The Expert Guide To Choosing The Perfect Live Wedding Music

July 2023 | Jon Stephens

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

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Our expert guide on how to choose the perfect live wedding music for your big day!

 

Deciding what live music you want for your special day is all about choosing a live wedding band that suits the theme and style of your wedding. If you pick a live band that doesn’t fit in with your wedding’s themes, they will seem out of place, play the wrong wedding music for you, and conflict with the atmosphere and theme you are trying to create. Aside from style, other factors to consider when choosing a wedding music band are budget, their suitability for your chosen venue, their DJ playlists, 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 music for your wedding but the biggest is getting the right style of wedding music band to perform it. 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-themed weddings. There are so many different styles or genres of wedding music out there and it’s important when choosing a band to perform it that you try not to 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 wedding music and live band for you! The kind of live wedding music you choose matters, just read this amazing article if you don’t believe me, or skip straight to wedding music inspiration here! Although I will mainly talk about weddings in my guide, most of this advice is relevant if you are looking for the right kind of live music for your party or event too!

 

It’s not all about style!

I’m not suggesting that factors like your budget, a bands promotional material (including their reviews), their booking options, or the suitability of your venue for live music aren’t all important considerations when it comes to picking a wedding music band. No, no. That’s why we’ve covered all of those topics in our other guides and some of them in my guide today. Here are some of our other must-reads…

 

40+ Of The Best Live Wedding Bands

7 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Picking A Wedding Music Band

Should You Watch A Wedding Band Before You Book Them?

8 Essential Facts About Wedding Sound Limiters You Need To Know

 

We also did a groundbreaking and exhaustive study into the real cost of wedding bands in 2023 so you know what you can get for your money and don’t forget our top guide on what do wedding bands perform. With all these guides and more on the way every week, we 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 ideas or suggestions on how we can help, let us know!

 

1. Your first step towards awesome wedding music

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. In my experience, it’s the most important aspect when choosing wedding music and a band to perform it. I’ve been performing in wedding bands here at Seventh Second for over 10 years and trying to keep bands on budget and suitable for everyone’s wedding music tastes and themes can be tricky but rewarding work. I hope this guide can help you choose the live wedding music and perfect wedding band for you. Once you’ve done that, work out a budget and see which live bands tick all the boxes.

 

Awesome, award-winning live wedding music!

After you’ve read my guide today, why not have a look at some of our award-winning live wedding bands and our popular guides showcasing them all?

 

  1. The Best Acoustic and Folk Wedding Bands for Hire in 2023 and 2024
  2. The Best Wedding Ceremony and Reception Musicians for 2023 and 2024
  3. Funktastic Disco and Funk Wedding Bands for Hire
  4. The 25 Most Recommended Rock and Pop Wedding Bands for Hire
  5. The Best Soul and Motown Wedding Bands for Hire in 2023 and 2024
  6. Our Most Recommended Indie and Britpop Wedding Bands
  7. 15 Awesome Bandeoke and Rockaoke Live Wedding Bands for Hire

 

 

2. Wedding music inspiration!

Wedding-Style-Bride-And-Groom
 

Getting onto what you all came here for, let me show you some of the key styles of wedding bands out there that perform week in week out. You are sure to find a style of wedding music band you love here and maybe even a band you want to hire but if you don’t, scroll back up a little a check out our extensive guides on all types of live wedding bands! Click on any genre of wedding music below to head straight to that section of the guide or check out the first genre I cover below, rock, pop, and indie!

 

Swing and ratpack bands

Acoustic and roaming folk bands

Niche or alternative bands 

Themed bands

Soul and motown bands

Multi-genre band

 

Rock, Pop, and Indie live wedding bands 

The League of Gentlemen

Starting with one of our most popular wedding music 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 with high-tempo wedding music! Electric Jukebox are another fantastic rock, pop, and indie wedding band and one of our most popular.

 

Favored musical styles

Rock, Pop, and Indie

 

League of Gentlemen’s popular wedding music

Mr Brightside – The Killers

Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars

Wonderwall – Oasis

Shut up and Dance – Walk the Moon

 

League of Gentlemen’s standard lineup

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

 


Swing and Ratpack live wedding bands

Night and Day

Some wedding music demands 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. The Meraki Jazz Collective offers some jazzier swing and ratpack if that’s your wedding style too!

Favored musical styles

Swing, Ratpack, Jazz, and Soul

 

Night and Day’s popular wedding music

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 lineup

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

 


Acoustic and Roaming Folk live wedding bands 

Acoustic Captain

Acoustic, roaming, and folk acts such as Acoustic Captain can bring an up-close, personal, vintage wedding music to any wedding. They complement festival-themed weddings with their varied wardrobes, music, and roaming ability. No wedding guest is safe from these awesome little wandering acts. Paper Boats are one of our most in-demand folk wedding music bands and perform amazing festival folk-flavored wedding music all night long!

Favored musical styles

Folk, Gypsy, Pop, and Acoustic

 

Acoustic Captain’s popular wedding music

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 lineup

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

 


Niche or Alternative live wedding bands

DJ Republic

You want your wedding music to be totally different or have a bit of a club vibe? Niche acts like DJ Republic can do that for you. Combining the greatest attributes of live wedding music and DJ’s all at once acts like DJ Republic are perfect if you want to stand out from the crowd and keep your dance floor rammed. Stan Darsh are another great example of a live band that’s just that little bit different with their live wedding music choices.

 

Favored musical styles

Dance, Rave, Pop, Alternative, and Club Classics

 

DJ Republic’s popular wedding music

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 lineup

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

 


Themed live 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 wedding music theme you have planned. Just like Knight Riders, these acts usually cover contemporary and classic pop tunes but with their unique spin like Get Loud who love the 90s! A great choice if you know your guests will love it too!

Favored musical styles

Usually Pop and Classics with a unique twist!

 

Knight Riders’ popular wedding music

Beat It – MJ

Club Tropicana – Wham

Gold – Spandau Ballet

Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi

 

Knight Rider’s standard lineup

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


Soul and Motown live wedding bands

Southside Sparkle

Similar to Swing and Ratpack wedding bands, Soul and Motown acts add some vibrant, vintage wedding music fun to any wedding. Acts like our own Southside Sparkle add a touch of class and nostalgia to weddings week in week out with Soul and Mowtown acts being fantastic bands for your wedding if you want some high-class dance floor fun. The Motown Boys are another top example of this style of wedding music band.

Favored musical styles

Soul, Motown, Jazz, and Pop

Southside Sparkle’s popular wedding music

I Wanna be like You – Jungle Book

Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

Crazy in Love – Beyonce

Mambo Italiano – Rosemary Clooney

Southside Sparkle’s standard lineup

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


Multi-Genre wedding music bands

The Usual Suspects

Multi-genre wedding bands are just what they sound like. Most weddings usually have a theme but newlyweds almost always have a varied guest list. Multi-genre wedding bands like the Usual Suspects are hugely popular because they cover all wedding music eras and genres. They are to be seriously considered, especially if your wedding has a wide range of guests with wide-ranging musical tastes.  Our multi-genre wedding bands are our biggest sellers with newlyweds and their guests all loving what they do. If you don’t have specific wedding music 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 dance floor regardless of people’s age or musical tastes! From the Top are a larger version of the multi-genre wedding band.

Favored musical styles

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

The Usual Suspect’s popular wedding music

Shut up and Dance – Walk the Moon

Mr Brightside – The Killers

Shotgun – George Ezra

Wonderwall – Oasis

The Usual Suspect’s standard live lineup

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

 

 

3. I’m still struggling to choose wedding music and a live band!

Don’t worry I 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 years of experience planning, booking, and performing at weddings and are available 10 am – 10 pm, 7 days a week via, online chat, phone, the usual socials, text, and email to help in any way. We also offer comprehensive booking contracts, covid cover and have reduced our prices by 15% for any 2023 and 2024 bookings too!

4. Why not try adding extra wedding musicians?

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

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

Extra-Musicians-Booking-Option-Screenshot

 

!Shameless live wedding music plug alert!

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

I’ve dealt with so many couples struggling to find a live band that fits into their wedding music ideas 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 music bands and advertise acts that are willing to try and cater their wedding music and lineup 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 and perfect wedding music sorted just for you.

5. Multiple bands 

One way of solving the wedding music and live 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 larger live band for the evening wedding party ticking all those wedding song boxes! Rae (below) and Encore are two brilliant examples of compact acoustic acts that can add a new musical dimension to your wedding. 

 

Most of our bands offer add-on acoustic booking options which can totally transform your wedding music experience 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!

6. Where’s my wedding planner when I need them?

If you do have a wedding planner, have you spoken about your wedding song ideas? They are usually looking at the bigger wedding picture and may be able to filter out ideas and live bands that simply won’t fit into your wedding music 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 wedding music and 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 music bands you are shortlisting. As a starting point, read our guide on wedding venue sound limiters here.

7. Still struggling for ideas?

There are a few other ideas I have up my sleeve if you are still struggling. For example, if you really like a live band but their look doesn’t fit your music 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 it’s all worth exploring. I’ve transformed many of our wedding bands for couples and their unique wedding themes with these two simple tricks.

8. 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 wedding music to a degree and again, this could turn your wedding from a rock and indie nightmare into that poptastic music fest you’ve always dreamed of!

 

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

9. What wedding music band would your guests hire?

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

 

Rock-And-Pop-Wedding-Band-Live-Bride-And-Groom

10. Finally, have a good soul search when choosing your live wedding band    

Maybe you’ve picked the perfect live band that performs the perfect wedding music 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 it’s a band that’s truly going to musically compliment the look and feel of your wedding. Over the years, I’ve had couples picking a band such as The Avengers with their predominately funk and pop wedding music 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. Think twice, book once, and book right.

 

11. Choose a suitable live band

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

                      

12. Put your money where your wedding music mouth is

Yes, yes, so I’m sure it now seems like I know everything about how to choose the best wedding music and perfect live band for your wedding so what kind of music and 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 Avengers, The League of Gentlemen, and The Harmony Collective and asked them to perform really classic wedding music 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 dance floor and it worked!  We were also going for a bit of 1920s 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 music theme a bespoke live band is the way to go and if you feel the same way, come and speak to us and we’ll get it sorted for you.

 

A handy infographic

I designed a fun infographic to help you on the way to choosing the perfect live wedding band that will perform your ideal wedding music.

How-To-Choose-A-Wedding-Band-In-2021-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 live wedding music and wedding band! We spend a lot of time making our guides 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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