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9 Reasons To Book a Professional Wedding Band for Your Big Day

So you know someone whose little bro is in a band? Awesome! But perhaps you shouldn’t consider booking an amateur band for your wedding just yet. We know you have a budget to consider, and maybe you even want to do someone a favour – but read this before you go ahead. Here’s 9 good reasons to go with a professional wedding band over your mate’s mates for your Big Day…

It’s not just any old gig – it’s work

Ambitious amateur bands will usually jump at any chance to perform live – and of course, when they’re on their way to fame, that’s how it should be. But to them, getting onstage is the priority – the occasion is secondary. A professional band, on the other hand, shows up to ENTERTAIN – not just to add another date to a list of gigs they’ve done so far.

Their repertoire

Even the most awesome amateur bands are still developing their repertoire. At best, they’ll have a few well-known covers ready, while they write more of their own material. At worst, they’ll have a very small selection of songs nobody has ever heard before. There’s no way of knowing if they’ll be able to play the songs you request, especially if your playlist is varied and has different music genres on it. A professional band, on the other hand, will not only have a lot to offer, they’ll be able to quickly learn and adapt additional songs.

Travelling logistics

A professional band already knows how they’re getting to your venue, even before you book them. An amateur band is lucky to have their own van. Can you count on all of them to turn up on time and with all the right equipment? Of course they will do their best to get there – but delays could realistically happen. That means your dancing starting late… or not starting at all, if the drummer doesn’t show up. Or, would you be happy adding the cost of band travel to your transport budget?


Photo from Tara & Gearóid’s real wedding, entertainment by The Best Men


Professionals have professional-quality equipment. They usually also have backup options, and know how to discreetly fix any glitch that may happen during a live performance. An amateur band, even the best one you’ve ever heard, just doesn’t have that level of preparation and experience – and of course, sound quality.

The frontman

Moves like Jagger are awesome – but a seasoned frontman (similar to a professional DJ) isn’t having a party for one up there. He’s watching the crowd, engaging them, and possibly even setting some bridesmaid hearts aflutter. Fronting a band should look like it comes easily and naturally to the lead singer. Amateur bands tend to be a little bit on an awkward side. Endearing, to be sure, but not really suitable as main entertainment for the wedding.

The paperwork

A professional band will always have a contract drawn up, and will be ready to discuss it with you before you even decide to book them. You’ll be covered for every eventuality – down to whether you have to feed them or not. Plus, professionals have their own insurance – and amateurs, unfortunately, often don’t.


Photo from Elma & Michael’s real wedding by Couple Photography

The attire

You’ll know what your professional band will be wearing before they arrive – in fact, they’ll probably ask about your dress code to make sure they don’t get it wrong. Amateurs? You just never know what their wedding-appropriate attire looks like. Even the Beatles started out in leathers, until Brian Epstein put them in their famous suits and ties. Apparently, he also insisted they stop eating onstage… so you see, anything could happen.

Food and drink

… and speaking of eating onstage, would an amateur band turn down a chance of a paid gig, free food and free booze?  A professional band won’t either, but how they partake is likely to be very different. The truth is, professional wedding bands get a portion of their future bookings from referrals at weddings – it’s just like when you see your favourite band live, you tell your friends ‘you have to see them when they’re touring next!’ A professional band won’t compromise their future and reputation by getting drunk and sloppy. An amateur band, when the gig at your wedding goes wrong, will simply not do another wedding, and the only person left disappointed will be… you.

Your budget matters

As with anything to do with your wedding, shopping around is key, as is asking all the right questions. The price may be influenced by things like the distance the band has to travel, and the number of hours you’d like them to play. Don’t be afraid to ask what they can do for you to meet your budget. Professional band listings in weddingsonline‘s supplier directory is the perfect place to start looking.

Here’s our free downloadable checklist of questions to ask your band or DJ

Philippa & Conor wedding day

Above, image from Philippa & Conor’s real wedding by Massafelli Photography

Main image: Fiona & Alex’s real wedding, entertainment provided by Blacktye Wedding Band

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Rachel Green

If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.

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