Wedding bands - Scotland

Hiring a wedding band?

Getting married in the Scotland is an added bonus for couples planning a wedding. Scotland is blessed with an amazingly rich and varied cultural history, of which music plays a large role. Scotland has its own very distinctive musical legacy, and you will want to at least take that into consideration when planning for your wedding entertainment. This is particularly important if you want to adopt a traditional theme for your wedding reception, or if you have several older visitors present.

We’ve put together a list of things you should consider before booking a wedding band in Scotland.

Agencies - Go to a reliable agent like www.musicforscotland.co.uk .While it may look impressive, be wary of National UK agents that have an endless list of bands on their books as they cannot possibly vet and keep track of all of these bands and the quality of what they are offering. It is better to pick an agent that is based locally as they are more likely to have to best selection of wedding bands Scotland can offer. It is often very difficult to arrange for clients to see professional function bands beforehand as they tend to perform at private functions, so often you are relying on the honesty and integrity of the agent. Usually the agent will have vetted all the wedding bands on their books, and their bands should be 100% reliable. Sometimes agencies will hold regular wedding band showcases giving couples the ideal opportunity to watch a number of wedding bands performing at the same event. This is highly recommended as it gives you the chance to pick the band that you think will appeal to the majority of your guests! You will need to choose the style of wedding band you would like to play and type of songs you believe will suit you as well as your guests. You should pick a wedding band that is capable of entertaining a wide age range, as a wedding is often really the only event that will have such a vast range of men and women. If you can't get to listen to the band you like performing live, make sure you ask for a demo CD of their songs. They will be able to supply these with ease including testimonials from previous weddings and events.

The Schedule – No matter how well you plan your evening, the ceremony may overrun, speeches may go on longer than planned, the meal may take half an hour longer than you expect. Allow a little room for manoeuvre and be flexible. Allow ample time for the band to set up especially if your meal is in the same room the band will be performing in. If the band is to set up in the same room as the meal, ensure you have allowed them time slot to set up without getting in the way of the guests. Most bands will usually require at least 45mins to set up and sound check.

Talk to the band!
– Whether or not you book through an agency, get in touch with the band directly through email or telephone. It can be comforting to speak with the band in person well in advance of your wedding, to discuss the bands requirements and the choice of first dance. Most professional bands are happy to learn a song of your choosing for your first dance as long as it can be adapted to the band line-up, but don’t leave this until the last minute! Professional bands are very busy over the summer months so the more notice you can give them better, and certainly no less than three weeks.

Do the band provided recorded music? – Most bands should be able to offer this though it’s worth asking just in case. This will usually mean an iPod or equivalent being played between the bands’ sets and you can probably discuss the selection of music and styles beforehand.

Equipment - Check that the band’s equipment is of a high quality and PAT tested, as many venues will ask to see the band’s PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) certificate to prove that their equipment has been tested and declared safe. Ask the band about stage lighting - this can makes a big difference to the atmosphere of any event. Your guests are far more likely to want to dance under some appropriate disco lighting rather that the full glare of the venue’s main lights or near total darkness.

Has food been arranged for the band? – It is likely that your band will be at your venue for 6 hours or more and they will have been loading and unloading before that. They will probably want to be fed at some point and it is normal practice for the client to provide food or snacks or let them access the evening buffet.

The Venue – Most wedding venues in Scotland can cater for a live band but it’s worth checking they have sufficient power sources available for the bands use. Usually a full live band will need more than a single 13amp socket! Another consideration when selecting a venue is checking whether they have a noise limiter in place. These are electronic devices that some venues have fitted that tell the band (usually by way of a traffic light system) when they are playing louder than the venue can allow. Some wedding bands will adhere totally to this and turn their equipment down to a level that is within the limit set or else the metre will trigger a temporary power cut to the band’s equipment. However other bands that feature a full line-up with drummer and bass player will have difficulty performing at a restricted volume level and may refuse to play at such a venue. A power-cut can cause permanent damage to their expensive equipment!! If your venue has a Noise limiter in place it’s crucial to let the band know before you book them for your wedding.

Most venues have a designated area for bands to set up in. It’s best to check with them that this space will be available when the band arrives. If your venue is not used to having wedding bands on a regular basis, make sure a suitable area is going to be left clear for when the band arrive. After setting up their equipment, the band will need somewhere to get changed and to keep their valuables. Many venues, particularly hotels, will have a spare room or conference room that they will be happy to let the band use for this purpose.

Finally - Getting married is one of the most significant events in any one person's life, and it is only natural to want to celebrate it in the most lavish way possible. Even if your wedding day is a bit of a way off, you have probably already given some thought to the wedding reception and entertainment. The entertainment is of course an essential part of any wedding reception, and choosing the most appropriate one will greatly add to the success of your event.

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