For many couples, music is a very important part of their nuptial celebrations. For the modern bride who can’t see herself walking down the aisle to the Wedding March, picking the right song or composition to make her entrance to can be a surprisingly agonising decision – how do you pick the soundtrack to such a pivotal moment in your life?

And then, of course, there is the first dance – many a couple have gone through serious fallings out over that particular choice, not to mention whether they are even having a first dance at all. And to top it off, there is the music for the rest of your party. It’s a delicate decision – do you go for the traditional DJ spinning cheesy hits in the hope there’ll be something to appeal to most of your guests? Do you go down the ‘it’s my party’ route and cater for what you and your partner are into? Or do you go for something out of the ordinary and give guests a memorable experience?

As a centrepiece to the evening’s entertainment, many couples love the idea of booking a live band to perform at their wedding. But how do you go about finding the right one, and what sort of things do you need to think about? Here, we offer a quick run through the basics of booking a band to help you find your dancing feet.

Where do I find a wedding band?

If you’ve never had to think about booking a band before, you may well be wondering where on Earth you start looking for one. Fortunately, most bands these days are pretty good at using social media to promote their services, which makes things relatively straightforward. If you have a particular style of band in mind – a rock covers band, a ceilidh band, a jazz band – just search your local listings and see what you can find. Alternatively, get on Google or Facebook and simply search for ‘wedding band’ to see what comes up.

How do I know if they are any good?

Again, social media is your friend here. You can usually gauge by how many followers and / or reviews a band has what sort of calibre they are – poor performers are unlikely to have a big Facebook following or get that many bookings! Read reviews, especially if it’s a band that regularly does weddings, to get a sense of how well they go down with audiences. Many bands also have YouTube video recordings these days, which is a great way to get a feel for whether they are for you or not. But nothing can beat getting to see a band play live yourself before you make a final decision, so book a date night with your partner next time they are playing and call it research!

What do I need to agree with them?

Bands work in all sorts of different ways, so you will probably have to do a bit of thinking on your feet when it comes to making arrangements with one you like. If they don’t specifically advertise themselves as ‘a wedding band’, first of all check they are happy to play for you – some bands may not like the idea, although a paid gig is a paid gig! Also, if it’s a band that does popular covers, don’t expect them to play whatever you request. It’s not easy learning and performing new songs, so most wedding bands will have a repertoire they know and practice regularly, and then will allow the bride and groom to make some selections from this.

As well as confirming obvious things like price and times, double check equipment. If your band is used to playing clubs and pubs rather than weddings, they may well not have their own vocal PA to bring along. If your venue doesn’t have PA equipment, the onus will be on you to hire or borrow one. If you are also hiring a DJ, you may be able to negotiate to allow the band to use theirs.

Of course, every band needs somewhere to play, so if you’re still looking for the perfect venue for your wedding, why not consider The Colony HQ and get in touch to arrange a viewing?