How to enjoy your wedding day music
We want you to enjoy the music on wedding day, so here
are some suggestions to help ensure that the music during the evening reception goes
You certainly don't want any hassle on your big
day, you want to savour every moment. Sometimes things may run behind schedule (though the venue should
have planned for this), but some forward planning can make sure that things
run smoothly for you so you and your guests can simply enjoy yourselves.
When should the band
begin their set up?
When we send you your 'Confirmation of Booking' the time that the band will
arrive and set up is given in the schedule. Check this out as soon as you
get the Confirmation, and discuss it with your venue if necessary to make
sure that it will fit in with their schedule. It is almost always OK, but
should there be a problem, get back to us or the band straight away. It may
be difficult to change things close to the date.
The band could set up after the
This is the normal thing for
Bands, Ceilidh or
Barn Dance Bands and the smaller
Set up time is normally between half an hour to an hour before they begin
their performance. Only the larger Function and Pop Bands, with large
equipment and longer set up times, would set up earlier in the day. If you
are having an unamplified classical music group, then set up is typically
only 15 minutes.
After the wedding breakfast, if the evening entertainment is to be in the
same room, the venue will need to re-setup the room in
order to accommodate the evening party. While staff are clearing the tables,
clearing space for the dance floor - you usually retire to a different room,
the bar, or take a comfort break.
This is when the band come in and set up the
PA system and it's the option that most customers choose. Remember, if you
want background music as the band set up, you need to provide the sound
system (usually a venue has one built in), as the band can't play music
through their system until it is set up.
The band could set up in advance
Early set up is often included in the price for the larger pop bands, but
is an extra or something the band will not do, for the smaller bands. It is
rarely necessary for small bands, who are able to set up quietly and discreetly.
Where early set up is offered, this is to allow the band to set up their PA
system and do their sound checks prior to your guests arriving, then get change,
freshen up and relax for a few moments before their first set begins.
The larger covers and party bands
can take 1 to 2 hours to set their audio equipment up and sound check.
This could be done while you’re at the registry office or church ceremony, or having a drinks reception in a separate area.
Decide on one location for the band: Sometimes we are asked for
the band to play in more than one location. Whilst
string quartet can move quickly,
any ensemble with a PA system, can't. Once the audio equipment has been set
up, the band won't be able to move location - so you need to be sure that
you have chosen their performance location wisely. The big advantage is that if timings overrun later in the evening, at least the band are all set-up and ready to play.
Deciding when and for how long you want the band to play:
Jazz, Barn Dance and Party Bands will play background music through their own PA system
during breaks in their live performance, unless you don't also have a DJ to do
If you do have a DJ, make sure that any music they play between sets is in
keeping with the mood created by the band. There is no better way to kill the
atmosphere than for a DJ to blast out pop music between the sets of a jazz or
barn dance band.
Don't have your start time too early. Often things run a bit late, wedding
guests want a breather between meal and the festivities. They will enjoy the
music all the more if they are not rushed from one thing to another.
option 1 - 2x1 hour sets
7.00 to 8.00: Arrive and set up
8.00 to 9.00: first live set
9.00 to 10.00: background music
during the buffet
10.00 to 11.00: second live set
11.00 to midnight: background music
Typical schedule option
3 - three 40 minute performances
7.30 to 8.50: Arrive and set up
8.50 to 9.30: first live set
10.20: background music during the buffet
10.20 to 11.00: second live
11.00 to 11.20: background music
11.20 to 12.00: third live
Typical schedule option
2 - 30 minute plus 90 minute performances
7.30 to 8.45: Band set up
8.45 to 9.15: first live set
10.15: background music during the buffet
10.15 to 11.45: second live
11.45 to Midnight: background music
number of sets might, with short breaks between might seem a good idea as it
gives entertainment out for the whole evening. For groups like jazz bands or
string quartets it is ideal. However for a barn dance or ceilidh and also
for a full on covers band, the stopping and starting performances can
destroy the atmosphere, killing the momentum that the band is working to
build up and also tiring the guests out.
Many bands prefer to perform two 60 minute sets so that the energy is more focused and the momentum
and excitement on the dance floor can be sustained.
If it is a Ceilidh or Barn Dance Band, then normally the evening includes two
one and a quartet hour sets, with a half hour break between. That length is
about right for the amount of energy the dancers [and band] can summon up.
You don't want to overdo it otherwise it can spoil the evening.
the schedule you decide to go for,
arrange the break for the band while the buffet is being served, so that you can
offer them some food during the break and let your guests concentrate on their
Food and facilities for
will have spent time loading their equipment, collecting band members, travelled
to your venue (and will have to do the reverse at the end of the evening) so it
will be a long day for them. They can't bring their own food, many venues won't
allow it, and in any case it isn't practical to bring a 'meals on wheels'
service along with all the instruments and sound system, so it's very important that
are provided with food and drinks. Aside from being welcoming to your musicians, you need to ensure they have the energy to keep performing all night. It's
exhausting! That's why it's part of the T&Cs of Midsummer Music that you
provide food and drinks to your band.
Whether a band needs somewhere to change
depends on the kind of band. A Ceilidh or
standard jazz band don't need
anywhere, but a pop band who perform in stage clothing would need somewhere.
Make sure that you have organised for the band have a changing room if they
need one. Only some venues have specific 'green rooms' for entertainers, but
they will all have some unused conference room, guest room or similar that can
be made available. The band will want to look good on stage, and after
travelling for an hour or more, humping heavy PA equipment from the vehicle to
the reception room, it's exhausting - YOU will want them to have
freshened up before their performance. Covers bands with stage clothes to change
into will need a changing room with enough space and chairs for
all the musicains to get changed comfortably at the same time, and be furnished
with chairs and if possible a mirror. It is not acceptable to offer the band a
toilet to change in. Ceilidh bands, jazz bands and string quartets don't
normally need to get changed and their sound systems are generally lighter
and more compact, so a changing room isn't normally an issue.
Packing up at the end of their
The end time for the performance is shown on our 'Confirmation of Booking'. If
you wish the band to perform for longer on the night, the procedure is given on
this same 'Confirmation' The band will take down their PA system and
load it into their vehicle as quickly as they can so that the venue can so that
you can move on to the next part of your evening seamlessly, (e.g. in the case
of a Barn Dance Band, so that your DJ can go into action perhaps), or if this is
the end of the evenings wedding entertainment, to let everyone else get packed
up and go home, or