So, you’re getting married. Congrats! But then you begin to realise that choosing wedding entertainment can be a headache. one thing leads to another as you start to discover that there are different types of bands, sound systems, song choices…
Don’t worry, we’ve all been through that. We help you, step by step, so that you will leave no stone unturned.
Very briefly, if you see entertainment as 1 category, there will be 3 main things that you will need to take note of
- Get an Emcee
- Get a Live Band
- (Decide whether you need to) get a Sound System
Finding an Emcee for your Wedding
The first question you’ll usually ask is, should you get a friend to emcee, or should you hire one. Ultimately the decision lies with you, but after I’ve performed and attended many weddings, my short answer would just be to hire an Emcee.
Your friend would probably want to help out of goodwill, but may not have the knowledge and the experience on stage to handle what comes his way. That lack of stage time may result in your friend being suddenly uncomfortable with his accent or not knowing the pace and tone at which to speak. The person, albeit out of goodwill, may not know how to handle unforeseen circumstances elegantly and with humour (i’ve seen many, like drunk relatives stealing the mic during a yum seng, Video Montages refusing to play, etc). An experienced emcee will be able to gain back control of the situation with calm and wit.
Also, hiring a professional emcee for your wedding will be about the guide the proceedings of the wedding smoothly. In some cases, you may request for the emcee to play interactive games with the audience or with the bride and groom. While the norm is not to do that, do check whether the emcee is able to do that and if they can, they will usually do it at no additional charges.
Get a Live Band for your Wedding
You can actually request for the number of people in your band, with one being the minimum (usually a person multiasking a duo role of being a singer musician) and, based on your choice, up to 5 to 6 people if you would really like to impress your guests. Instrumentalists include guitarists, beatboxers, cajonists, keyboardists, saxophonists, violinists, and many more.
Do bear in mind that having more people in the band would cost more. So the sweet spot that most couples opt for, is 2 or 3 performers.
Decide on whether you need a sound system
Surprisingly, most venues don’t provide this. Most locations will have a speaker, mixer and mics. The common misconception is, the acoustic band can just plug their equipment and their microphones into the existing sound system of the venue.
Getting a Friend to help
Getting a friend to help will help you to defray some costs of getting an emcee, just remember that as a courtesy, you’ll need to give him or her an ang pao (red packet), even if the Emcee says that they want to do it out of good will.
Putting costs aside, you’ll really have to think on your feet as an emcee. Its not as easy as reading from a script, because people react differently, and situations often don’t go as planned. It can be quite daunting at first when he/she doesn’t know who to take cues from, what are the cues, and what are the counter measures when the audience doesn’t respond in the expected way.
Hiring an Emcee
Yes, that is going to be more expensive than getting a friend, but hiring a professional Emcee does have its perks:
- The experienced emcee w
What do I need to know about hiring a wedding band in Singapore?
A few main questions that you will need to address here, that i will tackle one by one.
- How many sets do you want, and is there a norm?
- How long is each set, and is there a norm?
- How many piece band should I hire?
- Do I need to rent a sound system?
- Should i open up the floor to dedications and sabos?
- Is it better for me to hire a separate emcee and a separate singer, or someone who can do both roles?
- Should i choose songs for the band or should I let the band decide?
- Can the band sing my march in song?
Is there a norm to how many sets and how many sets for the band to sing in a wedding?
TL:DR – The norm is 2 sets of 45 minutes.
Before we begin, let me explain what is a set. A set is the period of time that the musicians play before they take a rest. Its also known as a session.
There is a norm, and almost all the weddings I’ve done (and seen my performers done) are always 2 sets of 45 minutes. The first set is typically after the first march in and champagne pouring. The second set is typically after the second march in and champagne pouring/yamseng.
But take this with a pinch of salt – if you are a happening bride and groom that wants to flip the whole order of the wedding festivities around, the band will usually be more than happy to accommodate if you u can let them know clearly about the starting times for each set.
How many piece band should I hire?
TL:DR – Its up to you. More musicians cost more. Most couples settle for the sweet spot between budget, and classiness, by having 2 or 3 people in the band.
What a “piece” is, is how many people there are in the band.
- A one piece band is called a solo
- A two piece band is also known as a duo
- A three piece band is a trio
- A 4 piece band is a quartet
- A 5 piece band is a quintet
- A 6 piece band is called a sextet
and so on and so forth. Do bear in mind that the bigger the band is, the more expensive its going to be. Here’s a tip that you may not know about if you’re not a musician – there are different kinds of musicians, and we call it dual roles and single roles. A dual role will play 2 instruments at one go. For example, he could be singing and playing the keyboard at the same time, or he could be beatboxing and playing the guitar at the same time. This is important to note because finding the right dual roles for your wedding could save costs for yourself. For example, if you want an energetic feel, you may want a
1) Singer (Single Role)
2) Percussionist(Single Role) and a
3) Guitarist. (Single Role)
Unfortunately, that is going to be the cost of 3 people.
If you, instead however, hire a
1) Singer (Single Role)
2) Beatboxer + Guitarist (Dual Role)
It will be the cost of 2 to 2.5 musicians instead of 3, with the same job being done. This is something that you’ll want to consider if you want a certain level of music accomplished at a lower cost. AnchorBlanc is an example of a 2 piece band that does the role of Singing, Beatboxing and Guitar.
You can browse our list of talents here, or if you are someone who’s always busy and on the go, you can always leave it to us to choose a good choice for you. We can send you a video of the available singer so that you will know exactly what you are getting in to before you put down a single cent.
Do I need to Rent a Sound System?
TL:DR – Ask your venue if their system can handle a live band. But 99% of the time, you’ll have to rent.
Here’s a common mistake that most couples make – If you ask the hotel if there is a sound system, they are definitely going to tell you that there is, for playing music off a playlist, or for basic.
But if you ask further to check whether they have a sound system that can accommodate a live band, most hotels’ answer is actually no! This is because while their basic sound system is usually able to handle MP3s or speech, their speaker and/or their mixer may not be able to take the overloading that comes with having a full band each play their instrument all at the same time. (From my own experience, the only exception of a venue that provide a sound system is Joyden Hall at Bugis+ .)
So, ask your hotel first (you’ll likely be asking the banquet manager) whether your “hotel has a a sound system that can accommodate a live band.” If the answer is yes (and this is quite rare), then you can begin a discussion between you, the musicians, and the hotel’s banquet manager, about what equipment the musician needs to bring, and what equipment the hotel’s side needs to provide. It is always easier to ask the musicians first what are the necessary equipment that they need, and then after that, check whether the hotel can provide it.
If the answer is no (most of the time), then you will need to rent a sound system. Note that not all sound systems are created equal, and not all venues are created equal too. Given the same sound system, an indoor venue will typically reach twice the number of people as an outdoor venue, where the sound is more dispersed. So when you are renting a sound system, you can let the sound team know your number of pax, and whether it is indoors or outdoors.
Don’t know where to find a sound system? We can settle all your sound system issues for you, all the way from delivery, to setup and to tear down, at market rate. While our basic package is already quite a steal and is suitable for most weddings already, our Sound Systems are versatile and there are options to add on more wireless mics, speakers etc if it is required.
Should i open up the floor to dedications and sabos?
TL:DR – It is usually more fun to do so, but set the right rules.
What is a song dedication?
A Song dedication is when the guest is allowed to send a slip of paper (with the song requests written on it), to try their chances to see if the live band will be able to handle their favorite songs, or not. I’m sure you can foresee a problem immediately – what if the song is inappropriate?
The easy solution to this is for you to set boundaries with the band, right from the start. Tell them what type of songs you will or will not allow. For example, Tell Laura I Love Her by Ray Peterson sounds like a sweet old classic, but as you hear the lyrics progress on, its really a song about a guy dying in a car crash because he wanted to win money to buy her a wedding ring. Tragic huh?
I once i had to turn down 2 songs requests, one for Ke Xi Mei Ru Guo, and Linger by the Cranberries due to lyrics inappropriate for a wedding.
I’m not saying these kind of songs are all bad. You may be a couple that does not dig so deep into the nitty gritty of every single phrase and lyric that is sung, but is happy enough if the song is popular and energetic. If you prefer more fun and popular songs that will get the crowd going, without much regard to lyrics, let the band know.
Without any instructions, the band usually goes into a “default mode” of singing love song dedications and ignoring song dedications with bad lyrics, and that’s fine too.
What is a sabo? (Sabotage)
A Sabo (Sabotage) is where you allow your guests to nominate themselves, or their friends up on stage, to sing a song with the live band.
There are 2 things to consider here –
- Is the live band able to handle getting people up on stage to sing and
- how crazy are your friends. XD
If your friends are the really “havoc” kind, I’m sure you’ll worry about whether the whole event will erupt into pandemonium when they are being called up on stage. A safe rule of thumb is, only you and your partner are allowed to sabo people up or approve sabos. If you have some decent singers in the crowd, hey why not! Everyone loves to hear a new voice cut through to the audience for a change. Or, if a close friend wants to come up and dedicate a song just for you, I’m sure you will appreciate and embrace that effort and thoughtfulness.
Is it better for me to hire a separate emcee and a separate singer, or someone who can do both roles?