What is a wedding music band?
A wedding music band is a group of musicians who specialise in playing live music for weddings. There’s a huge range of wedding bands you can choose from, depending on the style of wedding you’re planning and the vibe you’d like to create, including:
Each type of band will help you to create a personalised ambiance for your special day, be it the warm, intimate feel of an acoustic and roaming band, the light, romantic atmosphere of an upbeat jazz band, or the fun, rocking feel of a wedding party band.
Many bands offer pared-down or acoustic ensembles to entertain your guests in the daytime, and can provide music tailored specially for your romantic bridal procession, as well as headlining the party as your main evening entertainment.
Offering a self-contained entertainment package, wedding band hire will often include everything they need for their performance, including sound and lighting equipment, so there’s no need to hire any additional kit.
Their sets are specifically tailored to weddings, and they will often travel large distances to perform.
What music will they play?
Wedding band music is often a real assortment of rock and pop music from the 1950s to current chart acts, performing hits sure to make you move your feet. A standard set list may include song from artists such as:
- Alicia Keys
- Amy Winehouse
- Andy Williams
- Aretha Franklin
- Billie Holliday
- Bruno Mars
- Daft Punk
- Dean Martin
- Duke Ellington
- Ed Sheeran
- Ella Fitzgerald
- Ellie Goulding
- Frank Sinatra
- Jackie Wilson
- James Brown
- Jess Glynne
- Kings of Leon
- KT Tunstall
- Louis Armstrong
- Marvin Gaye
- Michael Bublé
- Michael Jackson
- Nat King Cole
- Nina Simone
- Otis Redding
- Robbie Williams
- Sammy Davis Junior
- Snow Patrol
- Stevie Wonder
- Taylor Swift
- The Beatles
- The Jam
- The Killers
- The Rolling Stones
- Van Morrison
- Wild Cherry
A complete repertoire of each wedding bands music is featured on their profile pages. Most will tailor their set list to your specific wedding requirements, and this can be discussed with your Alive Network Entertainment Coordinator.
Popular types of bands for weddings
1. Rock and pop wedding party bands
Often the main evening entertainment at weddings, rock and pop wedding party bands will perform a lively and dynamic set, perfect to fill the dancefloor at your evening reception. Most bands will offer a range of classic and modern rock and pop music, from the 1950s to current chart hits – tracks that the majority of your wedding guests will know and want to party to! They will cover music from the likes of The Beatles, The Jam, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift.
Visit our Rock and Pop bands page
2. Upbeat jazz bands
Upbeat jazz bands perform classic toe-tapping jazz music for a happy, sophisticated and romantic mood at your wedding celebrations. Sometimes featuring a singer and sometimes instrumental, these bands can range in styles from Gypsy Jazz, Latin Jazz, and modern pop songs with a vintage Jazz twist. For a more standard approach, you can expect traditional jazz tunes like I Get A Kick Out Of You, Cheek to Cheek, My Baby Just Cares for Me, I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, from artists such as Billie Holliday, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Visit our upbeat bands collection
3. Dixieland jazz bands
Incorporating traditional jazz, Charleston music and the sounds of New Orleans, Dixieland jazz bands traditionally play over a 2-beat rhythm, blending trumpets, trombones, and clarinets with a rhythm section. Usually, one instrument will play a melody and the other instruments improvise around that, giving a really loose and fun performance style. You can expect a Dixieland jazz band to cover Dixieland artists like Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Kid Ory and Duke Ellington.
Visit our Jazz bands page
4. Acoustic & roaming bands
Whatever atmosphere you’d like to create, acoustic and roaming bands can offer a variety of engaging unplugged musical vibes, ranging from chilled-out to lively and high-tempo, and everywhere in between! Acoustic and roaming bands can be an exciting, quirky, and interactive option for your wedding. Always warm and intimate, they’re perfect for a relaxed wedding ceremony, a laidback, playful drinks reception, and a fun evening wedding reception. Unbound by cables, some bands wander among your guests as they perform. Some offer the option of ‘jukebox’-style song requests off the cuff, and exciting musical mash-ups, getting everyone involved! From traditional guitar-based acoustic bands to a capella barbershop quartets, mariachi, and bluegrass bands, our artists cover a broad range of styles and genres. Most will also include versions of popular chart music, to amuse and entertain, from Bon Jovi and The Beatles to Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake.
Visit our acoustic bands page & roaming bands collection
5. Soul bands
With origins in RnB (rhythm and blues), jazz, and gospel music, the music that soul bands perform combine tantalising tempos and strong, heart-felt vocals. A soul band will perform songs from artists such as James Brown, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, and Otis Redding. Most will also perform a soulful twist on modern classics, and tunes by artists like Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, Beyoncé and Rihanna.
Visit our soul bands page
6. Rat Pack and swing bands
If you’re looking for a cool, modern vintage wedding theme, Rat Pack and swing bands are ideal. Equally smooth and glitzy, these bands will cover Rat Pack classics by Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and Dean Martin, and – with one foot in the jazz camp – they will also perform a range of timeless hits spanning the last 70 years, including music by Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, and Glenn Miller. Most will perform modern hits in a swing style, such as Michael Bublé and Robbie Williams, which you and your guests will love! You can choose to have the full, big band experience to raise the roof, or opt for a toned-down version, according to the vibe you’d like to create at your wedding.
Visit our Rat Pack & Swing page
Do you have any wedding bands near me?
Our bands perform at a range of locations nationally and internationally. The most popular UK locations include:
Most popular counties:
Most popular cities:
Is a live band suitable for my wedding?
Typically the headline evening entertainment, live bands for weddings can provide the perfect atmosphere for various stages of your big day, offering a complete wedding entertainment solution. Most can offer smaller ensembles or soloists to play romantic acoustic music for the procession, ceremony, the signing of the register, and the recession. They can also perform live background music for the wedding drinks reception and wedding breakfast, where you and your guests can happily chat and enjoy each other’s company.
The evening entertainment can be turned up a few notches, with additional members and instruments added to perform a dynamic and energetic party set. A live band can play music for the all-important first dance too, with many offering the option to learn a special song of your choice, given enough notice. They can also provide a DJ option so that you and your guests can party all night.
Once you've decided to book a band for a wedding, it's worth considering the benefit of booking one band for the whole day’s celebration. Costs and logistics are minimal, particularly compared with the option of hiring several separate performers for your wedding day.
Space considerations at your event
A typical 4-piece band will need a space of roughly 4m width × 3m depth to perform comfortably. For approximate requirements, see ‘How much space will a band need?’, below.
Volume - How loud is a live band?
To some extent, the volume of your band will be dictated by the line-up, instruments and room acoustics at your venue. Live bands can give exhilarating evening performances, and their volume often reflects this – usually in the region of 95 dB – 110 dB. The sound will obviously be quieter if you opt for a smaller, pared down or acoustic version for your daytime entertainment.
If your wedding venue has volume restrictions or has a sound limiter fitted, some wedding bands hire an electronic drum kit which can lessen the overall volume of the band. You can find our sound limiter friendly bands here.
If offering the option to perform background music or music for a wedding ceremony, the musicians will play in a tone and volume to match with your event needs.
How much does a wedding band cost?
Prices vary depending on the line-up and the options each band offers.
The average price of a 5-piece band is around £1,600.
This table shows the range of fees for different types of band:
|Type of Artist
|Rock and Pop wedding party bands
||£670 - £960 (3-piece)
£980 - £1,550 (4-piece)
£1,050 - £1,380 (5-piece)
£1,570 - £2,160 (4-piece)
|Upbeat and Dixieland Jazz bands
||£460 - £1,210 (3-piece)
£700 - £2,700 (5-piece)
|Acoustic and Roaming bands
||£330 - £720 (2-piece)
£480 - £1,630 (3-piece)
£600 - £1,630 (4-piece)
||£820 - £4,500 (4-piece)
£960 - £2,420 (5-piece)
£1,090 - £3,500 (6-piece)
£1,210 - £7,500 (larger bands)
|Rat Pack and Swing bands
||£1,060 - £1,940 (5-piece)
£2,120 - £2,904 (7 to 9-piece)
£2,900 - £3,020 (10-piece+)
Booking a band who are local to your venue is a great way to reduce cost, as any travel fees will be minimal. The home town of all Alive Network's bands are included on their profile pages, and your Entertainment Coordinator can recommend the best bands near to your venue. However, you don’t need to limit your search to just local bands – your perfect band maybe willing to travel at nominal cost!
Who are the top 10 recommended wedding bands in the UK right now?
This hot list features our current premier bands, based on a range of performance quality, innovation and popularity. These guys & girls are our most recommended live bands:
How long will a band play for?
Wedding band entertainment usually consists of two 60-minute performances, though many can perform for longer if needed. You could spread out a two-hour performance by splitting it into three 40-minute sets. Most bands are flexible to fit in with your evening, and will usually take a break of around 15 minutes between sets, during which time they will provide background music from an MP3 player or laptop.
If providing the evening entertainment, wedding reception bands would typically arrive at 6pm, get set up and perform that all-important sound check by 7.30pm to 8pm, get changed and ready to start the first performance by around 9pm. The second performance would then start around 10.30pm, until a normal curfew of midnight. Many bands offer longer performances or DJ sets at an additional cost, including finishing times of 1am and 2am. You can find the booking options on each band’s profile page. These times serve as an example – the band will always liaise with you and will tailor what they are doing on the night to your particular needs.
How much space will a live band need?
The table below shows approximately how much space bands of different sizes require:
|Size of Band
||Performance Space Required
| 3-piece band
||3 x 3 metres
| 4-piece band
||4 x 3 metres
| 5 and 6-piece band
||5 x 3 metres
| 7-piece band and bigger
||5/6 x 4 metres
How long will it take for a live band to set up?
Depending how close to the performance space the band can park, unloading, setting up and performing their sound-check will take around 60 – 90 minutes.
Some busy city hotels require bands to load in via a supplier’s entrance, using a shared staff elevator, which can increase set up times.
Following their performance, it takes a band around 45 – 60 minutes to pack down and load out.
What equipment will a live band need?
Most bands will need:
- parking provision with easy access to the venue
- a secure, lockable changing room
- sturdy, armless chairs for acoustic musicians
- a dedicated, suitably-sized, safe, dry, flat performance area or stage
- if performing outside – by prior agreement – they will need cover from the ever-changing elements to protect from either direct sunlight or any chance of rain!
- good lighting, especially if playing in a marquee, for example
- a minimum of four 13 amp power sockets, depending on the line-up
- refreshments – soft drinks and a hot meal, for example, depending on how long you’ve booked them for
All Alive Network bands provide their own PA sound system, microphones, backline amplifiers, and stage lighting.
If you are planning a large wedding with over 200 guests, you may need to hire a separate PA system to fill the large venue. Your dedicated Entertainment Coordinator will be happy to discuss the requirements for specific bands.
Safe, Secure Wedding Band Hire Backed By 24/7 Cover!
Aside from finding some of the best Wedding Bands in the UK and getting expert advice from our friendly staff, one of the main reasons to hire a Wedding Band from Alive Network Entertainment Agency is security. We ensure your booking is covered 24/7 against any eventuality, so that no matter what, you can enjoy your event without worrying about whether your entertainment will turn up. If your Wedding Band is ill or unable to perform, our team will be on hand to source a suitable replacement even out of office hours and at short notice. Imagine having to do that yourself!?
- Outstanding five-star customer service
- Emergency cover 24/7, 365 days a year
- Hand-picked Wedding Bands for the ultimate in quality and reliability
- Safe, secure booking contracts for your peace of mind
- Easy enquiry and booking process
- Hundreds of Wedding Bands to choose from
- Trusted brand with over 110,000 previous clients & high-profile industry partnerships
- Instant online Wedding Band prices & availability
Established in 1999, Alive Network has grown to become the UK's largest live entertainment agency and one of the leading online entertainment booking services in the world. We specialise in wedding entertainment, party entertainment and corporate entertainment, trusted by companies like Apple, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, Coca-Cola & Nike, and we have helped over 110,000 customers to hire the perfect live entertainment for their events. We are formally partnered with BIMM, the largest and leading provider of contemporary music education in the UK and Europe, ensuring that we are able to bring you the very best new talent exclusively at Alive Network.
Find more about Alive Network Entertainment Agency here
In a band? How do you join a wedding band agency?
For information on joining Alive Network please visit our 'How to join' pages here.
What you will need in order to apply?
- High quality audio recordings and promotional photos
- Good quality, reliable equipment & your own transport
- A setlist of music suited to weddings
- Smart formal stage clothes, suited to weddings
- A PA system & stage lighting suited to audiences of up to 200 people
- Reliable, professional band mates
Frequently asked questions