A Caribbean steel pan band is the perfect choice for a beach wedding. What could be better than the happy-go-lucky holiday steel pan vibe to set the scene and get an informal wedding celebration off to a flying start? Read More
A Caribbean steel pan band is the perfect choice for a beach wedding. What could be better than the happy-go-lucky holiday steel pan vibe to set the scene and get an informal wedding celebration off to a flying start? Read More
Commanding a delightful vantage-point above the River Severn in Gloucestershire, with outstanding views across to the Black Mountains in Wales, Old Down Manor is a tastefully-restored Victorian country house that presents a tranquil and idyllic setting for a sophisticated wedding celebration.
As a recommended supplier, Hop Till You Drop Wedding Music Agency offers a special bespoke service to Old Down Manor’s brides and grooms. Ring Jennie for expert technical advice about how to put together the most appropriate and cost-effective musical package to enhance your forthcoming wedding celebrations. HTYD offers a special 10% discount to couples marrying at Old Down Manor.
Live music provides a brilliant way to stamp your individual personality on your special day. Whether you go for Ritzy glamour with vintage swing jazz, elegant formality with classical music, country-style informality with traditional folk music, perhaps choose the exotic route with the sounds of world music or dance the night away to a selection of all-time pop classics, all these options and more are available.
There’s many ways to jazz it up. New Orleans-style Dixieland Trad Jazz creates a carnival atmosphere at your post-ceremony drinks reception. It’s a perfect way to liven up your canapés and champagne on the terrace while the photographer clicks away. Listen to The Dixieland Jazzmen in action:-
Dixieland Jazzmen play Pasadena
Dixieland Jazzmen play Pennies From Heaven
Dixieland Jazzmen play Polly’s Drag
Find out more about booking The Dixieland Jazzmen for your wedding
Prefer the more suave and sophisticated strains of luxurious and glamorous Swing Jazz? 45th Street Swing can provide a trio to support the dulcet tones of Ratpack crooner James Lambert. Watch James and the guys performing ‘Let’s Get Lost’:-
Find out more about booking 45th Street Swing for your wedding
Latin Jazz introduces you to the sultry rhythms of South America. If ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ with a Bossa beat is your bag, Sirius B gives you salsa, Brazilian-style. The band personnel can be tailored to produce exactly the right sound in the Orangery as night falls.
Listen to Sirius B performing Latin Jazz classics:-
Sirius B plays Batucada
Sirius B plays Girl From Ipanema
Sirius B plays Mais Que Nada
Find out more about booking Sirius B for your wedding
Holding your drinks reception in the imposing hallway? A string quartet or harpist will enhance the sweeping elegance of the surroundings and will add a light-hearted, joyful sense of celebration to the event. Here’s The Classic String Quartet performing Purcell’s famous ‘Rondo’:-
Find out more about booking The Classic String Quartet for your wedding
In the 21st century, the world has become a very small place. Lend your celebration an unusual and original twist by bringing the world to your wedding through music.
When Western pop and jazz encountered the traditional music of India, Bollywood music was born. Bollywood Grooves bring you an unusual and exotic way to enliven your drinks reception. See and hear the band in action below:-
Find out more about booking Bollywood Grooves for your wedding
Bring sunshine and carnival magic to your wedding with a Caribbean Steel Band. Whatever the weather, your guests will be smiling! The Rainbow Steel Band can readily provide a duo or trio to perform for you. Watch the band perform at The Royal Bath and West Show:-
Find out more about booking The Rainbow Steel Band for your wedding
Prefer to party in traditional English, Scottish or Irish style? Jigs and reels combined with tried-and-tested Irish favourites is the perfect way to break the ice and get the party going.
Want organised dancing, ceilidh or barndance style? No worries! The band will bring a specialist dance-caller, who will tailor the steps and moves to fit the available space in the Orangery. Here’s Brand of Fire Ceilidh Band wowing the crowd during Cheltenham Gold Cup Week:-
Find out more about booking Brand of Fire Ceilidh Band for your wedding
If pop party favourites are what you’re after, then here’s a couple of hip-gyrating options that will easily fit in the space and won’t necessarily break the bank.
An acoustic duo provides an unusual take on the pop-mix formula. Great for performing atmospheric background music during the earlier stages of the day, The Alfie Kingston Duo will also get the crowd going at your evening celebration. Here they are, doing just that:-
Find out more about booking The Alfie Kingston Duo for your wedding
Of course, if you really want the full-on Soul / Funk experience, Cheltenham band Firefly offers a flexible setup which can be adapted to suit the space available in the Orangery and which will also fit any budget. Available from a trio to a full eight-piece complete with horn section, these guys have the experience and know-how to keep the dancefloor full all through the evening. Watch Firefly in action:-
Find out more about booking Firefly for your wedding
Live music will enliven the atmosphere at your evening party and make it a truly memorable occasion. Salsa and samba to your heart’s content with a Latin-American Jazz band, swing your partner round and round in an old-fashioned country barndance or ceilidh, or dance the night away to a well-chosen medley of iconic pop favourites from the ’50s to the present day.
Your wedding is anticipated to be the most special day in your life, and naturally the ceremony is central to it. Irrespective of whether you are planning to marry during a church service or elsewhere in a civil ceremony, live music can play a significant role in creating a real sense of occasion.
Consider carefully how much and at which points before, during and after the ceremony you would like to have music played or sung. Talk to the vicar or registrar to help establish where and when music would be most appropriate, and take advice from the musicians who will be performing, as their experience in these matters may be invaluable.
Find out more about booking live musicians for your wedding.
To settle the atmosphere of growing anticipation during the anxious minutes as the guests assemble in expectation of the (fashionably late) arrival of the bridal party, a selection of calm, contemplative music will be a welcome distraction, soothing nerves and disguising coughs and whispers.
At a given signal, a fanfare and march are perfect to announce the bridal party and accompany their procession up the aisle. Perhaps you have a special piece in mind for this – discuss possibilities with the musicians beforehand, and don’t forget to inform the vicar or registrar of your choice, as there may be certain restrictions as to what music is deemed suitable.
In a typical C of E marriage service, hymns or psalms (and occasionally anthems) are sung as a regular part of proceedings. In a civil ceremony where religious music is not permitted, instrumental items or secular songs can be effectively substituted at corresponding points.
Music is appropriate in all cases during the interlude for the signing of the marriage register (which often takes quite a few minutes) before another fanfare-like piece can triumphantly announce the newlyweds as they are presented to their family and friends as man and wife.
The above-mentioned fanfare-like piece can be quite pivotal, as it simultaneously signals the end of the religious and/or legal aspects of proceedings and the beginning of the informal, celebratory elements of the occasion.
Where possible, it would be an excellent idea for the musicians to relocate outside (weather permitting) in order to sustain the cheerful atmosphere and entertain your guests with a further selection of light-hearted music while champagne is sipped and the photographs are taken.
Live music can play an important central role in defining, accompanying and announcing the various unfolding stages of a wedding before, during and after the actual ceremony.
Consult with the musicians in order to establish where and when you want music to be performed, and discuss your choice of musical items with the vicar or registrar to make sure of their approval.
If appropriate and logistically feasible, ask the musicians to stay on after the ceremony to entertain your guests for a while during the drinks reception. Above all, enjoy your wedding, enjoy the atmosphere, and enjoy the music!
Most people will have attended weddings or parties where a live band has performed as part of the evening’s entertainment. It’s something that’s easy to take for granted, especially when everything went smoothly and the celebration was a huge success, with the music contributing much to proceedings.
Now it’s your turn to organise the live musical entertainment for your very own wedding reception. How do you set about it, and what can you reasonably expect from the wedding band?
Communication is the key – discuss everything in detail with the bandleader well in advance so everyone is clear about the performance requirements and other logistical aspects of the event.
Find out more about booking a live band for your wedding.
Experienced wedding musicians tend to work around a basic outline of the evening’s proceedings when planning each performance, tailoring their sets to suit the timescale and other constrictions. In terms of performance duration, most bands will be happy to play for 2 hours or perhaps more within a 4-hour period, split into 2 or 3 sets with breaks in between, but this is generally negotiable with the bandleader.
Professional bands usually come fully equipped with PA, and some can supply lighting rigs and a dancefloor if required, so all they will need is a reliable power source and enough space for them to set up and perform – a stage is always welcome.
In terms of dress, most bands have a clear idea of what they are comfortable wearing for performances; depending on the style of music they play, some may have a set uniform or even characteristic costumes. However, most musicians will be happy to fit in with any dresscode you require, so once again, discuss this with the bandleader beforehand.
The bandleader will be able to advise how long it will take the musicians to set up equipment and prepare for their performance, and how much room they will need to operate effectively. This varies according to the type of music and the size of the band – an acoustic ensemble such as a string quartet will only need a few minutes to prepare and tune up, whereas a large pop or swing jazz outfit with full PA and lights might require a couple of hours, and a lot more room.
In terms of repertoire, most bands will be happy to tailor their setlist to accommodate reasonable requirements. Again, speak with the bandleader about any specific requests you may have, for instance, the choice of music for the First Dance. Given enough time, many bands will be prepared to learn a special piece for your special occasion.
A specialist wedding music agency will be able to give invaluable and pertinent advice on the specific style of music you choose, as well as recommending a comprehensive range of professional bands in your area or from further afield.
Above all, they will be able to offer some level of guarantee of the performance quality and reliability of the musicians you engage – it is in their interest to represent or recommend only high-quality professionals. Set out in a legal contract between you and the bandleader, this affords you extra security and peace of mind.
Although generally working from a standardised performance plan, most bands will be happy to adapt this to fit in with your specific requirements wherever possible, including details of timings, dresscode and repertoire. The key to successful communication is your contact with the bandleader, who will be able to advise and negotiate on all aspects relating to the band’s performance.
A specialist wedding music agency is well-placed to offer general advice and expert guidance in your choice of musicians, and can reasonably guarantee a high standard of performance supported by a professional contract, so you can relax in confident anticipation of a memorable highlight of your wedding celebration party.
Live musical performance is generally welcomed during wedding ceremonies in a church or chapel, as well as at the majority of civil ceremony venues. Organ, choir, string quartet, brass ensemble, harpist, guitarist, pianist, vocalist, flautist; just some of the potential options available to perform live music suitable for a marriage ceremony.
Find out more about booking Live music for your wedding ceremony.
Discuss your ceremony music at an early stage with the vicar or registrar, who will be able to advise on what is or is not permissible, or indeed logistically viable. Remember that they will naturally make the final decisions in such matters, so ensure everything is agreed beforehand.
Music played before the ceremony will help to settle your guests and set an atmosphere of anticipation. The bridal procession is most often announced with a special slow march, the lull in proceedings while the register is signed and witnessed can be wiled away with a suitably contemplative piece, and a joyful recessional march makes an effective climax as the newlyweds are received by their family and friends.
Look carefully at the physical limitations of your chosen venue, be it a church, registry office or other independent location. It is usually possible to arrange for live music to be performed at most venues, although you may need to call on your powers of persuasion when dealing with a registry office! However, in most locations it is limitations of space that will be the decisive factor, depending on the number of musicians you are ideally planning to deploy.
For a church service, it would be advisable to choose acoustic musicians, for instance a string quartet or harpist, as a readily available power source may not be available for instruments requiring amplification. Other locations should generally be less problematic, but space might remain an issue.
The golden rule to always bear in mind is that any music performed as part of a church service should be religious in nature and content, but conversely, music of a specifically religious nature is not admissible in a civil ceremony. As with most regulations, there are grey areas, and much depends on their strict or otherwise interpretation. Discuss your ideal choices of music with the vicar or registrar – it’s up to them to make the final decision on anything contentious.
Above all, choose music that suits the ambience of your surroundings – ‘Pie Jesu’ or ‘Stabat Mater’ would be equally inappropriate in a posh hotel as ‘Star Wars’ or ‘Match Of The Day’ would be in a church!
It is important to be fully aware of any potential restrictions on live music during your marriage ceremony, perhaps even before you finalise your choice of venue. Try to choose music appropriate to the location that can be effectively performed by your chosen musicians, and discuss your selections in detail with the vicar, registrar or venue manager so everyone is in the picture.
So long as certain guidelines are observed and logistics allow, it should easily be possible to have live music performed during your wedding ceremony.
Superb technical ability combines with sensitive musicality and an unrivalled repertoire to produce a fashionable presentation of light classical music at its finest.
A highly-trained group of young Guildhall graduates forms the central pool of this lively ensemble, who constantly seek to expand their repertoire to include the most up-to-date and unusual musical genres and styles.
Find out more about booking Mancini String Quartet for your wedding.
The breadth and range of the Mancini repertoire is quite staggering. Hardly a single musical genre escapes their perusal, resulting in some very interesting fusions and adaptations. Modern pop, recent chart-toppers and West End hits sit side by side with iconic Movie and TV themes, supported by the more predictable light classical and swing jazz standards. This astonishing diversity of cross-genre performance from a sophisticated and stylish ensemble will win over the most fastidious of guests at a wedding ceremony or reception.
If you have a specific request that does not appear on their extensive playlist, for a modest additional fee the quartet will be happy to arrange and perform it specially for you – they relish a challenge!
The Mancini String Quartet pride themselves in the high quality of their musical performance; they also take great care in their immaculate presentation. The ensemble not only sounds great, it also looks every inch the part.
This carefully-crafted style-conscious approach to presentation results in a suave, sophisticated image to be further enhanced by their elegant, classy musical performance.
The individual musicians who together make up The Mancini String Quartet can boast a wealth of experience across a wide spectrum of musical performance. As well as working with top orchestras like the LPO, members regularly feature in recording sessions with Robbie Williams and other artists of similar international calibre. TV appearances and radio broadcasts make up much of their daytime work, with concerts and other engagements filling the evening schedule.
The Mancini String Quartet were invited to play at the celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Golden Jubilee, the City of London Festival, and performed at the official opening ceremony of the Millennium Bridge.
The Mancini String Quartet will add that intangible essence of class and sophistication to your wedding celebration. With their remarkable repertoire and impeccable presentation, the ensemble will help to set an appropriately elegant atmosphere and maintain a light-hearted sense of occasion, both at the ceremony and later at the reception.
A string quartet is an ideal alternative to a church organ to accompany the key elements of a traditional wedding ceremony, such as the bridal procession and the recessional march. The sumptuous sonorities of the combined tones of twin violins, viola and ’cello create a rich, dynamic, almost orchestral texture.
However, modern string quartets (especially those specialising in playing for weddings)don’t necessarily restrict their music-making to the purely classical ‘concert’ repertoire. In fact, the potential stylistic versatility of such an ensemble is quite astounding.
Find out more about booking a string quartet for your wedding.
In fact, it’s rather difficult to think of a single genre of mainstream Western music that, given skilful arrangement, cannot be successfully approached by a string quartet – with the obvious caveat that there are no vocals! The development of popular music throughout the 20th century has thrown up new challenges which can be met with witty, effective reworkings of rock’n’roll, swing jazz, popular musicals and chart hits.
A quick glance through the repertoire list of a wedding string quartet will reveal some surprising inclusions to go with the expected classical-leaning ‘standards’. If there’s a special item not appearing on the list that nevertheless you’d love to have performed at your wedding, ask the quartet leader if it’s possible (maybe for an additional fee) to prepare an arrangement of it – chances are they’ll give it their best shot!
Soft background music can greet your guests as they gather in readiness for the marriage ceremony, then a processional march to announce the bridal party. Further gentle pieces cover the interlude in proceedings while the register is signed, followed by a triumphal march as the newlyweds are presented to their guests.
But why stop there? The quartet could now relocate (if necessary) in order to entertain your guests with a selection of the less formal repertoire suggested above (or they could keep it more strictly classical if you wish) during the photography session and champagne reception that typically follows the conclusion of the ceremony.
String quartets are not only musically versatile, they are fully portable too, as their instruments are entirely acoustic. All they will require will be enough room to manoeuvre, sufficient light to read their music, 4 chairs and suitable shelter from the elements (rain, wind or hot sunlight) if performing outside. Of course, a modicum of light refreshment will rarely be refused!
If you’re looking to create an intimate, romantic atmosphere with more than a touch of class at your wedding ceremony and reception, a string quartet is the ideal ensemble to accompany proceedings. Unobtrusive, yet reassuringly underscoring an ambience of relaxed elegance, this versatile unit has stood the test of time over several centuries, and can consequently boast an unrivalled range of repertoire to match its unquestionable pedigree.
As with many aspects in the overall planning of a wedding, the music and entertainment should be programmed as soon as practically possible.
With the date set and the venue(s) confirmed, the guestlist shaping up and a clear plan evolving for the day as a whole, the earlier you begin plotting in the music for both the ceremony and the reception party, the more likely you will be able to source the ideal musicians for your celebration.
Find out more about booking a live band for your wedding reception.
There’s a kaleidoscopic range of different musical styles suitable for wedding entertainment – the problem is, choosing which will best match your particular style of celebration. Swing Jazz, Irish, Ceilidh or Barndance, Steel Band, Salsa or Samba, Klezmer or perhaps a Pop Covers Band – the list goes on.
You will probably want to choose a style of music that you and your partner personally enjoy, but remember to consider the inevitably varied musical tastes of your guests as well as the general atmospheric and entertainment aspects of the planned celebration party. Listen to music from different genres and weigh up the potential popularity of each before deciding which style(s) to investigate further.
If you haven’t planned this already, now is the time to think the whole evening through in detail. What time will the party actually begin? Allow plenty of time for speeches, photographs etc to over-run, as at most weddings this is almost invariably the case. What time will the party finish (for the majority of your guests, that is), and will there need to be a disco at the end for the absolute diehards? Are you planning an evening buffet? Will you want to cut the cake or toss the bouquet as focal points during the party?
Develop a rough overall timeline including these and other considerations before plotting them in around the main live musical entertainment.
Especially on popular dates like Saturdays in mid-summer, the best wedding musicians will tend to be snapped up well in advance, so you would be well-advised to get in early in order to secure their services. As soon as you have decided what style of entertainment you want, get out there and find the perfect band.
Even if you are planning your wedding outside of these most popular seasons – in winter, for example, or midweek – it’s still a good idea to have everything arranged as far in advance as is practical, so you have plenty of time in which to plan the evening’s festivities in greater detail.
Allow plenty of time to thoroughly research the available musicians, preferably in your local area. You should perhaps aim to make preliminary enquiries about the availability of shortlisted bands nine months to a year before your wedding, to be followed up by a confirmed booking soon afterwards when you have made your final choice. If you leave it much later than this, you run the risk of disappointment as all the best bands will already be booked.
Researching and sourcing live musical entertainment can be an exhaustive and time-consuming process. There are so many different options out there, making the right choice on instinct alone is a quite dizzying prospect.
Unless you are very sure not only of what you want but also of how and where to look, it may be a good idea to take professional advice from a specialist music agency. They are best placed to help you through any uncertainties regarding musical style or sourcing procedures, and will have a wide range of possibilities to offer in respect of your particular needs.
When planning your wedding celebration, start thinking about the live musical entertainment as soon as you’ve set the date. It takes longer than you might think to research all the available options, whittle them down to a preferred genre of music and then seek out the best musicians of that style in your area. So allow plenty of time in order to achieve the best result, and confirm your booking as early as possible. Then you can look forward to an exciting wedding party!
The intimacy of a private wedding is enhanced by elegant and enchanting music played on the harp. Its gentle, lilting sound provides the perfect backdrop to the exchange of vows and rings, and can also entertain guests both before and after the ceremony.
As a classical instrument, the harp commands a vast repertoire spanning several centuries of music, from Bach to Bacharach. In fact, the harp goes back a very long way indeed – the Greek epic poet Homer apparently entertained at weddings, accompanying his story-telling on the harp, nearly 3000 years ago!
Find out more about booking Harpists for weddings and parties.
The origins of the harp and its music are rooted in what we refer to nowadays as folk culture, long before music was written down or ‘composed’ in the way we understand it. The wider repertoire of the harp still draws on this time-honoured aural tradition, so that folk and popular musical culture is strongly represented in the broad spectrum of music available to the instrument.
Besides its huge versatility, the harp is an extremely elegant-looking instrument, and lends considerable visual class and cachet to any formal occasion. However, it’s when the harpist strikes up that the full appeal and charm of this most ancient of musical instruments becomes apparent.
It is common practice for harpists to offer a consultation before the wedding day so that the bride and groom can hear some suggested pieces before making their personal selection of ceremony music, as well as discussing more general musical requirements for the later stages of the day, where appropriate. This consultation usually takes place at the harpist’s address.
The majority of wedding harpists can present a wide and varied selection of music drawn from light classical pieces, Celtic and European folk tunes and arrangements of modern popular songs. This versatility makes the harp an ideal instrument to entertain guests after the ceremony is over, either at the champagne reception or during the formal meal.
The blissful, celestial sound of the harp lends an enchanting and ethereal quality to a wedding, either as part of a church service or in a civil ceremony. Its versatile span of repertoire appeals across a broad range of musical tastes, and the delicate rippling textures of its beautiful sound create a magical ambience to enhance a very special event.
For marrying couples for whom a church service is either not possible or not appropriate, a civil ceremony is the obvious alternative. However, the approved formula of the legal solemnisation of marriage at its most basic can seem a little impersonal and lacking in romance or a sense of tradition.
Creating a more personal, intimate atmosphere, always recognising the formality of the occasion yet lending a sense of joyful celebration to the proceedings, can be achieved in a number of ways. The introduction of live music is an extremely effective boost to the pervading ambience, and can be used not only to set the scene but also to punctuate and emphasise key points in the ceremony.
Find out more about Classical Ensembles: Professional party and wedding Bands to hire.
The discreet, formal sound of a string quartet is admirably suited to the solemnity of the marriage ceremony, and its vast available repertoire offers a tremendous variety of mood-enhancing music. From Bach through Beethoven and Brahms to Bartok, a treasure-trove of timeless classics is at these musicians’ fingertips.
Of course, to Bach can be added Bacharach, Beatles, Beyonce and beyond – many modern quartets offer a surprising range of more up-to-date popular items in their repertoire. All in all, it’s hugely adaptable; a life-affirming, happy, celebratory mixture.
The visual presence of a string quartet lends a certain gravitas to a marriage ceremony, even before proceedings proper have commenced. As the music begins, the event is transformed from the ordinary into a real occasion. Twin violins, viola and ‘cello combine to create a mellow sensation of well-being, underlining the solemnity of the event, sober yet never sombre.
As the wedding guests assemble, soft music plays in the background, setting an atmosphere of eager anticipation. A fanfare signals the arrival of the bridal party and accompanies their procession up the aisle. After the exchange of vows and rings, a suitably romantic piece is played during the signing of the register, followed by a triumphal march tune announcing the newlyweds to the world.
After the ceremony, the string quartet can serenade you and your guests during the informal drinks reception or while photographs are taken; as their instruments are acoustic and easily portable, relocation usually doesn’t present too much of a problem.
The live performance of music creates and maintains a stylish atmosphere and a sense of occasion before, during and after a wedding ceremony, be it in a cathedral or the local registry office. A string quartet, emanating traditional cachet combined with an unrivalled variety of repertoire, is an ideal musical ensemble to enhance any marriage celebration..