Function Junction – Choosing your Wedding music

Finalising wedding music and entertainment for your wedding can often be quite daunting, there is always so much to choose from and it is important to find something which will please everyone, from the beloved grandparents to your party hard friendship crowd.

Entertainment agencies are often able to offer some clarity when filtering through musicians from jazz to old country western and those all important DJ’s. Function Junction are a reputable entertainment agency who offer their services to prospective Bride and Grooms. Their website allows you to scan a whole variety of musicians and entertainers but using an entertainment agency isn’t always favoured by couples who prefer to contact bands direct.

After working with Function Junction for some time now they have kindly been able to offer some advice about choosing music for your day and why choosing an entertainment agency can be cheaper, easier and reasssuring – educational and informative it is definitely a useful read!

Booking live music for your wedding

Musical entertainment is common at most weddings. A string quartet to accompany a wedding ceremony or drinks reception, and a disco for the evening party are two of the most popular choices, but there is a huge variety of musical acts available, so it is definitely worth considering all the alternatives before making a final decision.

Function Junction has helped over 5,000 wedding couples choose their entertainment and are acknowledged experts in the field. Their recommendation is to go for live music if your budget will stretch to it; as director Jonny Stoll says: “In our experience, a great live band will remain the talking point for months to come, and will be remembered long after your guests have forgotten about the cake and – dare I say it? – the dress!”

The first thing is to choose the sort of music you want. For a ceremony and drinks reception string quartets, wind ensembles, guitar duos, harpists and pianists are all popular choices. Repertoires generally cover both classical music and songs from popular musicals and adaptations of jazz and pop numbers. Some of these musicians can also play outside.

Another popular choice for reception music is a jazz band. These range from a fully acoustic “trad” or New Orleans style band, which can move easily from one location to another, to swing and “cool” modern jazz.

For an evening party, everyone wants a band that will get people up and dancing, but any good band should be able fulfil this requirement, so decide first on the musical genre that you want.

Pop/rock 60s to 2000s bands are the most popular choice at Function Junction. Playing songs from The Beatles onwards, this material is familiar to most of the audience and great at filling the dance floor. Next most popular are bands playing funkier pop and bands who include pop/rock, soul and other pop (Abba, etc) in their repertoires.

Performers such as Jamie Cullum and Michael Buble have helped make swing and jazz bands more popular over the last few years, and these can work really well where couples want something a bit different. Swing and jump jive jazz bands are great for dancing, although if you think your guests might still want some pop included it would be worth considering a band which can cover some pop or soul numbers too.

If you don’t want pop, rock or soul (perhaps because of noise or other restrictions at your venue) but still want something that will get everyone dancing, then a popular alternative is a ceilidh or barn dance band. Experienced callers will demonstrate the dances and this is great for getting everyone to join in.

Once you have made a decision on the sort of music you want to book, there is the question of how to find the right band and how to book them. Many people book bands direct, and this can work fine, but there are also distinct advantages in using a reputable agency. One factor is that an agency will generally be booking a band many times a year, so the band has a major incentive to turn up on the day and do a good job. Another factor is that an agency will have tried and tested a band over the years, and a good agency would not want to risk their reputation by booking out a sub-standard band.

It is not unusual for Function Junction to get last minute enquiries from wedding couples who have found that the band they thought they had booked direct, has decided not to do the job. This risk can be avoided by using a reputable agency, where the band will have to sign a legally binding contract, and the agency knows and trusts the bands it uses. In extreme circumstances, such as illness or accident, a good agency should also be able to find a replacement band at short notice.

An agency may also have negotiated preferential rates with their bands, so booking direct may not even save you any money. But even if booking through an agency is a little more expensive it is worth weighing up the extra benefits you will receive, particularly peace of mind. For example, as well as offering a wide choice of excellent bands, Function Junction can take booking payment by credit card, and provides a full online event coordination service. If you do book a band direct, make sure you get a signed contract and get some personal references before booking.

A few other pieces of useful information: bands will need a performance area of around 4 x 5 metres (12 x 15 feet) but not necessarily a raised stage. Bands generally provide their own PA system and lights, and should be able to provide recorded music during their breaks. Power requirements are just two or three ordinary domestic 13 amp sockets. Also remember that to play at an evening wedding reception, musicians usually need to leave home in the late afternoon and will not return until the small hours. This means that it is essential to provide them with meals and soft drinks.

Article provided by Function Junction Ltd
Freephone 0800 034 3232.

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