Here’s what you need to consider…
A large band will need space to unload their equipment, some of which will need to be set up before guests are in the venue, as no-one wants heavy lifting of musical instruments items during their Champagne reception. The lead musicians will need to have access to the venue and someone there to show them exactly where to set up. (Make sure you communicate this really clearly with your venue and musicians, as you don’t want them to be located miles away from your guests).
Remember seats too – if your musicians are sitting, they will need something comfortable that is the correct height for them to be able to play at.
Whether you’re having a large band with lots of instruments, or a duo, you’ll need to make sure their arrival and set up times are factored into the running order of your day.
Make sure there’s a little wriggle room in the timings for delays – ie arriving slightly late to your reception, or the speeches running over time. If your band or singer are only performing at your event then this shouldn’t be an issue, but be aware that sometimes the act will be booked for several events on one day, so they might have a cut-off point by which they have to leave. Be sure to ask this when you’re booking them and make sure one of your bridesmaids (or your wedding planner) is keeping an eye on timings.
It’s likely that your musicians will play two sets, with a break in the middle. If they are performing over a meal time, remember that you’ll need to feed them and even if they aren’t, it’s good form to offer everyone working at your wedding a meal (the caterer may be able to create something specially or modify your dish slightly to feed them quickly). Most people who work regularly at weddings are used to speedily eating at the back of a marquee, or tucked away in a kitchen somewhere.
Generally most places where you’re getting married have beautiful acoustics – churches, barns, manor houses all make wonderful places for live music. If you’re at all concerned about how the sound will travel, and whether you need an amplifier, then speak to your venue. They will have experience of hosting people who have no doubt asked exactly the same questions!
If you’re hoping for your musicians to perform outside, make sure they know so that they can dress appropriately and consider whether or not they will need any shade / shelter from the wind.
To find a host of incredible musicians for your big day, from solo singers to 10 piece bands, please visit our handpicked supplier directory, The List.
Some of our favourite acoustic performers include Tobi Music, who travel the world chasing the wedding season and whose haunting sound literally leaves me weak at the knees. I’ve been known to listen to their YouTube mix while working – it’s just beautiful. The Wonderland Band offer a completely unplugged performance, the band immerse themselves in your wedding, freely roaming around the venue! How cool is that? The Bootleg Boogie Band bring all the cool swing jazz vibes, and would really set the tone perfectly for a cocktail reception. And if you’re looking for a singer, the Bristol Wedding Singer has a gorgeous rocky tone to his voice that makes him a far cry from the traditional cheesy wedding singer.