Full Band? Acoustic? Unplugged? What they mean and which one is right for your June/July wedding.
Lee Broderick
Author: Lee Broderick

Lee has worked as a touring musician and songwriter since graduating from LIPA in 2010. After returning from a two-year stint in Nashville working as a staff writer for Universal Music Publishing, Lee joined our exclusive roster as the frontman of one of our most popular bands - Festival Nights. He combines his live performance and songwriting alongside work as Content & Social Media Manager for Tailored Entertainment.

Full Band? Acoustic? Unplugged? What they mean and which one is right for your June/July wedding.

If you’ve got a wedding in the diary over the coming weeks and months, you could be forgiven for feeling a little confused right now. Last week’s announcement on the delay to lifting social distancing restrictions may feel a little like you’re back to the drawing board, with new guidance to take in and new rules to try and follow.

And in the face of the new guidance, you may be rethinking how your live wedding entertainment works on the day of your wedding. The good news is, you’ve got loads of options available to you if you want to change up your act’s presentation to better suit your wedding amidst the new government guidance – and it can still be a totally magical day for everybody involved.

outdoor wedding fun during COVID pandemic

But what are those options? What’s the real difference between them? And how will they look and sound on the day?

Well, for this blog, we thought we’d try and answer all of these questions for you, so that you’re equipped with all the information you need to make the right decision for you and your wedding day. Cause we here at Tailored Entertainment are nice like that.

The new rules for weddings from 21st June - 19th July

WHAT CAN AND CAN’T WE DO FROM 21st JUNE – 19TH JULY

Before we do that, it might help to have a quick recap of the newest government guidance to put all this into context. You’re probably experts in all this by now, but it’s worth a quick recap before we go into your live music options.

So, in COVID-Secure wedding venues, the new guidance looks like this –

CAPACITY – The 30-person cap has been lifted, and instead number limits are now dictated by how many guests your venue can accommodate at a social distance of 1m+. Your venue has to supply a risk assessment ahead of the day itself.

MASKS – Masks have to be worn inside when you’re not sat at your table.

FOOD & DRINK – Your food and drink have to be served as table service

DANCING & SINGING – Dancing and singing is NOT, in fact, banned under the new guidance. However, both are advised against by the government. Dancefloors are not currently permitted.

LIVE MUSIC – Live music and DJs are allowed to perform (good news for us!).

outdoor wedding fun lighter exit during covid pandemic

If you’re holding your wedding on private property (e.g. yours or a family member’s home) the rules are a little different. If in doubt, check the government guidance, or check out the brilliant work being done by The UK Weddings Taskforce on Instagram and Twitter, a group advocating for the wedding industry and the couples planning their wedding throughout the pandemic.

SO, WHAT ARE YOUR LIVE MUSIC OPTIONS?

Obviously, elements of these new rules will have a bit of an impact on the live music you’ve booked for your wedding day. However, our acts have gotten VERY good at being creative and flexible within the rules, and as such there’s a few great options available to you with a bit of planning ahead of the day.

Let’s look at those options one at a time and weigh up the differences between them.

FULL BAND - CARRY ON REGARDLESS

What do we mean by ‘full band’?

A professional party band consisting of three or more performers, playing amplified through a PA. Your standard party booking, essentially. For context, here's a live video of one of our biggest London wedding bands to give you an idea of what that looks and sounds like...

What will that look like on the day?

Most of you reading this article will have booked an all-out party band for your evening reception, with the vision of you and your guests partying into the early hours with an epic soundtrack from a great live band. And whilst it won’t be quite the same as a wedding devoid of all restrictions, you can still get pretty damn close under this new guidance. Lots of our clients are choosing to press ahead with their bookings as-planned, and our bands are reporting back that – for the most part at least – very little has changed in terms of atmosphere. If your venue can comfortably accommodate the band and you’re happy to hear them as you originally booked them, this is a pretty good option.

ACOUSTIC/LIVE LOUNGE – THE CHILLED APPROACH

What do we mean by acoustic/live lounge?

An acoustic or ‘live lounge’ presentation is a stripped back version of your original booking, with the band switching from electric to acoustic instruments. The setlist tends to be a bit more chilled out – similar in style to BBC Radio One’s Live Lounge Sessions. The band remain ‘static’ (ie they don’t move around) and they’re still amplified through a PA – albeit a little quieter than the full band presentation. The video below gives you a sense of what that will look and sound like…

What will that look like on the day?

An acoustic or ‘live lounge’ style set gives you the opportunity to get the sound and vibe of live music into your wedding day in a more chilled setting – meaning you and your guests can sit back and enjoy the music a little. This is a really good option where numbers have been constricted by venue capacity – it offers a way of retaining brilliant live music at your wedding. And don’t worry, our acts can still bring the party on acoustic guitars!

UNPLUGGED/ROAMING – THE OUTDOOR OPTION

What do we mean by unplugged/roaming?

In a musical sense, ‘unplugged’ means exactly what it sounds like! The performers unplug from amplifiers and microphones, which then allows them to move around the venue – even outdoors. In recent years, this has given rise to a new form of party entertainment, the roaming acoustic act. These immersive and high energy party bands specialise in bringing music right to the feet of your guests, wandering around the venue and performing songs direct to their audience. The video below gives you a pretty good idea of that that will look and sound like…

What will that look like on the day?

If the weather permits, this can be a great option for moving your reception – and your live entertainment – outdoors. Roaming acoustic sets are SO much fun, losing little to none of the band’s potency with the move from amplified to unplugged. Although we represent some of the UK’s best roaming acoustic acts, many of our bands are more than happy to move their presentation to a roaming acoustic if this is going to work best for you and your wedding day. If it appeals, it’s worth asking whether this is an option for your band!

So, there you have it! Your June-July live music options, covered in a single read. If you’ve got any more questions or queries on your live music over the coming weeks and months, get in touch with our expert team. They’d really love to hear from you.

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