Planning a wedding can be a daunting task and incredibly stressful if not organised carefully and thoroughly considering every last detail. Soul Avenue have played a staggering number of weddings throughout the UK in a vast range of venues and of course are fortunate enough to taste some of the finest cuisine made from our country’s leading chefs in the wonderful venues there are on offer. This led me to put this article together and offer some guidance to couples with the various aspects of the wedding that the band have worked in over the years. I’ve subdivided some of the main aspects of wedding planning into 4 categories that our expertise covers; Venue, Wedding Date, Catering and Entertainment.
Choosing the wedding venue or venues I think should be your first step. For some of you the wedding date will be more priority particularly if there are friends and family members traveling from further distances or even abroad. The first factor to consider regarding venue is whether you would like the whole day in one location or the ceremony in one venue followed by the reception in another. The obvious benefit of choosing one location to have the entire event in is that there is no need to travel in-between two venues from the ceremony to the wedding breakfast. This means that throughout the day from the ceremony to wedding breakfast and reception there will be plenty of time for your guests to relax, enjoy a glass of champagne, mingle with the other guests and avoid rushing to the next venue. This is by far easier for your guests particularly again considering all those who have traveled a greater distance to attend the wedding.
2) Wedding Date.
The wedding date is the next item to book. You’ll notice that wedding venues get booked up sometimes 1-2 years in advance, so it’s best to get your date booked as soon you’ve chosen your venue(s). Venues tend to have a different rate dependent on the day and time of year. This may influence your decision for your preferred date. I have noticed that weddings are becoming more popular on a Friday or a Sunday making the day slightly more affordable.
So now you’ve got your venues booked, a date in the diary, next you’ll need to arrange the catering. In addition to the menu to decide upon in the wedding breakfast you need to also consider wine to serve during the breakfast, champagne or sparkling wine, canapes to serve after the ceremony and evening food. This alone is an enormous amount of decision-making and research to undertake and if planned carefully can also be a lot of fun!
First of all approach the venue directly that you’re planning to have the wedding breakfast in and find out if they have their in-house caterers or if not see if they can recommend any. Then arrange a tasting session. Decide what style of cuisine you’d like to serve, English traditional roast, Oriental cuisine, Italian etc. Decide whether you’d like a buffet or a table-served meal.
In terms of bubbly to serve after your ceremony you have the option of either champagne or sparkling wine. If champagne is not your style why not go for something different and try sparkling rose? It looks fantastic in your professional photos against a white wedding dress!
When deciding on your caterers remember to ask them about their canapes options if you’re planning to serve these. Bear in mind that your wedding can be a long day for your guests considering the time they arrive until the time they leave at the end of the night so a few light snacks in the form of canapes after the ceremony is always welcomed by your guests to keep them going, especially when there’s drinking involved!
In terms of evening food would you like to to have a buffet or have food served? I think it’s worth considering having food served in the evening. Speak to your caterers and find out what options they offer for evening food.
Obviously entertainment is our business and I consider Soul Avenue as a professional band experts in providing entertainment for weddings.
There are basically two options for entertainment in the evening; a DJ or a live band. A DJ generally can play some of your favourite hits and have a great lighting rig, can be entertaining on the mic and a pumping sound system. However remember one thing, a DJ cannot possibly create the energy of a professional live band. In Soul Avenue we rehearse every set meticulously to ensure every last not has the energy to make your wedding night one explosive night to remember which in my opinion is very difficult to create from a DJ. Something else to remember when the band/DJ are setting up for the evening often time is very tight especially when setting up in-between the wedding breakfast and the reception which in our experience is quite often the case. If you have a 5-piece band that’s five members of the band setting up the PA sound system and lighting obviously with their own equipment too, however it saves a lot of time when there are more people involved. With a DJ it would normally be just one person setting up their equipment so make sure you confirm with the DJ if that’s your choice the time it takes for the DJ to set up the equipment. In Soul Avenue we’ve played so many weddings that our setup time in most cases is under 45 minutes but we’d always allow 90 minutes just in case although we just get faster and faster all the time. In fact the band is so professional in unloading/setting up that you won’t even know we’re there.
If you book Soul Avenue as your wedding band you can put your mind at rest and enjoy your day knowing the entertainment is in safe hands. Soul Avenue is one of the best wedding party bands in the business, professional, responsible, trustworthy, an outstanding live band, friendly and more important than the former, we know the wedding entertainment business inside out. Our choice of songs are tried and tested over years so we know that every song in our set is going to get everybody dancing from the very first song! Furthermore the band have rehearsed their repertoire so thoroughly that many of the songs lead onto the next without stopping. This keeps your guests on the dance-floor which is one of our main objectives.
I hope this information is of some help to you and please feel free to leave any comments below or email us through the site for any further information or booking enquiries.
Billy Cunningham (Soul Avenue)