Here’s a couple of tips that might help you when it comes to booking a live band for your big day!
1) Know what you’re looking for in terms of audience, genre and setting
Make sure you’re looking for a band that will cover your tastes, as well as your audiences. We mostly cover Indie Rock and Pop but our setlist compromises of songs that all ages will love, but if you’re after a Soul/Motown vibe it may be best looking around for a band that covers more of that style.
2) Consider the venue and the space available for the band
Most venues have space for live music, but always check with your wedding co-ordinator and the venue to make sure there’s enough room! Luckily for us being a 3 piece band, it means we don’t take up too much space, (usually around 2.5m by 2.5m squared!) but if you’re looking for a bigger band with more members, they’ll need much more space.
As a side note, if your venue has limited space, let us know and we can provide other options for you. We have can provide an acoustic trio with cajon to save room, or bring a smaller setup if we know in advance.
3) Book in advance to avoid disappointment
This is key if you’re after a really specific band. People tend to book a year in advance, especially from the period April to October, and Winter Weddings in December are becoming ever more popular! Saturdays are peak wedding times in the summer, but other dates such as bank holidays and the summer holidays can be very busy too.
4) Consider the time of the music
We can tailor our timings of the music to your specific needs, but it’s worth thinking about before booking a specific act. For example, most acoustic acts work best in the daytime rather the evening reception.
5) Find out how long it takes the band to set up
All bands and musicians will need time to set up speakers as well any other equipment they need (a drum kit, for example).Most bands take around an hour to load in, setup and soundcheck. Make sure there’s time for the band to do this wherever possible, as a good soundcheck will allow the band to concentrate on getting the best sound for the room they’re playing in.
Being a smaller band, we can setup and soundcheck in a shorter amount of time. It usually takes us 45 minutes, but we can do it in a shorter time if necessary if things are running behind.
6) Check for Sound restrictions
It’s important to check whether your venue has a sound limiter or not, as this can severely impact your music decisions! Check out our previous blog here for a little more information about the subject.
If your venue does have a sound limiter or noise restrictions, it’s important to let your band know as soon as possible. This way, they can plan ahead to avoid disappointment on the day!
We have the option of bringing an electric kit to reduce our volume onstage, or swapping the drum kit out entirely for a cajon to drastically reduce volume. We can also contact the venue on your behalf to check for restrictions that might affect our performance.
7) Check whether the band/act bring their own PA
Most bands have their own PA/lighting but it’s worth checking just to be sure. We provide all our own PA system and lighting.
8) Try and see the band before booking
It’s not always possible, as most professional bands perform exclusively at weddings or corporate events. Occasionally we have some public performance dates- check out this page or drop us a message if you want to find out more!
9) Talk to the band about their setlist
Some bands perform a ‘standard’ setlist at most weddings, it’s worth asking them about it before you book to make sure you’re happy with it or want to make any changes.
We’re a little bit different at The Pedal Tones. We’re happy for you to make changes to make your evening more bespoke and tailored to your evening. Check out this blog here for some more information about what we can do.
10) Consider day packages to give you better value
If you’re looking for entertainment throughout the day, it might be better value to find bands that do everything. For example, we offer a full package that includes an acoustic duo during the wedding breakfast or drinks reception, followed by the full band in the evening. It’s sometimes nice to have chilled music while the photos are happening or while people are enjoying a glass of Champagne. It could be better value to book a full day package like this and the added advantage is that you only have to deal with one supplier.
11) Ensure you have a contract with the band
Most professional bands should offer you a booking contract and terms and conditions. This protects you in case a band member is ill, or against last minute cancellation. We can provide copies of these before you book, so you check over everything, and we’re happy to go over any queries with you!
12) Be prepared to feed the band
This can be a last minute change to your catering numbers if you’re not prepared for it! Bear in mind most bands will require feeding at some point (it doesn’t have to be alongside your guests!) They may also require some light refreshments such as soft drinks and water to keep them going during the performance.