Hello gorgeous people!
I thought it was about time I livened this blog up with a few features on wedding entertainment over the next couple of weeks.
It broke my heart when a wedding planner reached out on twitter to try to find a wedding band for a bride who had been spectacularly let down by a band. The bride had booked the band well in advance to provide evening entertainment instead of a DJ. The band cancelled less than 72 hours before the big day. If this bride is anything like me, music will play a MASSIVE part in our wedding, so to be let down at such short notice would have no doubt sent me into cardiac arrest. Terrible isn’t it, but sadly instances like this do happen and give credible bands a bad name.
Today we are joined by talented musician, producer and all round entrepreneur; Harlano Weekes; Founder and Choir Director of CK Gospel Choir and CK Band. Harlano has kindly offered to share some top tips with Nu Bride readers in choosing your wedding entertainment band.
CK Gospel Choir | Wedding Islington
CK Gospel Choir celebrated its 5th birthday this year and CK Band (an extension of CK Gospel Choir) has been around since 2009. The CK family are a fun, energetic and talented group of artists and are well-known in the industry. They perform at a variety of events; from Wembley Stadium, being semi-finalist on Sky One’s Must Be The Music, backing established artists such as Beverley Knight and The Feeling and frequently performing at weddings and special events. Members of the CK Band have also performed for artists such as Mariah Carey, Phil Collins and Leona Lewis to name a few.
Note-pads at the ready!…..
Nu Bride: For some brides and grooms-to-be, music plays such an important role in enriching their special day. However, finding the right entertainment is a minefield . What 5 tips would you give to brides and grooms searching for a wedding band?
1. Book EARLY. The best bands are busy, especially on popular dates of the year.
2. Do your internet research. Its time-consuming but you only get married once!:-)
3. Ask friends and families for recommendations. A recommended band is a GOOD band.
4. Ask to see them. Most bands are happy for you to see them perform or show a live recording.
5. Make sure that they are professional and have liability insurance! So many bands do not have any insurance protection so make sure you ask about this. If they don’t have it…..don’t book!!
6. Be nice and genuine. You’d be surprised how many entertainers will take a lesser fee because they like the couple!!
Nu Bride: That’s 6, not 5, but I’ll let you have that extra one coz its a goodie…..but just this once. ;o)
Nu Bride: My M.O. throughout my own wedding planning has been to focus on ‘quality and not quantity’ (thanks for the tip during your Cedar Events wedding planning masterclass Seyi!) – coming from the performing industry gave me a big head-start in choosing my wedding entertainment. However I acknowledge that it is a HUGELY saturated market and as a budget conscious bride, it is very easy to get tempted by bands offering to perform for as little as a couple of hundred pounds! What advice would you give for brides and grooms-to-be?
HW: I completely understand that every couple has to work within their budget, however if a deal seems to good to be true….then it often is.
If music is an important part of your wedding experience, then you have to try to get the highest quality entertainment that you can get within your budget.
Nu Bride: Just to add, readers also think about compromise, (my favourite word) are there other areas of your wedding you are willing to compromise on, so that you can invest more in the entertainment?
Nu Bride: Tell us a little bit about CK Gospel Choir and how it was founded?
HW: I founded CK Gospel choir (Children of the Kingdom) in 2007. I had performed in many choirs before and I had a very clear idea that I wanted to make gospel music more accessible to everyone. I also wanted to have a group of professional singers who mixed gospel energy with soul, jazz, pop, latin and other musical genre’s. So far…so good!:-)
My parents were in a gospel group in the 70’s and early 80’s, so I have taken the name to continue the legacy
Nu Bride – How lovely! ;o)
- I would always suggest that bride and grooms-to-be speak to people and try to get references for bands or music acts that their friends have used.
- It is important to get a range of ‘like for like’ quotes.
- My biggest piece of advice is to say that if music is important to your wedding day, please make sure that you invest in a professional and established band rather than taking a chance on amateurs.
CK Gospel Choir | Photography: David H Photography