I thought I’d give you a little insight to an average day in the world of members of the Wedding Bands that regularly travel the world to perform at your big days!
OK so let’s say it’s a prime Saturday in August and we’re following the band manager of a top quality busy Wedding Band available to hire nationwide (or even worldwide!). For this article we’ll also say he’s the drummer of the band too 🙂
So my alarm just went off at 10am, I’ve had about 6 hours sleep last night after a run of three shows this week already, with tonight being the fourth. SHATTERED isn’t the word!!
All the usuals to do – us musicians still need to eat breakfast (well normally brunch) and clean our teeth, do our washing up, mow our lawns and so on… We’re performing at a lovely Wedding in the capital this evening. First thing I do once awake is check Google Maps (and can I say – what an invention that is). How long??? Maps says from our home town that current traffic and fastest route is approx 3 hours. Arrival time contracted is 5pm, so that means I have approx 3 hours to get everything together and get out of the house. We can never leave just what the route plan says as there is always things to get in the way (traffic, motorway closures and so on).
I run around doing my daily chores and running my errands, including making sure I’ve got my shirt ironed. I then realise I needed to have another quick look through the First Dance we are performing for the first time so the washing up goes on hold!! I then notice I haven’t synced my laptop up with the Bride and Grooms Wedding Music selections for the evening, so get on with this quickly before I start throwing all the remaining items in the van and prepare to get on my way.
I set off 10 minutes late but Google maps is telling me I’m all good. Nice smooth sailing journey down the M40 including a quick cheeky stop at Beaconsfield services (aka Muso Central Services). A quick double cheeseburger and a large MochaLochaNochaChino gives me that extra kick needed to power onto the A40 to take me straight into central London. All great until the last 4 miles are ticking down and the screen on my phone goes bright RED!!! 3.6 miles to go, 57 minutes remaining (NO JOKE!). I battle my way through and arrive at the venue.
I get there and find all the other band members just outside all facing the same predicament “where can we stop – there’s no loading bay?” One of us braves it and runs in to find out the best place to load in and gets instructions to get round the back and unload. The van gets done first (lots and lots of heavy equipment) and once everything is in we then have to find somewhere to park. Obviously not all venues are like Central London wedding venues (some even have the luxuries of free parking). This can be a good fun drive and also cost a small fortune!
Getting everything set up and sound checked is not a quick and easy process. Lots of lifting, assembling, plugging in and so on. Once it’s all set up we need around 10 minutes to make some noise and make sure everything is sounding great. Normally at this point we’re running round like headless chickens, after speeches have ran over by an hour, with the wedding planner on our case trying to catch up any spare minutes she can.
We run to our room (or sometimes the toilets – aka Wedding Bands glamorous Changing Area) and throw our glad rags on and run back to the performance area and prepare to perform the First Dance! This is the bit we all do it for – the fun part – the actual performance!! We’re down for two sixty minute sets and are also playing DJ style music between and after all sets until Midnight. This section needs no description. We give it our all, jump around like loons and do everything we can to make your Wedding celebration the best ever, with everyone remembering your Wedding Band as THE best Wedding Band to hire! It all goes amazing, everyone has a fantastic time and at 12.05 we get told by the venue that music needs to stop right now! We get boo’d by the Wedding guests but we’re used to that (with the venue manager usually disappearing by this point leaving us to deal with the “ONE MORE SONG” chants).
It takes us about an hour to get it all packed down and then back in the van before we bid our farewells and get on the road. First flashing sign as we hit the M40 (after a quick ice-cream stop at Muso Central Services) says “M40 CLOSED JCT 8A-9”. Local tours of Oxford are lovely, I’ve had the pleasure of doing so a few times, but not normally wanted at 1.30am! We do what we have to do, hit the diversions, add a good 40 minutes on to our journey and power home! I open my front door at 3.47am as it’s just getting light and the birds have begun to sing. Straight to bed – alarm set for 10am as we have another Wedding to get to tomorrow!
The above isn’t the same for every performance, just an idea of how it can run. When you book Wedding Bands to perform for your day you aren’t just booking the 2 hours of performance they offer. You’re getting their time for the entire day into the very early hours of the morning, all their experience to put on a good show, all their expensive equipment they lug around daily and last but not least, you’re getting the celebration you will never forget!!