When will the band arrive for our Evening reception? Will they start sound-checking a Motorhead track whilst we’re doing speeches? What happens to the band when they’re not playing? When should my first dance be?! WHAT SHOULD MY FIRST DANCE BE!?

In short:

Between 5 and 6 pm
They’ll probably be playing lawn games
8 pm
Whatever you bloody want


Your band will aim to arrive late afternoon, between 5 and 6 pm, this is usually when speeches tend to be finishing or your dessert plates are being cleared away depending on which way round you’ve done it.

They’ll then get in during the room change-around and set their gear up which usually takes an hour unless it’s an unnamed Yorkshire city centre hotel which is a rabbit warren of lifts and corridors and then you can bank on them being set up to play 5 minutes before your evening ends (jokes)

Everything will be set up and sound checked for when evening guests arrive and they’ll have music playing through their system unless you have a DJ too (More on DJs in a later post)

Your cake cutting and first dance tend to work best if you’ve given everyone an hour or so to get in and settled with a drink. Some of these people won’t have seen each other for a long time and they’ll all be chatting about how beautiful the day has been, how great the speeches were and which family member has already gone to bed after too many drinks (this was me on my wedding day-I re-emerged later)

The band will then go into their first set straight after the first dance whilst everyone is in the mood. This lasts around 45 minutes.

You’ll then have your break for food (usually 45 mins to an hour) and then the band will go back on with a longer set of party bangers till around half 11.

Carriages usually at 12am and then the band load out and pack up for the long journey home whilst everyone prepares for their hangovers in the morning.

Please bear in mind, these timings are approximations and can vary from venue to venue. Whatever timings you decide on, your band will be flexible.

This is a guide based on the vast experience of our musicians.

Thanks for reading and share with anyone who’s flapping about how it all goes!