It must be that time of year as the troops are out in full force looking for their wedding band and of course, my DM’s are always swamped asking if I could either recommend or if I’ve seen the preferred band of the couple.
There are a few things that have come up and I want to share the knowledge that I have.
Also, I have a section on my site with some of my favourite suppliers, you can check them out here. (This list is growing!)
Photo credit: Elaine Barker Photography. – SpringBreak 80’s Band
Ok let’s get straight in to it!
When you are thinking of booking a band, there are a few considerations.
Firstly, you’ll want to think of the style of band that’s right for you. This is such a subjective topic as what I might find great in terms of set list might be your idea of hell!
You tend to find that most wedding bands cover a broad range of music types but will layer their flare to give their music definition. Most credible Irish Wedding Bands will know exactly what’s going to have your dance floor hopping as you can be assured, they don’t want to be playing to an empty dance floor. I always say, listen to the advice of your band as they are doing this all the time and know what works!
In terms of vetting your band, a few good tips;
- Go and see them! Many bands have a showcase or some will suggest that you could pop your head in the door of another wedding they are playing. Try your best to physically go and see them.
- Check out reviews. There are reviews for most wedding bands everywhere, check hashtags, google, visit the wedding directories or forums.
- Look at their social feeds, if you see a particular venue, photographer or couple that you can reach out to, DM them and ask. Check out their own social media and stay tuned to their stories as most will be sharing real footage of their events.
- I also refer to the Wedding Band Association a lot as I know that the bands listed there have been fully vetted and there is a volume and date selector.
- I have my list of recommended bands too.
Now, a big air of confusion that keeps coming to me time and time again is the different types of wedding band.
I hope I can explain this properly!
There are maybe 3 types of band.
Firstly, you have the fully formed Wedding Band. This means that the members are the set members, the band is built around the members, their style of music, character etc. Band such as Flog The Dog, Blue Moose, The Seducers, The Cosmonauts, Pink Champagne, 5th Avenue…..would be an example of this. They only take one wedding per night so they are exclusive to you on your day. The members you see are the life blood of the wedding band. They rehearse together, compose or restructure the songs together, they can adapt per individual wedding etc You get the idea! A lot of bands have an agent as well so depending on the agent, they can offer an alternative to an available band if your preferred band is booked. If you go and see your preferred band at a showcase or other wedding, you will be pretty sure that is the exact band you will get for your big day. (Unless a member is sick) A good resource is Wedding Band Association for this band type.
Secondly, you have a multi-musician band formation. I don’t think there is an official term for this but this is where you have a band but there are multiple musicians that can be constructed to allow for scale of delivery. In other words, this would be a main band where there are various members that can be allocated depending on the preference of the couple. In some cases, you can select your lead singer and then the rest of the musicians will be aligned. You may have a formation of different instrument types too. Some you can book 5,6,7…9 and up formations. You can decide what that it. They don’t work like the first type in terms of styling the music for the day. There is a very clear set list and this set up allows for multiple weddings to take place in one night under the one band name. An example of this would The Bentley Boys or Sax on Fire etc. The difficulty for me is that when couples come and look for my opinion or if i’ve seen them, I may not have seen the exact formation they would get on the day so I can’t really give my tuppence worth! Your best bet is to see reviews online of the format that you know you are getting.
Finally, you have Experience & Novelty bands which is a specific themed band. Type one and two wedding band can also fall in to this category. This is where you have a band that offers a very unique entertainment experience through how they perform or the particular genre of music they specialise in. For example, The Event Band offer a visual extravaganza and you can have the normal line up of the band, but on top you can build up the staging or extra musicians (sax / violin etc). On the other side, you can have a band that specialises in one particular genre of music. I had a novelty band for my own wedding as I really wanted a 90’s band called Pump Up The Jam (they were epic by the way….all ages were up giving it socks). You will find particular genres or themes that are the key feature of this style of band. Examples also include Spring Break (80’s), Smash Hits (90’s) etc. In some cases, some of the novelty bands can have multiple members that can be changeable too.
Whatever you decide, just have a ball and make sure you have the perfect comfortable shoes to dance the night away!
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