meeting to discuss detailed questions. This may seem slightly over the top, but it will save a lot of stress and hidden surprises later on.
Once you have found a group that is within your budget, play your music style and are excited to play on your day, it is recommended to book early to avoid disappointment. Booking will typically involve paying a deposit and then paying the remaining balance nearer to your wedding date.
After securing the services of your favourite musicians, it is recommended to keep in regular contact. This can be done progressively by; putting the band in connection with the venue, asking whether the band can play your first dance, giving a list of your favourite songs, checking what refreshments they would like on the day, providing guidance on the running order of the day and then finally giving them an alternative wedding party contact for the day.
Do not stress too much about making contact though as the professionals will contact you to prompt all of this information as needed.
One of the luxuries of choosing a live wedding band is in delegating the stress of the song selection to them. They are the professionals who will have a good understanding of what gets a wedding party dancing and will keep your guests interacting.
However, to ensure that they do play some of the songs that mean a lot to you, it recommended to make a list of up to ten tracks you would like to hear and ten tracks you'd want to stay clear away from.
Designate a member of your bridal party to update the band on the running order. Wedding timings often change throughout the course of the day, and it is vital to get the band playing when needed.
Many couples prefer to have their first dance song played by the original artist as this often provides a much more romantic experience, especially when this is a favourite song. If you would prefer to have a recording played, just let your band know. This is a common request and one they will be more than happy to oblige with. It is your day.