Choosing Live Music for Your Wedding Reception |

Choosing Live Music for Your Wedding Reception

In those moments just after your wedding ceremony, when you’re enjoying your first sip of champagne as a married couple, nothing sets an atmosphere quite like live music. Whether you decide on an acoustic duo, jazz band, steel pan band or string quartet, choosing live music for your wedding reception can keep everyone feeling relaxed and floating on air.

Live Music for Your Wedding |


Not only does live music add another element of sophistication to the day, the acts can provide a great visual aspect. You might well be swept away for photos during this time, so drinks reception music is perfect for filling gaps and leaving guests feeling entertained and looked after.

Function Central have put together a few recommendations and things to consider when booking your wedding drinks reception live music.

Live Music for Your Wedding |


In summer, many couples opt for a drinks reception in the open air. For a traditional English country garden affair, your guests can catch up, sip a Pimms and listen to a jazz band. Roaming acts such as a steel pan duo or dixieland trio (clarinet; banjo; sousaphone) create a joyful and energetic atmosphere and usually don’t require power, making them a practical choice for outdoor receptions. But don’t forget to provide a canopy for coverage to protect equipment from the rays or rain.

Live Music for Your Wedding |

Song choices and requests

Live music for drinks receptions is all about ambience. It’s too early in the day for full-on party music, but it doesn’t mean acoustic covers of pop songs won’t go down a treat and get guests tapping their feet. It can be tempting to request all your favourite songs, but bands will usually know which ones will flow well. Plus, you’ll be too busy with photos and catching up with guests to know if they’ve played your favourite Ed Sheeran number or not. This is one part of the day you don’t need to make detailed plans for – all you need to do is choose your favourite act and let them do the work.

Live Music for Your Wedding |

How many acts?

While one live music act is enough for most weddings, if you’ve got a truly extravagant affair with over several hundred guests, you might be able to have a couple of bands in different areas. This works particularly well for venues with several rooms or outdoor receptions where sound won’t travel as far. And it also means you can indulge your guests with music to suit different tastes. Perhaps a jazz pianist in one corner and a folk duo in another? Or if you’re going for something very traditional, a string quartet can add a sophisticated touch.

Live Music for Your Wedding |

Make the most of your evening band

If you’ve booked an evening wedding band, the obvious thing to do is ask players to perform during the day too. This will save you time and money and most musicians are happy to arrive earlier for an additional fee – which will usually be less than hiring a separate act entirely.

Professional function musicians will have a wide and varied repertoire and can adapt to suit your tastes and the tone of the afternoon. The guitarist in your evening band probably plays acoustic guitar too, and even if you have a hardcore rock singer, it’s worth asking if they know some more chilled out numbers. Just make sure you consider what amplification they might need, whether they need to move it to a different venue for the evening, and how much earlier they should arrive.

Live Music for Your Wedding |

Speak to an agent

If you’re considering the options for your wedding drinks reception music, speak to a live music agency such as Function Central to discuss what would work best to suit your tastes and the event. They can provide you with lots of experienced acts who won’t just perform for you, they’ll give you a full professional service – from timely arrival and great equipment to the necessary insurance and PLI. And of course, when you book with an agency, they’ll be on hand on the day to help with any last minute arrangements or changes – and should there be any unforeseen hitches, they can provide another act, so your day runs smoothly.

For more information please visit Function Central.



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