How To Pick a Wedding Band (Music Tips & Choosing YOUR Band)

Booking a wedding band: Where to start?

You’ve decided to book a wedding band for the reception. But which band to choose? There are hundreds of live bands out there all specialising in various genres and styles, and with different approaches to providing music for the special day.

The reality is, most people will hire a live wedding band just once in their lifetime. When you do this for the first and possibly only time in your life, it’s important to get this part of booking stage right for your wedding day and party.

Now we don’t need to tell you that planning a wedding day properly leaves with you a million things to sort out. Book your wedding venue, other suppliers, organising your ceremony and much more.

Booking a wedding band may seem daunting at first, but we’re here to help hiring musicians and musical acts for weddings more straight forward.

Choosing your wedding band

Every band is different!

Not all wedding bands and party acts are the same. Neither is your relationship or more specifically, your big day.

If you want to make your evening a great and memorable occasion that fits in with your style and personality as a couple, you need to lock in with band’s style as well and find one that you connect with on a personal and musical level.

What type of band should I pick?

One type of party band might stage a ‘mini rock concert’ with a big sound that’ll get the wedding guests hyped up and moshing like there’s no tomorrow.

So may couples want that live gig feeling on their big day. That buzz of hearing your favourite songs played live by a band is like nothing else. Real gig goers will know what we mean by this!

Another live wedding band could play some familiar funky pop covers of well-known artists that’ll have the crowd shimmying on down to the dance floor and boogying all night.

And some other live wedding bands will simply provide a tasteful backdrop to proceedings; perfect for a more laid-back type of event. This could be wedding bands with smaller line ups or an acoustic party band who perform songs from artists like Ed Sheeran and more.

Whilst you do get wedding bands that fit into each of these niches, it is worth making sure that the band you choose is versatile and can check multiple boxes. Take us for example, The Hustle are experienced at performing lively rock sets as well as getting the dance floor moving with pop covers or even laid back acoustic tunes. The versatility even stems to being able to perform during the daytime or at a wedding ceremony.

Music Styles & Genre

When choosing a band you’ve first got to consider genre. Of course, the most important question is: what type of music do you enjoy? (Or if you’re planning the wedding reception for the couples, then what type of music do the bride and groom enjoy?) Since it’s the big day after all, it’s important to book a live wedding band that will play in a genre that will be sure to put smiles on everyone’s faces.

Some of the most popular genres for wedding events are: pop (who would’ve guessed?), and rock. Really, these two labels are so wide ranging that it’s practically pointless to make a specific guess about what type of music these genres encompass.

So, with that in mind, you can search for bands that play in certain sub-genres and decades, or, to make things a whole lot simpler for yourself you can simply start by looking at live bands’ set lists, song repertoire and checking out their videos to see what songs they play and what kind of style they’ll be playing them in. You can also have a read through reviews of the band to see what people who booked them in the past felt about their service and performance.

Can an agency help?

If you’re still stuck at the decision stage, then contacting an agency that specialises in wedding entertainment might be the fastest and simplest way to make head and tail of the myriad of options available for live entertainment including jazz, soul, indie and more. They’ll be able to make recommendations and provide tips on the right questions to ask when hiring bands.

There are many more other genres, some of them quite specialised. When choosing a live act, consider that if the couple have a particular taste for jazz or classical, then the perfect fit for their wedding reception may be a band that specialises in these genres.

Booking a Wedding Band With Experience

Our biggest tips here though are to look for an experienced wedding band. A band with history of performing at wedding venues will get guests singing and dancing with a mix of all genres, making sure that everyone is happy!

Many bands tend to ‘lean’ towards one specific style as a way of displaying their sound and what they do best, but double check their song list or even ask if they play enough tracks and music choices in their set for all wedding guests to enjoy.

Whilst The Hustle include a mix of songs from pop punk, hip hop, rock, indie and more, we certainly have a specific style and look that appeal to a certain style of wedding.

You may be tempted to hire a band for your wedding by looking at local bands, cheaper pub bands or even thinking about whether to book a DJ or a wedding band.

Of course, you can choose whatever you like – but it’s important not to cut corners on your live music.

A professional band for a wedding will know exactly how to run an event properly, deal with restrictions, help you with your planning and get guests up and dancing all night long. A wedding gig is much different to that of a pub or local bar, so get the best and don’t settle for less on your music, bands and wedding entertainment. You won’t regret it!

Can I request songs for the wedding reception?

Many live bands that specialise in weddings are happy to include requested songs in their setlist, so if there’s a particular tune that the newlyweds wish to have as their first dance song, then you simply need to ask the band to cover it.

Experienced live bands that specialise in providing entertainment for a wedding reception, like The Hustle, are more than happy to learn and perform requested first dance songs and more.

Whether they’re those well-known big hits that are perfect for the whole crowd to party to, or obscure curios that the guests have never heard but that may mean the world to the special couple on their special day.

First dance songs

When it comes to requesting a song for your big day, most couples dream of the idea of hearing their first dance song performed live by a band.

Check with your band if they are able to learn a special song for you.

If you have the option to do this and your band are willing to learn and perform this music live on your big day, it can be an incredible moment!

When choosing bands for your wedding, be sure to at least ask if they can accommodate requests or not.

If they can’t play it live, ask if they can add it to their DJ set!

Choose A Band That Have Invested In Themselves

It’s simple really.

The more serious a band take themselves and the more they have invested in what they do as a proper and professional outfit, the more serious they will take you and your special day.

Like we said at the beginning, you may only book entertainment and wedding music once in your lifetime.

Why would you even consider bands who aren’t prepared to go the extra mile for your wedding or have invested in themselves to be ready for other weddings?

Whenever we are chosen to play music at someone’s wedding party, we genuinely feel honoured and so lucky to be in that fortunate group of people and guests who can share and create special moments with you.

Speak with your band. Get to know them. You will know pretty quickly if they are on the same page as you and if you really want them around on your wedding day and providing music entertainment!

Tribute band as wedding entertainment?

Some couples might consider hiring a tribute band for the wedding reception if the couple are truly obsessed with a particular group. This type of live band specialises in covering a particular artist’s music as closely as possible to the original recordings.

As much as you might think that this would surely make the big night even more memorable for a couple who share a love for a particular group, remember your wider wedding theme and event, as well as your guests.

They are also there to have a great time and enjoy the entertainment you provide, so would a tribute band tick this box?

Check with any potential tribute if they are able to sing songs from outside of their specific genre, and choose wedding musicians with versatility and event experience when booking.

Matching the vibe to the wedding venue

Creating the right atmosphere

Next up, consider what type of atmosphere you’re going for.

You might want to think about how the style of music the live band is performing will mesh with the theme of the venue. You’ll want to create the perfect vibe by matching the type of venue with the type of musical act.

If you’re looking to fill a large space with hundreds of guests then you could consider a larger amplified band to really get the room rocking. If, however, it’s a more low-key affair, then a smaller acoustic outfit may well be a better fit. But if it’s a grand old stately home then perhaps a string quartet would be more fitting; assuming your bride & groom enjoy classical music of course!

Speak with your agency and wedding venue for potential band recommendations who may make a great fit for your ceremony, drinks reception and full day.

Potential problems for wedding bands

You should also consider any restrictions that might come with some wedding venues.

Problems could arise in the form of not enough space for the band to set up, or access issues loading gear into the venue.

Many wedding venues have also introduced sound limiters, whereby the electricity supply to the live band is cut should the musician’s noise output exceed a certain decibel limit.

It’s very sensible to check in with the band and make sure that they are aware of the presence of sound limiters at venues and that they are equipped with the gear and knowledge to deal with any potential problems posed by sound limiters that may affect their sound.

Budgets and band choices

We’ve left perhaps the most important thing till last, but of course it should be obvious that whatever band you pick for your event needs to suit your budget!

If you’ve got your heart set on a particular band that lingers just outside your price range, then don’t worry because it’s possible that they’ll be able to modify their act to accommodate financial considerations, for instance, by reducing their line-up of musicians, or playing a short acoustic set.

Hiring through an event agency may increase the overall price of your wedding band, but with this can come a sense of reassurance and other services. Booking with a band directly can keep costs down, but ensure that you check their social media pages, reviews and any videos to make sure you are making the right choice.

Getting More Value From Your Band

When you book with The Hustle, you get optional daytime acoustic sets, a free DJ included in your evening celebrations and so much more.

Always ask your potential chosen musicians what else they can offer to sweeten the deal!

We try to make things as easy as possible for anyone booking a band for the first time and are always open to help with any advice.

Good luck hiring your wedding band, it genuinely is one of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding. If you’d us to play for your big day, or just want some more help on any of this – drop us a message now!

Guide by The Hustle – Wedding Band Cheshire