Should you hire a live wedding band for your wedding?
Live wedding bands are highly versatile, adaptable and able to perform during your wedding ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast and of course during your evening wedding party. They are seen as the pinnacle a live wedding entertainment and whether performing indoors or outdoors they bring a unique and vibrant live music element to any wedding. Hire a wedding band if you love live music and want it to be a part of your wedding celebrations.
What I will cover to help you decide
Your wedding plans are in motion, exciting times! Now to decide whether you should have a live band at your wedding? You could always have a DJ, run your own playlists or book alternative entertainment but I will show you all the reasons you should and shouldn’t hire a wedding band so you are left in no doubt as to what you want for your special day. As explained I will go through all the reasons why you should and shouldn’t have a live band at your wedding and you can quickly skip to either of these sections by clicking on the links below.
Why you should hire a band
Why you shouldn’t hire a band
I’ve also put all today’s information in a handy infographic which you will find at the bottom of this guide. Don’t be tempted to merely look at that though, choosing your wedding entertainment is a big decision so read through the whole guide so you are fully informed!
Why you should hire a live wedding band
Let’s start with why you should pick a wedding band as your live wedding entertainment.
The live wedding music experience
This first point is pretty easy for me to promote as I’m a wedding musician! You simply can’t beat the look, sound and feel of live music performed and most importantly, performed just for you! Live wedding bands offer an unparalleled musical experience so if you want vibrant, exciting, authentic live musical entertainment at your wedding, book a live band. Its that simple.
Your musical tastes
Wedding bands come in all sorts of shapes and sizes as you can witness in our guide here and this means you can pick a live band that suits your musical tastes or wedding theme down to a tee. Authentic acoustic music? 1920’s swing? ‘80s classics madness? Alternative festival-style band?
Wedding bands really do appear in all musical forms and because they can dress accordingly they look the part too. Even if you want wedding entertainment that spans all genres, eras and tastes, Multi-genre wedding bands can do that. There will always be a wedding band out there for you.
Wedding crowd pleasers
Some wedding entertainment out there demonstrates great crowd interaction skills but nothing quite beats a live bands ability to get your dancefloor pumping, that wedding venue or wedding barn bouncing and you and your guests shouting/screaming/singing song lyrics at the top of your voice until late into the night. Just like the best live acts at Glastonbury, live wedding bands know how to get a wedding crowd going wild and enjoying themselves. Does that sound like the kind of wedding party you want?
Packed wedding dance floors
It goes without saying that with their crowd interaction skills and unique and expertly performed versions of classic and contemporary tunes, wedding bands are hard to beat for getting dance floors busy and keeping them that way. If you want your mum, nan, young ones and that stuffy uncle of yours strutting their stuff on your wedding dance floor, book a live band.
Exclusivity my darling
DJ’s are great sure but they aren’t that exclusive generally. They are essentially playing pre-recorded music in a sequence they know works, gig after gig.
A live wedding band consists of people who’ve spent years learning an instrument, honing it into a skill and working hard with other musicians to create a unique wedding band. Now you get to experience it up close and personal! Sure, they may perform every weekend, but trust me when I say that every time we perform, it’s unique and bespoke for us and you. Every wedding is unique, every wedding performance a one-off.
The most important dance
Your first dance. Unless you prefer the original song to be played over the PA system, I can’t think of a more romantic, more personalised way to celebrate your marriage and your first dance as a married couple than by having a live band perform it for you. It’s as simple as that really.
A bit more exclusivity you say?
Not only can your first dance be performed as you always dreamt, but the bands’ whole live performance can usually be tailored to you and your guests’ tastes. A wedding music band performing your ultimate playlist? What’s not too like?? Come and speak to us if this sounds up your street, we offer bespoke services for any couple looking to get married.
Sure, they may not be quite as compact as a DJ, but wedding bands are adept at fitting into all sorts of odd little spaces at wedding venues. They are experts at it as you can read about here. They can add or remove members to suit the size and scale of your wedding and fit perfectly into your wedding designs. Perfecto!
Wedding venue geeks
Wedding music bands get wedding venues. They perform in differing ones, countrywide every week. That makes them somewhat experts with loading and unloading logistics, acoustics, lighting and sound limiters. Because they understand weddings and wedding venues it can only make your life easier and your wedding entertainment the best out there!
Get those wedding decks out!
They may not exclusively be DJ’s but did you know that some wedding bands offer DJ services or at the very least background music when they aren’t performing. Your wedding entertainment never has to stop and you never have to stop dancing to your favourite tunes either it seems. All our wedding bands offer DJ services usually free of charge, so come and speak to us about that non-stop, music-fuelled wedding you want!
Relax and party
Speaking from my own wedding experience and from helping bride and grooms with their wedding entertainment for almost 10 years I’ve learnt that if anything, weddings can be stressful. So why not bring some experts in who can plan and coordinate all your wedding entertainment needs so you have one less thing to organise and worry about?
Like all ours do, wedding bands usually bring everything to your wedding that’s needed to perform to the max. Relax and enjoy your wedding, they know what they are doing. Learn more about why they are the experts here.
The live wedding music never stops, unless you want it too…
Nowadays, wedding bands can morph from full-on live acts into intimate acoustic acts at the drop of a hat. From Folk to Rock in the blink of an eye. This means, that unlike pretty much any other wedding entertainment out there, they can perform for you all day, during any part of your wedding, whether its inside or outside. Acoustic Captain (above) can transform into Captain Obvious (below) or vice versa for example. Nothing is stopping you from getting your boogie on all day then now is there??
Wanting to get on that wedding stage?
Live bands usually bring a fully stocked PA and light show so if you need to make speeches of even sing your heart out they have the gear for you to use. That’s handy! We’ve been known to duet with bride and grooms or their friends and family when they’ve wanted to perform a special, surprise song or first dance. Not only is that truly amazing, but it’s also pretty romantic and memorable!
You wouldn’t have thought there would be so many reasons you should have a live band at your wedding!?
Lastly, though, unlike most wedding entertainment, wedding bands commonly have loads of booking options. Acoustic sets, live bandeoke, differing line ups and outfits, the list is almost endless. Below is a screenshot of some of the booking options out live wedding bands offer.
Why you shouldn’t hire a live band for your wedding
Let me now take you through the reasons you shouldn’t consider a live band for your wedding entertainment. They aren’t the best option for everyone’s wedding after all.
So compared to DJ’s and some other wedding entertainment, live bands can be more costly but then you are getting a lot for your money. However, they are quite the investment, with our most affordable wedding band The Avengers (below) costing £720 on average. You can look at band pricing in detail here if you want. It’s pretty eye-opening!
Wedding venue suitability
Although live wedding bands can come in compact sizes with The Usual Suspect’s (below) springing to mind, many are designed and sound best in their bigger incarnations like Flair. Some venues simply can’t accommodate these kinds of acts and quite a few venues nowadays have such stringent sound restrictions that they can’t accommodate any type of live band, let alone a larger act such as Flair. It’s a sad reality and may prevent you from picking a wedding music band as your wedding entertainment. Read more about wedding venue restrictions and bands venue requirements here.
Handy live band size guides
Below, are some performance area/stage sizing guides so you can check if your venue can accommodate any band you are looking at. The more space the better though, these sizing’s are the minimum required.
3 piece wedding band – 3×3 metres needed
4 piece wedding band – 4×3 metres needed
5/6 piece wedding band – 5×3 metres needed
7 piece or bigger wedding band – 6/7×4 metres needed
Keeping them fed and watered
Wedding bands as mentioned come in all shapes and sizes and every member will need adequate food, drink, changing facilities, a place to rest and relax and ample space to park their vehicles safely. In this aspect, it can be a lot easier to accommodate a DJ that comes as part of your wedding venue package as their gear is on-site and they are only one mouth to feed while they spin those wedding tunes for you.
Weddings bands ain’t no DJ
Have a read of our post on wedding DJ’s vs live bands for more on this but if you want an immersive club or DJ atmosphere at your wedding, don’t book a live band. There are a few exceptions to the rule like DJ Republic below with their unique combination of DJ vibes and live band sound but for the most part, DJ’s exist for a reason other than just affordability!
Wedding music bands are only human
We need to rest from all that performing! You can’t be a wedding entertainment genius all the time. Haha. Wedding bands do need toilet breaks, food, drink and downtime between live sets so if you want a non-stop musical party they aren’t always the best choice.
Wedding bands like ours do provide, extended live sets, background music or DJ’ing in-between live sets but it might not be quite the same as a DJ creating a 4 hour, wedding rave for you!
What’s that? You don’t know how to play every song ever?!
It’s sad but true, us wedding musicians don’t know how to play every song ever. It’s frustrating not being able to accommodate requests people make on the spot at weddings because we’ve either never heard of the song or just don’t know how to play it. DJ’s don’t need to know a song, they just need the internet and fingers to type into Spotify or iTunes so if you want your wedding entertainment to be able to play any song at the drop of a hat or take any request known to man, then a live band may not be for you.
Don’t stop me now, im having such a good time!
Live wedding bands usually perform 2×1 hour or 3×40 minute live sets over a 6 to 4 hour period finishing at 12 am as that’s what suits 90% of weddings and wedding venues. I did hear rumours of Playback (below) once performing for over 4 hours for one of our clients as a special request but live bands don’t usually perform that long. Live performance is a physical business and vocal cords can’t be overused so if you want relentless music late, late into the night you may need to look past wedding bands. Unless you combine them with a DJ that is…
Sound limiters and sound restrictions
I did mention that live wedding bands are experts with sound limiters and they are but if the venues sound restrictions or sound limiters are set below 85db it’s going to be very hard for any live band to perform to their best for you, if at all. This is always worth checking and we go into this more here.
Acoustic acts like Rae (below) or Cadence can offer beautiful wedding music at a fraction of the volume so all is not quite lost!
My guests and I don’t like all that noisy music stuff
You and your guests’ enjoyment makes a huge difference to the fun factor on your special day, so we always say you should think about what you and your guests would like to hear at your wedding too. Maybe they love DJs and don’t love that Indie wedding band you like the look of. Acoustic Captain or Latin Corner (below) could remedy this for you as they are little softer sounding but still musically brilliant. It’s something to consider.
Good wedding bands are in high demand
I realised I pretty much said what I needed to say in the title there! Quality wedding bands are in high demand, gigging week in week out and can be hard or just too expensive to book. You may not be able to book the one you really want for the date you want or they may just be too pricey. Sometimes this can’t be avoided but the two guides below can help you with this conundrum.
How far in advance should I book a live wedding band
How to book a live wedding band on a budget in 2020
That’s all the wedding band pros and cons
Now that you’ve read our pros and cons to wedding bands, there are a few more things worth reading about before you make your decision…
Wedding entertainment with a twist?
Perhaps you just want something different from the usual wedding DJs and wedding bands like Knight Riders above? Well, below we offer you a small selection from our specialist little roster of wedding entertainment.
What did bride and grooms think of the live wedding bands they booked with us?
We have thousands of happy couples reviews here but below are a couple from our Facebook page. I thought they were lovely and show you in a nutshell what a live band can bring to your wedding!
“The League of Gentlemen were amazing on our wedding day. They played a two-piece afternoon set during our reception drinks and then a full evening set, which got everyone up and dancing. They’re so talented and kept up the energy all night. We couldn’t recommend them highly enough.”
Mrs Skeels 26/9/2019
“Cannot rate this company highly enough. We hired the superb and amazing band ‘Flowers@ through this company for our 40th birthday party. They were more than helpful in the planning and extremely professional throughout. As for the band – AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!! The lead vocals were unbelievable and totally made our party.”
Mrs Binns 20/10/2017
Here as promised, is an infographic summing up everything I’ve covered today. I hope it helps.
All of us at Seventh Second and the thousands of happy couples here think you should always try and book live wedding band entertainment if you can. This study had some pretty interesting results on the social and economic impact of live music on the UK over the last 50 years. Well worth a read if you have the time and inclination.
Unless you desire some very specific wedding entertainment or love what DJ’s offer, we’d plump for a live band every time. They are so unique in what they offer and will leave you all with huge grins come home time. It’s as simple as that, we promise.
Thanks for taking the time to read my guide today and have a wonderful wedding!
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Oana and the girls and boys at Seventh Second