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Most people will have attended weddings or parties where a live band has performed as part of the evening’s entertainment. It’s something that’s easy to take for granted, especially when everything went smoothly and the celebration was a huge success, with the music contributing much to proceedings.
Now it’s your turn to organise the live musical entertainment for your very own wedding reception. How do you set about it, and what can you reasonably expect from the wedding band?
Communication is the key – discuss everything in detail with the bandleader well in advance so everyone is clear about the performance requirements and other logistical aspects of the event.
Most wedding bands operate from a fairly standard plan
Find out more about booking a live band for your wedding.
Experienced wedding musicians tend to work around a basic outline of the evening’s proceedings when planning each performance, tailoring their sets to suit the timescale and other constrictions. In terms of performance duration, most bands will be happy to play for 2 hours or perhaps more within a 4-hour period, split into 2 or 3 sets with breaks in between, but this is generally negotiable with the bandleader.
Professional bands usually come fully equipped with PA, and some can supply lighting rigs and a dancefloor if required, so all they will need is a reliable power source and enough space for them to set up and perform – a stage is always welcome.
In terms of dress, most bands have a clear idea of what they are comfortable wearing for performances; depending on the style of music they play, some may have a set uniform or even characteristic costumes. However, most musicians will be happy to fit in with any dresscode you require, so once again, discuss this with the bandleader beforehand.
Most aspects can be negotiated with the bandleader
The bandleader will be able to advise how long it will take the musicians to set up equipment and prepare for their performance, and how much room they will need to operate effectively. This varies according to the type of music and the size of the band – an acoustic ensemble such as a string quartet will only need a few minutes to prepare and tune up, whereas a large pop or swing jazz outfit with full PA and lights might require a couple of hours, and a lot more room.
In terms of repertoire, most bands will be happy to tailor their setlist to accommodate reasonable requirements. Again, speak with the bandleader about any specific requests you may have, for instance, the choice of music for the First Dance. Given enough time, many bands will be prepared to learn a special piece for your special occasion.
For peace of mind, book your musicians through a specialist wedding music agency
A specialist wedding music agency will be able to give invaluable and pertinent advice on the specific style of music you choose, as well as recommending a comprehensive range of professional bands in your area or from further afield.
Above all, they will be able to offer some level of guarantee of the performance quality and reliability of the musicians you engage – it is in their interest to represent or recommend only high-quality professionals. Set out in a legal contract between you and the bandleader, this affords you extra security and peace of mind.
Although generally working from a standardised performance plan, most bands will be happy to adapt this to fit in with your specific requirements wherever possible, including details of timings, dresscode and repertoire. The key to successful communication is your contact with the bandleader, who will be able to advise and negotiate on all aspects relating to the band’s performance.
A specialist wedding music agency is well-placed to offer general advice and expert guidance in your choice of musicians, and can reasonably guarantee a high standard of performance supported by a professional contract, so you can relax in confident anticipation of a memorable highlight of your wedding celebration party.