A lot of emphasis is placed on which songs to play in order to fill up the dance floor… but remember that the music choice is only one piece of the puzzle!
After years of performances with both our Cambridge based wedding bands, this is what we believe is important for us to do for our couples – and what you should expect of your wedding band too.
- Celebrate good times
Your band should have a massive passion for what they are doing. When a band is having a great time, their enthusiasm becomes infectious and radiates around the dance floor!
- It’s all about you
The band shouldn’t be thinking of the performance as a chance to show off, they are there to entertain you, your friends and your family. Their ability to interact with the audience in a personal, enthusiastic way is what brings people together and makes everyone feel involved.
- Performers intuition
The band needs to get the timing bang on when it comes to choosing which songs to play and when. Much like a great DJ, they should be able to read the room and mix up their songs accordingly. Look for a group that is flexible, experienced and specialised in wedding performances!
- Make em wait
A premature performance can ruin the mood, and (generally speaking) the later the band starts, the better. Most bands are playing for a couple of hours, so if they start too early, they’ll finish just as people are really starting to let their hair down! If the venue curfew is midnight, we would recommend starting the first set at 9pm.
If you are keen for live music throughout the day, we are completely with you. You might want to think about something a bit more gentle, like an acoustic performance or a solo instrumentalist during the afternoon or evening.
- Crystal clear
Nothing is more tragic than hearing distorted speakers trying to fill out a beautiful venue, or the music destroying everyone’s eardrums inside a marquee. Poor quality equipment is certainly one way to drive people away from the dancefloor. Professional groups invest heavily in their instruments and sound equipment – it can push the hire price up slightly, but it is so worth it to have great sound quality.
- Just the right level
Getting the volume just right is crucial – too quiet and the energy won’t be there, too loud and you start upsetting people! Experience, equipment and respect all come into play when managing the sound level. Some venues have decibel limiters that must be adhered too, and a good band should be able to accommodate this whilst keeping the party flowing.
- Testing, testing, one, two…
If you pay all that money for a great band and want them to sound amazing, they’re gonna need some time to set up and soundcheck their equipment. If a band is saying they only need 30 mins to set up all their speakers, instruments and microphones, I would be rather suspicious. Really the band will require an hour – if they can get in the venue earlier and get longer to set up, even better!
- Know your limits
A great band will do justice to every song they perform. And a professional outfit will work with you to accommodate your requests and tastes – but they will also know when a song just isn’t going to work. You may have a great frontwoman, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to perform a Whitney ballad how you want to hear it! A four piece rock outfit is not going to be able to recreate a synth-rich, highly produced dance track – so it’s important to find a band that suits your style and trust their experience when it comes to song choice.
- Get a round in
We are sometimes given the generous offer of partaking in the free bar – however, pro muso’s will want to be on the ball with their instruments and lyrics in order to give their best performance. Water is the band’s best friend throughout the evening, apart from perhaps a well-earned beer right at the end of the night.
- Variety is key
Finally, the songs! When it comes to repertoire, it’s great to mix it up. There are bands which are themed around one particular style, but in our experience a set list needs to reflect the mix of ages and tastes in the audience. A band should be able to entertain everybody and what better way than a Motown favourite – followed by an 80s classic – followed by a Rock belter – some RnB – a Disco number – an Indie anthem – a bit of vintage Soul… and so on!
When you have quality live music, the atmosphere is simply second to none. That is why it’s worth investing your time into finding something special for your big day.