Wedding Band Hire – Considerations for booking wedding music

The majority of live music bookings from The Musicquarium are for wedding bands and Jewish wedding bands, making up over 100 events each year. We also provide live bands for corporate events and private parties but over 80% of our bookings are for wedding bands. This page highlights the main points to consider when booking a band for your wedding and our recommendations of which options to choose.

Our Wedding Bands and Jewish Wedding Bands pages have additional information that you may be interested in for your event.

1. Wedding Ceremony
We would usually provide light music for the period immediately prior to the ceremony when guests are arriving into the church or venue. There would then usually be a small number of specifically agreed songs for points during the ceremony, such as when the bride walks down the aisle, the signing of the register and exit of the married couple. A small amount of music may then be played as guests leave the ceremony. The ultimate choice of which act to book would come down to the instruments or voices that you wanted to hear at your ceremony. This is a very personal choice so there is no right or wrong answer here!

Recommendation: Urban String Ensemble | Acoustica | Urban Jazz Collective

Please note: If your event is a Jewish wedding then we also have a selection of options for the Chuppah ceremony. Please see our Jewish Wedding Bands page for further information.

2. Drinks / Cocktail Reception
There are many options for this part of the day and it all depends on what kind of atmosphere you are looking to create. You could choose more of a classical atmosphere with a string quartet, a contemporary but still relaxed atmosphere with a small jazz band or vocal & guitar duo, or you could go for a more ‘mardi gras’ atmosphere with a strolling Dixieland band or even a brass band covering funk and soul tunes!

Recommendation: Urban String Ensemble | Acoustica | Urban Jazz Collective |
Top Bunk Brass Band

3. The Wedding Breakfast / Meal
The simplest option for music during the meal is to have background music playing from an iPod or other electronic source. Your venue may have a sound system that you can use for this purpose but if not we can ensure that our equipment is set up prior to your meal commencing. If you wanted live music for your meal to add that touch of class then we would recommend something tasteful but not too overpowering. A small jazz band or even a solo pianist is probably our most common choice, but a vocal & guitar duo, 'a cappella' vocal group or even a swing band with male jazz vocals can also work well.

Recommendation: Acoustica | Urban Jazz Collective | Swing Connection

Please note: If your event is a Jewish wedding then we have a large repertoire of traditional Jewish/Israel tunes to play for the Hora dancing. Please see our Jewish Wedding Bands page for further information.

4. The Wedding Reception / Party
This is the big dilemma! You have your own personal favourite song list but you also want to keep all of your guests happy. You and your partner may not always agree on music style and your Grandma certainly won’t agree with your 10 year old niece! The main options here are to choose one main style of music (rock/pop or funk/soul for example) or to go for a 'bit of everything'. Fortunately you can choose ANY style of music with The Musicquarium as most of our musicians overlap between bands. You could therefore choose more funk/soul/70s with FUNKification, mainly Ratpack/swing/jazz with Swing Connection, mainly rock/pop with Audiobox or you could choose to combine all 3 song lists to create your ultimate dance floor sound track! See our 'build your own band' page for more information. We can also provide a DJ as either an alternative to a live wedding band or to work alongside one.

Recommendation: FUNKification | Amberstar | Audiobox | Swing Connection | MQ:DJ

Other points to consider

  • First dance
    Over the years our musicians have built up a list of first dances for weddings that are now firm favourites. You are more than welcome to choose any of these or request a new one that is not featured on our list. We will always try to arrange a new song for you if we have enough notice but there may be a small charge for this service depending on the amount of notice and complexity of the song.
  • Song requests
    Each of our wedding bands for hire has a unique repertoire list which is shown on their individual profile page. In a standard wedding performance the band will perform in the region of 30 songs and we are more than happy for our clients to choose as many of these as they like. We cannot give 100% guarantee that all requests will be performed but we will try our best! You can also point out any songs that you would like the band to avoid. We are very happy to put together our own set list for your event and in this case we will always choose up-tempo dance floor fillers unless requested otherwise.
  • Set up times
    By default our wedding party bands will require 90 minutes in which to set up all of their equipment and perform a short sound check. We can arrange for the sound system and lighting, or even the whole band, to set up early if required but an additional charge may be due for this service. Please see our packages, FAQ and band requirements pages for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
  • Background / disco music during intervals
    By default our wedding function bands will provide disco music during the breaks from an iPod playlist. This will be played via the band's PA system and hence will be at the same volume as the band, allowing the guests to continue dancing. Our clients are more than welcome to provide their own iPod playlist for the sound engineer to play, or we can even provide you with a separate wedding DJ if you prefer.
  • Wedding venue factors
    Most wedding venues in Australia are very experienced at hosting live wedding bands but occasionally we do find that some are not quite as knowledgeable as others. It is always worth checking with your venue that they have the correct live music licence, they don't have any fire regulations that would prevent a band from playing, they have enough space for a band to set up their equipment, and that they have the correct power requirements. It is always worth asking these questions rather than finding out further down the line that you have contracted a band for your wedding and the venue won’t allow them to play! Please see our FAQ and band requirements for more information. We are more than happy to speak to your venue on your behalf prior to booking.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions about hiring a band for your wedding.

Booking bands for weddings