Sponsored Post: Top Tips when Choosing Your Wedding Band

Morning Cwtchers!

So hows all that planning going? Reached the ‘what on earth are we going to do for music in the evening?!’ stage yet?

Well panic no further, as we have Adam from Bands for Hire, here to help!  Bands for Hire are a music agency providing live bands for every occasion. From function and wedding band hire to swing and jazz bands, they have picked the very best on offer.

As a one stop entertainment agency, they also provide String quartets, Wedding Musicians and DJs for hire. 

Clearly, Adam is qualified to offer you some awesome tips when choosing your wedding band! Over to you Adam…

Sponsored Post Banner Choosing a Band

Top Tips when Choosing Your Wedding Band

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Like many soon-to-wed couples, one of the most important aspects of your wedding day may well be the music; the ceremony songs, background music and live band will become the sound track to your big day, and ultimately the soundtrack to your lives. With this in mind, along with the often large sums of money spent on entertainment, it’s vital to choose wisely.

A quick search on the internet for live wedding bands in your area and you will most certainly be presented with an overwhelming selection of bands, each one of various standards. Deciphering through the various websites will require some time, so grab a glass of red and get comfortable, you are about to hear more renditions of Uptown Funk and Mr Brightside than you ever thought possible.

So what steps can you take to ensure you’re making the right choice? These days it’s all too easy to throw up a website, bash out a few demos and call yourself a wedding band but as with every trade, there are various degrees of professionalism and there are a number of ways to root out the good from the bad.

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First Impressions are important

As a general rule of thumb, I find that if a band has gone to great effort and expense to produce high quality demos, videos and photos, then that is usually a good start. Putting together promotional material is a significant investment which demonstrates a professional attitude and serious intentions.

Compare Quotes

Whilst price isn’t always an indicator of quality, many bands will eventually settle at a price point that reflects their popularity and quality. The most experienced bands will inevitably quote more for their services so decide on what you can afford and work around your budget.

Ask for reviews and testimonials

Experienced bands will usually have testimonials available from previous clients, the more reviews the better as this will provide you with a good insight into their live performance as well as their communication. Not all agencies publish testimonials so don’t be afraid to investigate further if you can’t find any online.

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Are the band with an agency?

If a band is represented by a credible agency, then this is often a good sign, however, this then begs the question ‘how to spot a credible agency?’. Here are a few things to look out for:

  1. Is the agency a limited company and do they have a registered company number displayed on their website? If so, look them up on the Companies House website.

  2. Is the agency VAT registered? This can be a strong indication that the company has been around a while and will still be here on your wedding day.

  3. Does the company have reviews online that you can read from independent sources, i.e. Google and Facebook?

  4. How long has the company been operating for?

Quotes from agencies may occasionally be slightly higher than booking a band directly, but on the biggest day of your life, it’s comforting to know that a credible company is only a phone call away.

Check the Set List before booking

When researching bands, be sure to look into their repertoire and set lists to get a better idea about their performance. The majority of wedding bands cater for a mixed group of ages, so whilst you may want the majority of the music to be to your tastes, keep an open mind to ensure all guests will be kept entertained.

Watch the band live if possible

If a band is local and are putting on a showcase event then it’s a great idea to watch them live. However, the most popular bands in the industry don’t tend to perform any public gigs at all and so watching them live will unfortunately not be possible. Using promotional material and other aforementioned factors are usually the best way to judge a band’s professionalism.

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Communication is important

Whether you choose to book directly with a band or through an agency, good communication is essential. If a band takes a week to reply to your emails you’re going to feel frustrated and planning could get stressful. Decide on a band that you feel confident is on your wavelength and will be easy to deal with.

Final checks before booking

Before confirming your chosen band, it’s worth going through the following points with your band and venue first:

Insurance: All wedding bands should come with full Public Liability Insurance (PLI) to protect them from potential injury claims.

PAT Certificate: Your venue may also require PAT certificates for the band’s gear so check that the band have this.

Sound Requirements: Ask your venue if they have any specific sound requirements, it’s very common for a venue to have a sound limiter installed and if so, you’ll need to check that your band are comfortable with this.

Space: Is there sufficient space at the venue? As a general rule I usually recommend approximately a meter width for each band member and three meters depth. So, a 5-piece band might need 5 x 3 meters in total.

Band Rider: Does your band have a rider? 99% of musicians will request a meal before they perform and this should be outlined in their contract.

It’s time to start your search!

With all of this in mind, don’t forget the most important tip at all – choose a band that you love and that you feel has the perfect vibe to suit your day.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Cwtch the Bride only accepts sponsored posts from companies we think will be useful to you :) 

Our Rustic Bride Kristy

I am a massive believer in fate and Our Rustic Bride Kristy is the perfect example of this. How many of us can say we are marrying our university sweetheart. This beautiful lady is going to have a wedding with lots of handmade items but the thing that is going to play a big part of the day is music…cuddle up on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate and fall in love with Kristy the way we have…..!!! 

IMAG0976Hi there, my name is Kristy and I have been given the wonderful opportunity to share my experiences over the next 9 months heading towards our wedding!! I am now 30 years old and have been waiting for the day that my perfect man would ask me to marry him since I was a teenager. I was lucky enough  to find my English man Kieron when I was 18. It was the day I left home for Cardiff university. Not originally the university I wanted to get into I must admit, but a last minute effort to apply through clearing secured me a place. Unfortunately due to it being a bit rushed I didn’t get into student residences and had to find my own accommodation. The day I arrived (18.09.04) I knocked on the door and this tall, blonde haired, blue eyed boy answered and introduced himself as Kieron. We both went about the business of moving in. When our families left I found myself nervously standing in the kitchen alone, I decided I didn’t want to be alone so I spent the afternoon in Kierons room chatting away. I knew instantly that I really liked him. It was later that night while watching Shrek we had our first kiss. We have never lived apart since. We are best friends and soul mates and I can’t wait to become his wife a day before our 12th anniversary together. As you can see, I have waited a long time for this!

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I was born and have always lived in Wales. I was brought up in a small town outside Carmarthen before moving to Cardiff for university (where Kieron and I met). Since then we have been living in an even smaller town outside of Swansea.IMAG1231

I qualified as a midwife just over two years ago. I think it is definately a calling and I love it. I work both day and night shifts, and going for bridal appointments following night shifts has led to some very entertaining conversations and I think some unusual decisions!more recent 2015

I am an active girl –  I enjoy yoga and pilates. I love to dance, and don my ballet shoes often. I like to get out and about with Kieron and our fur baby Indi. She’s a relatively new addition to the unit, she is the most ridiculous little thing but definitely keeps us on our toes!indi pup

This year, I just cant wait to finally become a Mrs. To have both of our families in one place at the same time. Our families being seperated by the river Severn has not allowed this before. And of course the HONEYMOON!P1020959

OUR LUSH LIST

Taa Dah!….

Our LUSH LIST is finally  launched!

A fabulous collection of our favourite Welsh Wedding suppliers. All hand picked by us and highly recommended by our readers.

LUSH LIST MAP

To access this awesome directory, press the LUSH LIST icon sitting on the right hand side (if viewing on a computer or tablet)- Scroll down if you are using a phone.

It looks like this:

side bar button

Simply click on it and it will take you to a page that looks like this:

lush list iconsSelect the category you need and then choose from our list of highly recommended suppliers.

All the companies listed have links to take you to their own websites, Facebook page & Twitter feed. This is a great way to follow them if you’d like to get to know them a bit more before booking.

Vendor logo

Most of these companies will already be featuring our approved vendor badge on their websites too. This is to give you peace of mind that we’ve either worked with them, Used their services or some of our readers have highly recommend them.

So, there you have it. We do hope you love it and find it a valuable resource to your wedding planning. Have a good look around the directory, click on a few links and let us know what you think. You can send us your feedback here.

We will be adding LOTS more suppliers to our LUSH LIST throughout the year so do keep popping back. We’ll also be inspiring you more by sharing their work over on our Facebook page.

If you run a lovely welsh wedding business (especially in North Wales!) and would like us to consider you for our Lush List. You can get in touch with us here.

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday evening xxx

 

Cwtch Approved Vendor: The Boutique Disco

We had some absolutely amazing vendors at our Cwtchmas party in December and we wanted to tell you a little bit about them all. First up we’ve got the hottest disco in town – The Boutique Disco! You might remember them from yesterday’s “We love our vendor because…” post – you’ve heard from the client, now hear from the man himself :)

The Boutique Disco is considered amongst many (including Cwtch The Bride) to be the most unique DJ service in Wales and the UK, combining state of the art wedding DJ services with professional party photography and so much more, to make your wedding party stand out from all the rest.

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Our approach is dynamic, professional and fun! If you are looking for a wedding DJ who will give you a day to remember, then make your day stand out with The Boutique Disco!! Our reputation for the atmosphere and party experience we create is well known around South Wales and the South West :)

We always exceed our clients’ expectations, providing a bespoke service that is tailored to your needs – from the music, to the lighting and even to the professional party pictures we take.  These pictures are included in all our packages and we even display them on a big screen (also included in all our packages) for you to see during the night!

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We are proud to provide such a high standard to our clients and look forward to doing the same for you too.

Boutique Disco also supplies Starcloth Curtains for your ceremony and an array of LED Furniture and uplighting which transforms your venue at night.

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If you want to go all out, we can even supply you with our Magical Screen which is an upgrade of our usual screens and can show anything you want: from live pictures of your party, to movies or pictures of your friends and family (venue size permitting).

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This was featured at Cwtch The Bride’s recent (and legendary) party at Cardiff Museum and was a great talking point for the evening! :)

Get in Touch

The easiest way is to visit our website to see the other great services that we offer. You can also see film montages we made of the great parties we rocked in 2013 as well as more photos!

You can also see what we do best on our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/theboutiquedisco

Email: info@theboutiquedisco.co.uk

Telephone: 07988684728

Pinterest: The Boutique Disco

Twitter: @boutiquediscouk

www.boutiquedisco.co.uk

The Boutique Disco - DJ and Disco Hire South Wales_005Grant and the team were a part of Claire & Craig’s winter wonderland wedding, as featured on Cwtch the Bride! :)

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Help, We Don’t Have A First Dance Song!

Fear not, lovely Cwtchers. Budget DIY bride Sarah is here to solve your first dance woes. So sit back, grab and cup of tea and get your ears ready for some great song options!

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Feeling a bit stuck on what to have for your first dance? It’s a common issue – how do you pick a song that represents you both, your relationship, marriage and wedding that you both like and is danceable to?! Oh gosh. It can be a bit of a dilemma and I know more than one couple who didn’t decide on their first dance until the night before their wedding. Oops.

If you want to try and keep the stress levels down on the night before the big day (and let’s face it, you’ll probably have enough to worry about) then I’d suggest trying to get this choice made as soon as you can.

Getting a song picked early means you get time to prepare and time to practice dancing in your wedding shoes (if you’re anything like us it’ll be while you’re cooking in the kitchen, twirling around and trying not to cringe at the idea of doing it in front of all your friends and family!). It also gives you time to change your mind if you find another song that you really, really love :)

So! What to pick! If you’re not a couple that has ‘a song’ together (we weren’t either, it’s okay) then it can be a bit of a minefield choosing a song. My only criteria was something not too soppy and something short, since I really didn’t want to be on the dancefloor for longer than I could possibly help it. Did I mention that I’m terrible at slow dancing? I’m terrible at slow dancing.

In the end we went for a not very well known John Mayer song, which was short, had a nice chorus and was one that we both enjoyed listening to. Job done.

Lucky for you, our lovely readers have been there, done that and are there to help you through it. Phew.

We’ve put together a Spotify playlist of all the first dances that Cwtch brides picked, so sit back and have a browse – hopefully you’ll find something you like!

Top tips for preparing for your first dance:

 

  • Pick something you enjoy listening to. This might seem like a bit of a no brainer, but the temptation to try and please everyone is pretty much a constant pressure during wedding planning and can sometimes cloud your judgement. Even if you don’t think your guests will really get it, if you love it then keep it in :)
  • Practice beforehand! Most wedding shoes were high you guys. Like, so high. Mine were 5 inches which is way more than any of my regular shoes, so I made sure to wear them around the house as often as I could to try and break them in. (They were pretty cute so this wasn’t exactly a hardship ;) )
  • Don’t pick something with a long, long intro or crazy long interlude in the middle. When it’s just the two of you on the dancefloor trust me, it’ll feel like a lifetime.
  • If you don’t like dancing, or you’re feeling a bit shy then arrange with your bridesmaids / ushers / family members to join you at a pre-designated point in the song. (We did this and it definitely took the heat off us!)
  • Remember – it’s only about 5 minutes of your life, tops. Don’t overthink it :) (& don’t plan a routine unless you’re confident you can pull it off!)
  • & lastly if you really, really don’t want to have a first dance then don’t! It won’t make your wedding any less of a wedding not to have one and your guests probably won’t care. Your wedding, your rules.

If you’ve got a Spotify account you can subscribe to the playlist here. We’d love to get some more inspiration so send us your thoughts and suggestions and we’ll make sure we add them to the list :)

Love

Sarah x