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All you need to know about singers for weddings

2 wedding rings and flower - wedding singers

Make your wedding extra special with beautiful singing, from start to finish. Here’s our step by step guide to a wedding day filled with favourite songs!

Wedding morning

OK, you might not feel like singing first thing in the morning, yourself, but how about surprising your spouse to be with a serenade especially written for them, sung by a professional singer?

Just like the old-style ‘singing telegram’, a professional singer can arrive at your bride’s home or hotel to sing their praises whilst they have their hair and make-up done, or serenade the groom whilst he is waiting nervously at home in his smart wedding suit! Just make sure the best man or chief bridesmaid is in on the secret, otherwise the singer may be stuck on the doorstep…

Your wedding ceremony

If there’s one part of your whole wedding day where live singing is absolutely perfect, it’s your wedding ceremony. It doesn’t matter if it’s a formal service in a church, in a registry office or a licensed wedding venue such as a hotel, live singing always lifts the occasion to new heights.

If there’s one part of your whole wedding day where live singing is absolutely perfect, it’s your wedding ceremony. It doesn’t matter if it’s a formal service in a church, in a registry office or a licensed wedding venue such as a hotel, live singing always lifts the occasion to new heights.

All types of traditional wedding ceremonies have four key moments where live singing can really weave its magic.

  • As entrance music. Instead of organ music, have a choir or soloist sing you in! Take your time to walk from door to desk or alter, enjoying the singing and the happy smiles of friends and family.
  • During the service. Singing during a service doesn’t have to mean hymns! Why not have a moment when guests can just sit and enjoy a solo that means so much to both of you, to help calm the nerves and settle the guests before the formal part of the service.
  • During the signing of the register. This is the moment where the paperwork gets done, and it can take a surprisingly long time. A choir or soloist can delight and entertain your guests during this time with special songs that celebrate you as a couple while you sign on the line!
  • As you process out as a married couple or civil partners for the first time. Again, live singing adds to the sense of celebration and the start of a whole new chapter in your lives together.

Having an Indian wedding? See our article on Indian wedding musicians

What can a singer sing at a wedding ceremony?

Your choice of songs and music in general does depend on whether you are having:

  • A religious ceremony in a church
  • A civil wedding ceremony in a registry office or licensed venue
Church Weddings

For a church wedding, you can have almost any music you like so long as it is in keeping with the occasion – and your officiating clergy approves it. In practice, this usually means songs that won’t cause offence and hymns that people know and can sing along with.

The Roman Catholic church are more strict about non-religious songs than the Church of England, but it does vary considerably from church to church, and on the format of the wedding service itself. Always consult your vicar/priest/clergy first before setting your heart on a particular song or hymn.

Civil weddings

The main rule for civil wedding ceremonies is that sung music should not be religious or indeed mention God. So, you cannot have hymns at a civil wedding ceremony. However, you can have almost any other music, again so long as it is in keeping with the spirit of the occasion.

Church weddings: choir or soloist?

Many couples assume that if they are in a church and the service includes hymns, they need the church choir. This simply isn’t the case. A solo classical singer’s voice will easily carry throughout the church to lead the singing with a confident vocal line everyone can join in with. The same applies to a small, professional gospel choir or quartet of singers.

The other advantage of professional wedding singers is that they are available! It’s actually quite difficult to actually book a church choir if your wedding isn’t at the weekends, as some of the members are only available to sing on Sundays for services. This often leaves a smaller choir for other occasions, who may not have the best singers in it either…

Professional singers and choirs generally produce a much better quality and volume of sound, ideal for filling churches with your favourite music! They can also learn and possibly even arrange your choice of songs much more quickly and easily than a church choir who might only meet once a week.

Civil weddings: singers and sound

Civil weddings are more likely to take place in a much smaller space than a church wedding. So, a solo singer will easily be sufficient to fill a room with glorious singing, as will a small choir or group of singers. What you won’t want (or need) is a big choir that takes up half the room laving less space for your guests, or a singer with a big backing band to accompany them – save them for later!

Wedding singers at your drinks reception

After your wedding ceremony, your guests will probably move on to enjoy a glass of something refreshing at your drinks reception while you and your families have photographs taken. This is the point where people will want to catch up with old friends, have a chat and relax a little. It’s also the perfect time to have live music playing gently, to create a lovely atmosphere and provide something to listen to for those who may not know everyone else present.

Please note the word, ‘gently’! Loud music will only make people have to speak louder to be heard. This is particularly true of live singers, as a person talking will have to talk louder than the singer to get their words heard rather than the song lyrics. The smaller the room, the most intrusive a singer will become.

What works best is an acoustic duo or trio that might include a vocalist, but is equally effective without. On the whole, classical singers such as opera singers are too dominant in terms of sound, as indeed are singing groups that rely on amplification. A capella singers such as barbershop quartets are terrific fun, but even they require a certain level of quiet in order to hear themselves sing and keep in close harmony.

If your drinks reception is to be held outside, on a lawn or in a marquee, then certainly you can “pump up the volume” a bit. However, save your big party sounds for the big evening party!

Using your singers to the max

One great feature of professional signers is that they can be remarkably flexible. The same singer who sang so beautifully whilst your signed the register could probably also entertain (gently!) with their own pianist at your drinks reception.

Equally, the acoustic trio that performed at your drinks reception could actually be the core o a larger party band that play at your wedding party! “Doubling-up” is more cost-effective as it’s time-efficient for the performers, and reduces the amount of performers travelling to your wedding.

Do remember, however, that singers are not CDs – they need comfort breaks, food, water and a rest whilst you have your wedding breakfast! Talking of which…

Singers at your wedding breakfast

At this point, we’d like to point out that you do not need wall-to-wall music/entertainment at your wedding. For many, particularly the older generations, the fun part of weddings is chatting to friends, family and relatives they simply haven’t seen for ages. So, during the meal itself, they probably won’t need much in the way of entertainment. They will also have a lovely meal to enjoy, and the chance to sit back afterwards and enjoy the speeches.

If you would like live music, again stick to the ‘gently’ principle. Also bear in mind that live music at this stage will be heard but not watched. You simply can’t watch a show whilst gleefully tucking into your dinner, unless you want ti down the front of your finest frock or smartest suit. Most wedding singers fully appreciate that they are there a background music, but do be aware that some will not wish to sing whilst people eat.

Of course, the exception to this are the surprise singing waiters/ firemen/cooks acts that suddenly turn the tables and reveal themselves not a staff but superb singers or dancers. Always entertaining and enjoyable, they help inject some comedy too and something for people to chat about afterwards if they have run out of small talk by this stage!

Singers at your wedding party

Your wedding evening party is the time to book the best live bands with the best vocalists and really let your hair down! From swing bands with RatPack crooners to 70s party bands with stand-out singers, classic pop combos to contemporary 4 piece covers bands, there is a live wedding band that can keep the dance floor filled and the hits flowing all night.>

Or perhaps you’d prefer something different for your guests to enjoy, from infectiously enthusiastic South African singers to Brazilian dancers and samba bands. Make your wedding stand out with global music specialists, or enjoy the sounds of your homeland for your special day.

At Matters Musical, we’ve got superb singers and musicians from almost every country in the world from Algeria to Zimbabwe, China to Peru, Japan to Senegal! We’ve also got specialist wedding musicians including Turkish Wedding Zaffa bands and Indian singers for Hindi weddings.

Still not sure which singers to book?

Just call us with your requirements and we’ll help you choose stunning singers and band for your special day from our roster of over 400 acts.