How To Choose A Wedding Band?
Have you ever googled “Irish Wedding Bands”?
For anyone that has, you won’t need me to tell you that there are THOUSANDS of results.
It’s hard to know where to start, even looking for a great wedding band. And I honestly don’t envy anyone starting their search unless they have some prior experience or insider info. I’ve worked with wedding bands in Ireland for about 15 years, and in that time, I’ve come across enough to hopefully give some tips how to choose a wedding band and about where to start and, perhaps more importantly, where to end!
So How To Choose A Wedding Band?
To help narrow down your search, let’s begin with some pitfalls to avoid. The obvious red flag here is the multiple line-up situation or being given the option to choose your preferred singer.
This is where many musicians group under one name, ending up with various versions of the same “band” performing at many different weddings on the same night, all sticking to the same template. If you’re very lucky, you might get some good musicians in your version. If you’re unlucky, you might end up with a group that has never met in person.
The Wedding Band Association is an excellent place to start to ensure your band conforms to professional standards.
The second pitfall I would try to avoid is booking a band with minimal wedding experience. Some people actively try to avoid booking a “wedding band”, as they might think that wedding bands are all jives and waltzes, and instead, will secure a pub band, or perhaps a cover band that plays their preferred music. However (and this is a big one), professional wedding bands make their job look easy, and that is purely down to experience.
Experience with appropriate sound and lighting, how to pitch the set list, interacting with the crowd, changing on a dime to accommodate requests, and keeping the all-important dance floor full.
An inexperienced wedding band will struggle to achieve all of these at once, and while we all have to start somewhere, your wedding is not the place for it.
Once you avoid those precarious situations, you can move on to finding your band.
Bands come in so many different styles, from the traditional all-rounders to niche and alternative bands; the list is endless, and there will be something to suit everyone. I have experience with both approaches, with huge success, and my advice is to really think about your guests and what they’re likely to enjoy and dance to. Most weddings will have a mixed group of guests, from the more elderly grandparents, aunts, and neighbours, to younger friends and coworkers.
The experienced wedding band, no matter their approach, should be able to entertain everyone somehow. However, if you know that most of your guests will want jives, and won’t be interested in anything else, don’t book an alternative-style band. On the other hand, if you and most of your friends have been to countless weddings and are bored with the middle-of-the-road approach, then have confidence that an experienced alternative style band can entertain all of your guests. Some of my favourite stories from a soul band that I work with include the story of the unlikeliest of elderly guests getting whisked away in the soul frenzy of the dance floor and waltzing around to some James Brown.
Some things go without saying; do your due diligence – get yourself online and research testimonials & reviews, get recommendations from friends and colleagues, and don’t be afraid to ask the bands some questions!
You don’t want to presume anything, so ask about set lists, song requests, any limitations to playing time, etc.
Work out your approximate budget and get plenty of quotes too, as prices for bands will vary greatly, depending on how far they’ll have to travel to your wedding, how many members are in the band, if they provide a DJ service, if they’re VAT registered, have public liability insurance, and if they work with a separate sound engineer or do it all themselves.
With all that in mind, book a band that you’re excited about, have full confidence in, and will give you and your guests the party of your lives. And most importantly, enjoy it.
That might help too:
Check also Kilkea Castle Wedding Venue
More tips in Bride Guide Book: