What Live Wedding Bands Should You Avoid In 2020?
This is a question we get asked by all sorts of people. Uncertain bride and grooms, parents, guests and even aspiring new wedding bands ask us all the time. It’s a really important question and its never really been properly answered, until now. The simple answer is that yes there are certain live wedding bands you should avoid and in this blog post, we explain how to avoid them and more.
Don’t avoid Night and Day seen above though. They are fantastic wedding party pros!
Give me some wedding stats!
Now let’s start with some stats. According to hitched the average cost of a wedding in 2019 was £31,974 with bride and groom’s easily spending on average over £1,000 on a live wedding band. Now when you take into account that over 50% of bride and groom’s need financial help to cover their wedding costs and that many of them have reported on reflection that they wasted up to 30% of their wedding budget, picking the right wedding band and making sure you avoid the bad ones is something you really have to do.
Heres the average cost of a wedding band in England in 2020.
- 3 piece band £1125.72
- 4 piece band £1510.50
- 5 piece band £1509.76
- 6 piece band £1849.11
As a shameless little plug below are the average prices for our wedding bands in England as of 2020.
- 3 piece band £910
- 4 piece band £1117.57
- 5 piece band £1389.17
- 6 piece band £1597.54
As you can see, simply by not charging extra commission fees like other sites our wedding bands are much more affordable but regardless, wedding entertainment is still quite the investment so no mucking about here, we don’t want to see you hating your wedding entertainment and wasting your hard-earned money. Make sure you book smart. Read our blog post all about how much it costs to hire a live band for a wedding as its packed full of up to date info and top tips.
Why should you avoid certain live wedding bands?
Why should you worry? Who cares ey? Someone told you they saw a good band down at the pub so they must be good enough for your wedding?
Well, we know of a good few cases where bride and grooms have had a verbal contract with a band that their mates said were great. Said band then either didn’t show up at their wedding, were incredibly late or at the very least, performed badly. Bad eggs! We’ve heard of wedding band members getting in drunken fights with wedding guests, arguments about money, accusations of theft, musicians storming out, you name it! You have a million and one things to organise for your wedding so make picking a live band simpler and safer by following our checklist and top tips below. It’s easy and it’s a no brainer.
What should I look out for in a live wedding band?
So let’s go through what you should be checking regarding any band you are looking at booking. If alarm bells start ringing when going through the below checklist then proceed with caution…
Bad wedding reviews or lack of them
Any live wedding band worth booking should have some great reviews under their belt. If you regularly hear or read bad things about an entertainment agency, website or band, they are to be avoided. There’s plenty of fish in the sea after all! Lots of bad reviews are obviously a big red flag but if you don’t see many reviews and the band has clearly been around for some time, ask their representatives why this is. Conversely, we all have to start somewhere and fantastic, brand new wedding bands may not have loads of reviews yet so bear this in mind too.
The League of Gentlemen are a great example of an established wedding band with lots of great reviews over many years.
Bad promotional material or lack of
If a wedding bands promo looks a bit cheap or poorly done its unlikely that their performance at your wedding will be much better. Creating new promotional material is expensive and time-consuming so don’t necessarily write off a wedding band just because their promo is a tad old but still great quality. However, live bands should take pride in their promo and presentation. Your wedding is important and the band should reflect this so you all have a great time. If a band doesn’t seem to have much promotional material, this is worrying as you aren’t getting a true feel for them. From the Top are a great example of a wedding band with top promotional material.
Lack of professionalism and/or a bad attitude
Musicians can have a habit of letting the old rock god ego creep in and this is something to watch out for. Although most wedding musicians are professional and highly skilled in their art, they are still there to perform for you and your guests and should display professionalism and respect. We would strongly recommend you only book a wedding band that runs full-time and is professional. Part-time, hobby musicians don’t usually quite understand what’s required of them as a live wedding band. It’s not their profession after all.
Any wedding band that bosses you around, is rude or unprofessional in any way should be avoided. Wedding bands that don’t let you discuss booking options, setlists or first dance ideas for example, clearly don’t understand their job and should be avoided. Although you should always listen to a wedding bands advice, they are there for you and to make you happy. All wedding bands you deal with should have this attitude. We all strive to be as professional as possible here at Seventh Second but Good Fellas really excel with their customer service. Great lads.
Suspicious contractual and monetary demands
This may seem obvious but always check any contract you sign and know your rights. Any live wedding band that tries to charge extra money or claim you need to pay for extra items or add-ons should be avoided 100%. When you sign any contract with a band or agency all parties should understand and agree on what you have paid or are going to pay. No sneaky extra costs or add-ons at a later date should be tolerated unless you have agreed to them. Check out our Terms and Conditions and FAQ pages or ask us for example booking contracts if you are curious.
Deputising wedding musicians and full-time member issues
Although this doesn’t always spell doom, if a wedding bands promo seems to include wildly varying musicians in every photo or section of video this could be worrying. Are they a real band or just a random collection of musicians who don’t really perform that much together? Also, if a band has a disclaimer explaining you won’t ever get the exact same band members shown in their promo or that you only get the singer with random musicians making up the rest of the band, proceed with caution.
Of course, with any live wedding band, regular band members do leave or sometimes can’t make a show for multiple, important reasons and excellent stand-in musicians should be used but if a whole band line-up is liable to change, its best to avoid.
Because we perform in the bands you see on our website, we rarely suffer from this issue. Even larger bands like Southside Sparkle with their popular line-up keep things consistent all year round.
Another red flag to look out for is if a live band seems to be very cheap compared to similar acts or seems to be willing to offer an awful lot of freebies. It’s likely this is because they can’t get enough work and that may mean they aren’t very good, aren’t reliable or simply aren’t very professional. Always check with their representative as fantastic live wedding bands do offer special deals sometimes. All our special offers are clearly marked and you can check our wedding bands prices for any location quickly and easily on any of our wedding bands unique pages.
We love a good pub band. It’s great to see hobby musicians perform their hearts out at a pub. However, there are reasons websites like ours exist. The difference between performing a few tunes that you know inside out to your mates at your local and having to entertain a whole wedding party for over two hours with professional renditions of hits from the ’50s to the ’10s is big. Don’t forget your wedding band may perform your all-important first dance too!
To pull off the greatest wedding in wedding history you need the best suppliers and professionals and that includes your live band. So, be very cautious about booking a live band through their own website. Unless you’ve seen them before or know them, you really have no idea how good they are or if they will even turn up to your wedding. Websites like ours and representatives exist as a seal of approval and guarantee a certain level of quality with the wedding bands they promote. Their wedding bands will probably be made up of full-time, professionally trained musicians who have the best sound, lighting and musical equipment.
Unless you’re booking a live wedding band you’ve seen or know well, we strongly suggest you book through an entertainment website for peace of mind. Take us for example. We are in the bands we promote so if we were awful, no one would book us and we wouldn’t exist! We have to guarantee our own quality. Pub or part-time bands don’t.
You can read more about how we work here if you like.
Live wedding bands to avoid checklist
So let’s boil all that down into a nice little tick list for you. If you tick any of the below when looking at a wedding band, either avoid them altogether or ask them or their representatives for some clarification.
- Do they have bad reviews or no reviews at all?
- Does it seem like the band is very newly formed?
- Are they only a part-time wedding band?
- Do they have poor and out of date promotional material?
- Do they or their representatives seem unprofessional?
- Do they make strange monetary demands or ask you to sign strange contracts?
- Are the band you see in the promotional material not the band you actually get on your wedding day?
- Do they have suspicious pricing and/or booking options?
- Do they not have proper representation?
And because we are feeling generous and always want happy bride and grooms here is a little checklist showing you what you should see when looking at any great wedding band. If you tick all of these off, you’re onto a winner! Have a look at our huge wedding band guide here for more.
- Do they have lots of great reviews ideally spanning a few years?
- Ideally, have they been performing for several years together?
- Are they full-time, professional musicians?
- Do they have excellent, comprehensive promotional material that’s ideally quite up to date?
- Do they or their representation seem professional and knowledgeable?
- Are all their prices, added extras and booking options clearly explained?
- Do they have a robust and comprehensive contract that protects both you and themselves?
- Do they clearly explain if they use deputising musicians at all?
- Do they fit your wedding theme and budget?
That’s it from us. We hope this has helped but if you crave more information check out our blog post on booking a live band online, our lovely wedding bands or just give us a shout. If you’d like a pdf or word doc of our checklists just let us know too.
Oh and we found You and Your Weddings article about wedding planners quite useful for all your other wedding planning needs.
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 and keep checking back for more information on everything wedding band!
Matt and the team at Seventh Second.