If you’re planning a summer wedding this year, you probably already booked your venue, snapped up a photographer, discussed menus with the caterer, and started thinking about the flowers and napkins!
You also need to book your wedding entertainment – pronto! Leave it much longer, and the best cover bands, DJs, and other top wedding entertainers will be booked up for the popular dates in June, July and August 2019.
Here’s our step by step guide to help you choose superb musicians and entertainment for the key moments at your wedding, not just the party at the end!
Music at your wedding ceremony
Whether you’re having a traditional church wedding, a civil wedding in a registry office or licensed premises, or civil partnership ceremony, live music always make it more memorable, more enjoyable and much more personal.
There are various point in any wedding or partnership service where you can enjoy live music.
- As your guests arrive and assemble for the ceremony. Many guests might have travelled a long distance, and allowed extra extra time for the traffic. So if there isn’t any, they could arrive quite early and need to feel welcomed and included! Live instrument music relaxes people and sets the mood – people will find it tricky / embarrassing to talk over someone singing at this stage.
- Live music as part of your wedding ceremony gives everyone the chance to join in, or sit back, relax and really enjoy the moment!
- In a formal church wedding service, you can have some suitable entrance music, sing a couple of hymns, and also include special songs for you both. Just bear in mind that in church, the presiding vicar or priest clergy will have the last say on what music is suitable. Generally this means it should be religious or express a suitable sentiment.
- A civil wedding ceremony (i.e. one that doesn’t take place in church) must not include any religious music or references to God. However, you can have almost any other type of music, from jazz to soul, either recorded or performed live. Your Registrar will probably need to check the suitability of your music choices.
- Music while you sign the register. This is an ideal opportunity to ‘fill the gap’ while you complete that all-important paperwork. You’d be surprised how long this can take! We reckon you need at least 10 minutes of music, with another number or two up your sleeve just in case. Most wedding musicians know this and will keep playing until the ink is dry! From gospel choirs to harpists, solo singers to saxophonists, there’s lots to choose from to surprise and still be in keeping with the occasion.
- Music as you depart. Walk out as spouse and spouse for the first time to your favourite song, music or track. Don’t plan too much as one or two songs or tracks are usually sufficient to get everyone outside, unless you do that long pause in the church doorway for photos, and that’s the only way out….
Your wedding drinks reception entertainment
Your wedding drinks reception is a chance for everyone to chat and catch up with a drink in hand, while you and the wedding party have your photographs taken. Let’s be honest, wedding photographers are not known for being time conscious at this point, so your photography session can run to some considerable length!
Keep your guests entertained and delighted with live entertainment as well as drinks and nibbles. For smaller rooms, you might an acoustic duo or trio playing favourite music in the background, but the choice is yours. You can always team up your personal favourite musical style with the nibbles. So if you want a German oompah band, serve beer, pretzels and sausages! Or have a mariachi band and service mini portions of Mexican street food!
Mobile, acoustic musicians have the added advantage that if the weather is good and your drinks reception is taking place outside, they can play, as they are not tied to the nearest 13 amp socket!
Your wedding breakfast entertainment
By the time you get to sit down and actually eat something, it’ll be well past breakfast! By this stage, everyone will be happy to sit and eat, so there really is no need for wall-to-wall entertainment throughout the meal. Indeed, guests might welcome the opportunity to sit down and have their starter and just talk to the people they are now sitting next to without having to shout over music. (They may not know each other, after all.)
If you have a lot of guests, it may take quite a considerable time for them to actually sit down. This is where a roving tabletop magician really comes into their own. They can entertain one table at a time until everybody’s seated, and then ‘disappear’ as the starter arrives.
Just to say that live entertainment while you’re actually eating very much divides your attention. You can’t concentrate on the delicious meal and a superb performance at the same time! So, if you want some entertainment during the meal, the best plan is to have a pause between the main course and pudding. Then you can amaze and delight guests with high energy, highly visual performances – Brazilian dancers, Riverdance group, marching bands, African acrobats, you name it! Ensure their performance is short and sweet, as you’ve still got the speeches to go, not to mention pudding, cake and coffee.
One way to keep everyone on track is to hire a professional toastmaster or Master of Ceremonies who can ensure everything runs to time. They can also be remarkably entertaining in their own right!
The post wedding, pre party gap
In most modern weddings, there is often a gap between the afternoon meal and the evening entertainment. If you’re not changing venues, this can be an odd time for guests to occupy themselves. So why not give them something to do, whether it’s a samba drumming workshop, an African dance lesson, the return of the tabletop magician for a session, or a professional children’s entertainer to keep the little ones amused while your guests flake out for a few minutes!
Your wedding party
As the evening guests arrive, you’ll want them to feel welcomed from the moment they arrive. So think about how they will enter your venue and provide some unexpected entertainment, from living statues to a fanfare of trumpeters! Once in your venue, set the mood with some fun stuff to do, from selfie stations to mixologists at a beach-themed bar, complete with steel band!
For your ‘headline;’ act, you really can have almost anything you like, from four piece covers bands to swing bands, jazz orchestras, soul bands, disco tribute acts, and yes, even a DJ! The only consideration (apart from budget) is how much room you have in the venue: you don’t want a full orchestra in a small room leaving no room to dance, for example. Then, leave them to it, while you kick off your shoes and have a great time with your new spouse, family, friends and guests.
Why not mark the ‘official’ end of the wedding celebrations with a midnight fireworks display or similar, so guests can head homewards or to their accommodation on a real highnote.
Help choosing your perfect wedding entertainment
So, take your time and browse through our extensive choice of talented wedding party bands and musicians here at Matters Musical. Click on their Profile pages to see and hear them in action. If you like what you see, add them to your Shortlist and send it to us with your dates, to check availability. Or call us with your requirements and ideas (even the crazy ones) and we’ll help make it happen for your special day.