How To Choose A Live Wedding Band – An Expert Guide

January 2020 | Jon Stephens

  • Band Promo
  • -
  • Booking Options
  • -
  • Cost and Budgeting
  • -
  • Live Wedding Band Guide
  • -
  • Music Repertoire
  • -
  • Picking A Band
  • -
  • Tips and Tricks
  • -
  • Wedding Setlists

How do you choose the perfect live band for your wedding?

 

When deciding on a wedding band for your special day, picking a band that suits the theme and style of your wedding is paramount. If you pick a live band that doesn’t fit in with your wedding’s themes, they will seem out of place and conflict with the message and theme you are trying to portray. Aside from style, other factors to consider when choosing a wedding band are budget, their suitability for your chosen venue, how they dress and what songs they perform.

 

london-wedding
 

Wedding style over substance?

 

Everyone here at Seventh Second agrees that there are quite a few factors to mull over when choosing the perfect kind of live band for your wedding but the biggest is getting the right style wedding band. Style is everything, right? Well, maybe not, but it’s important and helps set the mood at anything from suave and sophisticated weddings to wild, festival style weddings. While we are all stuck inside due to COVID-19, we are going to bring you even more useful guides so when wedding season kick starts again, you are ready!

There so many different styles or genres of wedding band out there and it’s important when choosing a live band that you try not base your choice solely on your budget or some flashy-looking band photos. Let our 15 years of experience help you choose the perfect kind of band for you. Your choice of live wedding music matters, just read this amazing article if you don’t believe us!

However, we’re not suggesting that factors like your wedding entertainment budget, a bands promotional material (including their reviews), their booking options, their availability or the suitability of your venue for live music aren’t all important considerations when it comes to picking a wedding band. No, no, no. That’s why we’ve covered many of those topics in our other guides including…

How far in advance should I book a live band?

How to book a live wedding band on a budget in 2020

Should you watch a wedding band before you book them?

We also did a groundbreaking and exhaustive study into the real cost of wedding bands in 2020 so you know what kind of bands you can afford to pick from and don’t forget our top guide on live wedding bands to avoid in 2020.

With all these guides and more on the way every week, we will have every decision you have to make when choosing a live band for your wedding covered. We aim to help you in every way we can, leaving no wedding stone unturned but if you have any more ideas or suggestions on how we can help, let us know.

 

Your first step towards awesome wedding entertainment

 

We feel you should first and foremost make sure that any live bands you are considering for your wedding will complement the style, look and feel of your wedding. We feel that it’s the most important aspect when choosing a band for your wedding.  We know picking your wedding entertainment can be a tough balancing act. We’ve been performing in all sorts of wedding bands for over 15 years and trying to keep live bands in budget and suitable for everyone’s wedding tastes and themes is tough but rewarding work. We hope this post can help you choose the perfect kind of live band for your wedding and once you’ve done that, you can figure in your budget, which band to specifically pick and all those other considerations.

 

Wedding style!

 

Wedding-Style-Bride-And-Groom
 

Getting onto what we all came here for, let us show you the major styles of wedding band you can hire, shall we? It will help narrow down what type of band you might want for your wedding.

Click on any genre below to head straight to that section of the guide or check out the first genre we cover below, Rock and Pop wedding bands!

 

Swing and Ratpack bands

Acoustic and Roaming Folk bands

Niche or Alternative bands 

Themed bands

Soul and Motown bands

Multi-genre bands

 

Rock and Pop Bands 

The League of Gentlemen

 

Starting with one of our most popular live bands, The League of Gentlemen will turn your wedding into a fun rock and pop festival. Acts like these raise the wedding roof and as long as you don’t mind a bit of energy and volume, they will get all your guests dancing!

 Favoured musical styles

Rock, Pop and Indie

 League of Gentlemen’s popular wedding songs

Mr Brightside – The Killers

Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars

Wonderwall – Oasis

Shut up and Dance – Walk the Moon

 League of Gentlemen’s standard live line up

Lead male vocals, guitar and backing vocals, drums and backing vocals, bass guitar

 


Swing and Ratpack Bands

Night and Day

 

Some weddings demand style, sophistication and top quality understated entertainment. Night and Day with their uniquely cool and upbeat Swing and Ratpack renditions of classic and contemporary tunes fit that top draw bill.

Favoured musical styles

Swing, Ratpack, Jazz and Soul

 Night and Day’s popular wedding songs

Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra

Feeling Good – Michael Buble

Get Lucky – Daft Punk

Dancing in the Moonlight – Toploader

 Night and Day’s standard live line up

Lead male vocals, guitar and backing vocals, drums and backing vocals, bass guitar and keys

 


Acoustic and Roaming Folk Bands 

Acoustic Captain

 

Acoustic roaming and folk-esque acts such as Acoustic Captain can bring an up-close, personal, vintage musical vibe to any wedding. They complement festival-themed weddings with their varied wardrobes, sound and roaming ability. No wedding guests are safe from these awesome little wandering acts.

Favoured musical styles

Folk, Gypsy, Pop and Acoustic

 Acoustic Captain’s popular wedding songs

Crazy Little Thing called Love – Queen

Don’t stop Believing – Journey

I will Wait – Mumford & Sons

Stay with Me – Sam Smith

Acoustic Captain’s standard live line up

Lead male vocals and acoustic guitar x2, percussion and backing vocals and double bass and backing vocals

 


Niche or Alternative Wedding Bands

DJ Republic

 

You want your wedding to be totally different or have a bit of a club vibe mixed in there? Niche acts like DJ Republic can do that for you. Combining the greatest attributes of live wedding bands and DJ’s all at once, acts like DJ Republic are perfect if you want to stand out from the crowd and keep your dancefloor rammed.

Favoured musical styles

Dance, Rave, Pop and Club Classics

 DJ Republic’s popular wedding songs

24K Magic – Bruno Mars

Don’t Start Now – Dua Lipa

Rather Be – Clean Bandit

Boom Boom Shake the Room – Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince

 DJ Republic’s standard live line up

Lead female and male vocals, DJ, guitar, bass and trumpet

 


Themed Wedding Bands

Knight Riders

 

Just like Ceilidh acts, ’80s themed live bands like Knight Riders are the kind of acts that can fit that very specific musical wedding theme you have planned. Just like Knight Riders, these acts usually cover contemporary and classic pop tunes but with their unique spin. A great choice if you know your guests will love it too!

Favoured musical styles

Usually Pop and Classics with a unique twist!

 Knight Riders popular wedding songs

Beat It – MJ

Club Tropicana – Wham

Gold – Spandau Ballet

Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi

 Knight Riders standard live line up

Lead male vocals, keys, guitar and backing vocals and drums


Soul and Motown Acts

Southside Sparkle

 

Similar to Swing and Ratpack wedding bands, Soul and Motown acts add some vibrant, vintage fun to any wedding. Acts like our own Southside Sparkle add a touch of class and nostalgia to weddings week in week out. Soul and Mowtown acts are fantastic bands for your wedding if you want some high-class dancefloor fun.

Favoured musical styles

Soul, Motown, Jazz and Pop 

Southside Sparkle’s popular wedding songs

I Wanna be like You – Jungle Book

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Crazy in Love – Beyonce

Mambo Italiano – Rosemary Clooney 

Southside Sparkle’s standard live line up

Lead female vocals x3, double bass, piano, drums, guitar, sax and trumpet


Multi-Genre Wedding Bands

The Usual Suspects

 

Multi-genre wedding bands are just what they sound like. Most weddings usually have a theme but bride and grooms almost always have a varied guest list. Multi-genre wedding bands like the Usual Suspects are hugely popular because they cover all musical eras and genres and are to be seriously considered, especially if your wedding has a wide range of guests with wide-ranging musical tastes.

Without question, our multi-genres wedding bands are our biggest sellers and bride, grooms and guests all love what they do. If you don’t have a specific musical theme in mind for your wedding or if all the genres above didn’t quite pique your interest then acts like the Usual Suspects should be at the top of your list. They will get everyone on that dancefloor regardless of peoples age or musical tastes!

Favoured musical styles

All styles are covered but Pop, Rock, Indie, Folk, Motown and old classics are most popular

The Usual Suspects popular wedding songs

Shut up and Dance – Walk the Moon

Mr Brightside – The Killers

Shotgun – George Ezra

Wonderwall – Oasis

The Usual Suspects standard live line up

Lead male vocals and guitar, bass and vocals and drums and vocals

 

I’m still struggling to choose a live band!

Don’t worry we have more ideas and nifty ways you can start to narrow down your choices. One obvious one is to simply speak to us. We have over 15 years experience planning, booking and performing at weddings and we are available 10 am – 10 pm, 7 days a week via, online chat, phone, text and email. 

Why not try and add extra wedding musicians

 

Sometimes, you may look at a band that almost ticks all the style boxes but not quite. Well, why not see if they can add extra musicians? It might tick those final boxes for you. For example, if a wedding band added a keyboardist or female singer to their line up it would enable them to perform an awful lot more songs in varying styles hopefully complementing your wedding theme perfectly. We can’t vouch for other websites but all our live bands offer the option of extra musicians to help create the perfect atmosphere for you.

As a starting point, you can view all our live band’s booking options at the bottom of their profiles. See the screenshot below for some of our booking options. Having a good look at these may give you that spark of inspiration! You can always ask us musicians about any of this and that leads me nicely onto a shameless plug…

Extra-Musicians-Booking-Option-Screenshot

 

!Shameless wedding plug alert!

 

Night-And-Day-Soul-Motown-Wedding-Band

 

We’ve dealt with so many couples struggling to find the perfect live band for their wedding over the years and as mentioned one way we solved the problem is by being in the acts we promote. This means we know what we are talking about and can design truly bespoke wedding bands and advertise acts that are willing to try and cater their music and line-up to your wedding theme. Being able to design bespoke wedding bands also means that 9 times out of 10, we create an act that fits the stylistic sound and aesthetic look couples want but also fits into their budget. When compared to other websites, we are unique in this way so ask us more about it or learn more about us. Either way, I’m sure we can get the right live wedding band for you.

Multiple bands 

 

One way of solving the perfect band conundrum is to pick two different acts. Budget permitting, you could always pick a compact acoustic act for the ceremony, drinks reception or early evening and bring in a more vibrant live band for the wedding party ticking all those style boxes! Rae (below) and Encore are two brilliant examples of compact acoustic acts that can add a new dimension to your wedding.

Most of our bands have add-on acoustic booking options which can totally transform your wedding so it’s worth considering that too if your budget can’t stretch to two separate acts. That way, you can get the best of both worlds at a great discount. Just ask us about that.

 

Wheres my wedding planner when I need them?

 

If you do have a wedding planner, we’re sure you’ve spoken about your wedding theme with them so why not your live entertainment too? They are usually looking at the bigger wedding picture and may be able to filter out bands that simply won’t fit into your wedding theme. A good wedding planner is worth their weight in gold!

This would also be a great opportunity to ask them or the wedding venue what kind of live bands they can actually accommodate. Many venues have sound or space restrictions and you may find this excludes (for better or for worse) some of the wedding bands you are shortlisting. We’ll go into this in more detail in the coming weeks.

Still struggling for ideas?

 

There are a few other ideas we have up our sleeve if you are still struggling. For example, if you really like a live band but their look doesn’t fit your theme, bear in mind most bands have multiple looks. A simple change of outfit can transform the appearance of a band and suddenly they are blending in perfectly with your wedding! Similarly, lighting whether it be the bands or hired in, can alter how acts perform and are perceived live so have a chat with them or their representatives. Most wedding venues have lights or hiring options so its all worth exploring. We’ve transformed many of our wedding bands for couples unique themes with these two simple tricks.

These wedding songs suck!

 

If you’re finding the band’s setlist or general song choices aren’t quite buttering your bread then ask if they can do anything about that. Any live band worth booking should be willing to edit their live sets to a degree and again, this could turn your wedding from a Rock and Indie nightmare into that Pop-tastic music fest you’ve always dreamed of!

A case in point is again our acts. They are all happy to discuss setlist ideas and try and cater to you and your guests. For us, its all part of delivering the perfect live band for your wedding. Good Fellas are pretty awesome at all this. Check them out below.

 

 

What wedding band would your guests pick?

 

Obviously, this is your special day and you are forking out the money but trust us when we say that every great wedding needs happy guests. Once you’ve got your wedding band genre narrowed down or have a few wedding bands on your list, it’s worth considering what your guests might pick or which band would stand the best chance of getting everyone up and dancing and matching your wedding theme. A packed dancefloor makes for a wedding to remember in our experience and it’s why our wedding band From the Top (below) are so popular because they can fit into many wedding themes but also get everyone and their gran on that dancefloor!

 

From-The-Top-Live-Band-For-Hire

Finally, have a good soul search when picking you live band    

 

Maybe you’ve picked the perfect live band for your wedding. Awesome! Well done! But before you go ahead and book, make sure you are certain they will complement your wedding theme. 

You may have picked a great live wedding band but just double-check its a band that’s truly going to compliment the look and feel of your wedding. Over the years, we’ve had bride and grooms picking a band such as The Avengers with their predominately Funk and Pop setlist only to be confused as to why they can’t perform a setlist that’s more in tune with Stan Darsh’s alternative, heavier live show. 

Budget constraints and band availability amongst other things can sometimes mean you can’t book your first choice band and whilst great wedding bands will try their best to accommodate you and your guests, they can’t always morph into totally different bands. Just be realistic with your ideas and requests and pick a live band that’s in tune (get it!?) with your ideas and expectations. If you can, it could be well worth increasing your budget a little so you get exactly what you want.

                      

Put your money where your wedding mouth is

 

Yes, yes, so I’m sure it now seems like I know everything about how to find the perfect live band for a wedding so what kind of band did I pick for my wedding?

I had a really wide age range of guests from different countries and cultures so I put together a bespoke band made up of members of The AvengersThe League of Gentlemen and The Harmony Collective and asked them to perform real classic dance tunes from the ’60s right up to present day. We generally stuck with slightly more classic tunes as most people know them and you can’t help but dance to them. Our main priority was to see lots of crazy dancing on a packed dancefloor and it worked!  We were also going for a bit of 1920’s theme so the band kindly dressed accordingly. They looked fantastic, our guests looked fantastic and it was a night to remember. Sometimes, to nail that wedding theme a bespoke live band is the way to go and if you feel the same way, come and speak to us and we get it sorted for you.

 

A handy infographic

We designed a fun infographic to help you on the way to choosing the perfect live wedding band.

 

How-To-Choose-A-Live-Wedding-Band-Infographic

 

 I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and it’s been helpful. Feel free to contact us about anything that pops into your head and enjoy choosing your perfect wedding band!

We spend a lot of time making our blog posts the best we can for you so if you liked what you read please consider sharing it with others.

Thanks for reading.

 

Jon and the boy and girls at Seventh Second



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