How to pick the right venue for your wedding entertainment...
You've planned for your big day since you were a kid and now the moment has finally arrived… the love of your life has popped the question (at last!) and your dream day is approaching fast. Of course, you already have an idea about the sort of venue you'd like spend the day in with your family and friends and you've found your dream dress, chosen a colour scheme and looked into entertainment options - maybe that's what got you here!
Ensuring you have the right party entertainment at your wedding can make the difference between a good wedding and an unforgettable one. After lots of sitting down at the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, it's important to choose a band that will get your guests dancing all night long, which makes picking the right venue to suit your music choice, really important.
Whichever entertainment you decide on, you'll need to make sure your venue can accommodate a performance. Whether a chilled acoustic performance or an epic live wedding band (we offer both!); you need to ensure the venue suits the entertainment you want.
So we've put together some top tips to help you make the right venue choice.
Probably one of the most important things to consider when booking your venue. Even if you plan to hold your day in an intimate space and you want an acoustic duo or solo musician, you need to ensure there is enough space for them to perform. Most party bands require a space of around 3m depth x 4m width to perform in, which can be on the floor or on a staged area. It's usually best not to position the band next to a fire exit or walkway as you might find guests interrupting the flow of the dance floor.
Always check with your venue at your first meeting to make sure they can facilitate live bands. Some venues have sound limits, especially if they have neighbours close by and some may have a live music curfew. Ask your venue to show you where the band usually performs and make sure you're happy with the layout. As long as there's plenty of space for the band to set up and some space for a dance floor, then you'll be fine!
Some venues will have a stage or something similar, such as a raised part of the room. Although not essential, these are useful particularly if you want musicians or entertainment acts to be seen clearly by all your guests. It will also give the atmosphere more of an authentic gig-vibe which can really get the party going!
The size of the stage is also important. Bands usually require a minimum of 3 metres by 4 metres, but the bigger the better so there's plenty of space for the band to move around and get into their performance.
One thing to consider that often gets overlooked is the layout of your venue. Where you place tables, furniture and guests determines how much space there is for your evening entertainment. It's also important that the bar is not too far from where the band perform or there is often a big separation of the crowd. Try to make sure the band perform in the same room or area as the bar so everyone can enjoy the live music, even when grabbing a drink! Venues can also have pillars or obstructions so if you choose to have a band as your wedding entertainment, place guests where they will have a good viewing point either standing or seated.
Checking that your venue is accessible can sometimes be the make or break for your choice. It’s important your venue can be easily accessed by all. If you’re having a live band but your venue is on the top floor of a building with no lift, it’s certainly not ideal for a band to carry all their instruments up. You need to make sure that any equipment can be easily transported in and out of your venue.
Checking the acoustics of the venue before you book is also important, particularly if your entertainment plans involve music. Also take note of the different materials around the venue- if you are planning to have a marquee, remember that material absorbs sound. Venues with a mix of wood and fabric curtains often provide good acoustics, and venues with lots of mirrors, tiles and smooth flooring are likely to create a loud and lively sound.
When viewing different wedding venues, ask the wedding planner or manager if there is a curfew for loud music or entertainment. You’ll find that quite a lot of venues have this in place, particularly hotels with other guests or venues with residential neighbours nearby. If the live music curfew is ten o’clock and you always imagined you’d be partying through the night, perhaps find another venue that will be able to accommodate later celebrations.
Ruby & The Rhythms - professional party and wedding band for hire in Surrey, London, the UK and internationally