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Don’t Make These Common Wedding Entertainment Mistakes!

Last Updated: 25th April 2024

It makes perfect sense that having live music at your wedding is an absolute must. It’s by far the best and easiest way to create lasting memories, impress your guests and give everyone the best time possible.

However, couples often fall into certain pitfalls when it comes to their wedding entertainment. Make sure that everything goes to plan, sounds great and is just downright awesome by making sure you don’t make any of these common mistakes!

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Not Hiring A Live Band or DJ

If you want an unforgettable evening filled with fun and endless dancing, you need live music. It might seem tempting to make your own playlist and plug it into your venue’s speakers but doing this simply won’t have the same impact as live musicians. Wedding bands and DJs are highly skilled at reading the room and dropping the right tune at exactly the right moment. They know which songs will keep guests dancing the night away and which are likely to inspire a drinks break instead.

Leaving It Too Late To Book Live Musicians

One of the saddest things about our job is when we have to tell couples that their dream wedding band is fully booked on the date of their wedding. Our most popular bands often get booked two years in advance! Our advice when it comes to booking a wedding band is enquire as early as you can, and if your favourite act are available, book them! If you don’t, someone else will, and soon.

Having said that, if your wedding date is drawing near and you’d still like to hire a band, don’t worry! We have a large selection of last-minute musicians available for hire who will rock your wedding and give everyone a night to remember! Get in contact with the date of your wedding and we’ll help you find an awesome band.

Ultraglow wedding band

Forgetting To Check If Your Venue Has A Sound Limiter

So many venues these days have sound limiters in place. It’s really important that you check if your venue has one and the decibel level it’s set at. Once you know how loud your music can be, let your adviser know before you book a band. They’ll be able to find you an incredible band who will easily be able to play within the restrictions so you can party the night away without worrying that the music might shut off! Find out more about sound limiters in our handy guide!

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Not Leaving Enough Time For A Sound Check

In order for the sound quality to be at it’s best, your band will need to set up and do a sound check. Normally this will take around 60 – 90 minutes, which sounds a long time but is entirely necessary! They need to take into account all potential issues that could arise to ensure everything runs without a hitch on the night, including acoustics, sound balance, access, electricity supply, available space and more. Ensure you plan enough time into your day to allow this to happen if you want a seamless show.

Playing Music Too Loud

One of the problems with not allowing enough time for a sound check, or a common issue when playlists are involved is that the music is too loud. Don’t get us wrong, we love music and sometimes it sounds great blasted as loud as possible, but your wedding is not the appropriate time! Your guests will want to be able to chat while they dance and no-one wants to go home with a headache. Keep the volume within reasonable limits for the best experience for everyone!

first dance

Choosing a First Dance Song That Is Too Long

Please don’t do this, for your own sake as well as you guests’! As much as you might love a song, if you’re planning on dancing to it in front of your nearest and dearest for the full length of the track, a full five minutes will feel like an eternity. What’s more, your guests will likely get bored too!

Ways around this are to ask your band to perform a shortened version of the song, so it’s an enjoyable length. If you’re hiring a DJ and cutting it short isn’t really an option, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask everyone to join you on the dance floor whenever you start feeling uncomfortable. Alternatively, if you want the full track length in the limelight, simply choose a shorter song.

Not Telling Your Band Your First Dance Song In Enough Time

Most bands will learn your first dance song for free, making it really easy to personalise this intimate part of your special day. But make sure you give them enough notice to learn it! We recommend letting them know at least a month in advance to avoid disappointment and ensure this special moment is absolutely perfect.

Starting Too Early

It can be really tempting to get things underway nice and early. However, this is rarely a good idea for many reasons. Firstly, people simply won’t be ready to dance early on. Most people require some Dutch courage to get them up on the dance floor so it’s unlikely there will be much of a party atmosphere in the early evening. Leave it later and people will be feeling more confident to strut their stuff!

Secondly, if you’ve booked a band, you’ll want them to be the big finale of your celebration. If you ask them start playing too early, you’ll either have a huge break between sets or they’ll finish well before your curfew, leaving your guests without the big finish they’ll be craving.

The optimum time to have your first dance is around 8.30 – 9pm, followed immediately by the band’s first set. This gives you’re evening guests enough time to arrive, chat with you and have a drink before the dancing commences!

Playing Inappropriate Songs

There are certain songs that have no place on a wedding playlist. It might seem like a laugh to include inappropriate songs, but honestly they aren’t likely to go down in the way you expect. Obviously highly explicit songs or ones with rude lyrics are unbecoming, but others might also be hard to dance to, be unpopular or just plain boring. This is another reason to book a wedding band or DJ! They won’t play anything that will inspire guests to leave the dance floor.

pop and rock band

Over-Controlling The Band’s Setlist

It’s understandable that on your wedding day, you want to hear all the songs you love and you might want to ask your band to play a very specific list of songs. As tempting as this sounds, we would strongly advise against it. Your taste in music might not match that of your guests, resulting in an empty dance floor, which is definitely not what you want! A good wedding band will have an arsenal of tried-and-tested songs that will keep everyone dancing all night long. Feel free to tell your band if there are any songs you’d love them to play and if there are any you’d like them to steer clear of, but other than that, leave it to the professionals. You won’t be disappointed!

Having The Bar In A Separate Room

This set-up is a big no-no. Guests will undoubtedly have a few drinks over the course of the evening, and if they have to leave the room to get one, they aren’t as likely to return to dance. It’s far too easy for them to crowd around and chat where it’s quieter. Meanwhile the number of guests on the dance floor is dwindling. This is a major vibe-killer so stay away from this scenario if you can.

Serving Food While The Band Is Playing

It wouldn’t matter if you’d somehow managed to book Ed Sheeran for your wedding reception, if food were presented to your guests during his set, the food would win hands down. If you’re serving food during the evening, make sure it’s between sets!

singer guitarist
Paul Warren

Forgetting To Book Daytime Entertainment

It’s easy to get so excited choosing a wedding band for your evening reception that the rest of the day can become a little neglected. Live music will lift spirits and breathe life into your ceremony and drinks reception as well! If you’re not careful, guests can get bored so providing them with some live entertainment is a winning move. If you’d like to book a live musician for your daytime entertainment as well as for the evening, you’ll save loads of money by choosing a band who offer daytime options for a small additional fee. These can range from solo acts to trios or even the full band playing acoustically. It will nearly always work out cheaper to book a single act rather than separate ones if you want live music throughout the day.

Alternatively, why not consider hiring an act such as a magician or a caricaturist to delight your crowd during the daytime?

Not Checking Ceremony Music Choices With Your Officiant

Live music during your ceremony sounds absolutely magical and you can’t beat the level of intimacy it provides. But did you know that there are certain songs that you won’t be able to play? If you’re having a civil ceremony, it’s against the rules for religious music to be played and some churches will have a list of songs they won’t allow so it’s really important to check with whoever is officiating your ceremony that the music you’ve chosen is appropriate. Civil ceremony songs will always sound incredible played by a classical musician if you want an intimate feel to your special moment.

band at barn wedding
The Wildermen

Where Can I Find The Best Live Music For My Wedding?

Head over to our website using the link below to find a huge selection of the UK’s best wedding bands and musicians. It’s really simple to book– just fill in the enquiry form on your chosen band’s profile and we’ll get back to you ASAP. Not sure who to choose? Give us a ring on 0800 53 000 35 to speak to one of our friendly expert advisers who’ll be more than happy to help you find your dream act!




Jodie & Callum's wedding reception was full of smiles and laughs, and most importantly, lots of dancing! 🙌 It's so fabulous to see everyone hitting the dance floor with Runswick! 🎶 We hope you had the most memorable night at Fanhams Hall! ✨📸 Gorgeous photography by Sara Epstein Photography!Info on Runswick here 👉 ... See MoreSee Less
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🧡 What a wonderful venue and crowd! Reggie & Gracie - we hope you had the best night with Ember Nights! 🎶 ... See MoreSee Less
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