With the big day only a year away, now is the time to start thinking about your live music amongst the hundred other things on your list. With the countless number of bands and musicians available it's going to take some time so let's dive straight in with our top 10 wedding music tips.
1. Book the wedding band at the right time!
When should you book a wedding band? Whilst it may be tempting (and exciting) to start enquiring two years before your wedding day, that won't necessarily get you the best deal. Wedding bands and musicians probably don't know where they'll be in two years time, after all, they're probably aspiring musicians and songwriters in their own right so may not want to commit too early. With that in mind you may find prices come in higher than usual as bands try their luck this early on.
If budget isn't an issue it will of course give you unlimited options but my advice is to book about 12-15 months in advance, this is when bands start thinking about booking up the following summer, wait too long and you'll find those peak summer Saturdays are completely booked up.
2. Use the same musicians throughout the day
Many wedding bands offer additional extras to cover various times of the day and this will undoubtedly work out cheaper than hiring separate musicians for each part of your day. For example, your evening wedding band's pianist might just charge a small extra fee to play during the wedding breakfast, or perhaps your wedding ceremony musicians may be able to add an hour set after the service for a minimal fee, whatever you're after, there's no harm in asking before you book.
3. Check whether your wedding venue has a sound limiter or sound restrictions
All too often couples will book their wedding venue having not read about sound restrictions in the small print. If the venue does have a sound limiter this will mean your music won't be as loud as you might expect and may limit your band options. Some venues go a step further and require electronic drums or no drums at all so be sure to check first.
4. Will you need to feed your musicians?
All wedding bands and musicians will request a meal and soft drinks in their contract so it's worth taking this into account when working on your budget. Having said that, they won't ask for the same as guests, so be sure to ask
5. How much do wedding bands cost?
Band prices can vary drastically but as a guide you expect to receive quotes of anything from £800-100 upwards for a trio, £1200-£2000 for a 4-piece and £1600-£5000 for larger band line-ups. Many bands tend to stick to their fees, especially if they are a popular band from a busy agency, however, if you're booking mid-week or last minute, don't be afraid to ask for wee discount to help out with your budget.
6. When should the wedding band play?
With your meal and speeches over and evening guests due to arrive at 7pm, you may be in a hurry to get the entertainment started. However with most bands offering around 2 x 60 minute sets, it's a good idea to wait until at least 8:30pm, this will then ensure a full evening of dancing, there's no need to peak too early!
Hopefully these little pointers have given you something else to consider, just remember, your band will have likely done this a hundred times before so don't be afraid to ask for advice.