If music be the food of love… – Things you need to consider if you’re having live music on your big day

“It’ll be alright on the night…”: a thought that, believe it or not, enters the mind of an alarming number of couples planning their wedding. For most, the planning of a wedding is something worth getting very uptight about indeed; the thought of waving away even the slightest detail is a big no-no. This isn’t the case for everybody though. And whilst a blasé attitude toward life, in general, can be enviable at times, the same outlook toward one’s own wedding is sure to lead to problems on the day. Some absolute whoppers too, we’d bet.

 

Things that need a lot of thought put into them when planning a wedding…the list would seem never-ending. In this post though, we’re focussing on one specific area of the wedding reception. Something that’s more difficult to pull off than some would imagine. Get it right though, and it adds a dimension to proceedings that nothing else can. All wedding receptions have music. But we’re talking real music here. Live music. It’s powerful magic indeed. But with that power comes responsibility. Some pointers, then…

 

Make sure the stage is set…

One of the first pitfalls you must avoid concerns the logistics of live music and everything connected to it. Believe it or not, live performers don’t just rock up to a venue and play. Doing what they do involves a great deal of equipment. You’ll need to be sure your chosen venue has the appropriate space for the music to be stationed. On top of this, it’s important, if you want the job done right, to consider acoustics. If your shindig is in an open hall or the like, you’ve nothing to worry about. But if there’s any concern at all about how the sound will travel, be sure to liaise with both the performers and the venue to discuss amplification.

 

Set a time window…and not just for the performance

Getting everything into the venue eats up time. Setting up and testing eats up more. Good communication with your chosen performer(s) is key here. Once you’ve nailed down the time segment they’re playing, be sure to ask how long they need to set up and clear away. Bear in mind that there’ll likely be an interval, and be conscious of the fact that yours may not be the last event they’re playing at on that day. Also make sure that you can rely on somebody else to keep an eye on the clock on the day, allowing you to savour it all. Bridesmaids and groomsmen, assemble!

 

The legalities…

There is one very important question to be asked if you’re planning to stage live music at your wedding. Do you need a license? If your venue is a regular host of weddings, then they’ll be well in the know as regards what’s required. But if you’re holding your wedding party at a more unusual or perhaps improvised setting, you’ll need to be a little more clued up. Currently, as long as the music takes place between 8 am and 11 pm, at an alcohol on-licensed premises with an audience of no more than 500 people, you do NOT need a license. But you do need ticks in all three of those boxes. If you’re holding your wedding at a non-licensed venue, or you’ve got a gargantuan guest list (or both!), you’ll need to apply for a license. The good news is that one license usually covers both the music and the booze! Hooray! You can find out more about your specific licensing requirements and apply for a license at gov.uk’s Entertainment Licensing page.