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November 2023

Tips for Hosting a Backyard Wedding with Live Music

Tips for Hosting a Backyard Wedding with Live Music 750 449 adam Michaels

Backyard weddings are unique and intimate, and when the weather is good, a great reason to have your event outdoors. After all, there’s no place like home! At-home events have become more popular over the last couple of years; but, for as long as we’ve been performing, couples have been hosting incredibly beautiful and sweet backyard weddings. We enjoy the atmosphere that a wedding back home creates! If you and your loved one are looking to tie the knot in a one-of-a-kind and totally ~you~ setting, and maybe save some money along the way, a backyard wedding is the way to go.

Now let’s focus on your party! Live music brings the sentiment of human connection and personalization full circle, and we really can’t imagine a backyard wedding without live music to set the tone. The guest count of your wedding will help determine how many band members you should have. We offer a cocktail trio or duo option, which is perfect for an intimate soiree or cocktail party where you and your guests can converse in a relaxed environment. You can also customize the instruments to fit your vision. If you plan on having a dance floor, we suggest a 7-12-piece band to guarantee that your guests will be dancing all night long! Here are a few tips to get you started.


As obvious as it may be, the first step is to check you’ve got permission to have outside entertainment. Lots of venues across the USA have dedicated areas for outdoor weddings, from ceremonies and drinks receptions to marquee receptions, but some may be restricted to indoor weddings due to location, space, and noise restrictions.

If you’re not holding the event on your property or at a licensed venue, then you’ll need to get the landowner’s permission to host live entertainment. If the owner doesn’t legally have permission or a license for live music on their land, this is something you’ll need to discuss with them directly.


Having your entertainment outside can be exciting and interactive for your guests, but only if your guests are outside too! Something to consider is the time of year you’re getting married. If your date is during the gloomier months, you’ll have to think about the practicality of having your guests outside.

Planning is required but it’s by no means impossible! You can provide heaters, an overhead cover, blankets, and more. It’s also a good idea to let your guests know to bring coats too. It sounds rather cozy if you ask us!

It’s the same situation for a summer wedding; if you’re getting married during the peak summer months with (we hope) scorching weather, provide some shade for your guests and have plenty of sunscreen alongside the hand sanitizer!


Unfortunately, one thing none of us can control is the weather. BUT… we can prepare for it! Outdoor areas for weddings can be kitted out with gazebos and other outdoor shelters to make sure both guests and entertainers are kept dry during rainy days and in the shade during sunny days.


Depending on the location of your wedding, your venue may have sound restrictions. For larger venues with vast surrounding grounds, rules may be different compared to a venue in the middle of the city or urban residential area. Restrictions may include a live music curfew or a volume or decibel limit.

Even if your venue has noise constraints, it doesn’t mean you can’t have outdoor entertainment it just means that certain act types will be more suitable for your wedding like an acoustic act. There are hundreds of acts and countless styles to choose between so it’ll narrow your search!


It’s always important to think about the audience for your chosen entertainment, AKA your guests. Some entertainers, such as string quartets or jazz ensembles, set a relaxed atmosphere and keep conversations bubbling as your friends and family drink a glass of champagne during your drinks reception.

If you’re after an energetic entertainer to get involved with your guests, you may decide on a magician or roaming band to focus your guests’ attention whilst you’re getting your photos taken. Your theme and the size of your celebration are additional considerations when choosing your act.



Booking a band or performer that requires amplification means you need power. If you’re using the outside space of a venue then they may already have suitable areas where a power supply is easily accessible. If there’s no ready supply of power, some acts can provide battery-powered equipment if notified in advance, so be sure to ask.

The good news is, that there are plenty of acoustic acts who can put on a memorable performance without any power – some may even roam amongst your guests!

Check out our recommendations below or have a browse through our acoustic wedding bands


Similar to the above, you want to make sure your musicians are set up somewhere where they can be seen and heard so everyone can enjoy them as much as possible!

Your venue may have a designated area for live performance or you may need to pick the ideal spot for them to set up. The sound of music travels further in open areas but you’ll want to have a good view of the show.

Your act will require a flat and dry surface to ensure their safety and the protection of their equipment. Once they have that and a power supply (if required) they are nearly set to get entertaining!


Your band or musicians need an overhead cover to protect them and their equipment from the elements. It doesn’t matter if it’s a gazebo, marquee, or homemade tarp bivouac, as long as your performers are sheltered from the burning sun or the incessant rain (or both), they’ll be ready to give you and your guests their best performance.


Your venue may require your act to hold Public Liability Insurance (PLI for short). Luckily, all of our acts hold PLI up to £1m cover, with certificates available on request.

Backyard weddings are amazing and memorable, so we hope these tips will jump-start your planning with live entertainment in mind – and we hope we can contribute to making your special day that much more fun!

How to Hire a live Party Band for Your Corporate Event

How to Hire a live Party Band for Your Corporate Event 800 600 adam Michaels

Have an upcoming event for your business and want to entertain your employees and clients? The event is a gift to them and the company, and the entertainment you select should represent that. Live party bands that are versatile, professional, and have immense talent can provide you with everything you need to throw an amazing event. However, it isn’t always easy to find a live party band that can ensure an upbeat party while maintaining a professional atmosphere. 

We want to save you the time it takes to research and find the right band. We’ve compiled a guide on what to look for when hiring your live party band below.


A business can be composed of groups of people as young as 21 to groups in their mid 70s. These different age groups will most likely not enjoy the same genres of music or decades of music. A live party that finds a way to cater to each varying age group to have them on their feet, dancing to the beat is crucial. A band should have information on how they combat the obstacle of differing age groups and music tastes. For example, We deliver renditions of both old-school and contemporary R&B, Disco, Pop, and Rock songs during the events they cover. This can allow for the alternative introvert as well as the hip-hop extrovert to have a great time together.


Even if your corporate event is more informal than most, the live band needs to be aware of the fine line between inappropriate and fun. Not all guests will tolerate explicit language or suggestive songs, and successful performers will be able to accommodate that. We have a wide array of classic, age-friendly & appropriate songs that your guests love; however, any songs your business may not want to be included in our performance won’t be sung! Everyone deserves to enjoy the hits without feeling any hint of discomfort, and we’ll guarantee that will be the case


Booking a live party band does not necessarily mean your employees and guests are expected to dance all evening. The band’s purpose is to accommodate guests eating hors d’oeuvres, having cocktails at the bar, networking amongst each other, and dancing as well! We know exactly how to fuse their performance with other activities at a corporate event for a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere.


No matter how much research is done on a band, the best point of reference is a video of their live performance! If you’re considering a large party band for your corporate event, they should have videos of past event performances readily available for you to watch on their website. Groove & Tonic has multiple videos of our engaging performances and our guests grooving to the tunes on our site! 

Budget Accordingly 

Remember that most professional musicians have a great deal of time and money invested in their abilities and their equipment. A professional musician can have as many years of schooling, just like a doctor or lawyer. 

Musicians usually work as independent contractors meaning they are responsible for their health insurance, self-employment taxes, retirement plans, and other expenses that you may take for granted.  

Not only does playing music on a professional level take a great amount of skill – but it is also physically demanding. All of this is to say that your hired musicians deserve to be compensated accordingly. 

With that being said you don’t have to break the bank to get the band you want.  You must come up with a realistic budget for live music for your event. This budget should be largely based on the number of performers you are looking for, and how long you expect them to play. 

There are a few other elements that go into a live music budget that you might not otherwise be aware of.  Please note that not all of these fees will necessarily need to be a part of your budget, but the more you know the better off you will be when negotiating:

Watch out for extra fees

An ethical bandleader will not try to add in additional costs, but once in a while you’ll get a leader who tries to charge a more than realistic amount. Although some leaders may not be willing to share information on how they pay their musicians, fortunately, you can use the above table to figure out if you think they’re charging an unreasonable amount for their services. As always, though, the cornerstone in this business is communication: If you feel you’re being charged an unreasonable amount, you can always ask the bandleader to explain why he is charging so much. If he gives you a reasonable explanation for his fee, then it’s probably legitimate.

All the Things Your Wedding band Can Do (Besides Play Music)

All the Things Your Wedding band Can Do (Besides Play Music) 1999 1332 adam Michaels

Your wedding band will play a vital role on your big day—and it’s more than just playing music to fill the dance floor. A professional wedding band has many jobs to do, some of which you’ll see, and others that are more under the radar. That’s why taking the time during your wedding-planning process to hire a well-reviewed professional is worth it (meaning, creating a Spotify playlist, plugging your iPhone into some speakers, and calling it a day really won’t cut it). Here are the things you probably didn’t know your rockstar wedding band can do—aside from playing major tuneage, that is.

Helps Enforce the Day-of Timeline

While your wedding planner and/or venue and caterer will likely take the lead on creating your wedding-day timeline, an experienced wedding band will certainly contribute, since he/she knows how long certain parts of the reception will take. What’s more, your wedding band is responsible for executing and enforcing the timeline during your reception, making announcements to ensure that events occur on time, and if there are any hold-ups, adjusting accordingly.

Can Play Music During the Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Hour

While there’s something to be said for hiring live musicians for your wedding ceremony and cocktail hour, an experienced wedding band can play recorded music for these two portions of the big day. From the wedding party processional to the moment you say “I do”, the right music (and the right wedding DJ!) creates the vibe for your ceremony. And during cocktail hour, your DJ can play light, upbeat music that doesn’t distract from the activities at hand—mingling, eating, and imbibing. 

Provides Sound Equipment

Having high-quality, working sound equipment is an absolute must—and your wedding band will have that all covered. Without microphones, speakers, and the like, your guests won’t be able to hear your first introduction as a married couple, the lyrics to your first dance song, your best man’s toast, or the announcement that dinner is being served, or that the last song is being played.

(May) Supply Lighting

While we do recommend hiring a company that specializes in lighting for more extensive needs, many wedding DJs offer uplighting as part of their services. Uplighting consists of smaller lighting systems that can be placed on the floor and aim light upwards to highlight your tables and dance floor. Talk to your wedding band leader to see if this is something that can be included in your package, or if you’re better suited to hire a professional lighting company.

Makes Sure All Equipment Is Working

There are few things more annoying during a wedding reception than music that’s too loud, too soft, or muffled, or worst-case scenario, dead air due to malfunctioning equipment. Not only do experienced wedding bands utilize top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art equipment, but they also do sound checks at your wedding venue well before the reception begins to ensure that everything is working properly so there won’t be any awkward silences.

Sets the Mood

Sure, you could simplify a wedding band’s role by saying he/she “plays the music.” But it’s really about more than just selecting and playing songs. A wedding band sets the tone for your reception by playing the right songs at the right times and reading the crowd accordingly. If you want your party to be a total rager, they’ll know the right tunes to put guests in a dancing mood. Alternatively, if your goal is a reception with an old-school romantic feel, your wedding band will know how to create that vintage vibe. And, a skilled wedding wedding band knows exactly how to pack the dance floor if your guests are getting a little too comfortable in their chairs.

Helps You Choose Special Songs

Your wedding band can be a great source of advice if you’re struggling to pick songs for any of your special dances. An experienced wedding band has seen first-hand which songs work and which don’t and is up-to-date on the newest tunes. That’s why it’s important to meet with your wedding band a few weeks before your wedding to make your song list (and do-not-play list). Of course, your wedding band will have an extensive library of music selections for you (or your guests!) can request, but the key is knowing if they’re appropriate and when to play ‘em.

Serves As Emcee

The master of ceremonies (also known as emcee) may be the most important role your wedding band plays. Think of your wedding band leader as the host, cruise director, and point person for the evening, making announcements and ensuring that your guests are aware of what’s going on and what’s next. Having your wedding band serve as emcee is far more authoritative and professional than you trying to shout “Dinner is served!” or “Time for the bouquet toss!” over the blasting music. Your guests are more likely to follow directions from an experienced wedding band and will look to your wedding band for information, so your special day will proceed smoothly and you can focus on enjoying every minute as newlyweds!   

Can Create Mashups and Song Cuts 

Worried your cake-cutting song might be a bit too long? Your wedding band has got you covered! Want to start your father-daughter dance with a slow song and then surprise your guests by cutting into a Bruno Mars favorite? A wedding band can create a custom remix just for you. Many wedding bands are skilled at creating mashups, remixes, and adjusting song lengths to fit your needs—just ask!

Covers Up Any Hiccups

Things may go wrong on your wedding day, but fortunately, good wedding DJs are pros at getting things back on track. Let’s say dinner is running slightly behind schedule. Your wedding band can play an extra few songs so that guests are too busy dancing to care that the food’s not ready. Or maybe your dad is in the restroom when he’s supposed to be giving his toast. Your guests won’t notice any potentially-awkward mishaps when you’ve got a pro wedding bands (and an experienced wedding coordinator!) at the helm.