Oxfordshire Wedding Band

Professional Live Band & Free DJ!

Oxfordshire Wedding Band

You don’t need to hire Oxfordshire wedding bands through an entertainment agency – hire HARD TO HANDLE wedding band Oxfordshire direct – live band + DJ, perfect for wedding receptions around Oxford.

Have you noticed? The entertainment agencies on the first page of your “bands for hire” or “wedding bands Oxfordshire” search all seem to have the most exciting, the most trusted, most live amazing wedding bands in Oxfordshire!

But before you get too excited, browse some of the profiles of the bands for hire and you will soon recognise that the same Oxfordshire wedding bands are featured on most of these agency websites (albeit with different names).

So when it comes to wedding bands Oxfordshire may not have such a large selection of live wedding entertainment music after all.

While searching quotes for function bands , you may also find that the word “from” is used often. The reason is of course that even if a music band agency mentions a fee, when you ask for a quote, it’s unlikely to be the fee they mentioned.

If you ask why, they will probably tell you it’s the wedding bands’ weekday fee – in other words, it’s just a trick to reel you in.

You will be glad to know however that HARD TO HANDLE BAND are a little different. We provide:

  • Three piece professional Oxfordshire wedding band music
  • Free live DJ with every booking
  • 2 hours of rock pop indie and more
  • Requests performed by both band and DJ
  • DJ performs before, in between and after band sets
  • Massive 350 song repertoire
  • Music from the 1960s to modern charts
  • Live band music – no cheesy backing tracks
  • Non-stop music, all night
  • Sound system and lights
  • All-inclusive quote
  • Contract for stress-free booking
  • Fully insured
  • Advice and tips on wedding music and on-the-day timings
  • A full dance floor!

Brides and grooms have trusted HARD TO HANDLE wedding band to perform at venues such as Bourton Hall, Museum of Natural History, Merriscourt (Chipping Norton), Thorpe Manor, Mercure Banbury, The Tythe Barn (Bicester), The Great Barn, Blenheim Palace, Caswell House, University of Oxford, The Crazy Bear, Coseners House, Bicester Golf Club, Old Luxters Barn (Henley on Thames), Jurys Inn, Malmaison Oxford, and quite a few more!  

Create your own playlist, ask us to perform your favourite songs

One of the great things about hiring HARD TO HANDLE BAND for your Oxfordshire wedding music is that we encourage brides, grooms and other party planners to create their own playlist for us to perform – ask your guests for song ideas, send them to us and we will put them together in a sequence that ensures that everyone will be on the dance floor form the first song until the end of the night.

You might want to hear more modern music, or a good spread of hits, or have a strict “no cheese” policy – just ask us. We will even learn and perform your first dance! It’s a great way to get everyone involved and it also means that you don’t have to worry about your Oxfordshire wedding band performing songs that you would prefer not to have played.

Now, when you’re requesting quotes from other function bands in Oxfordshire for weddings or entertainment agencies, just try asking them what level of input they will allow you into the music they play.

If you are going through an agency, you are unlikely to receive a timely answer, as the agent will have to check these kind of details with the band, who may take some time to get back to the agency. Even when you receive an answer, more often than not they will tell you that they are happy to learn a few requests but it will cost you extra, and that they don’t really want too much input from you in the songs they play.

It may be because they feel they know better than you, or if the Oxfordshire wedding band in question features seven, eight or nine wedding musicians – in other words, a large party band – it will take them some time to rehearse the songs in advance, and if the band includes a brass section (eg. trumpet, trombone), any new song will need a musical brass arrangement to be written and arranged, making it a time consuming and costly exercise for the band; a cost that they will no doubt have to be wanting to pass onto you.


Talking about costs, hiring HARD TO HANDLE BAND plus free DJ service has a definite cost benefit over hiring a large wedding band. Even if the large wedding bands are based in Oxfordshire, they will be adding travel fees into their quotes (in other words petrol costs for five or more cars, depending on the size of the van).

They may even ask you to pay for food and accommodation for some or all of the band. Added, they may quote the inclusion of DJ music as an extra fee…all of which is likely to blow your wedding entertainment fee out of the water.

In our humble opinion, it’s far better to hire a three piece outfit as your Oxford wedding band, as we will be more affordable – unlike some wedding bands we don’t charge extra fees for travel, accommodation, VAT, learning new songs, and on top of that, we are also a better fit for Oxfordshire wedding venues which may not have a lot of space to set up a band in after all the tables have been set out.

And what about timings on your big day? While it’s great to be able to plan your wedding day schedule in advance as much as possible, there’s a good chance that speeches will overrun the time you originally expected them to finish, but your evening guests will still be arriving on time, reducing the window of opportunity for staff to turn around the room ready for the evening.

What happens then? The band will still have to set up their equipment and sound check before the party starts. If you have hired one of the large Oxfordshire wedding bands, it may take a couple of hours before they are ready to perform, inevitably reducing the amount of time they get to play to less than 2 hours.

Afterwards, you may be left thinking “I paid so much money for my wedding band entertainment and they only played for just over an hour!”

Not all of these considerations may have occurred to you in advance, but this is why it makes sense to hire a wedding band who are professional, experienced and versatile enough to work with whatever is happening on the night. Wthin around 20 minutes of having access to the performance area, we can set up our DJ equipment and then we’re ready to rock n roll!

We think it’s important that you have relevant and timely information about wedding bands in Oxfordshire, which is why we created this page to give you a taster of how HARD TO HANDLE BAND can create the “wow” factor for your wedding or party.

You will also find a list of answers to frequently-asked questions, music and a 350+ song playlist on our website. So take a look, have a listen and get dancing!

Wedding band Oxfordshire

Oxfordshire wedding bands: size matters

Hire a professional 3 piece band: more versatile, more cost effective, more fit for purpose.

In your search for Oxfordshire wedding bands, you may have noticed that HARD TO HANDLE are a little different to most of the other function bands you have found. As a 3 piece live music band, we are certainly a different proposition to the function band line up preferred by the majority of other bands. Is the size of the band you hire important to you? You might think that a large band is going to be more versatile than a smaller one, performing a wider mix of music. You may have decided that a large function band featuring male and female vocals, a brass section etc is going to be more visually entertaining than a 3 piece band. But on closer inspections, do these assumptions bear any weight?  Well, in our opinion, the size of a band is important, but possibly not in the way you are thinking.

Firstly, take a look at our videos. We’re sure you will agree that we are not the type of band that needs extra musicians in order to be visually entertaining! Our high energy style means that we cover every inch of the stage with the personality and visual presence that many larger wedding bands simply do not possess. Compare this to the visual presentation of larger function bands, and you will find that once you look past the lead vocalist, the backing musicians often look like they are so absorbed in what they are playing that they have completely forgotten that they also need to be entertaining you and your guests.  Viewed like this, it becomes apparent that the frontman or woman is overcompensating, hamming up their performance because they know their backing musicians are somewhat lacking in the personality department. Isn’t it far better then to hire wedding bands where each musician is a versatile, entertaining performer?

Nevertheless, hiring a large party band with various brass instruments and backing singers does hold an appeal for brides and grooms who believe they will have a full sound and be able to perform a wide range of live music. But does this really add up? As professional musicians, we can tell you that hiring larger wedding bands with a brass section can actually be more limiting musically and lead to all the music sounding too similar. Brass sections are great for soul and funk, and if that is the only genre you want your band to perform, that’s fine (well, it may be fine for you and your partner but not so much for your guests). Here’s why: when a band employs a brass section, it will naturally want to utilise those musicians as much as possible. After all, there’s no point hiring a wedding band with trumpets and trombones if they’re not being used on every song. But when it comes to performing a wide range of your favourite rock and indie songs, having a brass section included in the arrangement is going to make those songs sound weird. There’s a reason why the bands who write and perform the indie rock and pop songs you love don’t use a brass section – it’s because they sound great without them!  Hiring HARD TO HANDLE Oxfordshire wedding band with our vocals, guitar, bass and drums line up means that we can perform a wide mix of music in an authentic, non-cheesy style, including rock pop, indie rock n roll and much more.

Non-stop music, all night

HARD TO HANDLE provide a live DJ free of charge as standard with every booking. Some wedding bands don’t. Which would you rather have?

When planning their evening wedding party, many brides and grooms wonder how they can keep their guests entertained. If you have done some research, you will know that Oxfordshire wedding bands don’t usually perform continuously from your first dance or the start of the evening until the very last song. To keep the party going, unless your crazy uncle is planning to regale your guests with stories from his youth (again), this usually means that that you will have to hire more than one form of wedding entertainment. Though some brides and grooms opt for things like magicians or casino tables, this will inevitably mean that live wedding music will stop at some point before it starts again.

And while you may think that having a break from your band and encouraging your guests to say “ooh, aahh” as someone performs tired old card tricks or facilitating their gambling addictions at a roulette table, if you do go down this route, one thing will become clear – when the music stops, the dancefloor becomes empty, and once the dancefloor is empty, you will struggle to get you guests back onto it when the music starts. Please take this as advice from HARD TO HANDLE, a professional band with over 500 gigs experience. Stopping music interrupts the flow of your party. Please don’t do it!

So, how do you avoid your party going out with a whimper rather than a bang? You might be tempted to say “we’ll DJ ourselves with a speaker and an IPod”, or “we’ll get our mate who loves making song mixes to DJ”. This is quite literally the DJ equivalent of asking some friends to drop in on Cash Converters, pick up some instruments and see what kind of sound they make can make at your wedding reception. Seriously, if you get your friend to set up a speaker and a playlist inbetween and after the live band, we guarantee within a couple of minutes he or she will be surrounded by other guests trying to take over. Result? One hot mess.

To DJ or not to DJ

Hire a band + DJ in one. No need to hire a separate DJ!

People who hire Oxfordshire wedding bands for their evening reception will often look at hiring a DJ to fill in when the band breaks. However, DJ hire presents its’ own set of problems. Essentially, the decision making process you have had to go through in order to find the perfect band will have to be repeated in order to find a suitable DJ. Will they be within your budget? Will they bring all their own equipment? What sort of music will they play? Will they take requests? Also, if your wedding venues’ performance area is small, will there be enough room for both your band and DJ to set up, or will they be jostling for space?

There is an alternative – hire a band who can also provide DJ music. But if hiring a wedding band who can do both is your plan, the single most important aspect you are going to need to know (possibly even more important than how much they charge for the service) is this: what kind of DJ service is it? Quite often, brides and grooms who don’t do their homework may discover that the wedding bands’ “DJ service” is just a pro-loaded Spotify playlist patched through their sound system. They press play, they walk away. If you want them to change the music they’re playing during the DJ music segments, you’re going to have to prise one of the wedding band members away from the buffet they’re gorging themselves on (that’s YOUR buffet they’re eating by the way, paid for by you!) and implore them to be a little more proactive with the music they’re playing.

If they just have one playlist, they may not even have the facility to change the style of DJ music they’re playing, and when it comes to entertaining your guests, that’s almost as bad as having no music whatsoever. So the message is clear – when the band tells you they provide DJ music, make sure you get a commitment from them to provide music that you and your guests want to hear and ensure that there is some on hand to take DJ song requests if required.

One last thing. The cost. How much are you prepared to pay for a band to provide you with a DJ option? You would hope this would be more affordable than hiring a separate stand alone DJ, right? It almost certainly will be, but nevertheless, all too often, having DJ music as a “bolt on” additional service provided by wedding bands is going to cost extra. How much would you be prepared to pay to keep your guests dancing even when the band isn’t playing? £200? £300? More? OK, how about nothing at all? When you hire HARD TO HANDLE BAND, you won’t pay any extra for our live DJ service. We quote one fee, and when you hire us you’ll be happy to know that we provide our live DJ (not a Spotify playlist, but music mixed live by our DJ with a wide range of requests happily taken) FREE OF CHARGE.  That means non-stop music from when your evening guests arrive, before, inbetween and after the band sets until the end of the night. Perfect!

Wedding bands Oxfordshire

Band volume – keep a lid on it

Small bands can perform at a volume suitable for all of your guests. Large party bands? Less so.

Do you like being deafened? No? What about your guests? Of course not. There’s another great reason for hiring a professional, experienced band like HARD TO HANDLE – we play live wedding music at a volume suitable for your guests. There’s literally no point in employing the services of a band who might play pop rock and indie so loud that your guests have to retreat from the dancefloor to the bar, then to another room. If this happens, you party has just died and there will be little dance to revive it; all of which begs the questions:

  • Why do some live wedding bands play so damn loud?
  • How loud is too loud?
  • How can brides and grooms ensure that the band the hire will play at a suitable volume?

There are several reasons why party bands play too loud. If you have hired a local pub-style party band to perform at your wedding, the guys may not be too experienced at performing in a situation where loud music is not required to sell beer and get people drunk. A band may sound great on a pub, but performing at a wedding reception is a whole different ball game, with guest of all ages, some of whom may have more sensitive hearing. Pub bands (especially drummers in pub bands) may not be comfortable turning down; they may even refuse when you ask them, preferring to play to an empty dancefloor than change what they do. The same applies to amateur bands.

An inability to play a little quieter isn’t something that just plagues pub bands though. Some professional Oxfordshire wedding bands may have the same problem too. Two words – brass section. If you are looking at hiring large bands for weddings featuring brass, just be aware that as the trombone, trumpet and even saxophone are acoustic instruments, there’s no volume knob. For these instruments to perform properly, they need to be played at a certain volume. If you find they’re too loud, you may have to ask the brass section to stop playing altogether; but then what’s the point in hiring a band with a brass section if they don’t play?   

These days, what is too loud is defined by what your venue manager says it is. If the manager hears the wedding band and decides that it is too loud, they will ask them to play quieter. If the band continues to play at the same volume, the manager will simply cut the power to the room. It’s as simple as that. Whether the manager allows your evening to continue is entirely contingent on the band being able to perform within the requirements set out by the venue manager.

The only way to really ensure that this doesn’t happen is to hire a wedding band with the experience and versatility to be able to play at a volume suitable for everyone – you, your guests and the management of your wedding venue. Some larger professional Oxfordshire wedding bands may well be experienced but won’t have the ability to play at the volume required. Our advice? For the best live wedding experience, hire a small wedding band which is fit for purpose.  


If your venue has a dancefloor, presumably you will be hoping that your guests utilise it by dancing at your wedding. If on the other hand you don’t want your guests to dance, make sure you hire one of the large wedding bands in Oxfordshire. Because in common with many other Oxfordshire wedding venues, once your tables have been set, available space in the wedding reception room is going to be limited. Large party bands need a lot more space to set up in to allow them to perform to the best of their abilities, and realistically this is going to mean that some of your dance floor is going to be used by the musicians and their equipment, creating trip hazards and leaving little space for your guests to dance. So if you don’t want your loved ones to be packed in like sardines trying to dance next to a load of sweaty musicians, hire a 3 piece band like HARD TO HANDLE for your Oxfordshire wedding!

Hire Hard to Handle band in Northamptonshire

Get in touch! For enquiries or just to find out more about Hard to Handle band, fill in the form below. We aim to respond within 24 hours. If you haven’t heard from us by then, we may not have received your enquiry so please call us direct on 0796 433 5657.