How to Pick the Perfect Live Band for Your Wedding Reception

Did you know that Honey Bees can dance?

As a matter of fact, they use a dance known as the “Waggle Dance” to communicate on where to find food. And humans aren’t much different…we use dancing to communicate all kinds of different emotions like joy, love, and celebration.

And there’s nothing you want more at your wedding than to have your guests doing their version of the “Waggle” as they dance, laugh, and play in celebration of your marriage.

But picking the right live band can be the most important decision you make when planning your wedding reception. Because music dictates the mood of the room.

So Let’s talk about 3 important elements to finding the perfect wedding band.

  1. Research
  2. Song List
  3. Break Music

1. Do your research…

These days, almost all research is done online. Not many people have time to go club-hopping in search of the perfect wedding band. And with the resources we have right at our fingertips (Weddingwire.com, The Knot, Gigmasters, etc.) to name but a few, you can plan most of your wedding without leaving the couch!

Here are a couple of things to consider during the research stage:

  • Online reviews — Use resources like Weddingwire.com to see if the live band you’re interested in has any reviews online. When couples take time after the wedding to review their vendors, you can be sure they are sincere.
  • Promotional videos — Live bands that are on the cutting edge will have a professional promo video with high quality audio. This allows you to hear how they sound, and picture the band at your wedding… this is especially important if you are unable to see the band perform live before booking.

It’s also important to pick a band that plays a wide variety of musical styles. Which brings us to the next point…

2. The song list is a key ingredient…

During your initial consultation with a live band, ask for a song list to review. Also, make sure they will allow you to mark your “favorites” and “do not play” from the list.

The last thing you want is a band that only plays songs that they like, instead of reading the crowd (and believe me, some bands just don’t care). You want a band that is willing to be flexible and customize the playlist to fit your crew to keep the dance floor packed all night long!

And don’t be afraid to ask if the band will learn additional songs. Some bands might charge extra per song, but most bands will learn at least one at no additional cost.

Speaking of songs, what happens during the band breaks? This is a big one that takes us to the 3rd point.

3. Bad break music can kill the vibe…

We’ve all been there. The dance floor is packed, energy through the roof, and then… the band announces that they are taking a quick break, and you hear crickets. In a blink of an eye, the dance floor is empty.

Don’t let this happen to you!!!

Ask your live band what they do for background music during their breaks.

Best case scenario, the band will offer live DJ service in-between band sets so the party never skips a beat. Sadly, not many bands offer this service — you often have to hire a separate DJ, and this gets very pricey.

Alternatively, make sure the band has an iPod ready to play a fun dance list during breaks (or give them a custom playlist). Voice your concern of “awkward silence” and make sure they know to be on their toes so people don’t wander off the dance floor.

Let’s recap the recipe for finding the perfect live band for you wedding reception…

First, make sure you do your online research (read reviews, watch videos, etc.) and go to see the band play live if you can.

Second, always ask for a song list, and if they will take special requests… you want a band that is flexible and eager to please!

And last but not least… make sure you get your break music dialed in!

So let your wedding party “float like a butterfly and dance like a bee”.

“If music be the food of love, play on.” — William Shakespeare

Cheers, Ashley

Ashley Leroux is the female lead singer and band manager of Sapphire Sky, a premiere wedding band based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Sapphire Sky has won the Wedding Wire “Couple’s Choice Award” for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. Additionally, Sapphire Sky has 38 5-star reviews on WeddingWire.com because they consistently put on an exceptional show for all ages and create an unforgettable experience for all wedding guests.