AND THEY KEPT SEARCHING FOR A WEDDING BAND!20 February, 2023
Hiring a live wedding band might be one of the best choices for treating you and your guests on your wedding day. A good and professional wedding band will set the celebrations’ tone and pump up the party!
This type of musical entertainment is highly interactive and enjoyable, and you’d have a wide range of styles to choose from, because every live band has their own style (rock, alternative, classical, pop, r&b), but they’re generally open for some mix and match.
Just think about this image: you and your guests, dancing to the rhythms of a wedding band playing by a lush Tuscan vineyard, or surrounded by frescoes in some ancient villas; it will make your day.
If you’re planning a destination wedding in Italy, it might be hard to choose and book the right band for you on a long distance. That’s why collecting websites (as fixthemusic and others) might offer a good compromise for your choosing process.
JUST GIVE ME A REASON…
We love lists, so here’s one for the reasons why a wedding band is a good idea:
- The energy of a live band is contagious
- The interaction with the audience, your guests, in guaranteed
- A band is adaptable and responding to your wedding vibes and synergies
- A band can change the mood of the party, animating with different styles the ceremony, cocktail or dancing party
- You’ll have a proper mic setup: great for your wedding speeches and announcements!
And here’s one with the “things better to do” while hiring/choosing a band:
- Request or work with the band on a playlist. This will help make sure you have the right musical atmosphere and, if you also prepare an online one, it will give musicians time to rest without loosing a second of your favorite songs.
- Remain flexible, and open to opinions and advice. The band might tell you that’s for the best to switch, change, avoid some things. At the end of the day they need to adapt to your crowd and what is getting and keeping them on the dance floor. Let’s stay open-minded and trust your band.
- Watch a live performance (be it online or live) before choosing.
- Do more than read interviews, read into reviews. For example, if you see something like “they played all of the greatest disco hits” recurring throughout reviews, that band might play and perform a similar sound at your wedding. Be sure it’s what you really want, and look for the perfect match with you and your ideal wedding.
- Liaise with your Wedding Planner and/or the venue before making your decision. Make sure the venue has the right material available, or at least a proper setting for live bands, or a good rental service. Check the acoustics and consider outdoors/indoors aspects, and of course, the venue’s rules on playing live music. A good strategy might also ask the band if they already played in your selected venue, to waste time and ask for some good advice.
- Communicate to your band's general mood. Romantic, party hard, country, no matter what you like and want your wedding to be, it’s important to communicate to your band the vibes you want them to share from their music and playing.
- Decide whether or not you want the band to play special requests. There’s nothing wrong in a few innocent and easy requests, but your wedding is not a karaoke bar (if you don’t specifically ask for one) and it might ruin the atmosphere if all your guests feel free to ask for their favorite songs throughout the night.
WHERE TO FIND A WEDDING BAND?
If you don’t live in Italy and want to hire a wedding band for your destination wedding, it might not be easy to know/understand where to find a wedding band. Not talking about choosing among the possibilities.
But we may share a bunch of general advice, kind of general rules, easy to follow, to perfectly plan your choice. It’s all about what you want, but haste and distances are poor advisors.
The first advice, but in this case we are more in the field of rules, is to define your budget. We know it’s the least fun task, but it’s necessary to help you estimate the duration of the show, the number of musicians and instruments, if hiring a close band or a generic Italian based band not considering your actual venue, etc. Beside that, there are many types of music bands, and a lot of excellent ones. Most bands in the wedding industry decide and can play a wide range of musical genres. But you can also go for a certain specific type of music, and look for the right band that matches your style. Among budget and choosing the right band, think about how long you want them to play: if it’s just during the ceremony, during cocktail and reception time, during all your wedding day (and night)… don’t forget that money talk (and matter).
Since you are having an Italy (or Tuscany) destination wedding, you can’t go wandering and listening to a bunch of local wedding bands. Luckily, you have other trustworthy and reliable sources that curate some of the best professionals in the wedding industry in Italy. Platforms like Wedboard or Fixthemusic will showcase a curated list and directory of the best wedding musicians in Italy by region. You can directly reach your favorite band after going through their portfolios and see if they can match!
Chat with the band will help you clarify what they can do and allow you to share your vision of the wedding and discuss every little detail. Don’t forget to ask the right questions, in order to make a proper and successful choice:
- Do they know your wedding venue? Have they ever worked there?
- What is the style they are most comfortable with?
- Can they accommodate special requests? (make sure to already know if you want an “on demand” performance).
- Do they have their own sound and acoustic equipment? Should you provide for speakers and other equipment (maybe through the venue or some rental service).
- How many breaks do they need? Can they take care of the music (pre-made playlists) while they are on a break?
- Can they play ceremony and cocktail hour music? (if you want them to do it).
- What type of outfits do they usually wear for their performances?
DOING THE EXTRA(-ITALIAN) MILE
The most important thing is that music resembles and matches your wedding’s mood. But since you’re getting married in Italy, and music is part of the experience, you might want to mix both your musical style and a traditional Italian touch.
How about including here and there some traditional Italian songs and some famous Italian pop songs?
You might want to add some South Italy vibes to your Tuscan wedding; everyone will enjoy a fun and easy-to-learn Tarantella dance, or some famous love/pop songs, like That’s amore, Funiculi Funicula, Te amo. Even if you don’t know/understand the words, you can at least sing lalala to them.
An Opera/tenor will sing for you and your guests some of the most famous arias, or some old fashioned song like O’ Sole Mio.
PROS AND CONS
To be fair and professionals, we have to list some cons of hiring a wedding live band.
Let’s start with one of the most common and unsolved feud in wedding history: wedding band vs. wedding Djs. Wedding bands cost more than Wedding Djs, that’s a fact. A wedding band is made up of multiple musicians who all are going to perform live for you and your guests. They spend much more time preparing during rehearsals, provide and maintain more equipment, and require a more energetic performance than a DJ. Each band member will need to leave with a decent cut from the total amount they charge, so their rates are typically much higher than a Wedding DJ. But of course the atmosphere will be different (we won’t say worse, just different).
Don’t forget that weddings have diverse types of guests and crowds: keep this in mind when selecting your musicians. A wedding band spends hours and hours practicing a set list of songs, but they are a little more limited on what songs they will be able to perform (compared to a DJ). Make sure the band’s type of music and performance style will keep everyone engaged!
Be faithful to your ideas, and be sure to select the perfect match for your musical idea. If you are hosting a culture-specific wedding, it is imperative to only hire a band that is familiar with the music associated with this culture. Consider that the more specific your wedding idea is, the more difficult finding the right band might be. If you choose a destination wedding in Tuscany, or Italy, be careful not to go too far from Italian or Mediterranean culture, to avoid mistakes in languages or cultural references.
And last, but not least, focus on MC’s style based on the conversation you have with the band. When you talk to your band prior to booking them, pay close attention to the person who will be Mcing. Listen to the cadence of their voice. Pay attention to their energy, word choice, gesture (if it’s an online or in presence meeting). They will be one of the main attractions of your wedding, so be sure to choose someone who is aligned to you and your tastes. And don’t forget to ask questions!
THE BILL, PLEASE!
One more thing to know and consider is SIAE.
Italian law establishes that those who organize a private event, show or any entertainment activity with performed live or recorded music, should ask the SIAE (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers) for a license to hold this event.
It is the responsibility of the client booking the musicians to administer and pay the SIAE license fee, not the musicians who you’re hiring. They might help you figure out what to do and how to do it, but it’s the client that must fulfill the forms and pay the required amount.
Generally speaking, the fee will vary depending on the type of performance (live music or recorded, so wedding band or Djs) and the number of guests.
This is more or less an estimate for the main scenery that might occur on a wedding:
- For live music, with less than 200 guests, it might cost around €200,00
- For live music, with more than 200 guests, it might cost around €300,00
- For a DJ, karaoke, or Spotify, with less than 200 guests, it’s about €80
- For a DJ, karaoke, or Spotify, for an event with more than 200 guests, it’s about €120
- For liturgical music in a church, with any number of guests, there’s no fee.
These are generic information, for more specific ones, you can ask the music professional you’ll choose, to help you understand the right amount you have to pay, based on what you want for your special day.