Booking a live wedding band advice

General Wedding Advice

This guide serves in addition to our FAQ page and raises some issues to think about when booking a live band for your wedding.

How to get started?

Looking for a live band for your wedding can be daunting. Were do I look? How do I check they're good? What's the going rate? These are all good questions and hopefully we can help you out a bit with this guide. You may have been recommended to us by friends, seen us at another wedding or have been lucky enough to stumble across our website. These are all good ways of finding a good band. By looking at everything a band has to offer and by talking to them you should get a good feel as to whether the band is right for you.

Music taste and type of band

This is going to a big part of the decision process. What type of music will keep you and your guests entertained and on the dance floor all night?

Nu Generation are a youthful, female fronted pop, light rock and soul band that play a mixture of modern and old classics. If you're wanting an old, male lineup doing heavy pub rock covers we're not the band for you.

Ask the band for a recent set list so you'll know exactly what songs they're playing and if you like the flow of the nights music. Our set list for this gig can be viewed here… Holton Lee Set List

Agency or Band?

Looking through an agency's website can be a good idea if you're not sure on what to go for, although some have an endless number of bands on their books which can also be overwhelming. We work with agencies as well as taking bookings directly. It's a personal choice for the client based getting to grips with some facts.

Agencies will add a 15% - 30% fee on top of what the band get paid so booking directly with the band can often save you this fee. Some clients feel safer in the knowledge that they are dealing with an agency in case something goes wrong. Dealing directly with the musicians can on the other hand give you greater confidence that they know exactly what you want. There are some really good agencies out there and they should work hard for you rather than pushing a particular act that may be making them the most profit. We've heard far too often about agencies selling the same band twice or three times over on the same night and then send out generic musicians with a similar look that have learnt the same songs. We don't think that's very personal or professional. You should be getting the exact band that you've booked.

Whoever you choose to book through make sure you ask the right questions and are allowed to talk to the performer before the day to make sure everything is set for your big day.

First Dance

Most bands have a set list that they, on the whole, stick to but it's worth asking about your first dance. Depending on the song they may be able to learn and perform it for you. Other options are having the recorded version played through the bands PA system the same as a DJ. We have been known to play a specialist jazz first dance with our 7 piece band which took 3 days preparation so anything is possible, budget depending.

How much should I pay?

Professional musicians pride themselves on earning a living through making music and with that comes some cost. Musicians will be covering their overheads of quality instruments/accessories, PA system, PAT testing, public liability insurance, transport, rehearsal rooms, promotion/advertising/website costs and everything else that goes with running a professional band. Add to that the cost of making a living based on the amount of study to become a professional musician.

Booking a pub band for £300 may save you money but having a load of hairy blokes in jeans playing cheesy songs may lack what you're looking for on the biggest day of your life.

You may want to think about proportioning your wedding budget accordingly and how much importance you place on the music entertainment. A local gig for a professional musician will often involve an 8 hour day, expect to pay around £200 per band member plus travel time/cost.

Dealing with the paperwork

Most bands will safeguard the client and themselves by agreeing a simple contact. Ask us for an example of ours. We have deputy musicians we can rely on in case anything unforeseen may happen close to the date. Once a deposit had been made and a signed contract has been returned we are committed to your date and that is final.

Band Dress

Take a look at what the band wears as a lot of bands will dress all in black. Other bands may play in trainers and ripped jeans which we don't think would be suitable for your big day. We go for a black, grey and white theme so we don't fade into the background but we're still sure that we wont clash with any of your guests' frocks on the night.

Until next time…