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Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time booking a band, it is likely that you have many questions. The following is a list of frequently asked questions about booking a wedding band. If you are unable to find an answer to your question, please do not hesitate to contact us by email.

What time will the wedding band arrive?

Typically, wedding bands will arrive between 5.30 and 6.30. For the vast majority of weddings SouthWestBand will generally arrive and begin setting up at 6pm. This allows us plenty of time to set up and soundcheck while the room is being turned round after your wedding breakfast and speeches are finished. For corporate, charity events and weddings that require it we can offer early set up and conduct a sound check before your guests arrive. If you need us to arrive and set up earlier in the day, an additional fee may be required.

How long will a wedding band perform for?

Every wedding band has various options but you can expect most wedding bands to offer either 2 x 45, 2 x 60 or 3 x 40 minute sets. SouthWestBand offer 2 hours of live music for every wedding as standard. We have found the best set times are a 40 minute taster set just after the cake cutting and first dance while guests are around the dancefloor. Then a short break for evening food and another 1 hour 20 minute set later on during the peak of the night.

How long do Wedding Bands break for?

Generally wedding bands take a break from anywhere between 20 minutes and 90 minutes. This is often to allow guests to leave the dancefloor and go  enjoy your evening food. We have found a 60 minute interval is the perfect length to allow all your guests to enjoy your evening food, grab a drink or two and head back over to the dancefloor ready for the second set.

What time do wedding bands start playing?

We advise the best time for a wedding band to start playing is between 8pm and 8.20pm. This is to give evening guests time to arrive, say hello and grab a drink. It also fits well with evening food generally being served between 8.40 and 9pm to give a 40 minute taster set. Lastly at this time your photographer/videographer will still be around to grab cake cutting shots and first dance photos, after this we can kick straight in with the first set while everyone is gathered around the dancefloor. This is all advice though and ultimately it is your call. It's your special day and completely up to you and the schedule that fits you and your guests. 

Will the band learn a specific song to be played at our Wedding?

Most wedding bands will learn one special song for free so if you have a first dance or a song to the end the night on, just let them know a few months before the event. SouthWestBand dedicate a 3 hour rehearsal to each wedding for special requests included in our fee. Popular requests come in the form of a first dance, a family favourite song request to throw in the set or a last song you would like played while your guests surround you in a big circle on the dancefloor.

Can we choose the wedding band set list?

Many Wedding bands are open to set list suggestions or requests. It often gives a feel for what you and your guests will enjoy. The best way to do this is go through a wedding band setlist or repertoire and highlight which songs you would really like played live. It can also help the wedding band to highlight a few songs your really don't want played at your wedding party.


SouthWestBand like to see your requests as it gives a indication of your music tastes and what your guests will enjoy too. We suggest that you highlight only a few songs you really love or really don't however rather than choosing the entire setlist. Due to our vast repertoire and experience we know which songs work best generally for any event and are able to read the room on the night, making alterations to the set on the fly if necessary to keep your dancefloor full all night!

Does the band provide music between and before sets?

Many Wedding bands are happy to provide music through an iPod/iPad during breaks between sets. Alternatively you can often use your own playlists and play them through the wedding band speaker system. SouthWestBand offer an iPod/iPad playlist as standard for every wedding. We do suggest however you opt for our Pro DJ service for a small additional fee. We have been DJing events for over a decade and know exactly how to DJ a wedding and keep a dancefloor full even when the band are on a break or finished. It is a small additional investment but the value added to your evening and atmosphere is huge. 

What does a wedding band wear?

Function bands and wedding bands will usually dress smartly in suits, shirt and trousers. Sometimes wedding bands or function bands can wear flamboyant outfits if it is part of their image or you have seen them wearing it on their promotional videos or photos. SouthWestBand generally dress in smart casual attire, shirt, trousers or black denim and shoes. We have been known to wear Hawaiian shirts during the warm summer months when appropriate. 

Does a wedding band require food?

Most wedding bands request they are provided with free soft drinks throughout their stay at the venue and a meal, usually after they've set up.

Wedding bands will generally leave for the event early to mid-afternoon and often arrive home in the early hours of the morning so a hot meal is always greatly appreciated.

What time does a wedding band pack down/leave?

This will generally depend on the timings of your wedding and your event. Some Wedding venues have an earlier curfew while other venues carry on well into the night. As a standard SouthWestBand will stay until midnight which covers the vast majority of weddings. We can offer 1am finish or later for an additional fee. 

Does the Wedding band provide their own PA system / Sound equipment?

Most wedding bands are self-contained and will bring their own speaker system. SouthWestBand will always bring a professional standard PA system and sound equipment as standard. We have different speaker systems to suit any wedding and venue, no matter the size.

Do we need to hire a raised stage for our wedding band?

A raised stage is not a requirement for your wedding but it always a great addition to any performance. We love a stage but understand it is more of a luxury than a necessity. 

What are the minimum power requirements for a wedding band?

Most wedding bands require 2-3 independent 13 amp sockets to power their epuipment as a general rule. This can vary however depending on the size of the band and their sound system. SouthWestBand prefer at least 3 independant 13 amp sockets but two would work with two as a minimum.

Is a wedding band PAT tested with adequate Public Liability Insurance (PLI)?

Yes, generally when working in venues and public spaces a wedding band will need PAT testing and public liability insurance. SouthWestBand is full PAT tested annually and has public liability insurance to cover all our events. Documents can be sent your venue on request.

Can I have a wedding band if the venue has a sound limiter?

Simply, yes. Many wedding bands are very used to working with sound limiters and depending on the setting of the limiter it wont affect the performance too much. SouthWestBand have many ways to work within sound limitations including an electric drumkit, bass DI boxes, in ear monitoring stystems and guitar floor processors.

How far in advance should I book my wedding band?

You should be aiming to book your wedding band as soon as you can. It is recommended to book your wedding band 12 - 18 months in advance of your date. SouthWestBand have bookings up to two years in advance. Bear in mind Saturdays in May, June, July, August or September are extremely sought after dates and you should be looking to book as soon as possible. If payment is an issue we have options available to stagger payments. All it takes is an initial deposit to lock down SouthWestBand to your event.


Though Saturdays are the most sough after dates more and more weddings are taking place on Sundays and mid-week (especially Thursdays and Fridays). It's best to act fast and lock your band down early for your special day.

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