Choosing your wedding band
10 tips to help you make the choice.
Ten things to consider when choosing your wedding band:
Consider the venue and space available– Most venues can accommodate a live band for your reception but it’s always best to check the bands requirements before securing your booking. The band will tell you what their minimum set up dimensions are. An empty stage area can look a lot bigger than it actually is. Let the band know in advance of any tricky access issues if they have not played the venue before as this can add to the set up time.
- Book early to avoid disappointment – Usually bands are booked early in the process of planning the wedding often immediately after the venue is booked, in some cases even before the venue is finalised. It’s always worth checking for late availability too though as we do have odd dates that don’t get filled even in the busy months.
- Ask the band about their set up time – This can vary from venue to venue depending on access etc. We usually allow 1 hour 15 minutes from going access to the stage area to be ready to play. We always change into stage wear as setting up can be a sweaty affair and we want to look our best. Often the area we set up in is where the top table has been situated for the wedding breakfast so it has to be clear for us to set up. Quite a lot of weddings run a tad late! This can be down to a number of factors throughout the day. It’s not uncommon for the band to wait in the foyer of a hotel for an hour after arriving. This obviously eats into performance time which is unfortunate but beyond the bands control. We will set up as quickly as we can though to get the party started.
What music will the band play? –This is a big one. When you think of the average ages of guests at a wedding it can be from 5 – 85 years of age. Imagine asking everyone to bring their favourite song and how eclectic that mix would be! A wedding requires a good party atmosphere and a good band should be able to do this with ease. The band should also be able to keep the music going avoiding big gaps in between songs etc. The golden rule is DON’T LOOSE THE DANCE FLOOR!!
- Have a contract – If a band doesn’t insist on a contract between both parties they are probably not very experienced or avoiding the tax man! Contracts keep both parties safe. As with most other things involved with a wedding good bands are not a cheap. Read the T’s and C’s in the contract too. We take all payment prior to the gig. This saves anyone carrying around a large amount of cash on the day. We have seen it lost before although it did turn up after some frantic searching by the best man!
- Let the band decide on the playlist – This is what we do week in week out. We usually know what works, what doesn’t and when to play certain songs. By all means if there are any songs on the set list that you hate they will be deleted for your night. If there are 15 songs you would like to add then maybe the band are not for you in terms of style etc.
- Feed the band – It’s amazing what a plate of buffet does to a band’s energy! Often we will be away for 10 hours or more and can’t always get something to eat.
- Sound limiters – Many venues now unfortunately have sound limiters fitted. We will do all we can to work with a venue and the sound limiter but on some occasions, a venue is just not suitable for a live band. The limiter microphone picks up the sound and cuts the electricity to the stage if it decides the volume is too high. This can and has damaged our equipment in the past. On one occasion it was the noise of the audience singing and clapping on the dance floor which set the limiter off. If we know of a venue with a particularly problematic venue we won’t work there. Venues should inform you of any such restrictions but they often don’t and simply blame the band on the night. Not good for anyone really. A band needs to be loud enough to generate a party atmosphere but not too loud its unpleasant on the ear. We can work with an electronic drum kit if required and we don’t have backline amplifiers to assist without overall volume control.
- Will the band have insurance and PAT testing – Yes they should! Many venues won’t allow a band to set up if they don’t have valid public liability and a PAT test certificate. This is simply par for the course nowadays.
- Background music – Check that your band play background music during any breaks etc as silence is not golden contrary to popular belief! We always have background tunes to play and welcome clients preparing their own playlist too on an iPod or similar. On occasion, we work with DJ’s too. If a DJ is present we will work together to form a suitable set up space for us all.
Hope this info helps. It’s not every day you organise a wedding or function and it may be the first time you have booked a live band! Using good suppliers will help the day run as smoothly as possible and everyone is happy. The day comes and goes in a flash so enjoy every minute of the day.
What previous clients say
“Everyone has commented on how fantastic
and professional the band were, we had the 7 piece brass set and
it added a really special vibe and feel to the night!
Thank you for making it night we won’t forget,”
“the band added a couple of extra songs on our behalf
and absolutely nailed the first dance.It was evident that they
really cared about making the occasion special and take pride
in their performance. So many people commented
on the great atmosphere they created and we would
highly recommend them”
“What can we say- AMAZING!
So many of our guests have asked who
they were and how fantastic they were.
The Copycats played a wide variety of music
and gauged the crowd accordingly.
Our guests were a mixture of Scottish and English and
everyone enjoyed the Ceilidh songs and got right into the spirit of it.
Absolutely brilliant and would highly recommend.
Thanks again! everyone had a fantastic night.”
“The Copycats played at our wedding on May 8th
and everyone had a fantastic night! Most of our guests
hadn’t ever experienced the ceilidh and the Copycats were
so helpful and patient with explaining everything.
The music was excellent, the ceilidh was soooo much fun!
Everyone had a blast! Thank you for the wonderful and unforgettable evening.”
News & updates
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