Below are answers to some of the many questions we get asked about the Haste to the Wedding Ceilidh Band.
What time is best to start the Ceilidh?
We often get booked to start at 8pm or earlier. In our experience these rarely start on time. Please consider time taken for photographs, speeches and the staff clearing the room. Most weddings run late! Chat to the venue manager about times, and contingencies should things run late e.g. will they push the buffet back? some are flexible, some are not.
What will be do about the 1st dance?
The most common option is for us to play your favorite CD track over our PA system. We can download this in advance to save you carrying it around on your big day. We often play two tracks if the bride wants to do another dance with her dad or wishes the bridal party to join in. Our caller will announce you onto the floor, and when finished will go straight into the Ceilidh (often asking you to be the top couple in the 1st set). Alternatively, we can play a waltz or a Gay Gordons set, or go straight into the Ceilidh without a specific 1st dance. Whichever you choose our caller will ensure that all elements fit together with no awkward gaps or pauses.
How many band members? Is it always the same line up?
There are five members of Haste to the Wedding (see meet the band). Very occasionally one of us can’t make a gig but we have a great circle of musician friends that we play sessions with regularly who are always willing to take to the stage and know all the sets we play.
How long has the band been together?
Haste to the Wedding have been performing together for over 14 years and intend to do so for many years to come. At any one time we have as many as 70 bookings – up to two years in advance. We have played at hundreds of weddings, formals and other events and we’ve never been late or missed a gig – EVER!
Do you play any other kind of music?
We specialise in traditional Scottish & Irish ceili dance music – jigs & reels. We also perform some traditional folk songs and will on occasion play specific requests. We can also play recorded tracks of your choice for your 1st dance or during breaks for example.
How long do you take to set up? Do you take breaks during the performance?
Through many years of practice and familiarity with many wedding venues throughout Ireland, we can set up and be ready to go in about 20-30 minutes. We always aim to be at your event at least one hour before start time. Normally we don’t take a break during a standard gig, however for longer performances, we may take a short breather to allow for a buffet for example, during which we can play background music.
Can we hear you play before the booking?
As most of the gigs we play are weddings and other private functions we tend to discourage requests to see us live. If you really feel you must then we request that you are very discreet and remember that we will be focused on the job in hand and will NOT be able to discuss your needs at someone else’s function. You can hear us on our website which includes some of our most popular dance sets. (Please also see our reviews & see our video clips)
How far will you travel? Are there any other costs involved?
We have played all over Ireland, England & Scotland and even as far as the Middle East. We have a set fee for standard gigs in the greater Belfast/Co.Antrim area. Beyond this travel and other expenses will be additional. Please contact us directly for an accurate quote specific to you.
What are your payment requirements?
To confirm a booking we require a non-refundable £100 deposit. The balance should be paid in cash on the night of the event. If you want to pay by cheque, money or credit card please pay at least 2 weeks before the date of your event (e-mail for details). We prefer not to accept cheques on the night as we have had one or two embarrassing situations over the years!
Can you provide a DJ?
We can include this in a booking. The DJs who work with us are flexible and will include your requests within their sets. Please bear in mind our DJs are very experienced and it is often better to allow them to exercise their own judgment to ensure the dance floor is kept full all night.
Do you have any other special requirements – stage, food etc..?
Most venues have some sort of stage or platform which is welcome but not essential. Please remember if you’re having a buffet to check with the hotel/caterers and make sure they are flexible should your timings go awry. It’s much better for you to have your buffet during a natural break in the evening’s entertainment, I.E. between the ceilidh and the disco, for example. Regarding the band, we have never been known to refuse a tasty buffet, but it’s certainly not a requirement.
N.B. For any other queries or information please e-mail. If we can accommodate we will.