5 Things to remember for your wedding

As a band, we have covered more than 1000 events at some of the best wedding venues in the U.K and we have also seen the most meticulously planned weddings and the low key, low budget weddings. What we share with you in this post is a handful of things to remember for your wedding which make a lot of difference on the day.

During the summer, we cover many weddings and some of them are in the most remote places, like way out in the countryside in the middle of a field in a gigantic marquee. In recent years, the summers have been getting hotter and hotter and the last thing which you’d expect is that the wedding planners would forget to ensure that there is more than enough ICE, but to our surprise, this is the one thing that many of our clients have overlooked. However much ice you thought was needed, on a hot day you will need twice as much, no kidding.

The other shocking thing which we see far too often is a total lack of communication between the service team and the wedding party. Just imagine, you have planned your big wedding, 150 guests expected to arrive at the venue to have the most amazing drinks reception with sparkling wine, live music and canapes, etc. For some reason, your photographer decided that they wanted to take extra photos at the church and this meant that the wedding party was delayed by 50 minutes. Far too often, they arrive at the reception and their sparkling wine has been poured at least an hour ago in anticipation of the original deadline. Your guest are greeted with warm drinks with absolutely no sparkle and as you look around, you can see that most people have had a sip and just left the rest. When you go to a restaurant, quite often they would place the champagne in a cooler with lots of ice so that you enjoy it at its best; this can easily be timed to perfection on the day so that most guests enjoy a chilled drink, even if the rest have to wait in a queue, at least it will be chilled.

So that’s 2 things to remember, now for number 3. You’d never believe this, but your photographers can be the most annoying and disruptive people at the wedding. Some photographers just keep interrupting the flow of an enjoyable reception, because they want to take more pictures. The solution is to agree in advance how the photos will be taken and take more natural spontaneous photos rather than staged photos.

The photos are an easy fix, but this next point is more sensitive and there are different views on it. Basically, some of your guest will bring the most disruptive children to your wedding and let them loose. They will run around like crazy and ruin your celebrations. Some people ban any children from their wedding, others lay on bouncy castles and other fun things for the children. One wedding we went to last year, they thought that hula hoops would be a great idea; it wasn’t. One kid started spinning the hoop and whacked a little girl right in the face and she started crying. The other consideration with allowing children, is that they arrive in buggies. We have been at weddings where there were many buggies and the parents can’t detach themselves from them and guess what? They wheel them into your wedding photos.

The last point only happens at greedy venues. The wedding industry is massive and business is business, but this is your special day and one which you will remember for a long time. What ever you do, try to avoid venues which host multiple weddings at the same time and those that are also open to the public. Imagine that your guest arrive and they end up in the wrong wedding and even paid for drinks when you had everything laid out for them to enjoy. Imagine, you arrive at your venue and it is also open to the public and they are enjoying your paid entertainment for free and making noise in the background and even taking photos to post on social media. Some people are fine with this, but others avoid it by having the wedding in the middle of a field in some remote part of the country.

On our website there is a list of over 60 venues where we have performed many times, if you need an opinion about any of the venues, feel free to mention it with your inquiry or leave a comment in the space below.

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Inspecting wedding venues – 7 Checklist items

Inspecting Wedding Venues

Every Bride needs to make a wedding planning checklist or obtain one from an experienced person who has covered many weddings.

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Choosing your wedding venue is by far one of the most important decisions that you will make, so what are the most important considerations? Would you know what to look for when hiring a venue? In this post we look at some of the common sense issues which are easily overlooked and discuss some aspects which could have been improved at recent wedding receptions.


If you are getting married at a large venue which hosts multiple events, you may need a person to arrive before your guests arrive to ensure that all the boxes have been ticked and that the venue is ready for your party. Some venues do not demonstrate enough care and attention to details, which is very dissapointing when you consider the amount that they are charging for the service. Such venues are more focused on optimising their profits and turning over each wedding or event as quickly as possible, then moving on to the next one. For you, there is just one take and no rewind or undo button. You simply have to get it right the first time.

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Hunton Park, located just outside London There are venues which are managed by proper professionals who know the required standards and there are also venues which have suddenly decided that hosting weddings could be another income stream, but the owners have very little customer care experience or event management training. The question is how can you tell the difference? Usually it takes a trained eye to spot certain things as most people just walk past all the clues, accept the terms and place good money on the table.
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Here are 7 checklist items to help you.

#1.When you visit the venue for the first time, be switched on from the moment that you enter the drive or approach. What you are looking for are signs that everything is in order and that the venue is well managed.

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Well maintained flowers

#2. Start with the signs for the venue, if they are old and the paintwork has faded, what does this tell you? It could be an early reflection of a lack of maintenance. As you continue your tour, you can bet that there will be other items in need of repair or falling apart.
#3. Have a look at the grounds; if there are dead flowers in the flower beds all around the entrance, this is a red flag. You could at this point, get back into your car and find another venue. To continue after seeing these signals, is taking a gamble. What you really want is a venue that ticks all the boxes. A wedding venue that feels vibrant before you enter and start to plan your wedding celebrations.

#4. As you enter the reception area, have a good look around and see what impression you get from the staff on duty. Do they look competent and professional? Have they kept you waiting for a long time? Did they keep the appointment?

#5. When they take you on a tour of the venue, is the focus on the specifics that you are requesting, or are they more interested in selling extra services?
#6. Does the function suite or marquee look like a place which will make your guests feel special? Does the room look like it is regularly used, or more like it has not seen a wedding in a few years?
#7. Try ordering something to eat and stay for a short while. You can then see what their quality of service is like. Try the popular club sandwich from the bar menu and ask them to hold the tomatoes and see if they pay attention to details.

I bet that many people have dived in at the deep end and hired a venue without visiting the place or even trying the food and drinks? There is no room for reckless decisions when planning the biggest day of your life, it just pays to plan well and check everything. We recently covered a series of summer weddings and there were some annoying things that the venues had overlooked. In one place, the weather was hot and they should have opened the windows and aired the function room for a while before the guests arrived. The summer heat made the carpet smell terrible and there were ceiling fans, but they were switched off. At another large venue, the hotel guests were using the same outdoor area for tea and the tables were not fully cleared and reset. They also had problems with local wild life and there was pigeon guano stains on the patio furniture where guests were later seated. In another wedding venue, they had just one toilet for male & female guests and no additional toilets in the area where the reception drinks was taking place, you had to walk all the way to the main building to find another toilet.

Many venues are on the ball and take real pride in hosting events and you will not find anything to complain about. However, some hotels hire too many third-rate people as cheap labour and dress them up in smart uniforms, but you can tell that they don’t have a clue of what the required standard should be.

If you have recently chosen your venue or celebrated a wedding, please tell us what were the deciding factors and share your experience. If you would like to use our steel drum band for wedding reception music, please visit the website and send an enquiry.

If you used this advice to good effect, please leave some comments for other brides.