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Live Band or DJ – Hiring The Perfect Wedding Entertainment

Hiring Live Wedding Bands or a DJ for your wedding reception is quite often a high priority for a bride and groom. Creating a great party atmosphere for your guests will make sure that your big day is not forgotten for many years. When it comes to choosing your entertainment, whether it is a DJ or a Live Band, there are few important things to consider before you make your decision and so you should ask yourself and potential performers some key questions.

 

Do you require the entertainment to perform at the Ceremony, the reception, or maybe both?
Upon confirming this requirement, you need to look for talented performers who can ‘fit the bill’. Live entertainment acts such as The Swinging Bass are often able to adapt to your requirements; so our 3-piece band could perform during the wedding ceremony itself, providing the Bride’s entrance music for example, continue to provide background music throughout the wedding breakfast and then later on, after dinner has been served, the 5 or 6 piece ensemble could take to the stage in order provide the evening entertainment and to to get your guests dancing with some Jazz, Rock & Roll, Pop, or of course Swing music.
As one would expect each of these phases of the day’s entertainment will incur costs, so make sure you ask questions about the various pricing options available to you and your fiance.  Your entertainment will be often be a great investment and really help you and your guests enjoy the day.

 

Question the experience and talent of all potential Wedding Entertainers
Although not essential, it is often wise to select a DJ or band who have experience of performing at Weddings. Your Big Day is a once in a life time event – you want to get it right and for everything to be perfect. Making sure that your hired entertainment can adapt to the circumstances thrown up at a wedding reception, such as requests from guests, specific ‘First Dance’ requirements etc.

 

Obtain References To confirm the talent of the wedding performers
Ask to see evidence of some previous weddings or events that your potential bands have been involved with. Ask for the names of brides, so that you can contact them for testimonials, a reputable performer will not have a problem with this and be only too happy to help.

 

Consider Costs And Additional touches
There are lots of costs to consider when hiring your wedding entertainment, make sure you consider them all by going through the following checklist:

  1. Ask the potential bands or DJ’s to provide a breakdown of costs upfront
  2. Ask about the cost of over running the agreed time slot
  3. Ask about any additional features that may occur during the performance – e.g. you will want to know if the band plan on using fireworks during their set
  4. Find out who will supply the production equipment (sound, lighting, etc) – the performer or the venue?  Bands and seasoned wedding entertainment acts often have their own equipment but you should always check
  5. Will the band require dinner throughout the day – this might be required if they are playing at the ceremony and the reception

If you make sure you consider all of these points you should be able to relax and enjoy your big day, partying long into the night with your new bride/groom and your guests.  Just remember that a little thought and preparation in advance can create a very special event – a wedding for you and your guests to remember, a perfect time for all!

5 Tips To Help Select Your Live Wedding Band

In an ideal world a girl only walks down the aisle once, so making it as perfect as possible is so important. One aspect of making your day so special is choosing the right musical accompaniment.

Here I would like to offer 5 top tips to help you Waltz, Swing, Rock or Jive down the aisle with style and grace and throughout the rest of your big day.

1. Consider your Theme or Style of Music
The brides entrance at the church or wedding venue will be the grand opening for the occasion – it can set the mood for the day. Consider how you want the day to feel; maybe you’d like a sophisticated, elegant ambiance, if so classical music is the obvious choice, or if the occasion is more informal & relaxed, maybe you’d prefer a funky entrance with a jazz or swing band playing. Or if your style is ‘party party party’, you want to kick off the party atmosphere from the word go by playing a pop or rock anthem.

Whatever you choose, make sure it is your own choice, it is after all your big day.

2. Prepare Well
Confirm with the wedding venue and/or church that your chosen live wedding band can be accommodated. If you are having live music as you walk down the aisle, ensure there is adequate room for them and their instruments and that they have access to all that they need, such as power, lighting etc.

If you plan to rock on into the early hours you and your wedding band will need to think about a playlist that will fill the dance floor without repetition. So take some ideas with you when you meet the band and discuss, in detail how long they will play and the music that they will be able to perform.
And remember, the musicians will probably not perform for hours on end and may need one or more breaks during their set – make sure that you have considered what will entertain your guests during these periods.

3. Consider Your Schedule
When considering your play list be realistic about the length of time that each track lasts and allow for extra time between songs as well as any unplanned additions to the bands set list, maybe due to requests etc. If your musicians are playing for a certain length of time there maybe songs on the play list that get dropped because they run out of time, so if you have a particular faourite track or tracks it is important to highlight them when you discuss the performance with the band – that way they can make sure that it is not your all time favourite that gets dropped.

4. Organisation & Delegation
It is likely that you will be busy on the big day, so it is a good idea to ask one of the ushers, or maybe The Best Man, to take responsibility for communications between you, the professional musicians and the venue staff. Tasks such as giving the nod for when to dim the lights & start the music etc will ensure that thinks run like clockwork.

5. Communicate Well
Talk with the professional musicians several times before the big day. Re-confirm the date, time and length of their performance and check all of the details with the church or wedding venue.

It is always worth ask the live wedding band for their opinions, they will have a wealth of experience and knowledge. Picking the right band in the first place, will certainly make your task easier as they should be able to cope with all of your requirements and be able to adapt on the day if events take any unexpected turns.

Wedding at Brownsover Hall, Rugby, Warwickshire

We were booked to play at the wedding of Louise and Rob at Brownsover Hall, Rugby. It became one of the highlights of the year.  We were asked to play quietly for the first 45 minutes while the evening guests arrived and after a short break to open up and play for dancing. We wanted the music to appeal to all the guests and so played a mix of swing and pop.

Brownsover Hall, warwickshirehttp://www.brownsoverhall.co.uk/

Louise and Rob asked for Cheek to Cheek as their first dance and them after a few swing tunes we moved into Kool and the Gang’s Get Down on It, then Good Times and Mustang Sally. We played Stevie Wonders Isn’t She Lovely and a few more others before a short break.

It was then a hint of Jools Holland with Tuxedo Junction followed by Dance the Night Away, Let’s Groove, some Rock and Roll and a taste of Status Quo’s Rocking All Over the World. We finished with New York, New York and Wonderful World. Then the guests insisted that we did an encore.

It was a fantastic night, then the emails and cards came from the guests:-

“.. so many guests said it was the best wedding music ever heard – and we totally agreed!”

“… a fun and exciting end to our day”

“Neither Rob nor I are fans of disco, and we thought that a swing band could be a good alternative, but we had no idea how brilliant and inclusive-for-all it would be!  We absolutely LOVED it! “