The one way to guarantee an exiting end to your wedding day is to book a live wedding band, it just adds that extra something a DJ doesn't quite deliver. The live atmosphere is almost an excuse for those people to get up and dance even if they wouldn't usually. Whether it's swing, pop/rock, soul or motown covers you're into, then you'll most certainly have been browsing on Google for a function band.
I'm sure you've found the whole thing a little overwhelming with so many bands to choose from, all at different prices and many appearing to be similar at what they do.
The majority of people haven't ever had a reason to hire a wedding band before, so if you're not sure how it works, hopefully this website will give you a foot in the right direction! I'm going to take you through the process of how to find a live band, some guidelines about the wedding reception running order and some things to consider before hiring a band.
Finding a wedding band
If you've been to a wedding a seen the band you love, book them now and don't hesitate. The best wedding bands are probably completely booked up for the summer by the time January comes around so get in there before their diary gets too full.
If you're not fortunate enough to have seen the band you love, then it's time to start searching. You'll find the music agencies a good place to start looking as they tend to have the better quality bands.
It's always difficult to know just how great a band is live but you usually find their demos, photos and website are a pretty good indication. If a band's been gigging for over 10 years and are coming up at the first page of Google, they're obviously doing something right. Watching the band play live is always nice but it's not always as easy it sounds taking into account that most function bands gigs only play weddings and private gigs. Imagine a band asking you if they could invite a random couple to your wedding.
Hiring a band through a music agency is definitely something to think about. It means they've been checked out, have a lot of experience and are of a high standard. As with everything, you tend to get what you pay for so if a wedding band is only a few hundred quid, there could be a reason why!
Booking a Band
Once you've found the ban d you're after, email over the details with your location and a rough guide of timings. Wedding bands tend to perform 2 or 3 x 40 minute sets, often with various fees for different line-ups and set times. Once you've got the deal you want, you'll be expected to sign a contract and send over a deposit, usually for around £200 or so.
When does the band start?
The band will usually arrive at around 6pm with early set up times requiring an early set up fee. It's nice to have the stage all set before your guests even arrive but it's purely down to your budget.
Arriving at 6pm means that as soon as you finish your wedding breakfast and speeches, the band are all ready to load in, set up and sound check. This usually takes about an hour to 90 minutes depending on the size of the band
Timings are obviously up to the bride and groom but as a guide I'd say that 9pm is about average. Remember to work it around your evening buffet as you don't want them to overlap. The band will need a good 15-30 minutes between sets so plan any fireworks or other bits and pieces around then. You can expect the band to stay until midnight with an hourly fee for later finish times.
When do I pay the band?
With the deposit paid to the agency or band at the time of booking, you'll either need to pay the rest of the fee to the agency a few weeks before the date or in many cases you will need to pay the band on the night after they've set up.
Recommended wedding bands
We recommend a live entertainment agency such as Bands For Hire who have years of experience with booking wedding bands. Bands for hire have a range of wedding bands for hire in London, the South East and the Midlands so if you're looking to hire a Jazz band, swing band, party band or pop/rock function band, drop them an email.
If you're booking a wedding band, you're more than likely going to need a helping hand. With so much to choose from on the internet, it's often difficult to know who the best function bands really are. If you're after a Birmingham wedding band, why not take a look and see who's available at a reputable agency such as Bands For Hire. With 10 years experience in the wedding entertainment business, they know what they're talking about. They offer a range of function bands from Rock 'n' Roll bands, to Indie Bands, Soul Bands and Pop / Rock party bands.
If it's sophistication you're after, perhaps you've considered a Jazz band for your corporate event, drinks reception or cocktail party. BHAM.FM showcase a range of jazz bands to suit any occasion. From solo jazz pianists and jazz duo's to larger set ups suitable for dancing. A Jazz band will most include a range of modern and jazz standards including popular songs from at King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, N, Jamie Cullum, Michael Bublé and Harry Connick Jnr.
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