How to hire a band for your wedding
Jonny Ross shares his top tips on how to hire a band for your wedding. He's performed in a wedding band for over thirteen years, performing in most of the desirable locations in the U.K. You could call him a veteran, but at the respectful age of 35, he prefers "seasoned'. Read on to learn valuable tips on what to look for when hiring a band for your wedding.
My journey started at the young age of 15, when I performed in a pop punk band, singing the songs of Blink 182 and Green Day (I even had the haircut to go with it). As I got older and my haircuts got marginally better, I started to make a small living performing in pubs and bars. Here, I learned the importance of song selection and entertaining a crowd. I paid my way through university performing at bars, and after graduation, I delved into weddings. While some of the locations I sang in at university were far from the luxury wedding venues I perform in today, my time singing in pubs and bars were more important than any music course or class I have attended. No matter where I am performing, the principles remain the same—good song selection, high energy, and being surrounded by incredible musicians.
With so much experience, I am an expert on what makes a great wedding band for hire and what you should look for in your search for live entertainment. You can see all my top wedding band recommendations for wedding bands in the U.K. Here are the six key factors before hiring a wedding band that you'll need to know.
1. Make sure the band's set list flows with the evening.
My band and I have never once written a setlist. We have a repertoire of around 60 "Bangers" that we can unleash at any moment. Within the first 3-4 songs, we can generally get a feel for what music will go down well and will go with the flow of the crowd. Any of these 60 songs will usually get a crowd on their feet at any moment. I don't like some songs on the list, but I love performing them due to the reaction the songs get. No wedding singer gets in the car and blares out "Little Respect" by Erasure; however, having 300 people sing it along with you on a Saturday night is terrific fun, and we're lucky to do it as a career.
2. All bands should pick songs based on what gets the best reaction and keep the dance-floor full.
We are very strict about what songs are added to this list, and if they don't get the desired reaction on the first release, they are banished forever. If you're browsing wedding bands, look at their song selection and ask yourself, have you or would you dance to that song on their list?Other than the first dance songs, I can guarantee you will shake your tail-feather to all our songs.
3. Your Wedding bands should have highly skilled musicians.
I've always classed myself as a performer rather than a musician. I've always made sure that I've surrounded myself with incredible musicians that can professionally perform a multitude of genres. Skilled musicians can read the crowd and keep everyone engaged by playing appropriate music for you and your guests. They also can switch things up on the fly to keep songs fresh and exciting. Having a group of talented musicians behind me gives me the confidence and ability to be an engaging frontman. No matter what song we are playing, it is performed brilliantly. All I need to think about is having fun and putting on a great show.
4. Wedding bands need a good and energetic frontman/woman.
You can be the best band in the world with a song selection that will even get granny dancing; however, if the front-person doesn't bring the energy, your crowd will feel it. From my time working with wedding bands, the most charismatic front-person I've ever seen is Abi in "Marc and Abi". She works the room like no one I've ever seen. She has people dancing on tables, on the floor with her, and parades the room with her trumpet, followed by a line of people. She's like the pied piper of wedding singers. Abi is a very talented musician, but the defining thing will remember from their performance is her energy, enthusiasm, and 'no holds barred' approach to performing. She is amazing!
5. Does the wedding band have good light and sound equipment?
Does the wedding band is equipment and learning to do sound? Bands are often challenged with rooms that are acoustically challenged or have sound limiters. They can deal with any challenge if the band has good knowledge and sound equipment. We ensure that all our bands are proficient in handling live sound and have high-quality equipment. Has the wedding band got good reviews? We are most proud of our company's Trustpilot, Google, and Facebook reviews. The reviews speak for themselves, and while I trust the musicians, you must go into your wedding day with the same level of trust. When doing your research, check if the band has regular reviews and that they reflect what you are looking for in your wedding or event.
6. Does the band dress smartly?
"It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed" is the mantra I have always followed when deciding what my band and I should wear for a wedding. A band should feel part of the event, and while it is ok for us to dress a bit more "avant-garde," you want the band to reflect the event's status and be an extension of your wedding party. Where can I hire a band with all of the above qualities? All of the bands for hire that we represent meet the above expectations. They're all incredibly talented, have an incredible music repertoire, and are lovely people I know and trust personally. If you pick any of the bands on our roster, you will receive excellent service and have friendly and trustworthy people at your event.
The secrets to a good wedding band are pretty straightforward but extremely important. We love what we do for a living and are honored to do our hobby as a job. Successful wedding bands perform the above principles to a world-class level and are ruthless with their song selection. We all love what we do, and it's reflected in the energy we bring to events.