What type of party band should I book for my wedding?

Swing, soul and Motown wedding function band to hire from Mike Paul-Smith Music

Wedding bands come in all shapes and sizes, covering a variety of different musical genres.  You may already have a sense what the sort of music and band line-up you’d like to have on your special day, but if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the options, here’s some guidance on what you might want to consider before making your choice.

Your music tastes

This might sound obvious, but first and foremost, you should choose a band based on your music taste. There’s not much point hiring a band that perform Ibiza club classics, if what you really like dancing to is soul and Motown.  Our advice would be to choose a band that plays the type of music you love to dance to, rather than choosing a genre of music because it seems on-trend or popular at celebrity weddings. Our most popular party band line-ups that never fail to get people dancing perform the following genres of music:

Pop and Disco

Soul and Motown

Swing and Jive

… or a combination of the above. 

Wedding band The Get Downs from Mike Paul-Smith Music performing at Micklefield Hall, Buckinghamshire

Your guests

This is your special day and you should book a band that plays the music you enjoy.  Having said that, the whole point of a wedding is to celebrate your love story with your friends and family.  You are throwing a party for you and your partner, but also for your guests!  So whilst you shouldn’t choose a band just to please the mother-of-the-bride or the best man, you might want to have some consideration of the guestlist as a whole.  Weddings are often a multi-generational affair, and in our experience, choosing a band that can perform some popular crowd-pleasing classics at the right points in the night, ensures that everyone enjoys the party.  With over 18 years of experience performing at weddings, we really understand what tunes have stood the test of time and when to play them, and all of our party band line-ups include these timeless floor-fillers in their large repertoire.

If you are looking to put your guests at the heart of your wedding celebrations, we would highly recommend our band The Get Downs.  This sensational party band line-up has a varied repertoire and can perform swing, jive, soul, Motown, pop and even Israeli dancing music for Jewish wedding ceremonies, meaning that there is literally something for everyone! 

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Your budget

If you are having a large-scale wedding and are looking to really wow your guests, we would strongly recommend booking a larger showband.  As the name suggests, a showband puts on more of a show for your guests, and there is a focus on the visual presentation, through styling, lighting and general performance.  Vocalists interact with one another and perform some set dance moves and there is a great connection between the band and the audience during the performance. 

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Our Capital Sounds Showband is the ideal choice if you want your evening reception to be the pinnacle of the day’s entertainment. Every note they play is 100% live, ensuring the spontaneity of their performance and connection with their audience is second to none. Capital Sounds Showband perform the best pop, soul, disco and Motown music, and with many of the songs arranged into medleys, the energy remains high, keeping everyone on the dancefloor.

If you are on a tight budget but still want a party band, we’d suggest you book The Get Downs Lite. This band is the scaled-down version of The Get Downs and, whilst it doesn’t quite have the same huge repertoire list of the larger line-up, its carefully chosen set list is full of upbeat dancing music that will keep your guests on the dancefloor from the first song to the last.

If you are having an intimate micro-wedding in your garden, at a restaurant or at your local pub, but still want live music on your special day, there are smaller line-up options available for your consideration. The Vintage Strollers are an uplifting vocal-led group performing music form the 40s to present day, and they are the ideal choice for pub weddings and garden parties. For a sophisticated and intimate wedding at a restaurant, The Jazz Hours or The Soul Essentials would make a beautiful addition to your wedding breakfast, performing sophisticated jazz standards or mellow soul classics as ambient background music.

Your wedding styling

If you have a strong vision for the styling of your wedding day, your choice of band can be paramount in creating the perfect tone and ambience. Here are some line-up options to help you create the perfect atmosphere on your special day:

Sophisticated black-tie weddingDown for the Count Swing Band – a sophisticated, polished and well-presented swing band playing classics such as L-O-V-E, My Baby Just Cares for Me, Cheek to Cheek, Beyond the Sea, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Sway and many more.

Show-stopping, party weddingCapital Sounds Showband – a high energy party band with fantastic stage presence, ideal for an epic evening party.

Vintage styled weddingLady Gatsby Jazz Band – a 1920s themed jazz band performing vintage covers of modern songs or Down for the Count Swing Band – a 30s/40s styled vintage swing band with the option to add more contemporary party songs to the set-list.

Modern Jewish weddingThe Get Downs – a lively party band that can also perform Israeli dancing music.

Sophisticated drinks receptionThe Jazz Essentials – sophisticated ambient jazz standards that perfectly underscores your drinks reception.

Romantic and contemporary wedding ceremonyThe Soul Essentials – soulful covers of songs from 60s to present day.

Timeless and classy wedding ceremonyMike Paul-Smith Strings – traditional or contemporary music performed by an exquisite string ensemble.

Quirky festival themed weddingGet Brassy – a lively, roaming, brass band performing contemporary covers in a New Orleans style.

Your venue's rules

Most party bands cannot perform acoustically, but if you’ve booked a venue that doesn’t allow amplified music, we do a band that can perform acoustically – Get Brassy, a lively, brass band performing contemporary covers in a New Orleans style.

Get Brassy

Some venues have sound limiters installed or restrictions on sound decibel levels. This can, but not always, affect the type of band you will be able to book for your wedding.  Our best advice is to contact us if your venue has volume limits or noise limiters installed so we can liaise with you and your venue to understand what sort of band will be feasible.  There are certainly ways of working with noise limiters and still having a great party, but it just takes a bit more planning and thought.

Some venues also now restrict the number of band-members which are allowed to perform. We do have smaller line-ups for your consideration if this is the case, such as The Get Downs Lite, Lady Gatsby Jazz Band, or The Vintage Strollers. If you really want a larger party band however, it’s worth picking up the phone to speak with us directly, as we’ve been able to persuade several venues to relax their rules for us in the past.

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