Choosing a Band

Choosing a Wedding Band in general.

When it comes to weddings, many people will spend a fortune on the dress, cars, venue, invites, flowers, and a photographer, and then scrimp when booking a wedding band. We would argue that this is a false economy

Your wedding band is the essential part of the evening and choosing the right band can mean the difference between everyone having a sensational time or quietly wishing they could leave early.

At the end of the night the thing that will make the evening memorable will be the band, not the flowers…but then we WOULD say that.

Some Things to Consider:

Dancing
It goes without saying that the attestation of a great party is to see everyone having a great time on the dance floor.

Demography of guests
The demography of the wedding guests will usually include 2 or more generations. It is great to get the older generations on the dance floor. In practice, they usually occupy the dance floor earlier in the evening and the bride and groom’s generation stay the distance.

Dance floor Dynamics
The bride and groom’s peers usually drive the dance-floor and as one band cannot be everything to everybody it is worth bearing this in mind and choosing a style that would satisfy their tastes in particular. Happily, if the band specialize in a particular style then other styles of music (in particular: disco music) can be covered by either, the DJ, or by the bands own pre-recorded music, usually from a laptop or similar and everyone is happy. Evening wedding bands can broadly be divided into 60 to 00s, Funky and Swing. The 60 – 00s being the most versatile. The funky bands would generally have a female diva-type vocalist.

First Dance
Some bands may be able to play the first dance live. Notwithstanding this, it is often a good policy to get the band to strike up immediately after the first dance. The reason being is that they will have a “captive audience” surrounding, if not already ON the dance-floor.

Booking
The first question to ask is if the wedding band is available on your date. Bands are usually taking bookings over a year in advance, especially the better ones! However, there are some agencies that specialize in last minute bands as well as other wedding related needs.

Cost
Expect to pay in the region of £ 1000 to £3000. Remember, as with everything, you get what you pay for. If a band is expensive it’s because they are in demand. Also, generally the larger the band, the higher the cost. Soul bands with brass sections for example.

Travel costs
If the event is away from the bands’ locale they will charge travel costs by the mile. NB: The Bears do not charge travel expenses or any other hidden cost.

Deposit
Usually a deposit will secure the band and the balance would be required nearer the engagement.

Venues
Some venues have sound-meters installed to meet with council requirements. The meters detect the sound level and, at a preset threshold will cut the power to the stage and band. The meters are sometimes set at a very sensitive level and can be problematic for a band. Note: It is worth checking with the venue if they have a sound meter and if it has been problematic for bands in the past.

Insurance
Some venues require the band to provide evidence of public liability insurance and a PAT certificate. P.A.T. is an abbreviation of Portable Appliance Test and is a record of the equipments’ electrical soundness.

Glossary of Terms
Amp = Amplifier
Gig = Concert
PA = Public Address System (Speakers for music)