How To Choose A Live Wedding Band For Your Special Day?

Music is one of the most important details of your wedding ceremony. Weddings wouldn't be complete without exciting music. Music is the perfect source of entertainment and fun for a marriage ceremony; it brings the wedding atmosphere to life. 

A live wedding band does the same magic on your special day. An important segment of the wedding planning process is finding a band that excites your guests, gets them to stand on their feet, and moves them to rock out on the dance floor. Imagine! how amazing it will be for you to hear that your guests had the most fun celebrating and dancing at your wedding. That very sentence will surely blow out all the wedding fatigue. 

Choosing a live wedding band that moderates the tone of your wedding reception is not an easy job. You surely want your wedding to be a memorable one, and the right live wedding band is clearly a big choice. If you’re planning to hire a live wedding band for your special night, you’ll need to take care of a lot of things. Tasks might be slipping from your mind, so Wedding Realm helps you navigate the live wedding band selection process. 

We’ve put together this useful guide to help you make the right choice that fits your style and day. 

What are you looking for in a live wedding band? 

Most couples want one thing: their wedding memories to last. The best memory is when their loved ones and the guests assure them how amazing the grand event was. What’s better than remembering a packed dance floor, where everyone seems lost in the musical charm? These bands or musicians should satisfy you by matching your wedding theme. But, are you sure you know what you are looking for while you're planning the music for your special event? 

You have to search among the list of various musical bands for your special event:

Jazz Band

A jazz band is a popular choice at weddings; it embraces improvisation and creativity. This band normally enjoys a piece of fluid music, blending together soulful and spunky songs. The members of the jazz band are creative enough to deal with any risks during their performance. 

Swing Band 

If it’s a formal black-tie event, a swing band is a perfect choice. This type of band lets your guests keep tapping their feet during the wedding reception. They come with a perfect mix of glamor and fun, especially with the flavor of 1950s music.  

Rock Band

If you are an alternative or rock-and-roll kind-of couple, then nothing can excite you more than a rock music band. Make sure they can easily tailor to the set of songs you prefer but try and select uplifting songs, and try to steer clear of the moody rock genre. Try to consider the preferences of other people too. You can also choose rock songs from across the decades! With this band, it’s best to start with a little bit of heavy rock and end the night on a lighter note. 

R&B Band 

This type of band is for a typical modern wedding, one with a modern reception venue: like a nightclub. This music adds a range of tempos and can add extra soul to your big event. Normally, this type of band gets your guests moving and grooving for nighttime receptions.  

Pop Music Group 

For large young wedding crowds and evening receptions, a pop music band is one of the most reliable options. The good thing is you can have a huge playlist by combining the hits of the 80s, and 90s, and of course the contemporary and new pop songs. A suitable playlist of songs can also be played during dinner, but make sure the volume matches the environment and it doesn’t offend any guests.  

Make sure to look at the theme of the wedding, which can help your search looking for and choose your wedding band accordingly. 

Choose Between A ‘Live wedding band’ and ‘DJ’

For wedding entertainment, you have two options, ‘live wedding band’ and ‘DJ’. Both come with their own pros and cons, so there’s always a winning option. The question is, which one do you want for your event? Choosing will depend on everything from budget, to the venue, to your own personal style. 

Budget flexibility plays an important role here. If you go for a band, they split the fee between all members of a band. On the other hand, Dj is only a person you pay for. You may pay $1000 for a whole musical band or pay the same for a DJ. The difference isn’t much here but surely bands cost a little extra when it comes to performing. You really want to find the best bang for your buck, so choose wisely. 

If you have already decided on a dream wedding style, set your priorities accordingly. If a high-energy crowd with breaks in between is your priority, then you are most likely looking for a live wedding band. The energy you’ll get from a band can’t be imitated by a DJ. Focus on songs that you want and also do not want for your setlist and then plan it. When planning music, You cannot ignore the wedding venue space, a DJ will take up much less space as compared to a band, but still, you have the final say on your big day. 

How To Choose A Live Wedding Band

Weddings take a huge amount of planning, but it doesn’t mean you have to compromise your vision and style. If you are proceeding with selecting a live wedding band, you should keep in mind your wedding theme. A perfect wedding band should sing what incites your soul and matches the vibe. Along with that, they should come in accordance with the overall wedding design theme in terms of clothing, instruments, venue- and most important budget. Once you set the parameters, the whole process becomes a lot easier. So, what you’re waiting for? Dig down into the search process now with the help of Wedding Realm!

Choose The Music For Your Wedding

In the midst of planning about florists, cakes, venue, honeymoon locations, and everything else, your ceremony music is still an important aspect to figure out. You want to pick the right song that fits your wedding and shares the right message with your guests. Once you start making a playlist, think about how many songs you want for your wedding. Pick your processional songs for sharing with your live wedding band so they can play when you walk down the aisle, at your reception, or whenever you want. These songs could be many like, ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love, ‘Speechless’, or ‘The Way You Look Tonight.' 

No matter how long you and your partner have been together, there’s always a song (or songs!) that connects you two and makes you think about your other half. Make a list of those songs to share with your live wedding band. 

Another thing to consider is finding out if there are rules you have to follow as far as music is. If you’re having a religious wedding, there might be a set of traditional religious songs you want to choose from. Talking to your officiant could be helpful, and it can help you see if there are any restrictions. 

Plan A Budget For a Live Wedding Band Performance

Set a defined budget before speaking to your wedding band. It's always good to prepare yourself for any flexibility at the early stage of budget planning. There is a possibility that you may not get everything according to your expectations, but you definitely find a suitable available option. While budgeting the process, it's best not to rely on one fixed figure. Keep in mind seasons play an important role in the process, so, always be ready to pay more in peak seasons. Wedding season can be a very busy time for live performers and their rates might change to accommodate their packed schedule. 

You will likely pay extra for the artists of your choice, especially those artists who are a popular group. Avoid considering the whole wedding as a single unit, rather break down it into its respective elements. Work on separate elements in chunks: such as refreshments, food and drink, lighting, breaks, special equipment, and overtime. Make your checklist and introduce this to your band before hiring them. 

As an unwritten rule, allocate $3000-$8000 for an experienced live wedding band performance of around 5-6 musicians to play. There are also musical bands that charge per hour for performances and increase their charges if there is an extensive list of requirements. Make sure to explain everything in detail, and ask them to be upfront. As long as you have discussed everything, there shouldn’t be any concerns. No one likes surprises at the last moment so make sure you can rely on your band to follow your expectations. 

Choose The Right Wedding Venue For Live Music 

Let your imaginations run wild! A guitarist in the corner, a singer singing in the middle, and a saxophonist supporting the rhythm from the back; that's an element your guests will definitely talk about.  Your wedding day probably is the first big event of your life, it's your time to decide what cake you want to eat and what live music you need to entertain your guests!


Usually, couples book their wedding entertainment bands right after paying the deposit for their venue just to find out later that the venue isn’t suitable for performing live musical bands. Who’s faulty here? Probably, the venue or the wedding planner. A venue deals with a lot of wedding details and knows what works in their space,  but making extra space for wedding bands to perform may not be their top priority. At that point, if the band is a key part of your big day, it becomes your top duty to find venues with spacious options for your live performers.  You must discuss with your venue decorator to plan for the space in advance, and either find other music options or other venues if they can’t accommodate you. 

Wedding party rooms come in different sizes and shapes. You will always be stuck in a loop where you think that one type is better than the other. But, it’s always worth thinking about it. If one tiny room is crammed with hundreds of people, then the atmosphere will become challenging for everyone. In the same way, it’s also not right to book a big mansion when you have only 50 guests to attend. Thinking about the space is an important part of considering how your live performers will fit into your wedding.  

It's good to know that some wedding venues come with noise-limiter devices inside the building to warn the musicians to keep their volume low if it’s too high. But, some venues don’t have them. It's always better to double-check in case it influences what type of music or band is suitable. 

You also need to think about what time of the day you want your musicians to start playing live music. Some of your loved ones might like it starting at the tail end of the night while others think it should start during the day. Will your venue accommodate the band throughout the day, or does it only have the space where the reception is being held? There’s a lot to consider with making your music and venue work together. 

So, how should a perfect wedding venue be for live wedding bands? 

An ideal venue for a live band must have: 

-A stage (of course!) or an area for the band to perform

-A dance floor 

-A coordinator to help organize the band

Have a happy dance!

Ask For Recommendations For Your Live Wedding Band 

Now the main question is, how and where do you start the hunt? You can try to look around yourself. If you have already booked some vendors, you’ll have a huge list of referrals! You can ask those vendors who they know or if they have seen any performers at weddings they have recently provided their services for. The first major referral is your wedding caterer team. Asking a catering team is a good option if you are starting from scratch. These are the people who are closely linked with almost every band in the town. They can also easily distinguish between good ones and bad ones. Being a part of the venue, they can easily tell how a band connected with the party and what the guests thought. 

Check out the suggestions of your photographers and videographers. They are the ones in the party room capturing moments the whole time. They are always taking photos of the guests who are dancing energetically during the wedding. A good photographer can help you in your search. 

Moreover, social media is a good-to-go platform for finding a musician. You can seek out online reviews before choosing a musical band; a band cannot buy a reputation for itself. The only way is to earn it and there is no better way than online reviews. If a band has five stars on its portfolio, then they are definitely worth the hire 

Last but not the least, listen to your intuition. If you’re not getting the right feeling while interviewing a band, you should trust your instincts. 

Questions To Ask Live Wedding Band Before Hiring Them 

Your wedding must have its own soundtrack. A wedding band can help set that soundtrack for the most important day of your life, it’s something you might want to listen to for years to come. Therefore, you should carefully work on this hiring process. For better assistance, we’ve compiled a master list of questions to ask your potential candidates before the final booking. The more knowledge you have, the easier it is to make the right decision. 

  • Are you available on my wedding date? 

  • How many weddings have you performed at? 

  • Have you done events before at [selected wedding venue]? 

  • Do you have any videos of your work?

  • Can you help me by suggesting any professional or recessional music? 

  • What music genres can you cover for my wedding? 

  • Will you accept a do-not playlist?

  • In case a member is unavailable to perform, do you have any replacements? 

  • What do you charge? 

  • Do you have a payment plan?

  • What is your refund or cancellation policy? 

  • What type of equipment do you need me to arrange so I can inform my site manager about it? 

  • What is the deadline for submitting our music and event details? 

  • Do you have any questions for us? 

If you confidently have an answer to all these questions, you’re ready to send over the contract. 

Final Thoughts 

Once you find a band you love, book them ASAP before someone else does. Top live wedding bands always fill up their schedules months before the peak days. So, don’t wait around and avoid the anguish of missing out on your dream band! If you have any questions, no matter how big or small, the friendly team at Wedding Realm is always happy to help.