If you’re Getting Married in France you’ll probably be looking for Live Music or a Party Band
A few years ago I met with a French wedding planner to discuss an upcoming wedding and we started talking generally about how couples choose and search for their wedding bands and the issues they face. It was an interesting conversation that came up again recently, so I thought I’d share some the points she made as they are raised by many couples when booking a band from a distance.
Should you book a local band or bring one from home?
Lots of couples are concerned that they have no first hand knowledge of local bands here in France. Of course, if you have a favourite band and they are willing to travel that’s great. I have a few musician friends who are based in the UK and who travel extensively across Europe. They are fabulously professional and they are fabulously talented musicians. If you’re booking a band like this then WOW! Lucky you! BUT bringing a band to France isn’t necessary as there are so many musicians here too.
France has hundreds of great musicians, for every genre of music; there really is someone for everyone. I’m a singer in a band and these are some of the reasons why you can happily choose a local group :
- we have knowledge of the local area
- we live here and work here, we can always make a ‘Plan B’ in the event of a sudden change or problem
- we’re here in France and not at the mercy of international travel issues
- we speak French and understand how things work in France
- we’re insured to work in France
- all of our equipment is here in France
- all of our equipment works in France… for example in-ear-monitors or radio-mics can need a different frequency across Europe… and even simple things like plugs are different… our equipment is tried and tested in France
- we use our own equipment – we’re not hiring unfamiliar kit so there are no surprises an hour before the performance
- Cost is also a factor. Many bands in France travel extensively but if you book a band to perform closer to their home there is less travel and accommodation costs to pay for.
Will they be able to Perform the Music that you want?
Unless you have a very specific genre in mind, we have found over the years, that most parties simply need a great selection of the biggest hits from the last few decades, along with a great selection of the most recent hits. This shouldn’t be a problem for professional wedding bands and France really does have some hugely talented bands and musicians.
When you have your shortlist take a good look at their set list. Is the band the right fit for your party? My band has it’s roots in Soul and Motown so if you’re looking for heavy rock we’re not going to work for you. Can you make suggestions to the final song choices? Can you choose to have some songs left out of the mix? Most bands will learn a special song for you… as long as you give them plenty of notice!
“The Candies and Soul Candy have a huge repertoire of songs and each year we create a core set list from the songs that we know have been hugely popular during the last few months. Of course we’re happy to work with our clients to create the perfect set list for their wedding but we do ask for plenty of notice. A busy band could be performing at a couple of major events every week in the busy season so rehearsal time is limited… keep communicating with us because we want your party to be amazing!”
Will you be modern/young enough for a Younger Wedding?
Ouch! Apparently this is a real concern from many couples and I guess it’s a valid question. Not all the bands and musicians are bright young things however, this should never be a reason not to book a band. Instead look at your band’s CV; with age comes experience and lots of it!
- A great band should love great music regardless of when a song was written and a great set list should reflect this
- Older musicians have years of performance experience
- Older musicians may have played on some amazing stages and performed at 1000’s of weddings, parties and events… they bring all that knowledge to your event
- The longer we’ve been in the business the more time we’ve had to accumulate some impressive kit… superb quality instruments and equipment will only enhance the quality of our sound and performance
- Experienced musicians can cope with a few changes to schedule
If age is a factor for you… all we can say is don’t let it be! Choose a band based on their performance and set list. Judge them on the music because this is what is going to make or break your wedding party.
Are they as Good as the Music Demos?
Very often the first time you meet your band or wedding musician is on your wedding day. Demos are a great way of showing you what the band does and gives you a good indication of what to expect. But don’t use a demo alone in isolation and making your choice. Take a look at reviews and photos and perhaps other live video snippets to inform your final choice. A good band or wedding musician will have their own website and social media pages so take a look at their postings over the course of a year. Are they busy? Do they have great reviews and comments? Where are they performing? Are they working at weddings? Can they provide references? Does your venue or wedding planner know them? Rest assured that musicians are busy for a reason; they’re good!
Remember too that live footage shot on a phone will never sound as good as being there in person; a smartphone speaker just can’t replicate our live sound! Demos are there to showcase the band and to try and replicate our fabulous love sound; it’s our shop window so we want it to reflect us accurately.
What Else Should I Consider?
Whoever you choose to perform at your wedding there should have lots of communication. If you have a shortlist of possible musicians then chat with them all. If they are a professional band then they should be asking you questions and offering you all the information you need.
Kent from RIP-IT Encore (one of the busiest wedding bands in France) says that these are the questions he would be asking of any prospective client :
- What kind of music do you want? And what are the event timings?
- What kind of Venue? Chateau weddings are amazing but choosing the best location for the band to play in is really important.
- How big is the space for our performance?
- Is there a Plan B if you want us to perform outside and it rains?
- France is sunny; can you provide shade for the band and our equipment?
- How close are we to the bar? Not because we drink!! but to avoid you separating your guests from the music and the dance floor!
- Do you need a DJ? Professional bands have professional equipment and with a fabulous playlist this is a great option.
- Consider accommodation for your band and if possible on site if you want us to manage the playlist/disco until the wee small hours! If there is no accommodation options onsite then within a ten minute drive is ideal.
- Your musicians will arrive well in advance of your guests to set up and sound check. Make sure that the venue is prepared for us. You wont want us installing and sound-checking during your meal or your ceremony so agree the times well in advance; a professional band will work with you to ensure minimum disturbance.
Find Your Team
When you’re planning your wedding in France you’ll probably have a long musical wish list. Of course the big evening party is the main event and most couples want a live band that will fill their dance floor and wow their guests BUT… there are other times when music is equally important :
- The Wedding Ceremony
- Cocktail Music
- Entertainment during the Wedding Breakfast
- Music for the before or after party
One person or band is unlikely to fulfil all of these wish lists so you’ll need to find your team. More and more couples like to host a party a day or two before the wedding or host a BBQ party the day after their wedding. The Candies are very often booked to perform as our trio for such events and our Vintage music set is very popular with champagne and cocktails receptions.
Couples also look for musicians who can offer a contrast to the evening party ; perhaps something ambient and a little different. Samantha Bramley ‘Cellista says :
If you dream of walking down the aisle to your favourite song, be it a show-stopping musical number, a timeless classical piece or the theme from your favourite movie then I can help. With many years as a performer, composer and music arranger I bring this wealth of musical experience to create your perfect wedding soundtrack with songs from Saint-Saens to Sam Smith.
If you are feeling a little daunted by the prospect of organising your wedding remotely, or struggling to come up with the perfect ceremony pieces, there is no need to panic! Ask me! I know exactly what will work – and also what doesn’t.
This is all about your wedding your way! Talk to me and we can create the perfect playlist for your amazing french wedding!
And if you’re looking for something totally unexpected then maybe look at Singing Waiters in France and surprise and entertain your guests during the wedding dinner! They tell us :
Our goal is to make sure everyone celebrates your special event in style. We want to help ensure that your wedding, event or party is the most memorable, unique and fun day ever! Your guests will not be expecting nor likely have experienced entertainment like ours! Pick your favourite songs to lift your party atmosphere… We guarantee everyone will be talking about your event was for many years to come.
If you’re looking for music for your perfect day then take a look at our musicians, singers, bands and entertainers. Many of these talented folks travel across France so if you really love their music then get in touch and see if they are free to perform at your wedding!