Life in a London wedding band

We’re sometimes asked what it’s like earning a living as professional musicians in a London wedding band. The short answer is that it’s hard work but very fulfilling and a lot of fun. When the band performs at London weddings, what most people see is just the live performance. But there’s a great deal more that goes into being a professional London wedding band…

Musicianship of a professional wedding band

To be a top London wedding band, each band member must perform to an extremely high standard. It might be easy to forget but every member of the wedding band Azure has put in literally thousands of hours of practice on their instrument. In addition to completing a degree in music, each band members has invest further thousands of hours developing their skills and clocked up many hundreds of hours of live performance work.

The planning side of a wedding band

As well as maintaining a high level of musicianship, there is the all-important job of record keeping. Professional musicians need to plan many weeks and months ahead. When the band is booked to perform at a London wedding, each band member must know where they have to be and at what time, and plan their journey accordingly. The booking details are checked and rechecked by Stuart, the bandleader, in discussion with the client. Every detail from the venue address to the expected timings must be right. There is no such thing as an excuse when it comes to a client’s wedding. Each band member has to fit their other commitments around a booking. The band must take into account the travel time to and from the venue and of course the inevitable traffic delays!

Preparation of songs

Azure has a large repertoire, so from time to time band members need to revisit certain songs that a client may particularly like. A wedding usually includes a first dance. This is usually not in the band’s wedding repertoire. For this, each band member must transcribe and learn the first dance that the client has requested. It usually takes several hours of careful work to get a song polished to the very high Azure standard.

The wedding band working day

For the band, the big day begins much earlier than many people might expect. Equipment must be checked and loaded up, charts packed as well as spare strings and sticks, clothing ironed, the journey and traffic reports triple checked, and so on. As a professional London wedding band, Azure performs a great deal in London, but also in other parts of the UK. The travel time could be anything from 30 minutes to several hours. Depending on what time the band needs to arrive to set up, this could mean setting off at 10am for a performance that might not begin until 8pm!

On arrival at the venue, the Azure musicians liaise with the venue staff and will load in all the band equipment. Loading in and setting up takes an hour or so and it’s heavy work – even for the fighting fit Azure musicians! Again, all the band equipment is checked and rechecked. At the appropriate time the band perform a quick ‘sound check’ to adjust volume levels so they are optimal for the room and expected number of wedding guests.

The wedding band performance itself

Wedding band performing in LondonThis is of course what being a professional London wedding band is all about. Azure lives and breaths for performing live music, and are only satisfied when the dance floor is packed. On every wedding band performance, Azure gives their very best, carefully tailoring the songs to get the best possible response from the wedding guests. Check out Azure’s wedding band testimonials to see what previous clients had to say!

When the party is over

When the whole fabulous evening comes to an end, and the happy couple and guests head off into the sunset, the working day is not yet over for your London wedding band. This is when packing up begins. Equipment is dismantled, instruments are packed up again, dozens of electrical cables are coiled up nice and neatly for the next wedding band performance, and everything is carried back out again. Usually after about 40 minutes, vehicles are fully loaded up and the journey home begins. Depending on the venue location, this could mean anything from a 2am to 4am bedtime! Just long enough for a good sleep before doing it all again the following day. 🙂


About the Author:

Stuart Bahn is a professional guitarist in London, England. He is the band leader of Azure, one of London's top professional function and wedding bands.
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