The Wedding Band
Next topic: The First Dance / Wedding Songs
Oh how we all laughed at Adam Sandler in that movie ‘The Wedding Singer’…hilarious wasn’t it…I shouldn’t have laughed that much, that’s me!
I’m the guy in a band who willingly plays in a Wedding Band at couples’ happiest day of their lives, every Saturday, throughout every summer over the past 18 odd years. If there is one thing we love about weddings is there is always 99% of the time a room full of people that really want to have an incredible day with you. It is the one day after all that you’ll be ‘alive’ to enjoy, where all your friends and family are there for you.
So what have we learned after being part of at least 200 weddings. Here are four points, that are there to be constructive and help make your happy day the best ever.
1. Make entertainment one of your first decisions not the after thought
Yes you’re there to get hitched, yes the priority is the ceremony and the speeches but after the brides dress, the second most important thing people remember is whether they had a good time or not, A good band will make or break this for you. Food is food, beer is beer, we’ve heard most of the funny or not funny jokes that the best man has pulled off Google many times, but a band that gets the dance floor happening and makes you and your guests let their hair down is invaluable. Believe me while iPods are a cheap option, they’re wedding killers. Its not a nice feeling after spending $30000 or more on your special day to see your guests making polite excuses and leaving early.
2. Good Wedding Bands cost good money
You cannot compare the money asked by a band to what your hourly rate at work might be. Don’t forget the band often leaves home at lunch time, drives to your wedding venue, loads all their equipment into the venue, equipment that is worth well in excess of $100000, have the technical ability to provide excellent sound and have learned their trade of playing their instrument. Then they have to have the ability to entertain, not all musicians are necessarily good entertainers. Then when your guests are partied out, the band still needs to pack all the equipment down, load it out of the venue and drive home to get into bed at 3am in the morning.
3. Less is more for entertainment
Let me quantify this point. A good band will not perform from 7pm – 1am without a break. Well some may try but believe me they’re not the ones you want, they’ll bore . The perfect time line is to get all the speeches done, enjoy dessert, clear the dancefloor, enjoy the first dance and the band should kick in. 8.30pm – 11.30pm or 9pm – 12 midnight is perfect.
4. Bands are noisy
There is a trade off when choosing your wedding band. If you want Nana to be able to talk while your guests meanwhile are rocking out, dancing and clapping to Bon Jovi there may be a slight issue. The disconnect is as follows. To talk like you would in a restaurant the highest volume you can comfortably talk over is actually ridiculously low. A drum kit played softly is probably going to be offensive to most people over the age of 65. You see to get a crowd in the party mood, there needs to be a ‘vibe’. For a vibe you need to emanate energy from the stage. A solo acoustic performer will tick the box for conversation, a small stringed quartet or a jazz ensemble who look like they’re from the local music school will do the same. A cover band who are going to perform, entertain, turn your reception into the ultimate party that gets everyone involved need to have a certain volume to make it happen. No one is going to be stupid about it, this isn’t for the band, its for you the audience. The ideal scenario is dancing in this room, coffee, cake and conversation in that room. People are free to go between the two.
To finish ‘The Wedding Band’ blog a little story. I got the strangest phone call recently…Caller: ’Hi is that The Monroes?’ Me: ‘Yes it is. How can I help?’. Caller ‘I’ve got a wedding coming up and you guys rocked so much at my last wedding, I’d love to book you again’….Ahem