Creating the perfect sound for your wedding is easier than you think. Having music playing during the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception will set the perfect tone for every moment… now you just need to figure out what band size fits your event best. Check out our strategic tips on how to find the right music and band size for your special day from The Baker Boys Band for The Reception Issue!

Image: Olguin Photography


1. Consider acoustic music for your ceremony and cocktail hour. 

Live music is perfect for adding that romantic touch to your ceremony and classy background music to help your guests relax and mingle during cocktail hour. For cocktail hour, you could up the ante with a vocalist to sing some laid-back covers.

2. Your guest count can help determine the right size band for your reception. 

For most groups of 50 or less, a quartet or 5-piece would work well and for under 150 guests, a 5-6 piece will do the trick. Once your guest count reaches 150-200, we’d recommend at least a 7-piece band, our most popular band size, to make sure the sound level and energy fits the guest count. If you’re throwing a big bash of 250+, we recommend at least a 9 or 10-piece… or you could go all out and impress your guests with a full 12-piece band!

Images: Elk Avenue

3. Vibe out. 

While guest count is helpful in determining the perfect band size, the vibe you’re going for is also really important. If the plan is to have guests mingle, a smaller band will be able to provide the perfect background music so your guests can talk. We also think a 9+ piece would be epic for entertaining your 50 closest friends and family if you want to throw a real rager!

4. Location. Location. Location.

Keep in mind the locations where your band will be playing. What’s the venue like? Is there a theme? Is it formal or casual? Is the event inside or outside? Some instruments sound best when amplified while others are perfectly beautiful in an acoustic setting. We put together a few popular instrument combos that could help add extra spark to your event and fit the theme for your setting:

Ballroom wedding:
Horns are a MUST to fill out the sound and bring the party, and you should consider extra vocals. For that Roaring 20s feel, go with a 10-piece band or more consisting of Male vocals + 2 Female vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, and lead guitar (many of our vocalists can double up on an instrument!)

Barn wedding:
Consider using a fiddle in place of a horn player in the Reception Band! Male + Female vocals, guitar, upright bass, drums, fiddle, saxophone, trumpet.

Indoor wedding with less than 125 guests:
6-piece band Male + Female vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass, drums, saxophone

Outdoor garden party/cocktail-style event:
Acoustic 4-piece with vocals, acoustic guitar, upright bass, and drums.

Images: Elk Avenue

5. We highly recommend having both male and female vocalists for your reception.

This helps broaden the repertoire that can be performed at your event and adds great variety to the performance. Vocalists can also read the energy of a room and call songs that will have guests eager to hit the dance floor! Double the vocalists, double the fun!

6. Get down to business.

Always make sure to go over the rules and restrictions with the venue you’ve chosen since some may have guidelines, such as noise restrictions, stage setups, and closing times, that will have to be adhered to by the band. Noise restrictions could affect the appropriate band size for your event and whether you go with an acoustic-friendly instrument combo.

7. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions! 

If you’re not sure what would be best for your unique event, just ask! We’re always here to help.

About Baker Boys BandBaker Boys Band is a high energy customisable band of 3-15 musicians all of whom work full time, so are really experienced at reading the room, and putting their many talents to use with the many different instruments they play and the wide range of songs they perform.