Making Memories with Live Music

Written by    Last updated: July 17, 2014

Choosing the entertainment for your wedding can easily be left to the last minute, what with more seemingly important matters to contend with. But live music can really transform a party into a truly special occasion and provide a soundtrack to many happy memories; just a snippet of a song can transport us back to a special time in our lives. Here is your guide on the perfect live music by Knees Up Agency.

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Picking the right band to play at your wedding can also be quite daunting, especially when faced with so many choices. This guide aims to suggest to you a range of options based on placement, band lineup and style, from the popular to the slightly more eccentric.

Instrumental

Instrumental acts are perfect for your wedding ceremony or breakfast because they naturally lend themselves to being background music, allowing the guests to chat amongst themselves without feeling distracted or that they are being rude by ignoring the band.

Popular choices tend to lean towards the jazz or classical genres and range in size from a single pianist, saxophonist or harpist, right up to a jazz or string quartet. However, a swingin’ gypsy jazz duo, or even a Caribbean steel band (summer vibes!) can provide a fun alternative.

Acoustic/Solo/Duo

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There are many acts that will keep your guests entertained whilst saving on space and volume, such as live vocalists accompanied by backing tracks, piano or acoustic guitar. As with most bands, acoustic lineups can often be expanded from solo or duo to trio, fourpiece and beyond, and cover a wide repertoire to keep everybody happy.

Most party bands will offer a smaller (ergo, less expensive) acoustic lineup too, but be warned that an acoustic set tends to feel much more laidback than a full band due to the nature of the sound. This will certainly suit your drinks reception, but if it’s a party atmosphere for your evening reception you’re after, be sure to make sure there’s a percussionist to drive the beat.

There are a great variety of styles of acoustic act out there, from jazz to contemporary pop, but there are other options that were born acoustic and are just as likely to have you tapping your toes. How about a classic ceilidh or folk band, or even a country bluegrass group?

Vintage/Jazz

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Recently, an increasing number of couples seem to be seeking a vintage twist to their big day. Whether you’re going all out with a theme or are looking for just a hint of yesteryear, 40s/50sstyle vocal groups are a growing trend and are a fabulous way of lending a little retro glamour to your drinks reception. But for a bigger, bolder and brassier oldschool sound to carry you through the night, the only way is a hotsteppin’ big band.

Party Band

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When you hear the term “wedding entertainment”, this is the kind of act most people will naturally think of; a covers band complete with drums, guitars and vocals, maybe even keyboards and horns if space (and budget!) permits. There is such a huge array of talented musicians out there that you will almost certainly be able to find “the one”; that is, the perfect band for your special day.

To swiftly narrow down the choices, first identify what kind of music it is you like and want to hear on your big day Disco? Motown soul? Death metal?! Next, it helps to think about what is going to get everybody up and dancing/shaking those things/headbanging, as that is what the evening ‘do’ is all about, after all (NB if you don’t give a monkey’s and all you want to do is sing along to Abba all night, see below. Why not, it’s your wedding after all). Finally, think about the lineup; would you prefer a male or female vocalist? Have you got a thing for keyboards? Will there be enough space for the 8 piece horn section? There is a lot to think about, but don’t panic; most bands will have a wide repertoire of crowd pleasers which will see everybody having a good time, and who will also be happy to learn and play your first dance and one or two requests too by prearrangement.

Tribute Band

If your, your partner’s or your guests’ taste in music is a little more specific (see Abba comment above), then perhaps a tribute band is for you. Although a tribute band is usually considered to be an act that aims to replicate a specific band (e.g. Abba, the Beatles), this term can also be applied a little more loosely, to cover a genre (e.g. rock ’n’ roll) or a decade (e.g. the 80s) too.

Original band

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For quirky, cool and, ahem, original entertainment, why not consider hiring your favourite local band? Not only is this a great way to stand out from the wedding crowd, you will be supporting the up-and-coming stars of tomorrow, giving them a chance to gain new fans and maybe even sell some CDs a hefty dose of feel-good factor all round. Plus when they do finally hit the big time, you can say that you had [insert band name here] play at your wedding reception before they were famous. That’s pretty cool. Just be sure to head down to one of their live gigs to check them out first!

DJ

Real Wedding Disco DJ Wedding ReceptionFrom the top, clockwise: Trevor and Vickie’s Magical Christmas WeddingLyndsey and Mark’s Perfect Diamonds and Pearls May WeddingDiana and Richard Fun Festival Wedding, and Vicky and Martin’s Vintage Tea Party.

Can’t make up your mind? Want all of the elements described above but can’t really afford to splash out on 3 different acts? A DJ can offer a much wider repertoire to suit all manner of tastes, and will probably be more accommodating to requests. DJs can also be fantastic in addition to your live act because they can play in between their sets and then later into the night, ensuring the party never stops. Make sure you discuss this with both the DJ and the band prior to the event, so they can make sure everything runs smoothly. Finally, something to remember; music can be used to enhance an atmosphere and as the backdrop to a showreel of memories.

Whatever act you end up choosing, the most important thing is that you choose the act that you both will enjoy and that makes the day feel extra special for you.

Have a happy wedding day!

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Are you looking for a wedding entertainment supplier? Check out our directory!

And don’t forget that you can discuss this topic and more with hundreds of brides in the Confetti forums!

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