I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Laura Miranda, a UK based singer with bags and bags of wedding and event experience (she is OF COURSE a phenomenal singer!!).
Laura is a founding member of LDN Entertainment, a boutique company made of over 50 of London’s top session musicians.
She gave me an insight into what it’s like working as a wedding and event singer, and most importantly she answered some of the burning questions newly engaged couples are faced with when having to choose music for their wedding day!
What advice would you give couples who are choosing a wedding band? What are the most important questions they can ask, and how do they make sure they are booking someone trustworthy?
Before choosing your band, it’s really important to set aside a realistic budget for all of your entertainment. In the UK £500 will not get you a high-end pro band, it might get you a mid-range DJ, so be really honest with yourself and decide what style of Band you want, as that’s when you will need to think about budget and expectations.
What are the most popular choices and trends for a ceremony set at the moment?
Ceremonies are what we are all there for ultimately, so making it as magical and special is always key.
We have seen a bigger trend for string sections playing brides down the aisle, and mini Gospel style choirs for songs within the ceremonies and on the final walk out.
I was asked last year if I would sing in a couple’s ceremony where the bride had no idea, nor the guests. The groom arranged it in secret, it was a really amazing moment. He chose a song that was special to just them.
To be fair even I had a hard time holding back tears when I saw her reaction! Love those special wedding moments.
When you are booked for a wedding, do you usually provide all the electrical equipment and sound system, or is that something the couple will need to outsource?
90% of the time this is all part of booking the band. LDN Entertainment has a professional sound crew that’s all part of your overall fee.
They not only make everything sound great, they are trained and on hand to deal with any technical issues that can arise in venues. So the band can get on with their job of giving you and your guests an amazing party!
Are you happy to work with the couple on your repertoire, and would you be willing to learn new songs if needed?
One of the things LDN Entertainment pride ourselves on is having that one on one time with couples, to go over the style of music they would like and making any adjustments or requests they have on song choice.
We often will play the 1st dance for couples, it’s a special moment and we like to get it right.
Some of my favourite 1st dances are the ones where couples have a budget for a string section! its adds this almost Hollywood romance touch and always adds a few tears!
What information do you need from the couple before the wedding day in order to be completely prepared for the event?
It is mainly the things we have spoken about in the contracts, so:
– Timings for the day and set times
– Venue location and information
– Parking and accessibility
– Special requests
– A point of contact: this is normally a best man or someone that is easily contactable in case of emergency or issues.
Million-dollar question: full band, DJ (or both?) for the evening reception?
I would say if your budget allows go for both. To be honest, an iPod playlist in the band break normally clears your dance floor, you want to keep the party vibe going. So, having a DJ is a great way to keep the energy up.
LDN entertainment have an option for a ‘in house’ DJ who will arrive with the band so it’s all taken care of.
But honestly, it’s all about what you can afford.
What is usually included in your fee?
The basic inclusion in our fee, is whatever size band you have booked, 6 piece up to the full show band of horn section, 4 singers, string section… the skies are the limit. Each fee is tailored to you and your budget.
Do you travel abroad?
Yes, LDN Entertainment travel worldwide, we have had fun playing for weddings and corporate events all over Europe, from Spain to Germany and in between as far as Doha in the Middle East. LDN loves a good abroad gig…who doesn’t..lol…
How has Covid-19 impacted your work?
It’s been really tough not going to lie. It has impacted everyone in the Arts and Entertainment sector, our main role is to bring people together to have fun and create memories. But in a world of being told to stay apart, it has been impossible.
We’ve had to work with many couples who have had their special days taken from them, and done everything we can as a company to help with accommodating new plans and helping them reschedule events for 2021 and beyond.
What is the best piece of advice for a newly engaged couple having to choose the music for their wedding day?
We all have ideas of how we want things to go when we organise anything from a simple dinner party, family BBQ, or to the all-important big day. Choosing music is really important for any event.
Looking through what any band offers as setlist options is the perfect place to start. If you want to add anything extra on top of the pre-selected band playlists just ask.
But I will always say listen to the advice you get from the band or manager, we do weddings full time, we have years of experience knowing what works and what doesn’t.
Like most people we are considered part of a certain era when it comes to growing up, so as the generations move on so does the music choice, it’s less Motown and more Garage, Club, and 90s/2000s classics.
We still make sure 70’s and 80’s are covered for the parents and older members of the family and for those brilliant sing-along moments!
Just don’t make your music choice too personal to your own taste: you want everyone on the dance floor and finishing the night with a ‘Wow that was one of the best weddings I have been to!’