Is it worth watching a wedding band before I consider booking them?
If a live wedding band are available to watch you should always take advantage of the opportunity. There is one big caveat to this because most of the time you can’t see wedding bands live before booking because they almost exclusively perform at private functions only. For the most part, it isn’t usually useful to see a wedding band live before booking as you won’t get to see a very accurate representation of what you will get come the wedding day.
Let’s go watch a wedding showcase, open rehearsal or pub gig
Well, you’re a soon to be bride and groom looking to book a live wedding band and you’re wondering to yourself, should I watch them before I book them? Well, some live wedding bands offer free showcases where prospective clients can watch them. They can also offer open rehearsal days or you can catch them at a local pub or venue. You do catch some live wedding bands at wedding exhibitions like the national wedding show so why not go watch them? It’s a no brainer surely! At the very least you get to meet the band, see how they present themselves and what they offer plus most importantly, get to hear them!
In an ideal world, we would all sample something before we purchase it. Imagine test driving your honeymoon! Wow! But hang on, maybe you shouldn’t see them live…
Why I should give wedding showcases, open rehearsals and pub gigs a miss
So, in all our years performing in wedding bands, we can honestly say we have never performed at a wedding show or pub to flaunt our wares. One of the first wedding bands we formed, The Usual Suspects below did run a few showcases in the early days but promptly stopped. Why? Are we mad? Are we antisocial? Nope, its because they didn’t really help us or future bride and grooms. We have an interview with Dan from the Usual Suspects below about that whole experience but let’s not get sidetracked.
Wedding band pub gigs and rehearsals
Without meaning to offend any musicians out there, if a wedding band is regularly performing on the weekend at your local pub or allowing people to watch them rehearse it says to us that they aren’t getting enough actual wedding gigs (which predominately occur on weekends). If they aren’t busy as a wedding band then they probably aren’t a very good wedding band. Check out our blog post on wedding bands to avoid in 2020 for more on that.
Also, we are sure you would agree that watching a wedding band at their rehearsal or in a pub that in no way resembles your wedding venue or even comes close to the atmosphere of your wedding is a bit pointless. It’s not really going to help you understand how they will perform at your wedding.
Part-time wedding bands stats
Did you know that over 50% of bride and grooms felt they wasted 30% of their wedding budget? Overpaying for their live wedding band was a part of that waste. We can honestly say that around 15% of our business comes from couples being let down by local “pub bands” who don’t perform full time or have proper representation. We also generate around 10% of our business from last minute bookings where again, its often part-time or “pub style” bands that have let couples down at the last minute. Those are not good statistics. The fact that these couples either knew the band or saw them live beforehand made no difference. They were part-time bands who offered no contractual guarantees and left bride and grooms in the lurch. Unacceptable!
Wedding band showcases
If you do want to go see a wedding band live, then showcases are probably the best way to go about it. Bands understand they are performing to potential clients but again, it’s just not going to look, sound or feel quite like your wedding when you watch them. Showcases are usually on weekends when any decent wedding band should be performing at a real wedding like yours. By all means, go and watch these bands as you may love what they do but professional wedding bands, wedding entertainment websites and our unique website don’t ever really run these kinds of events because we don’t need to and they wouldn’t help you. We only design the finest wedding bands and they sell themselves through reputation, great promotional material and being truly professional.
Ok, so I’ll go see a wedding band at a wedding, problem solved!
If a wedding band offers the option to watch them perform at a wedding then it could be a great way to try before you buy. Sure, they aren’t performing at your wedding venue but this is as close as you are going to get. We’d recommend you accept these invitations if they are open to you.
There’s a but though isn’t there…
Yup, there is. Firstly, weddings are generally private events so check with the bride and groom that you are actually allowed to “gate crash” their wedding and secondly, professional wedding bands like Captain Obvious below are strictly private event acts because they want to keep their live show exclusive, fresh and exciting for you and all the other bride and grooms they entertain during the year.
But live wedding bands seem quite expensive, shouldn’t I see them live first?
This is a legitimate question for sure and we suggest you check out our post on how much wedding bands cost in 2020.
Professional live wedding bands aren’t cheap costing £1499.80 on average in 2020 and when the average cost of a small 3 piece act is £1125.72 and the average for a 6 piece wedding band is a whopping £1849.11 you may wonder why you can’t see them live? Although our wedding bands cost on average £200 cheaper than other sites, they still take up a decent portion of your wedding budget. Why is that? What value for money do they offer over that pub band you see every weekend?
Well, every member of our wedding bands is a highly experienced, professionally trained musician with top of the range musical, lighting and sound equipment. All our bands have up to date PLI and PAT certificates in case there are problems at your venue too. They all produce the best promotional material and keep it up to date and all this takes time, dedication and a lot of money. Even though you may not be able to watch them live, professional wedding bands are far more likely to deliver outstanding live performances at your wedding than any other type of band out there. Read more about what makes live wedding bands unique here.
I don’t feel very comfortable not watching a live wedding band before I book them
We totally understand this point of view but for example, when you book a holiday or some fancy headphones online you buy from established companies on trustworthy websites that have great promotional material for those products. You read the reviews and feel reassured. You rarely get to demo anything before you buy nowadays.
So what do I do?
We strongly suggest you read our post on whether it’s safe to book a live band online in 2020 as we go into much more detail but essentially, wedding entertainment agencies and websites like ours couldn’t exist unless we offered the finest, most professional and experienced wedding bands out there. They are so good and their promotional material so brilliant that they don’t need to perform at showcases or pubs. Through word of mouth, great reviews and expert advice from people like us, couples book experienced wedding bands online despite never seeing them live because they are totally reassured that they will deliver the wedding party of their dreams. It’s just like buying those fancy headphones off Amazon. Well, kind of…
Speaking of reviews, why not check out all our lovely reviews from happy bride and grooms and party people stretching back years. Good Fellas above are a fantastic wedding band with plenty of reviews who only ever perform at private events and weddings.
!Shameless plug time!
We have a lot of couples coming to us because we offer something pretty much no other wedding entertainment website does. We offer you the musicians themselves. We understand that without witnessing a live wedding band first hand or meeting them before booking can be worrying and put you off spending all that money on them. Sure, other websites offer thousands of bands on their vast websites but when you speak to them you never get to speak to the bands they promote. You speak to salespeople.
With us, you speak to us, the bands. I myself am in the Avengers below.
We wanted to operate this way from day one so even though you probably won’t see us live before you book, you can speak to us about anything and soak up all our promotional material certain you are booking a fantastic live wedding band. We literally wouldn’t exist unless our wedding bands were the best you can book. Read more about us here if you are curious.
A wedding musicians perspective
We spoke about our wedding band the Usual Suspects earlier and how they ran a few showcases in the early days and we thought we’d ask Dan the bassist about his point of view for your reading pleasure.
“When we first put the band together, even though we had weddings booked in, we thought running showcases would be cool for us and clients. I think we ran about three and they did have people there but it felt a bit weird and high pressure. We didn’t perform well and people didn’t really see the real us. It was hard to explain how what we were doing on stage would work in their barn wedding venue! Haha.
We got some bookings but it didn’t show us in the best way. After a few years of playing at weddings, getting great feedback and getting the Seventh Second website up and running showcases seemed pointless. We’ve never thought of doing them again. We saw that people were sometimes travelling far to see us at showcases and we spent a lot on the venue hire so it just seemed a bit of a waste of money for everyone. If people get to see us at weddings or other events then great but we’ve also learned that with our experience, our promo on the website and because we speak to couples as much as they want before and after they book, we know we can always perform the way they want us to. We try really hard to kick ass! Haha
I think booking a band online is just way safer than booking a random mates band you see in a pub.”
So should I see a wedding band before I book them?
So after all that whats our point of view? What’s the final answer?! Well, if you can see a wedding band before you book, why not. Just take our advice into account. Websites like ours are a seal of quality and reliability when it comes to live wedding bands and even though you don’t usually get to see the band in the flesh before you book, our expert advice, great reviews and excellent promotional material will really show you what you are going to get on your wedding day. You won’t be left disappointed and even if something does go a bit wrong, robust contracts and professional representatives like us will always help. That’s something a pub band cant offer even if you did see them live at the Royal Oak last week!
If you read the other blog posts we’ve mentioned, you will be so clued up you will have no issues booking a live wedding band online. Just like those headphones you bought on Amazon, you will be very happy with your purchase!
Now, if you are feeling ready, why not check out our fantastic wedding bands or chat with the people in them so you can book your wedding entertainment. Bring on the party!
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Jon and the Seventh Second team.