Your Book Live guide to hiring Wedding Music.
A journey through the wedding day exploring how some of our previous
clients have used live music to make it completely unforgettable.
You'll find useful advice & suggestions plus information on
pricing and logistics in our complete guide on how to hire
wedding music for your special day.
Book Live Music: Tips for the ultimate wedding
Before arranging any musical treats for your wedding, we recommend
talking with the venue to find out what their policy is on entertainment.
Many listed buildings and venues within residential areas may have
a sound limiter which might restrict the type of band you have on
the day. They may also require performers to be set up earlier than
the artist requires which could significantly add to the cost of
your entertainment. It is also worth checking how much room is available
for bands / singers to perform. Some venues may have to rearrange
the tables after the wedding breakfast to accommodate the evening
entertainment and most venues will want to see artists' Public Liability
Insurance and PAT certification for any electrical equipment prior
to performance. The Book Live team can help with these arrangements
and liaise with your venue and our artists to ensure a trouble-free
Once your venue has confirmed everything is okay your live
wedding music search begins and Book Live will be delighted
to make suggestions from our portfolio of superb live bands and
singers - we make good things happen.
The average wedding lasts nearly 10 hours so there is plenty of
opportunity to add different musical flavours throughout the day
so here are a few of the most popular moments to have live music:
Wedding music for the ceremony and service:
For the majority of couples, this is the most formal part of the
day where you actually tie the knot amongst family and friends.
What kind of tone would you like to set for your wedding service?
Elegant, classical, poignant, cultured:
You might like to consider an opera singer to gently welcome guests
in with 2 x arias, a beautiful song during the signing of the register
and again [optional] at the end of the service.
Uplifting, spiritual, romantic:
Gospel singers can create a truly uplifting sound that will bring
everyone together whilst they focus on your wedding ceremony. Our
gospel singers can cater for either a religious or a civil ceremony
where the music has to be pre-checked so as not to contain any religious
Light, fun, upbeat, jazzy:
A dixie jazz band can provide a bright, up tempo feel to this part
of the wedding day. You may like to have them perform outside the
venue on a summer's day to keep guests entertained. They're also
perfect for music during the photographs or outdoor receptions immediately
after the wedding ceremony.
Wedding music for the drinks reception & wedding breakfast:
Sophisticated, classical, refined:
Harpists are very popular entertainment for the drinks reception.
The music includes jazz, easy listening and show tunes. A harpist
may need some amplification if you are expecting more than 150 guests
or the music may not be loud enough to carry within your venue.
Smooth, warm, timeless:
A swing singer is an extremely popular addition to many wedding
drinks receptions. The music includes hits from Sinatra, Michael
Bublé, Matt Monroe and more.
Spicy, vibrant, different:
Our talented guitarists perform great Spanish music with a Latin
beat which is ideal for summer weddings.
Wedding music for the evening party:
Cool. classy, stylish, slick:
A swing band is a great idea for couples wanting great music from
the 1920's to the 1950's with music from Sinatra, Glenn Miller,
The Ratpack and much more. The band may even be able to cover the
music for the drinks reception and meal too with an instrumental
Exciting, all-encompassing, most
popular: Our wedding
function bands know how to get everyone on the dance floor and
play a wide range of music that will suit guests young and old.
This is by far the most popular wedding entertainment.
Glamorous, sexy, spectacular:
Our Latin / Brazilian bands bring a spicy, intoxicating flavour
to their performances. Expect feathers, amazing dancers, an energetic
performance and a unique musical experience for an unusual treat.
Wedding music on a budget
Sometimes our budget won't stretch to having our dream wedding
full of great live music. Here are a few ideas to keep costs down:
- Avoid the peak days. The majority of
couples tie the knot on a Saturday between May and September.
You can save £££'s by getting married on any other day and if
your celebrations are not in the peak-season you may find discounts
on all your wedding suppliers.
- Hiring local bands / singers to save
money on travel expenses / overnight accommodation.
- Avoiding early set up fees. Most bands
/ singers can set up in under an hour. They will usually charge
extra if you need them to set up several hours before their performance.
- Hiring 1x act that can provide the music
for different parts of the day. Many artists can perform jazz,
soul, party music and may also be able to provide a DJ service
- Let the venue help with recorded music.
It isn't essential to have live music for the whole day. Your
venue may be able to play CD's or background music during the
drinks reception or meal. Decide what you want the highlight of
your wedding day to be and allocate the budget specifically for
that rather than splitting a small budget between 2 x or more
- Let your guests contribute towards the
evening entertainment. Add the band to your wedding gift list
- a novel way to have a memorable night plus all your guests benefit.
- Book early. Hiring a live band 12-18
months in advance can save you around 10% on the total cost and
it will also avoid any problems with availability.
- Use a respected Wedding
Music Agency as they will likely have secured discounted rates
for their artists and their contracts mean your entertainment
will be secure for your big day without any hassles.
We don't recommend:
- Using a friend's band. This can often
lead to disappointment because they will be missing out on a paid
gig plus they won't be able to enjoy your wedding as much because
they are 'working'. This is the second most common reason that
brides contact us after being let down. (The first being that
an uncontracted band has cancelled)
- Leaving it until the last minute. It's
rare that bands will offer last minute discounts as they will
be more in demand as availability dries up for other artists.
- Hiring the cheapest act you can find.
It is always better to have a DJ than hire an awful singer or
band. No-one wants to listen to bad live music. [Read our article:
entertainment or expensive mistake]
What does a live band need to perform?
Most live bands have a requirement list for performances - this
is called a ryder. A typical ryder is:
- Access to a power supply. They will usually
need 2 or 3 x standard power sockets and they will bring suitable
cables / connectors to power their equipment
- A suitable performance area. A 4 piece
band will need approx 4 x 3metres; a 6-8 piece live band will
need approx 6 x 4metres
- 30 minutes to set up for acoustic artists
to set up; Up to 45 minutes for a solo singer to set up; 60-90
minutes to set up. Bands don't want to disturb your event but
they would also rather not sit around for hours ahead of a performance
so they usually arrive at a suitable time to set up around 2 hours
ahead of the party.
- Hot food for each band member and soft
drinks. You will get the best out of the band if you look after
them whilst they are with you.
- A changing / chill-out area where they
can also leave their valuables.
- Parking spaces to be provided or paid
Can I go and see the band before I book?
Some bands do have public performances but most don't as these
gigs are usually in pubs and clubs and most of the bands we represent
prefer not to do these. We've included as many live videos of the
bands on their pages so you can see them as well as listen to their
audio samples. Remember, too, if a band does have a public performance,
they may get booked for your date by the time you get to see them.
We are unable to arrange for any prospective client to go and see
a band at someone else's wedding or private party.
How does payment work?
A deposit is due at the point of booking. Book Live can accept
payments by Visa, Switch, Mastercard, Cheque or Bank Transfer.
Balance payments should be settled directly with the band leader
either 2 weeks in advance or in cash on the night so they can
pay all the band members promptly.
Why should I hire wedding music with Book Live?
Book Live is one of the UK's most respected entertainment agents
supplying superb live bands and singers for weddings, parties
and corporate events. We have worked with customers at the highest
level (read more)
and we offer a completely impartial service. Most agencies have
a house band that they are trying to sell and the rest of their
portfolio may not get a look-in. We have pre-vetted all of our
artists and offer a Peace of mind guarantee:
- All of our artists have been selected
for their professionalism, musicianship and performance, so we
know that every event will be special for all the right reasons.
The Book Live team regularly go and see our acts perform so we
know what clients can expect before they book.
- Public Liability Insurance and PAT certification
can be provided on request for any performances.
- All bookings are secured by contract
with both the client and the artist for complete peace of mind.
- We provide a 24/7 emergency number should
you need to talk with us.
- Our artists all have regular deputy musicians
so an event will never be compromised. In addition, Book Live
can provide replacements for our singers in the unlikely event
that something unexpected happens [subject to availability].
What else do I need to know?
We hope we have covered all bases. If you have a question then
please get in touch and we will do our best to answer it.
Additional articles from the Book Live blog:
You'll find a full list of our Wedding Music artists can be found