North Yorkshire Barn Wedding

Our little wedding band from York were the live music for Kat and Alistair’s big day in Bransdale, North Yorkshire at the start of August. This was the third date for their wedding after the first two were scuppered by the pandemic, and it was our first show of any kind since March 2020. It was great to finally get back on the road, and to meet our couple and their friends and family!

The reception was taking place on our bride’s family farm and we were performing in the amazingly decorated (and repurposed!) barn. It was also the room where the guests were eating and the speeches were taking place so we had to be extra quiet loading in so as not to disturb proceedings.

Yorkshire barn wedding

This is one of the interesting aspects of being a wedding band – you never really know what sort of room you’re going to be setting up in. This time it was a barn, another time it could be a marquee, or a room in a country house, or somewhere entirely different. One thing they often have in common is they were never designed to hold a live band! Luckily, our years of wedding experience really help here and, where some bands might struggle, we know what to do to get the best out of the room.

Showtime came quickly and we started the night with our couple’s first dance – ‘Amazed’ by Lonestar – and then it was straight into the party! We didn’t know how people would react to live music after nearly 18 months away from it, but we didn’t have to worry – the floor was packed. it was clear that everyone was here to celebrate and give Kat and Alistair the best party ever.

Dancers at a wedding

As always we made sure we mixed up the set list with plenty of old and new to keep things interesting and to appeal to as many of the guests as possible. There was a real buzz on the dance floor all night and guests of all ages (and sizes!) getting up to strut their stuff. We even had then hanging from the rafters at one point!

We were also able to let our couple choose their own music for between sets to keep the party going. This is something we offer to all of our couples and we’re seeing more and more of them take up that option. Kat and Alistair were able to included songs that were special to them and their guests which really added another dimension to the evening (and some of the dancing)!

It was great to be back out doing what we love and helping our brides and grooms to have the best night ever. It was even a nice change to get home at 3am – in a strange way we’ve actually missed that part too!

Mid-week wedding offer 2022

Are you getting married Monday to Thursday next year? We’re seeing a lot of couple opting for a mid-week wedding as venue availability is squeezed at present. If this is you and you want a live band, check out our 2022 mid-week wedding offer.

Fairy lights at a wedding in a barn

Spring Wedding At The Normans

Whilst it feels like a very long time ago now, it was at the start of the month when we performed for Emily and Rishie’s wedding at The Normans near York.

Our happy couple had originally come to see us at one of our regular live dates in York before booking us for their reception. We try to perform regular public gigs to enable all of our couples to do just this. It’s a perfect opportunity for them to ensure we’re the right band for their big day, and it gives us both a chance to have a good chat about their wedding and how we might fit into it.

Fast forward to March and we were pulling up to the venue at 9am on a Saturday morning to get our equipment loaded in and soundchecked. This is something we’re often asked do. For some weddings it just makes more sense to get the band in and set up before everything else, and we’re always happy to work with couples to find the best way to achieve that.

The Normans is a fantastic venue and probably one of the best places to hold a party that we’ve been to in a long time. All of the facilities are top notch – we even got a stage which is a rarity! On top of all that Oliver is an amazing host and really helped us out ahead of the event, so we could just get on with entertaining Emily and Rishie’s guests on the night.

The first dance was ‘Praise You’ originally by Fatboy Slim, but more recently covered by Hannah Grace. We had great fun learning this one as the brief was to try to make a mash up if the two different versions. Starting it a a slow ballad really brought out the lyrics, which were a great fit for a wedding, then kicking up a gear for the chorus got everyone on the dancefloor.

We’ve been using the quieter period after new year to refresh our setlist and add a few new numbers. These went down really well, and we kept young and old on the dancefloor all evening. We even managed to fit in a request from the bride as our last encore!

If you’re planning your spring wedding and you think live music is what you need, please get in touch and see how we could help. If you’re still thinking about live music, why not check out some of our blog posts on the subject, which you can find here.

So What Do Wedding Bands Actually Do?

It’s fair to say that first and foremost we are a wedding band. Around 70% of our performances are at weddings, and we have been lucky enough to play at celebrations of every shape and size – each one is unique. But there’s one thing that links every wedding we have ever played at – the bride and groom had never booked a band before.

In all honesty, it’s not really something that crops up in every day life. Which means many of our clients aren’t always sure what to expect, or how a live band will fit into their big day. Indeed, if you’re reading this blog right now you might be considering booking a live band for your wedding but maybe you’re not quite sure what you’re going to get for your money.

So, what does a wedding band actually do? Well, typically it falls into two stages – prior to the wedding and then the big day itself.

Before your wedding

Just like you, prior to your big day your wedding band will be making preparations to ensure things go without a hitch. This should include contacting your venue or wedding planner to check any specific details relating to your wedding or the venue itself, such as access, noise restrictions etc.

If your wedding band is learning and performing a specific song for you then they will also be busy arranging and rehearsing this.

And, of course, they will be communicating with you to agree the details of their performance such as set times and lengths. Don’t worry if you’re not sure about any of this, most bands are happy to share their experience and make recommendations for you.

On your wedding day

Once your big day rolls around, the action usually breaks down into a few separate stages.

1. Arrival and set up. It’s rare that a wedding venue has sound and lighting equipment suitable for a band, so this means that they’ll be bringing, and setting up, PA and lights. This usually takes 60-90 minutes depending on the size of the band.

2. Soundcheck. To ensure the volume and balance between instruments is right the band will need soundcheck. This will mean them playing at show volume whilst they do. However, a good wedding band will be experienced enough to keep this bit as short as possible.

3. After soundcheck AKA ‘the waiting around’. Once set up, and as the evening guests arrive, the band will either play background music over their PA or hand over to the DJ if you have one.

4. Show time!! Whether your band are performing your first dance or not, this is what they are here to do. An experienced wedding band will be able to read the room and adjust their song choice and volume to reflect the audience. Their job is to ensure every has a good time!

Timings

To give you an idea of how all this might fit together, here’s the running time from a recent wedding we performed at for around 150 guests at a country house hotel.

  • 5.45pm – Arrive and load in the equipment.
  • 6pm – Set up and sound check.
  • 7pm – Reception begins – background music via iPad.
  • 8.30pm – First dance and band’s first set.
  • 9.30pm – Bride & Grooms personalised playlist via iPad.
  • 10.30pm – Band’s second set.
  • 11.30pm – Bride & Grooms personalised playlist via iPad.
  • Midnight – Finish and start packing down

So there you are. If you’re thinking of booking a band for your wedding we hope this helps. If you want to know more about what we do and what we could offer your wedding, please get in touch.

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