Having recently had to deal with this exact issue, we feel all our clients should be aware of sound limiters at venues and what that means. If you are planning a wedding or a party and want a live band, you must ask the venue if they have a sound limiter and if so, let the band know BEFORE you lay down a deposit for that venue. It could be the difference between live or recorded music. They should be able to tell you if they can play at that level.
Sound limiters are basically special microphones that are connected to the electricity circuit in the venue. They will be set at a certain decibel level and if the sound goes above that level, the electricity will cut out. This means all amps, PAs, lights, keyboards etc will cut out. Not only is this annoying, affects the performance and dampens the mood, but it also can be extremely damaging to a bands equipment if it is just cut off, without being shut down properly. This is why most bands hate sound limiters.
Recently, we were informed that a gig we were booked for had a sound limiter of 92dB and I had to explain that there was no way that we would be able to play. It would be unfair of us to take the money, turn up, set up, start to play and then as soon as the electricity cut out, refuse or not be able to play any more. If the limiter is tripped 2 or 3 times, the electricity could be out for an hour.
Here is a useful guide to sound limiters, courtesy of Alive Network:
You can see that an average band works above 100dB, so 92dB is never going to happen - particularly not for us. We are louder than an average band! Even if we turned everything down to comically low levels, the drum kit itself could set off the limiter at that level, or even the crowd clapping.
There are options - a jazz band, or acoustic set may be OK with a 92dB limiter, but if you wanna book Permageddon - you will need something in excess of 100dB. Or ideally, no limiter at all.