We’ve all been there. You’re in the local pub on a night out with friends and you hear an amazing band. You think to yourself, this is the band that I want to play at my wedding!
As someone with many years experience playing in pubs, I can tell you that this happens quite a lot. And so I wanted to write a short post talking about this and giving some insight into my experiences with this.
As you might guess there’s two sides to every situation. So, let’s take a look at both and see what’s what:
- Why you might consider a local band for your wedding?
- Why you should not consider a local band for your wedding?
Why you might consider a local band for your wedding?
When the pub is hopping and you’re having a great night, it can be easy to picture this band on stage at your wedding. And why not, they’re doing exactly what they’ve been hired to do and making sure your having a good time.
Over the years, we’ve had hundreds of people come up during or after a pub gig asking for contact details for their wedding. Often, it’s only the drink talking but there’s been quite a few who’ve followed through with their enquiry the next day.
There are many reasons why people opt for the local band, and they usually fall into one of the following:
- You’ve heard them loads and you always have a good night
- They play exactly the kind of music that you like in your favourite pub
- You know the band members or their family
- Since they’re not professional wedding musicians, you may be able save a few quid
- They play really well in the local pub so they will play really well at a wedding.
And while these are all good reasons, I’d suggest you consider the flip side before making this decision.
Why you should not consider a local band for your wedding?
When we think ‘band’, it tends to imply a group of the same people that play music together regularly.
Musicians are just like everyone else with busy schedules, different music tastes and general life getting in the way. And as a result, it’s quite common that the group playing in your local may not be a ‘band’ in the conventional sense.
You may be hearing a group that’s been put together on the night or one that casually gigs together. This isn’t unusual but when you’re trying to book them for a wedding, you may get a ‘yes’ but later find out that it’s only one or two from the group that will actually be there on the night.
For certain band members, the thoughts of charging wedding prices gets the better of them. They may agree to something before realizing the scope of the project causing them to back out at an inconvenient time.
Also, as a younger or more inexperienced musician, it’s very flattering for someone to ask you to play at their wedding. And as a result, they may say yes without fully understanding what’s ahead of them.
So what if this group is a ‘band’?
It’s worth checking them out before asking about your wedding. Unless they market themselves as an actual wedding band, they may just be taking an opportunity to earn a few extra quid.
Not something you want happening at your expense.
Another thing to note is that pub gigs are a different animal to weddings. In a pub, you tend to have locals, and people who gravitate towards that pub, because of the music played there.
So, while you’re seeing everyone enjoy themselves, you need to remember that they are there for that experience. They can leave after a few minutes and someone else will take their place – looks like a full house all night.
When you think of the guests at weddings, you have a fixed audience of people with varying musical tastes and interests and nowhere else to go but home.
So, the local pub band may not be able to cater to the crowd that’s in front of them on the night. And it’s very common that a couple don’t consider this until it’s happening on the night itself.
That’s not to say that younger bands don’t deserve a chance to start playing at weddings. But it is something to be aware of for your wedding.
Otherwise, you’re risking an empty dance floor and paying for a performance that falls flat on it’s face.
Why you should consider hiring a professional wedding band to cater your wedding?
There is a lot of information to consider in the above. And the best way that you can reduce the risk of things going wrong is to hire a professional wedding band to do your wedding.
Professional wedding bands perform weekly, for years to hone their craft. They work hard to build a reputation and will fight very hard to keep it intact.
A pro wedding band will also have the variety of songs on their setlist to cater to everyone in your party.
So, if you have older family members they can cater to their favourites and quickly switch it up for the younger guests.
Professionals also can incorporate games, and other party pieces to fill the gaps and keep people engaged. It’s very hard to fill a dance floor but very easy for it to empty if nothing’s holding them there. Seasoned bands know exactly how to do that.
Another consideration is that professionals should be insured.
That means that if something does go wrong, you’re covered. It’s not going to get the night back for you but at least it’s something.
If you’re considering booking a wedding band, it’s good to check out the Wedding Band Association to make sure that they’re verified.
Although, there are also many professionals not in that group who are equally as reliable.
Do your research and you should be fine. And for more tips on booking a band for your wedding, check out our wedding band guide.
If you’ve any questions or comments on this post, do reach out and let me know.