What wedding venues need to know about your wedding music plans

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If you're booking a live band for your wedding then there are a few key things that it can be really helpful to let your wedding venue know before your big day.

We know that wedding planning can feel a bit daunting at times, so with that in mind, here's a checklist of some essential things wedding venues will (almost definitely) want to know about your wedding music plans.

1) How many musicians are there in your band?

Whether you've booked an intimate trio for your wedding reception or a banging 12-piece soul band for your evening bash, the size of your musical line-up can impact on your venue in lots of unexpected ways - from the amount of performance space your musicians will need, to the the volume they typically work at, the time they need to set up and how many vehicles they'll be bringing on site. Perhaps you're planning some live musical entertainment for your wedding breakfast? Making sure your venue allows sufficient space for your musicians, and that they're not going to be set up directly next to a table of guests will make all the difference to your everyone's enjoyment. of the music on the day.

2) What time will your band be arriving

Wedding venues generally aim to run weddings like well oiled machines (allowing of course for the natural ebbs and flow ,and unexpected things, that can crop up during the course of a wedding!) The time your band is planning to arrive could be especially important in terms of how their arrival coincides with other events on your day. You may not want a van-load of sound equipment unloading while your guests are assembling for your wedding ceremony for example, and a band that's sound-checking during your wedding speeches would be less than ideal.

3) How much time do they need to set up?

The set-up time that your band needs is another key factor, especially if they will be setting up in the same area or room that you're eating your wedding meal in. If your're relying on your musicians to be set up and ready to play in a fairly short window of time then it's important that they (and your wedding venue) are aware of this. Likewise too if musicians are attempting to bring bulky sound equipment into a room while your wedding staff are trying to remove tables and chairs, then this could cause a bottleneck that can be easily avoided with a bit of forward planning. Some bands prefer to arrive well ahead of their start time so they can set themselves up and then eave the venue for a period. Others may arrive perhaps an hour before they're due to start to play.

4) Can your band work with a sound limiter?

If your wedding venue is located in, or nearby, a residential area then the volume that your band plays at will be crucial. Many venues opt for the reassurance of installing a sound limiter which all live musicians are then required to plug in to during their performance. While sound limiters can present the odd niggle for musicians in terms of needing to tweak certain elements of their sound, this is far outweighed by the peace of mind of knowing that your band's sound-levels stay with agreed levels and that your party can carry on unhindered.

5) Will they be providing all their own equipment?

You can generally assume that your band will provide all their own sound equipment for their performance. And musicians typically prefer to work with equipment that they know and trust. However in some cases they may request, or expect, certain items of equipment to be supplied by the venue. Or occasionally a venue provides its own sound equipment which it requires all bands to use due to sound restrictions.

6) Will they be providing wedding music in more than one location?

While moving locations isn't generally an issue for evening bands, it's often a consideration for your daytime musicians who may be providing short segments of live music at different points (and in different places) through your day. If they're playing for your ceremony for example and then providing more live music through your wedding reception or sit-down meal, then these different elements could well take place in a variety of locations with your venue.

7) Will they be playing outside?

Perhaps you're envisaging some lovely live music on the lawn while you have your champagne and photographs? Or maybe you're aiming to create a relaxed outdoor country-festival vibe for your evening party? We can't emphasise enough how important it is to check with your venue first before you set your heart on live music outdoors. as in rare cases some wedding venues simple won't allow it (or at the least won't allow any type of live music that is amplified.) Playing outdoors also present a few logistical considerations

8) Do they need a green room?

A green room, (or basically any private space where they can get changed, store excess gear and chill between live sets) is another small but significant element that can make a huge difference to your wedding musicians. In some cases though (at marquee events, private homes or dry-hire venues) there simply isn't anywhere for your musicians to go.

9) Do they need feeding and watering?

While providing a meal or refreshments for your band isn't automatically expected or assumed, it's a good idea to clarify this with your band and then relay any information to your venue as required - including the type of food to be provided,whether its hot or cold, any dietary requests etc.

Finally, too, before you start to feel in any way overwhelmed - you can delegate all of this legwork to your band leader to take care of for you. Often all it takes is a quick phone call or email to your wedding venue to get all the finer details sorted for your day. Allowing your band to liaise directly with your wedding venue will save you precious time which you can devote to other elements of your planning.