Having a wedding abroad? What’s the best way to book a live wedding band and does it all just cost too much?
You can book a wedding band for your wedding abroad in two key ways. You can hire a band based in the UK or look for a band based locally to your wedding venue. It’s always best to book any live wedding band through a reputable website or wedding agency as booking a band for your wedding aboard can cost more and is usually more complex to arrange.
Having a stunning wedding abroad? Lovely!
It doesn’t get much more stunning than a wedding aboard. Sublime Italian vineyards and beautiful Spanish beaches are just some of the wedding locations we’ve been invited to perform at over the years but do you book a live wedding band in the country you’re getting married in or do you hire a wedding band here in the UK? Which is cheaper? Are they simply both too expensive or complicated?! We get asked this question regularly by couples so in this guide, I’ll take you through the process step by step so you make the right choice for you and your wedding aboard.
The costs of hiring a live wedding band for your wedding abroad
For a start, here’s a list of expenses you may incur.
- Bands performance fee
- Fuel expenses
- Accommodation costs for the band
- Food and drink during their time with you
- Flights, extra luggage costs, visas and transfers/taxis to and from the airport
- Car hire and associated expenses
- PA, lighting and musical instrument hire
- Extra living expenses costs if the band is with you for two days or more
Quite the list! Don’t worry though as unless you’re planning a 4-day mega wedding on the other side of the planet you shouldn’t incur all these expenses. We have a lot of experience with weddings aboard so you can always speak to us for more information. With the above list in mind, let’s start by going through the pros and cons associated with hiring your live wedding band here in the UK.
Hiring a live wedding band in the UK – Pros
This is by far the most popular option for couples when hiring a live wedding band for their wedding abroad. It’s usually the far simpler and safer option and gives you the widest choice of fantastic wedding bands to pick from. Just check out all our epic wedding bands who travel worldwide!
Large choice of wedding bands
If you decide to hire a wedding band in the UK your choice of bands will be huge! Far bigger than if you book abroad. We like to keep our roster of wedding bands small, select and awesome but when you compare Southside Sparkle (above) and Knight Riders (below) it shows large your choice really is.
You will find it much easier to find the perfect band for you at a price you can stomach here in the UK so it’s well worth starting your search here.
Wedding bands that speak your language
Yep, it does help if your wedding suppliers and wedding band speak English and it’s even better if they come from the UK so you can all understand each other. It’s not essential of course as folk abroad usually have an embarrassingly good command of English but speaking to a band based in the UK does help when trying to communicate the important specifics of your wedding.
We are very reliable
Live wedding bands in the UK are commonly full time and professional outfits. Ours are anyway and it means you are working with musicians that gig all the time and are therefore very reliable. If a wedding band has a tonne of reviews like our act League of Gentlemen (below) do, you know you are dealing with one reliable band.
It also means they will look after their no doubt, good quality equipment and will have lots of experience with all sorts of wedding styles, themes and locations. Reassuring to know when your wedding is abroad.
Top-quality live wedding bands
I know I might be going on about the merits of wedding bands in the UK a bit but they really are the bee’s knees! There’s huge competition in the wedding band world in the UK so bands have to be great to get any work. Just look at the 524 glowing reviews we have spanning years here. We wouldn’t get any work if our bands weren’t brilliant and that may not have to be the case with wedding bands aboard where competition and the industry are much smaller and less developed.
UK wedding bands can be affordable
If your wedding isn’t that far away from the UK and a UK wedding band is willing to drive to you it can work out cheaper than booking a band aboard. Sounds mad but it can ring true as many live wedding bands offer great deals all year round, especially for weddings abroad and most especially if you can look after them. It also means they can arrive with all their gear keeping costs down and logistics simple. Yey! Chat to us as we can always help you find that perfect wedding band.
Our wedding band Stan Darsh (above) travel all over for weddings and events!
Reputable wedding entertainment agencies
Wedding band websites and entertainment agencies like ours are a big deal here in the UK. We offer quality, great choice, consistency and peace of mind when it comes to hiring a live wedding band, especially when booking for your wedding aboard. We know what we’re doing and do it well. Have a look at our guide here for more. Most other countries simply don’t have websites or support like this which can be a hindrance. You can learn all about us here if I piqued your interest.
Following on from my last point, websites like ours also offer legally binding, robust booking contracts that protect both you and your live band. This is essential but even more so if you are having your wedding abroad. Many of our guides cover booking contracts in more detail but this one is a great place to start.
It’s really cool!
Let’s be honest, having your wedding aboard is very stylish and cool but flying in a band from the UK is seriously cool too. Imagine Flair (above) flying in from London to rock up at your wedding! What more needs to be said.
Hiring a live wedding band in the UK – Cons
There can be cons to hiring a wedding band in the UK and here they are.
Because any wedding band you hire in the UK will have to travel decent distances to get to your wedding, then stay overnight and travel back the following day it’s not uncommon for them to charge for two days work rather than one. They may offer discounts but this isn’t common so best to check!
If your wedding is taking place in some mystical and stunning distant land you may need to fly your wedding band in. As my list above highlighted, this can add all sorts of extra costs you probably didn’t envisage. Flights, transfers, visas, car rental, taxis and PA and instrument hire are just some of the common costs involved and they can quickly pile up and complicate matters. Always check before you book any band.
Yes, hiring a wedding band in the UK for your wedding aboard does create extra logistical issues but if you are dealing with people like us or a similar website, agency or experienced wedding band, these extra logistics shouldn’t be too much of a headache. Again, our wedding bands are very experienced in this regard so contact us if you need help.
Great live wedding band choice?
This isn’t always an issue but if your wedding is on a popular day (think any Saturday from May to September) and aboard, your choice of great wedding bands many be limited. Read our guide all about when you should book your wedding band for all the info!
Hiring a wedding band aboard – Pros
Coming in at number 2 is hiring your live wedding band in the country your wedding is taking place in. Most couples don’t pick this option because it’s not available to them or it’s simply too complicated. If you are looking at hiring a live band local to your venue, it’s important you have a really good chat with them and fully understand what you are getting for your money. Anyway, let’s go through the pros and cons, shall we?
They are local after all
Hiring a local wedding band is always going to be simpler because they are local! They may know the area and may have even performed in your venue before. They should also speak the local language which can be a bonus!
Local can be simpler
With a local wedding band, there should be less logistical headaches – no flights, car rentals or equipment rentals for example. You’d hope so anyway but that is banking on the fact that they own good equipment, are full-time musicians and come organised and ready to perform.
A local band could be more affordable
A local wedding band should be more affordable than hiring a band in the UK to travel over and perform for you. Their expenses and fees should be much smaller so hopefully, you can save some pennies and have a wonderful day’s celebrations!
The sounds of the Orient
Savouring your beautiful wedding aboard may not be complete without the authentic sounds of local musicians. You simply can’t beat the sounds of local musicians performing traditional music. It adds something utterly unique to any wedding. I once performed with From the Top (above) at a wedding in Istanbul, Turkey where we got to perform alongside a local Turkish folk act and it was fantastic!
Hiring a wedding band aboard – Cons
Let’s finish with the cons of hiring a wedding band abroad
Unknown (musical) quantity?
Unless you have some contacts or know a band abroad hiring a band in another country can be a bit of a gamble. Most countries don’t have the kind of wedding band industry or supporting agencies that we have here in the UK so chances are you could be booking a wedding band with no real guarantee of quality, reliability or legal cover. Will they arrive? Will they live up to expectations? Websites and UK wedding bands like ours guarantee you don’t have to worry about all that. Love your wedding even more by avoiding the extra hassle.
Can you repeat that, please?? There’s quite a bit to sort out with a live wedding band when you book them (see our guide here for a taster) and if the band you book doesn’t speak English particularly well and you don’t speak the local lingo, you could run into a lot of unnecessary difficulties, especially on your wedding day!
Too much like hard work!
Trust me, from performing in the Alps (as Playback above have many times) to rocking out at massive weddings in Dubai we’ve had our fair share of communication headaches here at Seventh Second! Booking a wedding aboard is epic but does require more work and you want to lighten the load rather than overload it!
Are they as cool?
There’s no doubt that having a native band perform at your wedding aboard can be incredibly cool and stylish but sometimes it’s not quite as amazing as flying a wedding band in specially for the occasion. It’s a matter of taste and what kind of WOW factor you want to achieve at the end of the day.
Cost and suitability
My last point may seem odd but wedding bands aboard can sometimes actually cost more and not deliver quite what you want. In many countries having a live band at a wedding is rare and seen as quite decadent so costs can be high when hiring. Romania is a good example where live bands are very expensive and on the whole, only perform traditional Romanian music. No Mustang Sally, Mumford & Sons or Mr Brightside to be seen. They perform for hours and are brilliant to watch and dance too but that might not be quite your thing?
A few more things to consider?
We’re all done with the pros and cons but read on for a few more pearls of wisdom…
Where in the world is your wedding?
Where is your wedding taking place? In a stunning but fairly “local” spot in western Europe like France, Spain or Italy? Most UK wedding bands can drive to these locations and keep costs and logistics down to a minimum for you. Even if they do have to fly, Europe is easy and relatively inexpensive to navigate for experienced wedding bands. Easy peasy!
Is your dream wedding taking place somewhere more exotic like Dubai, Turkey or Morocco though? As mentioned, the further from the UK your wedding is the more it could cost you to bring a band over. It could even cost quite a bit to source a local band if you are marrying in a remote area so be realistic with your live band budget if you’re lucky enough to marry in a faraway land. I had heard it’s pretty hard to get a wedding band booked in Antarctica these days…
Leaving the EU
When the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal in early 2021 it could add complications to hiring a UK based wedding band to your wedding in Europe. We don’t know the specifics as nothing has been agreed between the UK and EU yet but extra costs that musicians may incur are holiday or work visas and added fees for bringing musical equipment into Europe. These costs will probably have to be passed onto you. It’s quite an uncertain time for working musicians who travel for a living but hopefully, there is light at the end of the negotiating tunnel.
What do we think?
Should you hire local or hire in the UK? Well, with our 15 years’ experience performing at weddings all over the UK and the world, we’d almost always recommend booking a wedding band in the UK. It’s safer, generally simpler, can be more affordable, and offers you a wider choice of high-quality bands. Regardless of where you book your wedding band, it will cost more because your wedding is abroad but it can be refreshingly cheaper than you may think, especially with a UK based band.
Keep it local?
And to be honest, there are sometimes just too many unknown variables with booking a local band but if you speak with your wedding venue you will soon understand the options available. If you are getting married in a distant land, remote area or just dream of local food, music and culture at your wedding, well then, go for it! Having a local translator or excellent wedding venue manager will be invaluable as there’s no doubt local wedding bands can be fantastic.
Have that magical wedding you’ve been dreaming of!
I hope this guide has helped you today. Don’t forget that we hire our wedding bands out to all parts of the world so if you fancy booking one of our bands just get in touch and we’ll sort the rest. We’re here 7 days a week from 10 am to 10 pm and we look forward to hearing about your wedding abroad!
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Jon and the Seventh Second team