Introducing Ireland’s Best Wedding Bands
“Hey Keith, who are the best wedding bands in Ireland?” This is a question I get asked a lot by couples who have booked me to film their wedding. After the vows are all said and done, the speeches are out of the way, the party is about to begin it’s time for the evening entertainment! Music is such a big part of this. As a wedding videographer in Ireland, I get to see a wide range of bands across lots of different genres. Most are decent, and some really stand out as having that little extra something. There’s no accounting for taste though. Let’s face it, choosing a wedding band is highly subjective.
A short while back, I wrote about the best wedding photographers in Ireland. That post was based on who I’ve worked with so far. This article about Ireland’s leading wedding bands is no different! I can only write about who I’ve actually seen play at weddings.
- 1 Introducing Ireland’s Best Wedding Bands
- 2 The Top 12 Best Wedding Bands in Ireland – My Recommendations
- 3 Wedding Band AND / OR a DJ
- 4 How to Choose The Right Band For Your Wedding
- 5 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Band
- 6 Conclusion
The Top 12 Best Wedding Bands in Ireland – My Recommendations
Before we get started, a little disclaimer is needed. There are probably hundreds of wedding bands in Ireland. I haven’t seen all of them. Also, on any given wedding, I’m usually only there for the first 15 minutes of the band’s performance. This is enough to get a good impression of how they open, but not long enough to get a sense for how they perform for the full event. That’s an important point.
Having said that, I’ve been working in the wedding industry since late 2004, so I’ve seen a lot of bands come and go. I reckon, by this stage, I have a good sense of what makes a decent band for a wedding.
In the list below, I’ve probably forgotten a decent band or two. Sorry about that, it’s definitely not intentional! If I’ve left out anyone really obvious, please give me a heads up below.
So, enough of the disclaimer. Let’s get on with my list of which wedding bands in Ireland have made a good impression on me!
Connor McKeon Band
Pink Champagne Wedding Band
Spring Break 80s
The Controversial Allstars
Deciding on the right wedding band can be confusing. There are many incredible bands out there to choose from and lots of different factors to consider.
Wedding Band AND / OR a DJ
Some questions that couples have asked my advice on before:
- Is it better to have a band or DJ at a wedding?
- Is a DJ or band cheaper for a wedding?
- Can you have a band and a DJ at your wedding?
Is it better to have a band or DJ at a wedding?
My personal take is that it’s better to have both. A band will kick things off with a live party feel and get everyone into the groove. Later, after the band have finished playing, a DJ can continue the groove or change the vibe up a bit if that’s appropriate. A professional band and DJ, who are good at their jobs, will read the audience and play to the room. They’ll instinctively know what type of music is needed.
Is a DJ or band cheaper for a wedding?
Usually, a DJ will cost less than a band for a wedding because a DJ is just one person. A band will have more members and each of them will need to be paid by the bandleader.
Can you have a band and a DJ at your wedding?
Yes, absolutely, you can have both a band and a DJ at your wedding. Most of the weddings I film have both.
How to Choose The Right Band For Your Wedding
In my opinion, one of the most important things you can do before booking a wedding band is to actually see them play. The best way to see your potential band play is either at a showcase or when they’re playing at a wedding. Come to think of it, so many couples find their ideal band for the wedding after seeing them look after the wedding entertainment at a friend or relative’s wedding. If you walk away completely wowed by their entertainment, then you have a good idea of what makes a good wedding band.
Some bands organise wedding showcases at various times during the year, especially throughout the busy booking season from September through to March each year.
After you’ve seen the band play, you’ll have a very good idea whether or not they’re right for you and your wedding. Some couples will create a shortlist of a few bands they like and then narrow it down when taking some other factors into account. These factors will be different for each couple and a lot of it will come down to personal taste.
Booking a wedding band is relatively straight forward. Each band will have their own separate process for signing the contract and officially hiring them to play at your wedding.
Questions To Ask Your Wedding Band
What questions do you ask a wedding band? Sometimes, on popular wedding blogs and websites, you’ll see a list of questions to ask your band. Some of these questions are great but some, in my view, are a bit unnecessary. One such example is “what will the band wear?” Rest assured, if a band have a good reputation (which you can easily find out by searching online for wedding band reviews), they would not have earned that reputation if they turned up to weddings wearing inappropriate clothing. All of the leading bands that I’ve highlighted above dress appropriately for the occasion.
Many of these bands are members of a wedding band association that promotes excellence when it comes to their individual members.
Here are some questions that I think any professional band would be very happy answer for you:
- How can we see you playing live before we commit to booking you?
- Rather than simply asking “how much is the wedding band”, instead ask what pricing options do you have? Some bands will have various packages.
- How much of a deposit do you take to secure the date?
- When does the final balance need to be paid?
- Under what circumstances would that deposit be considered refundable?
- Our dinner call is at 6 pm, what time would we expect you to arrive at the venue to setup?
- Can you be reactive on the fly and play a good mix to suit the majority of the crowd?
- Will our first dance song be played live or via an MP3 or CD?
- For our first dance, we don’t want to be centre of attention, can you please invite the bridal party out after a verse or two?
- Are you open to taking requests from guests?
- How long will the wedding band play for?
- Do you have a backup plan if one or more of the band members can’t make it?
- Do you have the same lineup for every wedding or do you send out multiple lineups under the one band name?
- What happens if the meal service is very slow and as a result, the band can’t start until later than originally planned?
- How do we book you as our wedding band?
So there you have it – that’s my personal view on who are among the best wedding bands in Ireland. It was originally going to be called my top 10 wedding bands but, oops, that turned into 12! I hope you find this along with my complete guide to choosing your band for the wedding helpful. There’s obviously much more to picking your evening reception entertainment than simply the prices or cost of the wedding band. Best of luck with the rest of the wedding planning!