What Is A Wedding Band For Hire?

April 2023 | Jon Stephens

  • Band Interviews
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  • First Dance Song
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  • Live Wedding Band Guide
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  • Music Repertoire
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  • Wedding Setlists

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What is a wedding band for hire?

 

A wedding band for hire is a group of musicians who specifically perform live music at weddings. They usually have specially designed live setlists just for weddings and also specialise in performing first dances, last dances, and father/bride songs amongst others. They perform in varying line-ups and perform all genres of music so there is always a wide variety of choice out there for any wedding requirements or theme.

From-The-Top-Live-Band-For-Hire

I’m pretty sure I know what a wedding band for hire is thanks!

So this may seem like an obvious guide but were you aware of all the different types of live wedding bands for hire out there? Do you know how they differ from your standard party band, pub band, or corporate band? Did you know that on average, live wedding bands cost more than party bands but usually less than corporate entertainment? I’ve put my 15 years of experience performing in wedding bands into this guide so you have all the essential information and hire the perfect wedding band! That’s something worth reading about no?

 

Live wedding bands in 2023 cost on average:

3-piece band £1223

4-piece band £1539

5-piece band £1708

6-piece band £1859

 

And below are the average prices for our wedding bands in 2023

3-piece band £1045

4-piece band £1495

5-piece band £1560

6-piece band £1736

 

We don’t charge you commission here at Seventh Second so our prices stay lower but either way, wedding bands are a big investment so it’s good to know exactly what you are buying. Our guide on how much wedding bands cost in 2023 is a must-read! Wedding bands are such a vital part of any wedding entertainment so I wrote today’s guide to make sure you get value for money and the best live wedding entertainment for you. Read on…

World-class, experienced wedding bands for hire

Before I continue with my guide, below are some links to some of our most popular guides showcasing our world-class and award-winning wedding bands for hire. Well worth a look if you’re after some amazing live wedding entertainment!

 

  1. 25 Of The Best Wedding Bands For Hire in 2023 and 2024
  2. The Best Acoustic and Folk Wedding Bands for Hire in 2023 and 2024
  3. The Best Wedding Ceremony and Reception Musicians for 2023 and 2024
  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 and 2024
  7. Our Most Recommended Indie and Britpop Wedding Bands
  8. 15 Awesome Bandeoke and Rockaoke Live Wedding Bands for Hire

 

The different types of live wedding bands for hire

So in the massive live wedding band world, you have a fantastic range of bands out there catering for all sorts of weddings and tastes. You can start with compact little 3-piece bands and go right up to 20-piece mammoth wedding bands! Some of the core types of wedding bands for hire include:

 

Rock, Indie, and Pop wedding bands

Swing and Ratpack wedding bands

Acoustic and Folk wedding bands

Alternative wedding bands

Soul and Motown wedding bands

DJ/live wedding bands

Latin and Jazz wedding bands

Multi-genre wedding bands

 

Below are some real-life examples of wedding bands from each category. If you want a more in-depth look at some specific live wedding bands and all that they entail check out our popular guides that I linked to above. Click on any of the above genres to get whisked straight to that section of the guide or click on a band name to view that band’s unique profile on our site.


Rock, indie, and pop wedding bands for hire

The League of Gentlemen

The League of Gentlemen are all about your wedding – especially if you like the louder side of life! Each tune is played with infectious energy and rock ‘n’ roll spirit from a 4-piece band that’s made up of a stomping rhythm section, pulsating guitars, and vibrant lead male vocals. Rock and pop bands are some of the most popular wedding bands around with hi-tempo live sets and fantastic sing-along moments!

 

 

 


Swing and ratpack wedding bands for hire

Night and Day

Night and Day offer up sophistication and understated cool with their swing, soul, ratpack, pop, jazz, jive, and motown renditions of all the tunes you and your guests love. Outstanding lead male vocals float over one cool and accomplished backing band for the perfect night’s entertainment. Like most bands in these genres, swing, and ratpack live wedding bands are premium acts that add real sophistication to your wedding party.

 


Acoustic, roaming, and folk wedding bands for hire

Acoustic Captain

With two lead vocalists, two acoustic guitarists, a percussionist and a double bassist, acoustic and roaming acts like Acoustic Captain offer you an awful lot on your wedding day. Performing indoors or outdoors they play the finest acoustic wedding music around! Paper Boats are a great example of a specialist folk wedding band too. Offering something really different for your wedding day, acoustic and roaming wedding bands can free roam around your wedding or perform on a kitted-out stage for maximum effect!

 


Alternative wedding bands for hire

Stan Darsh

With a live show with that wow factor and a setlist made up of all the songs you never hear a typical wedding band for hire perform, Stan Darsh are a great example of an alternative wedding band. Acts like Knight Riders also fall into this category too so go check them out! Stan Darsh are a truly unique wedding event just like any alternative wedding band should be and always offer up a live show that you or your guests would have never witnessed before and that will make your wedding party truly memorable.

 

 


Soul and motown wedding bands for hire

Southside Sparkle

Glitz, glamour, and fun await you with a fantastic soul and motown wedding band like Southside Sparkle. Similar to swing and ratpack bands, Southside Sparkle are stylish looking and sound amazing on stage at your uber-fancy wedding. Soul and motown bands are fantastic for people who love to dance with one dance hit after another beautifully performed all night long.

 


DJ/Live wedding bands for hire

DJ Republic

Many couples want a DJ and live wedding band for their wedding party but either can’t afford it or don’t have the space for both. Wedding bands like DJ Republic combine all that is great about the two and fuse them into one amazing wedding act! They are a pretty new and one-off kind wedding band experience and well worth checking out!

 

 


Latin and jazz wedding bands for hire

Latin Corner

Latin Corner offer entertainment for people who love to dance to the sultry and sexy sounds of Latin music. Not typically the loudest bands, Latin and jazz wedding bands offer sophisticated and fun entertainment for couples who love music from other eras and countries. These kinds of wedding bands are perfect during all parts of your wedding day and give any wedding that exotic feel.

 

 


Multi-Genre wedding bands for hire

The Usual Suspects

Multi-genre wedding bands are super popular and you only have to watch The Usual Suspects video above to see why! They are one of our most popular wedding music bands and that’s because like most multi-genre wedding bands, they offer music for all ages and tastes meaning your wedding is always full of happy faces and dancing feet. Bands for the masses, multi-genre wedding bands are for those weddings with a wide range of guests.

 

What else makes a band a wedding band then?

So even after all the wedding band examples you just saw, you could still assume that wedding bands are just like any other type of band you can hire. Not so! Live wedding bands usually consist of professional, full-time musicians who put together their band specifically for weddings and weddings only. This usually means they have specially designed setlists and large repertoires that are constantly updated and edited to suit the needs of all types of weddings. They most commonly perform 2×1 hour or 3×40 minute live sets from around 8 pm until 11:30 pm but unlike most function bands, almost any part of their schedule can be adjusted to fit around your wedding.

Below I’ve put two really popular live wedding setlists from two of our most popular wedding bands. It gives you a little window into the kind of tunes being performed to packed-out dance floors at weddings UK-wide.

 

The Usual Suspects multi-genre wedding setlist

Usual-Suspects-Wedding-Band
 

Set 1

Valerie – Mark Ronson

Happy – Pharrell

Johnny Be Good – Chuck Berry

Twist And Shout – The Beatles

Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Shotgun – George Ezra

Seven Nation Army – White Stripes

Dakota – Stereophonics

Lion Man – Munford and Sons

Ho Hey – Lumineers

Sing – Ed Sheeran

Lovely Day – Bill Withers

Superstition – Stevie Wonder

Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry

Blues Medley (Jailhouse, Great Balls Of Fire, Hound Dog, Rock Around The Clock, Blue Suede Shoes)

500 Miles – Proclaimers

 

Set 2

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson/Bruno

Get Lucky – Daft Punk

Can’t Feel My Face – The Weeknd

Hey Ya – Outkast

I Gotta Feelin – Black Eyed Peas

ShutUpAndDance – Walk The Moon

Last Night – The Stokes

Chelsea Dagger – The Fratellis

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor – Arctic Monkeys

Teenage Dirtbag – Wheatus

Summer Of 69 – Brian Adams

Living on a Prayer – Bob Jovi

 

Encore

Brightside – Killers

Wonderwall – Oasis

Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding

Stand By Me – Ben E. King

 

 

Acoustic Captain’s acoustic wedding setlist

Acoustic-Captain

Set 1 

7 Nation Army (White Stripes)

All The Small Things (Blink 182)

Alright Now (Free)

Are You Gonna Be My Girl (Jet)

Brown Sugar (Rolling Stones)

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You (Muse)

Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)

Closer (Neo)

Crazy Little Thing Called Love (Queen)

Dakota (Stereophonics)

Don’t Look Back In Anger (Oasis)

Don’t Stop Believing (Journey)

Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing (Aerosmith)

Don’t You Worry Child (Swedish House Mafia)

Englishman In New York (Sting)

Funky Music (Wild Cherry)

 

Set 2 

Happy (Pharrell)

I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor (Arctic Monkeys)

I Feel Good (James Brown)

Johnny Be Goode (Chuck Berry)

Livin’ On A Prayer (Bon Jovi)

Locked Out Of Heaven (Bruno Mars)

Lonely Boy (The Black Keys)

Mercy (The Third Degree)

Message In A Bottle (The Police)

Mr Brightside (The Killers)

Place Your Hands (Reef)

Pompeii (Bastille)

Sex On Fire / Use Somebody (Kings of Leon)

Shut Up & Dance (Walk the Moon)

Somebody I Used To Know (GOTYE)

Song 2 (Blur)

Stay With Me (Sam Smith)

Summer of ’69 (Bryan Adams)

 

Encore

Sweet Child Of Mine (Guns ‘n’ Roses)

Sweet Dreams (Eurythmics)

Teenage Dirtbag (Wheatus)

Times Like These (Foo Fighters)

Treasure (Bruno Mars)

Under The Bridge (RHCP)

Uptown Funk (Ronson/Mars)

 

The kings and queens of first dances 

No one performs in a wedding band unless they know how to perform first dances expertly week in, week out, and with no other kind of live band having as much experience in performing first dances, live wedding bands are a must-hire! Our wedding bands are incredibly experienced at performing first dances and like any wedding band out there should, they take them very seriously. It’s one of the most important and romantic songs at any wedding and we make sure we perform these songs just as newlyweds intended – it’s a beautiful and special moment after all! Below you can see a list of some of the most popular first dance songs right now. Maybe you will find your first dance song here or why not look at our guide to the top 10 wedding songs of all time for more inspiration?

 

Riptide – Vance Joy

Shotgun – George Ezra

Africa – TOTO

Your Song – Elton John

Shallow – Lady Gaga/Bradley Cooper

Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran

Stand by Me – Ben E. King

Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon

Superstition – Stevie Wonder

 

One of our most popular wedding bands for hire, Good Fellas (below) have a special list of wedding songs they recommend. You can see this in their repertoire section here. Have a good rummage through our blog too as we have plenty of other guides to help in this department!

Good-Fellas-Live-Wedding-Band-Keys-Smile
 

Live wedding bands are far more suitable for your wedding than other acts

Wedding bands only really exist to perform at weddings and so understand what songs need to be performed and how. They are also well-versed with the ins and outs of a hectic wedding day. You can rely on experienced wedding bands to be cool and reliable heads at your wedding which can come in useful when you’re running behind schedule or are simply just enjoying yourself so much that you have no idea what’s going on anymore! Our wedding musicians are there to make sure the entertainment side of your wedding is perfect for you without you having to check, organise or worry about it. I always think that hiring a band that’s been specifically formed for weddings is important when you consider that in this article they look at how your emotions and mood amongst many other things can be altered by certain types of live music. Wow!

 

Should you see a wedding band before you hire one?

Live-Wedding-Band-Action-Shot
 For an in-depth answer to this question click here, but in summary, if you can watch a wedding band before booking why not? In reality, most wedding bands only perform at private functions, so it can be hard to see them beforehand –  it’s why we created this website so you can chat with band members before you hire any band. Either way, if there is an opportunity to see a band live before you book there’s no major harm in it but don’t forget to read our in-depth answer to this question first. This also leads me nicely to another big question about wedding bands…

 

Are wedding bands safe to hire online?

Chances are you are looking at hiring a wedding band online because you are reading this. This probably means you are also wondering if they are safe to book online. Who cares what they are if they aren’t safe to hire? Well, there are certain red flags you should look out for with live wedding bands and you can check them all out here. However, if you are booking a band through a reputable website such as ours you should feel very confident when booking your perfect band. Oh, and all wedding bands should have covid cover included nowadays too, be sure to check!

 

Hiring a live wedding band! 

Unlike party bands or corporate entertainment, wedding bands are in constant and high demand so you need to book them in advance. The longer you leave it the less choice you will have. We have stats to back it up from our guide on how far in advance you should book a wedding band. I’d always recommend booking a band around 7 to 12 months in advance so you aren’t left disappointed but check out these juicy stats if you aren’t yet convinced. I looked at all our wedding bookings from 2022 and listed how far in advance they were booked. Booking early was the trend and still is!

 

Booked 2 years or more in advance 10%

Booked 1 – 2 years in advance 32%

Booked 7 – 12 months in advance 40%

Booked 4 – 7 months in advance 16%

Booked 1-4 months in advance 2%

 

Live wedding band performances

Unlike corporate entertainment or party bands who usually deliver specially choreographed live shows, wedding bands are usually highly flexible and adaptable with their performances. They can usually strip their lineups down into small and compact ones (like Encore’s below) for the wedding ceremony or wedding reception performances or expand it if you have a big venue or want the big bustling sound of a larger wedding band just like Flair Twelve produces. They can do this during the day or night, giving you almost endless performance options.

Wedding bands for hire can usually offer wedding DJ services (like all our wedding bands do for free) so you can keep that wedding budget in check and get the full wedding entertainment experience without all the extra hassle and fuss. It’s this mix of unrivaled adaptability and specialisation that makes them the only kind of live band you should think of hiring for your wedding.

 

Do wedding bands need feeding?

Because wedding bands are typically with you longer than a party or function band would be, you usually need to provide food and drink for them. We have a guide all about this topic but as wedding bands are commonly with you for 6-8 hours it is usually your contractual responsibility to look after them with tasty food and drink. This is an industry standard with wedding bands but check your booking contract for all the information.

 

Anything else I should know about wedding bands for hire? 

Well, now that you mention it unlike many other live bands, wedding bands usually come fully self-contained meaning they arrive at your wedding with all the sound, lighting, and backline musical equipment they need to perform. That way, you don’t need to worry about sourcing anything or having delightfully confusing logistical conversations with your wedding venue! They usually even bring all the necessary equipment to provide background music or like our acts, a full DJ experience between their live sets. Result! Wedding bands operate in this way because they perform at a wide variety of wedding venues with most not supplying any lighting or sound equipment. Even if they do it’s often not suitable so by making themselves totally self-contained, wedding bands avoid any possible issues at any wedding.

 

Wedding band performance requirements 

As wedding bands are so self-contained, they don’t usually need much from you or your venue unlike function bands who can sometimes have pretty extensive logistical requests! This does mean they bring quite a bit of equipment using on average 4-6kw of power so at least 4x13amp plug sockets are essential and a stage is always a bonus for you, your guests, and the band if available. Since they do have all this equipment for performing, they do require decent stage space so below are some rough stage sizings for you. The more space the better is the motto here and a place to park their vehicles, get changed and rest in between performances is also pretty essential. We have some great guides on all these topics in our blog if you are interested.

 

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

 

 

Live wedding bands and pesky sound limiters

Corporate and party bands often play similar venues over and over but because wedding bands perform at wedding venues all over the country often traveling large distances, they are also experts at venue logistics and understanding how to utilise a venues space, sound, and lighting system (if they have one), acoustics and sound limitations. Ask any professional live wedding band about sound limiters and they will know exactly what you are talking about and how to work with them. Many wedding venues have them installed nowadays so booking a wedding music band over any other band is well worth it. If you want to know more about sound limiters check out our popular guide here.

 

Set up and pack down pros

Live-Wedding-Band-Equipment-Amp

 It may not surprise you when I say that unlike other bands, live wedding bands can set up quickly, efficiently, and quietly if needed. Many weddings take place in one room so professional wedding bands know how to set up and pack down silently so as to not disturb anyone. With easy and close access to their performance space, set up generally takes around 60 to 90 minutes for a typical band, and pack down clocks in at around 40 minutes. We have been known to set up in 30 minutes and pack down in 20 minutes when time has been of the essence or to help keep a wedding to schedule though!

 

Wedding bands for hire have the proper paperwork 

Unlike other live bands, all wedding music bands should have up-to-date PLI and PAT certificates (like ours do) which are essential if they are to perform at pretty much any wedding venue in the UK. Your average band for hire may not have them as they may not perform at many wedding venues where these certificates are usually compulsory. They aren’t free and can take a bit of time to get hold of so I always think it’s best to book a band with them already sorted. If you want to know more about PLI or PAT certificates check our guide here.

 

Wedding bands can offer you so much more

One last big difference with wedding bands is the number of booking options they offer over other types of bands you can hire. I’ve touched on some of these already but here’s a full list for you!

 

Acoustic sets

Full DJ’ing service

First dance, special songs, and setlist requests

Extended performance 

Early arrival or late finish

Live bandeoke

Extra musicians

Outfit changes

 

Loads of options right? Most bands simply can’t, won’t, or don’t offer all these options but wedding bands do because they know weddings need all sorts of entertainment during all parts of the day. Aren’t they lovely! Most of our bands offer these options but talk with us if you want to know more.

 

Let’s hear from a real-life wedding band then, please!

Flowers-Live-Wedding-Band-Laughing

Unless you’re at a wedding and get to strut your stuff to a fantastic live wedding band, chances are you may never see one live so how do you know what one is?! They usually only perform at weddings which are usually private functions so that’s not very helpful to you. Therefore, I thought I’d get a little interview sorted with one of our wedding bands.
Because we perform in the wedding bands you see on our site it was pretty easy to get an interview with Rachel, the lead singer of Flowers (above). One of our most popular and established female-fronted live wedding bands.

 

Hey Rachel, thanks for popping in for a little chat.

No problem!

What do you think specifically makes you a live wedding band?

Whenever we come up with setlists, we try and think of what couples and their friends and family will want to hear and dance to. We’ve also performed hundreds of first dance songs over the years!

Why should couples pick a wedding band over any other type of band for hire?

A good wedding band knows exactly what to expect at any wedding and how to cope with any situations. We’ve had some funny requests and very strange things happen unexpectedly at weddings and without our wedding experience, im not sure how we would have coped. I think it makes a lot of sense to book a band for your wedding that wants to play at weddings professionally.

Why do you perform in a wedding band?

I love watching first dances, love performing and who can resist beautiful newlyweds on their wedding day!

Tell us a bit about your wedding band

Flowers has been around since we all left music college in London and we have been performing exclusively at weddings in the UK and abroad for over 10 years. I can’t count the number of weddings we’ve performed at but we still love it!

What are Flowers up to at the moment?

We are very slowly getting into wedding season so we are getting ready for upcoming shows and working on a brand new wedding setlist for this year. I can’t wait to share it with people and hopefully get them all dancing.

 

And finally, a fun infographic for you!

Wedding-Bands-For-Hire-Infographic

 

Well, you should now be in no doubt as to what a wedding band for hire is but if you still have questions just contact us. If you want to see some more lovely examples of wedding bands for hire head here and please check out our dedicated more of our live wedding band blog for more essential reading. We’re here 7 days a week, 10 am to 10 pm via text, phone, live chat, the usual socials, and email to help design the perfect wedding band for you.

Lastly, 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!

Jon and the Seventh Second team



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