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Summer weddings: how to match the mood, the music and the location

Attending a wedding this summer? What are you going to wear? We’ve put together some top tips on outfits to suit all types of weddings for summer 2019

Now, we know you don’t come to Matters Musical for your fashion tips (usually), but there is method in our madness. With the growing trend for wedding entertainment to be more interactive, and the rise of themed weddings, as a guest you need an outfit that complements the setting and the occasion.

What to wear to which wedding

We’ve taken apart the on-trend types of weddings (and wedding entertainment) to give you the low down on what to wear as a wedding guest, to stay smart and comfortable from start to finish. We’ve also included tips on what wedding entertainment to provide if you’re the soon-to-be-spouse in charge.

Outdoor weddings

Your would have thought your first consideration should be weather. 

Not according to top New York stylist Gloria Cospito, who says: 

“An outdoor venue was chosen for a reason — to showcase a beautiful view or landscape. Why try to compete?”

She has a point! We have some of the most glorious countryside and iconic views in the world here in the UK, and we should celebrate that both in attire and music. At an outdoor wedding, layers are key. Start with a pretty base outfit in floral-inspired hues, then add appropriate layers to cope with hot sun, cool winds, light showers, etc. Remember, it’s easier to add a light layer such as a jacket or shrug during a wedding ceremony than try to strip off a too-hit base outfit! The same applies once the dancing starts too.

Don’t let your wedding entertainment fight the landscape either. For outside drinks receptions or ceremonies, keep the style light, acoustic, classical harmonious for manicured landscapes. Or for rugged scenery, consider music with a little more edge and a local flavour.

Garden weddings

What’s the difference between an outdoor wedding and a garden wedding? A sense of intimacy, inclusion and closeness to nature. 

Celebrity stylist Kimmie Smith suggests that “A garden wedding is perfect for sunset hues, jewel tones or florals.” So, go for pastels with pops of colour, whether accessories or footwear. Talking of which, don’t wear high stiletto heels; you’ll probably sink into the lawn or get stuck in gaps in the patio paving. And definitely don’t wear shoes that can’t get wet…

Alternatively bring the garden inside with the hot trend for hanging flower decorations. less formal than set table pieces, these can turn any venue into hanging gardens. (Check out the images at Wedding Forward)

“Sunset hues, jewel tones or florals” rather sets the tone for the music for your garden wedding too, from Caribbean steel band sunshine to innovative, unusual duos that surprise and delight. Also consider three or four piece cover bands that are compact in format, and who don’t equate having fun with turning up the volume to 11.

Marquee weddings

Rule no1 as a guest – try not to choose an outfit that matches the swagging. Most wedding marquees have acres of swagging, the elegant flounces and swirls of cloth that decorate roof and walls and soften the foursquare lines of the average marquee. Make sure you stand out in a classic suit in a subtle hue, or a patterned dress that gently says, “I’m here”.  

Wedding planners love flouncy swagging, but musicians hate it for one good reason; swags absorb sound like a over-efficient sponge. In addition, on a hot day the sides of the marquee will be flung open so the sound that isn;t absorbed promptly disappears out into the air. Then if it rains (and we sincerely hope it won’t), you’ve the added bonus of rain noise on a plastic roof to be heard over.  

So, when planning a wedding marquee reception and party, don’t be afraid to ask your musicians/band/act what level of amplification they will bring, or might require. If in doubt, go for the larger option; the band can always turn it down. 

Please also provide a microphone and PA for speeches and announcements unless he father of the bride is a professional town crier or similar. Nerves make people mumble. If you’re not at a wedding hotel or venue with this provided, or have kit of your own, your wedding party band may be able to help with this if you ask in advance. 

The essential accessory for a marquee wedding as a guest? A folding umbrella. Good for shade, light showers, fits in a handbag/manbag and makes you lots of friends in the queue for the outside loos…

Black tie / formal weddings

Gents (and indeed ladies), this is your opportunity to get the waistcoat of your dreams! Go for bright bold colours, including living coral, the colour of the season. (Yes, you can pull it off!) Also check if black tie really means black TIE or just bow tie; with a bow tie, there are lots of opportunities to make a splash. And please gents, get a real bow tie that you tie yourself – so cool when draped around the neck a la James Bond!

Ladies, think bold but versatile, so you can still be cool and comfortable on the dance floor as you were at the wedding ceremony itself. Slip in a pair of dancing shoes into your handbag or car boot – nobody is going to care what’s on your feet after the party starts and you’re throwing those shapes like a Spice Girl on tour!

If you’re the happy couple organising the wedding ents, reflect the style and class of your formal wedding in your entertainment by pushing the budget beyond a four piece band. Go for a full swing orchestra, a 1970s glam party band with brass section, or an amazing salsa band that also teaches guests moves. The more interactive, the better, allowing the formality of the daytime to blend into a party night to remember. 

Wedding entertainment planning for free

At Matters Musical, we want to hear your plans for your wedding entertainment. We love to listen to your themes, dreams, hopes and crazy notions, and turn them into musical reality.  So, call us to discuss your wedding entertainment, and we’ll put together a bespoke package of outstanding musicians and bands to thrill, engage and delight throughout your special day. It won’t cost you a bean for our advice and suggestions.