Should You Watch A Live Wedding Band Before Hiring Them?

February 2023 | Jon Stephens

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Is it worth watching a live wedding band before you hire 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 as most of the time you can’t see wedding music bands live before booking because they almost exclusively perform at private functions. It also isn’t always that useful to see a wedding band live before booking as you won’t get to see a very accurate representation of what you get come wedding day. We offer a great solution to this here at Seventh Second however so read on…

Should you watch a wedding showcase, open rehearsal, or pub gig?

Well, you’re soon-to-be newlyweds looking to hire a wedding music 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 check them out? 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 purchased it. Imagine test-driving your honeymoon! But hang on, maybe you shouldn’t see them live…


It can be tricky seeing wedding music bands before you hire so…

You can read more about the unique way we work and our lovely live bands at the bottom of today’s guide but why not take a look at some award-winning, super popular wedding music bands that can come rock your wedding party in our guides below?


  1. 25 Of The Best Wedding Bands For Hire in 2023
  2. How To Pick The Best Live Wedding Band For You
  3. The Best Wedding Ceremony and Reception Musicians for 2023
  4. Funktastic Disco and Funk Wedding Bands for Hire
  5. The 25 Most Recommended Rock and Pop Wedding Bands for Hire
  6. The Best Soul and Motown Wedding Bands for Hire in 2023
  7. Our Most Recommended Indie and Britpop Wedding Bands
  8. The Best Acoustic and Folk Wedding Bands for Hire in 2023
  9. 15 Awesome Bandeoke and Rockaoke Live Wedding Bands for Hire

Why I should give wedding showcases, open rehearsals, and pub gigs a miss

So, in all my years performing in wedding bands, I can honestly say my bands and any here at Seventh Second have never performed at a wedding show or pub to flaunt our wares. One of the first wedding bands we formed, The Usual Suspects (above) did run a few showcases in the early days but soon stopped. Why? Are we mad? Are we antisocial? Nope, it’s because they didn’t really help us or future newlyweds.  I have an interview with Dan from the Usual Suspects below about that whole experience but let’s not get sidetracked just yet…


Wedding band pub gigs and rehearsals

Without wanting to offend any musicians out there, if a professional wedding music band is regularly performing on the weekend at your local pub or letting people watch them rehearse it says to me 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 2023 for more on that. 


Also, I’m 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 could be a bit pointless. It’s not really going to help you understand how they will perform at your wedding that much.

Part-time wedding bands stats

Did you know that over 50% of newlyweds felt they wasted 30% of their wedding budget? Overpaying for their live wedding band was a part of that waste. I can honestly say that around 10% 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 7% of our business from last-minute bookings where again, it’s 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 or covid cover and left couples 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 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 too. By all means, go and watch these bands as you may love what they do but professional wedding bands, and wedding entertainment websites including our 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 award-winning wedding bands and they sell themselves through great reputation, great promotional material, and being professional, positive, and honest.


Ok, so I’ll go see a wedding band at a wedding, problem solved!

If a wedding band offers you 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. I 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 couple that you are actually allowed to attend their wedding and secondly, professional wedding bands like Flair Twelve (above) are strictly private event acts because they want to keep their live show exclusive, fresh, and exciting for you and all the other newlyweds 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 I suggest you check out our post on how much wedding bands cost to find out all the info! Professional live wedding bands aren’t cheap costing £1632 on average in 2023 and when the average cost of a small 3-piece act is £1123 and the average for a 6-piece wedding band is a whopping £1859 you may wonder why you can’t see them live first? Although our wedding bands cost on average £100 less 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?


Professional, full-time wedding musicians

Well, every member of our award-winning wedding music bands are highly experienced, professionally trained musicians with top-of-the-range musical, lighting, and sound equipment. All our bands have up-to-date PLI and PAT certificates and come with covid cover and a comprehensive booking contract that protects you in all eventualities. They all produce the best promotional material and keep it up to date and all this takes time, dedication, and 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 and perfect for your special day here.


I don’t feel very comfortable not watching a live wedding band before I hire them


I 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 on those products. You read the reviews and feel reassured, don’t you? You rarely get to demo anything before you buy nowadays and it’s the same for professional wedding bands usually.


So what do I do?

I strongly suggest you read our post on whether it’s safe to book a live band online in 2023 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 reassured that they will deliver the wedding party of their dreams. Our reviews page backs this up! 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 newlyweds 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!

I have a lot of couples coming to me 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 firsthand 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 (above). We wanted to work 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 7 days a week, 10 am to 10 pm via text, phone, email, the usual socials, and live chat. You can also soak up all our promotional material and check out our popular twice-weekly blog to make 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 musician’s perspective


I spoke about our wedding band the Usual Suspects earlier about how they ran a few showcases in the early days and I thought I’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 traveling 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 time 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 hard to kick ass for people!


So should I see a wedding band before I hire them?

So after all that what’s my point of view? What’s the final answer?! Well, if you can see a wedding band before you book, why not?! Just take my advice into account. Websites like ours are a seal of quality and reliability when it comes to hiring wedding music 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 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 can’t offer even if you did see them live at the Royal Oak last week!

If you read the other guides I’ve mentioned today, 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! If you are feeling inspired, why not check out our fantastic wedding bands or chat with the people in them so you can hire some memorable wedding entertainment? We’re currently offering 15% off any 2023 booking so bring on the party with our award-winning wedding bands!

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Jon and the Seventh Second team

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