Roberta has interviewed Suzanne Aston, lead singer, band manager and founder together with her husband Ryan (Aston band drummer) of Aston band, an internationally premiere wedding band, that have been entertaining international royalties, celebrities and A-listers weddings and parties worldwide for the last 12 years.
Roberta: So how have you been doing? I know you’ve been really busy..
Suzanne: We are back with a bang. There was the moment you know during the pandemic that I wondered if we ever do our destination weddings again. But they are back with a bang. Things seem to be absolutely flourishing at the moment. So we’re so excited that it’s all back bigger and better than ever actually.
R: Isn’t it great to just be able to travel with no restrictions whatsoever.
S: you feel even more grateful for doing it.
R: You’re absolutely sensational, I’m a big fan! I just love your performances. There’s so glitzy and glamorous you guys look coo, you sound phenomenal. best entertainment ever
S: ah, I will take that on a Monday morning. Thank you very well much
R: What’s your process when couples approach you? Do you guide them or do they have something in mind already?
S: I think when you come across a band like us, you have something in mind. I think clients that tend to choose us because they want a wow factor. We’re glitz and glam like you said, we’re not kind of a wallflower type of band. We’re Party-Party-Party band. If you’re a more traditional couple that wants relaxed affair, then we’re probably not the right band for you. If you want to have a good time, fill the dancefloor and get wild then we’re a good match. We definitely find that we attract our kind of crowd. And then we are happy to be guided by the client.
We hate for any two events to be the same. We tend to hop on a zoom call with our clients, get to know them, their ideas for the event and then we can guide them.
Because if you’ve not booked a live band before, which not many people have, unless you’re in the wedding and events industry, it’s the first time you’ve had to book entertainment. I can imagine it’s absolutely overwhelming.
There are so many bands out there, everyone says the same thing on their website, it’s tough as a as a client to know the good from the bad. We jump on a Zoom call and see if you get on. We’re going to be connected a lot throughout the day with a planner as well. If you’re not getting a good vibe from someone or the energy’s not right then you don’t want to collaborate.
R: How important do you think guests experience is for a successful wedding?
S: It’s everything. You don’t really get to be bored. You want your guests to go away, thinking “wow, that is the best wedding I’ve ever been to”.
Entertainment and live music really helps take your wedding to the next level. I know I’m biased, but we’ve all been to weddings where there’s maybe you’ve had a bad and the show-bands have been too loud or boring and it can make or break the party.
You can have those moments of live music throughout the day, from ceremony to drinks reception, for your entrance, for your party, and obviously throughout dinner. You get what you pay for with with bands and live music.
So as well as being an Aston band, I run a company called Music HQ where I look after 16 other wedding bands. We go from the luxury end of the spectrum we do big, crazy luxury weddings, and then all of my other bands are just brilliant with normal spend range, more in the region of 1500 to two grand. But make sure you set enough budget aside for entertainment because a great band can really take it to the next level.
R: Absolutely. In my experience that’s the moment where couples making memories with the guests. When your entertainment is top level you know, people are going to have a fantastic time and they actually get back to you and tell you your wedding was mind-blowing
S: It’s those moments, when we’re looking at our couple surrounded by their loved ones just having the time of their life it’s euphoric! There are not many things that have absolutely lasting impact on everybody.
R: How do you find is different for a wedding band working through a wedding planner or directly with couples, especially for destination weddings?
S: We are super organised, but that doesn’t mean it’s a complete different job. It takes the pressure off us and the couple and makes it stress-free. Particularly for the destination weddings, you know there’s lots of logistics to sort out. You planners are super organised you love doing that, helping things run smoothly. It’s brilliant.
R: And you still obviously communicate with a couple directly for music matters..
S: We do for music list and costumes and things like that. But just all the logistics or the timeline it’s great to have a plan and then on the day. The couple doesn’t have to think about a thing. You and I liaise. We take care of everything in the background. Things are just seamless. They just happen as if by magic.
R: How important do you think it is for couples to be stress-free on the day?
S: It’s essential. Sometimes we can all get bogged down with things that don’t really matter. So regardless of having a planner or not, don’t sweat the small stuff. Things do run over at weddings, or don’t always go to plan. However, having a planner there to orchestrate the day gets things moving again. It’s so important that you are stress free on the big day. You want to enjoy it or your family and friends that your loved ones. You want to just soak it all in and not having to worry about what time is it that what’s going.
R: What is the most common issue couples have in your opinion?
S: I guess it’s being overwhelmed, not knowing where to begin. But where do you start when you’re looking for a wedding band? Because there’s just so many out there. Have a zoom call get to know the people and then you can decide whether they’d be the right fit for you. What I wouldn’t recommend doing with a band as much as we like to tailor a setlist to our clients. Don’t get bogged down with choosing every single song. You’ve got to let your wedding band have some artistic licence. Let them roughly let them read the crowd, we’re experts are what we do. You don’t have to overthink, just let it breathe and let it be.
R: Your performances are so cool. I can watch them all day long and I can tell you enjoy doing what you do so much, it’s second nature!
S: Well I’ll tell you why we enjoy it so much. First of all, our show-band was set up in 2010 by me and my husband who’s the drummer. We are so lucky that we get to choose who we work with. We classed them as our friends, we know straight away whether they’re a good fit or not.
When we go on these trips abroad, it’s like going on a holiday with your friends because we all love each other and that comes across when we’re on stage as well. The chemistry, the energy is real we’re having as good a time as we hope you are. It’s a really good squad.
R: What was the most spectacular performance that you can remember in your career? I know it’s a hard one.
S: Some of the most spectacular we’re not allowed to speak about because there are NDAs. Some of the weddings that we’ve done in so we did a residency in Lebanon when we first started. It was the best summer of my life. It was incredible. The people are so amazing. The city itself is just unreal. We ended up doing some super luxury weddings. That’s how it started. Some were nothing you can even imagine, something out of a movie. It was just insane. Since then we’ve done lots lots, like the Jordanian royalty was a good one over in Jordan: when we got there on stage was like it was like “get my Halo back” I’m Beyonce! It was breathtaking and the Egyptian weddings, the Lebanese ones. All of those are just off the scale that you can’t even imagine. So we’re so lucky to get to do those ones. And sometimes there’s a few familiar faces in the audience and what not. So that’s always exciting. Yeah, we’d like to be discreet. We can’t tell you about those ones.
R: What’s your advice for couples that are in the process of booking a wedding band for their big day?
S: Find a bands that you love. Book them in as soon as you possibly can. I can’t speak for every band out there, but the bands that I manage we never ever double booked. Once that date is gone, it’s gone. We never take on another gig on the same day and even we don’t even nowadays, take on too many gigs. We want to dedicate more time to each client so it’s quite an exclusive thing ladies and gents.
My ultimate advice would be if you do find bands that you love, book them as soon as you can get them secured, get them nailed down for your date, because you don’t want to miss out. No matter what your budget is, set aside as much as you possibly can, for the entertainment. The band, the music, the entertainment. It’s something that guests go away reminisce forever.
Roberta knows perfectly the Italian way and proposed us venues, which were not in the conventional lists of locations. The vendors that Roberta introduced us were so professional and gave us a high level service…. the result is that the party was incredibly perfect!