Bride and Groom Wedding Reception Dance by On Love And Photography | Confetti.co.uk

Wedding Entertainment Loved By You: Your Top 20 with Alive Network

With so much amazing entertainment to choose from, where do you begin shopping for the biggest celebration of your lives? To ease the process, Alive Network, the UK’s largest and best loved wedding entertainment agency,  have revealed the artists, styles and wedding songs most loved by brides and grooms over the last 12 months. This is wedding entertainment loved by you: your top 20.

Bride and Groom Wedding Reception Dance by On Love And Photography | Confetti.co.uk
Image by On Love And Photography

Top artists, top playlists, top styles: How to use this guide

Whether you’re shopping for an uber chilled classical ceremony, a magical drinks reception or a pumping party vibe with a twist, first check out the top 20 artist types that brides and grooms have booked and loved in the last year.

 

Next, hear the top wedding anthems chosen by you to help you with your playlist. Finally, browse a gorgeous edit of the Insta-worthy wedding styles you’re loving right now. Inspiration, sparked!

1. Live Bands

The Hot Shots Rock and Pop Function Band Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

They come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing wedding bands have in common? They will give you the best party of your lives! They’re energetic, high octane experts at reading your crowd and playing the songs that will keep everyone dancing all night long. Your band can offer a bespoke set of music that’s personal to you, and can even perform your special first-dance song, kicking off your happily-ever-after in true style.

Fancy an acoustic set as you take to the aisle or during your drinks reception? Many bands are flexible and can perform acoustically at other parts of your big day, usually offering better value – and less wedmin! – than hiring separate artists. Plus, many offer a free DJ service to keep your party pumping when they’re on their diet carbonated beverage break!

Whatever style and options you choose, they’ll guarantee a night you’ll remember for the rest of your long and happy lives together.

Serving suggestion:

Full line-up for your evening reception party

Low key acoustic sets for your ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast

You say:

“Where to start! A band is perfect to get a party atmosphere, get people dancing and make a good night a great one! Beyond good… they made our wedding perfect. As the Groom I didn’t leave the dancefloor and nor did all my friends. What a night. Thank you so much!”

Neil, Alive wedding client

2. Wedding Singers

Duette Classical Crossover Vocal Duo Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

You’ll be awestruck and amazed at the power of the human voice – it can be sublime, spiritual, and pure emotion. Performing anything from classical arias and musical hits to modern chart toppers – from Bach or Beyoncé to Ave Maria or Adele – they can tailor their sets to suit your wedding day, plus they can also perform with instrumentalists for a range of sounds.

Serving suggestion:

Ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast

You say:

“We were delighted with our singer’s magnificent performance; when she hit the high notes, we were all left with our mouths open – she was absolutely amazing. She rated in our book as the third most important person at our ceremony! It gave our day a tasteful, classical touch.”

Pamela & Simon, Alive wedding clients

3. Wedding Guitarists

Kelly Barnes Solo Singer Guitarist East Sussex Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Unplugged and acoustic or fully amped up, the sound of a wedding guitarist is soft, warm, romantic and heart-felt – it does something to your soul! A guitarist can bring an instantly laid-back vibe to your personal and intimate W-day celebrations, and strum all your fave tunes and love songs, from jazz, soul and classical to current chart tracks. Some guitarists also sing, or accompany a vocalist or other instrumentalist, so you can tailor the performance just for you.

Serving suggestion:

Ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast

You say:

“The song choices were lovely – we had a beautiful rendition of Here Comes the Sun. The whole appearance, voice and vibe were just what we wanted for our ceremony and everything was perfect! Plus all our guests commented on how lovely the singing and playing were.”

Shane, Alive wedding client

4. String Quartets

The Lancashire String Quartet Lancashire Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

String quartets bring sophistication and elegance to your wedding day, and they can turn their hands to a massive range of styles, from classical chamber music, or joyful jazz and flamboyant film themes, to gorgeous arrangements of modern chart hits. Think of your quartet striking up as you make your bridal entrance. Shivers!

Serving suggestion:

Ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast

You say:

“I wasn’t feeling too emotional until I walked down the staircase and I could hear the quartet echoing though the corridors… and I stopped and saw my grandad with a tear in his eye. As we were standing at the door to the ceremony room, I could hear the strings strike up with Bitter Sweet Symphony. I broke – I couldn’t stop crying.”

Verity, Alive wedding client

5. Wedding DJs

Anthony Parella DJ Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Bringing in our top five are wedding DJs. You’re loving them for your evening reception, and they crown the night with their totally tailored setlist to keep the momentum moving and the dancefloor packed. A great, professional DJ will know what’s working for your crowd to keep their energy high, but always working within your pre-selected faves and genre-specific sets. Whether you’re after amazing Ibiza anthems, RnB or indie sets, to a crescendo of full on party cheese, your DJ will have his fingers on your party’s pulse. Stat.

Serving suggestion:

Evening reception (fire pits, after parties, and party til dawn!)

You say:

“The dancefloor was filled all night! The chants for more went on for some time! He played everything from Kanye to Queen, and even threw in a Noughties hour just for us.”

Gemma, Alive wedding client

6. Pianists

Lee Reed Pianist Hertfordshire Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Timeless, romantic and ever so grand, piano music is mega-versatile; it can be uplifting one moment and slow and loving the next. A piano’s voice can be large and spectacular or tranquil and chilled – always cool and classy a pianist can give you exactly the right atmosphere at your big day’s big moments, and can perform a massive repertoire of music. Plus, some pianists can sing too, for an extra dimension to their performance.

Serving suggestion:

Ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast

You say:

“We asked our pianist to learn and perform a specific song for our ceremony… his rendition of that song had us both in tears (both during his rehearsal and the ceremony itself). We are so grateful that he took the time and effort to learn a new track for us… it exceeded our best expectations and absolutely made our day.”

Charlie, Alive wedding client

7. Jazz Bands & Ensembles

Bella and the Bourbon Boys Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

They’re lively, friendly and vivacious – perfect for those who want their wedding to sparkle too! Whether you pick a small group or a large jazz orchestra, performing traditional and Dixieland, swing, blues or modern jazz, you know it’s going to be totally swinging. Many bands will also perform quirky jazzy takes on contemporary classics, so you’ve no reason to stop your jazz hands from waving!

Serving suggestion:

All-rounders, these bands can play at your ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast and evening reception. Just remove members for a stripped-back lower-key performance, or add members for a full force headlining jazz party at your evening reception!

You say:

“They played for our welcome drinks, where the laid back jazz style worked really well. We added a male singer for the evening reception where they played lots of modern songs in a jazz style, which was perfect for the broad age range of our guests. They went above and beyond our expectations…”

Kirsty, Alive wedding client

8. Caricaturists

Draw A Crowd Caricatures Caricaturist Bedfordshire Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Wandering entertainment like caricaturists are a great way to get your guests warmed up and getting to know one another. Plus, they provide a fab little keepsake your guests will be delighted to take away, making wedding memories and keeping the smiles wide. Strike a pose!

Serving suggestion:

Drinks reception, wedding breakfast, evening reception

You say:

“Everybody LOVED their pictures!.”

Janine, Alive wedding client

“The talking point of my wedding reception!”

Sarika, Alive wedding client

9. Harpists

Jessica Louise Harpist Staffordshire Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Harps look so impressive, and give any track a timeless, ethereal quality you will love. Their sound is romantic and dream-like so, if you choose them for your ceremony, you’ll feel like you’re floating down the aisle!

Serving suggestion:

Wedding ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast

You say:

“I felt like a harpist was the right mix of entertainment with subtlety… a harpist just seemed beautiful and harmonious. I thought it would be a good fit for our wedding.”

Gemma, Alive wedding client

“We were very pleased with the performance… Everyone commented on how beautiful the harp sounded and loved the music choices which were played.”

Laura, Alive wedding client

10. Magicians

Luca Valentino Magician Staffordshire Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

As many guests from both sides of the family have never met each other before, performing close-up magic provides the perfect ice-breaker at a drinks reception!

Serving suggestion:

Drinks reception, wedding breakfast, evening reception

You say:

“[Our magician] was BRILLIANT. We had so many comments from our guests saying how incredible he was. He really added an extra element of fun to our wedding and all of the guests were so impressed with his amazing tricks. He was one of the most talked-about things at the wedding.”

Richard, Alive wedding client

11. Swing, Jive, and Rock n Roll

The Long Straws Rock & Pop Retro Rockabilly Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Swing, jive, and rock’n’roll bands are energetic, fun and lively, playing retro classic tracks from the ‘40s onwards, right up to current chart smashers with a vintage twist. Expect heavy rhythm with a double bass, piano, electric guitar, brass section and killer vocals. Sharp styles match their glamourous era-based rhythms – they’ll have you Lindyhopping, jump, jiving and wailing at your evening reception.

Serving suggestion:

Drinks reception, evening party

You say:

“The band’s vintage-modern vibe really helped create the perfect atmosphere and everyone danced til they dropped! We really wanted something a bit different that everyone could enjoy – we couldn’t be happier with our choice!”

Helen, Alive wedding client

12. Rat Pack Singers & Swing

Mr Bojangles Rat Pack & Swing Singer Essex Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Effortlessly smooth and sophisticated, swing and Rat Pack singers will bring an air of spellbinding nostalgia and total cool, but with a twist of the rogueish fun of Sinatra, Sammy and Dean and the finger-clicking swing-time era. They perform classics from the Great American Songbook and cover music by Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Harry Connick Junior and Michael Buble, and some will perform modern hits too, in their swell swing style. Las Vegas, here we come!

Serving suggestion:

Big band, or solo singer, your swing and rat pack crooners can cover all elements of your big day – ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast, and evening party.

You say:

“Our swing singer was the perfect ending to our reception – and we loved the way he interacted with our guests – especially the ladies!!”

Chris and Richard, Alive wedding clients

13. Acoustic Bands

Silver Dime Acoustic Band London Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Chilled-out and unplugged or lively and upbeat, acoustic bands are totally flexible musicians, covering a wide range of musical styles – from vintage jazz to modern hits. Some are so flexible they’ll wander round your party performing impromptu song requests to serenade your guests! They’re perfect if you want a relaxed, intimate celebration, but they can let rip too, for a fab fun night-time party!

Serving suggestion:

Pretty much everything – low-key, intimate wedding ceremony, laid-back drinks reception and wedding breakfast ents, or full-on evening reception partying!

You say:

“We had strict sound limitations at our venue…we thought we couldn’t have a band until we found a great acoustic band…”

Kerry, Alive Wedding Client

“Dancefloor was full the whole night and the band were epic, playing songs you don’t normally get at weddings, in really clever acoustic variations that kept the place jumping the whole night.”

Nicholas, Alive wedding client

14. Ceilidh Bands

The Blazing Ceilidh Band Edinburgh Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Who doesn’t love a good burl around the dancefloor! You’re loving it, that’s for sure and our ceilidh bands are only too happy to provide the cheery toe-tapping melodies of Scottish and Irish Gaelic folk music that will keep you dancing all night… Although, you’ll probably need a breather or two! Most ceilidh bands have a caller, who talks you through the simple dance steps, keeping the energy up and the fun flowing. From slow waltzes to a romping fast-paced strip the willow, a ceilidh is THE MOST fun you can have at your wedding party!

Serving suggestion:

Evening reception

You say:

“Book a Ceilidh band if you want to get everyone up dancing – even those with no experience (that includes me…). Even when we got it wrong, it was great fun and all the guests are still talking about it.

Tom, Alive wedding client

15. Gospel Choirs

UK Gospel Choir London Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

*Warning: Goosebump alert!* Soulful, spiritual and deeply moving, a gospel choir can really raise the roof at your wedding. They’ll take your big day to another level, and are a popular choice for wedding ceremonies. With a repertoire of trad hymns, soul, Motown and modern chart hits, all performed directly from the heart, their impressive harmonies can be soft and slow or intense and joyous – but always euphoric.

Serving suggestion:

Ceremony, drinks reception

You say:

“Hearing them ‘live’ exceeded even my high expectations of them! The service ended with ‘All you need is Love’ – we all clapped and sang along, the atmosphere was electric, it was quite simply joyous. Every single guest commented on their performance; everyone thought they were amazing.”

Theresa, Alive wedding client

16. Mariachi Bands

Beat Banditos Mexian Comedy Band Hertfordshire Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Instant fun and sunshine in one perfect package! They’re one of the best Mexican imports, and you’re loving them! Playing anything from traditional Mexican mariachi songs to mariachi takes on chart hits, and all while wandering the floor serenading you and your guests – they are top notch fun. *arriba!*

Serving suggestion:

Drinks reception, evening reception

You say:

“They took requests and were perfect for the wacky plans that we had for our wedding day – and it was hilarious when they started playing as they really weren’t expected!”

Clare, Alive wedding client

17. Tribute Bands

A Night Of Take That Take That Tribute Band Bedfordshire Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

If you love the music of a particular band or artist, but your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the real thing, tribute acts are a brilliant way to help you live the dream on your big day. Fancy an evening with Elton or A Night of Take That? They’ll definitely make your evening party Shine!

Serving suggestion:

Evening reception

You say:

“OUTSTANDING! Could not rate them highly enough. The guests enjoyed them as much as we did – there was no room left on the dance floor! Absolutely perfect. They exceeded expectations – really made our wedding reception the talk of all our friends and family”

Adam, Alive wedding client

18. Singing Waiters

Secret Servers Singing Waiters Warwickshire Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

If you love the priceless feeling of a harmless and fun prank, singing waiters are ideal. They’ll mingle with the waiting staff, chameleon-like, then surprise your guests by bursting into song, flash mob style for gobsmacked lols aplenty! *Gotcha!*

Serving suggestion:

Wedding breakfast, often after desert, to stave off the post-meal lull.

You say:

“…absolutely brilliant. We picked upbeat pop songs and they had everyone dancing – even on the chairs! One dropped a tray of spoons to start then burst into song – fantastic!! Our guests couldn’t believe it and we’ve had loads of amazing comments.”

Julie, Alive wedding client

19. Photobooths

Andrew Billington Photography Photo Booth Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk
Image by Andrew Billington Photography

Why They’re Popular:

Photobooths are a wedding party must-have, and they come in all shapes and sizes, from selfie-mirrors and campervan booths to the classic photo booth. They’re a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, great for loosening up your guests and a fab way to bring together families and friends. The zany props will bring out their silly side, plus you’ll have mementos of their lovely, funny faces to take away with you and cherish forever! *Goofy over-sized glasses on, one, two, three, pout!*

Serving suggestion:

Drinks reception, evening reception

You say:

“What a great night…The photos are fabulous!! All our guests loved the photo booth and have all commented on how much fun it was.”

Karl, Alive wedding client

20. Pop Up Bars

The Cocktail Car Company Ltd Car Bar Cambridgeshire Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Why They’re Popular:

Pop up and themed cocktail bars are a quirky way to serve your guests their first celebratory drink after your big I dos. *Cheers!* They’re run by qualified mixology bartenders, creating the finest freshly-made cocktails, and you can even have a bespoke cocktail made in honour of your big day!

Serving suggestion:

Drinks reception, evening party

You say:

“It really added something special to our festival themed wedding! Our guests all commented on the uniqueness of the bar and the great cocktails too!”

Helen, Alive wedding client

Wedding Reception Top Playlists Alive Network by Andrew Billington Photography | Confetti.co.uk
Image by Andrew Billington Photography

Top Playlists

You know you’re going to have an amazing night at your evening reception, but how do you decide which songs to pick? Some bands can suggest a set list of songs for you, offering guidance on what works well to keep your night amazing, with the option for you to personalise with your choices from their repertoire.

We asked our biggest party bands for a list of the songs they’re asked to perform the most, and that they know will give you a killer night. This is their top ten party playlist – the songs that make your party and guarantee a thumping dancefloor – it just wouldn’t be the same without them.

Tuuuuuune!

1.     24k Magic – Bruno Mars, performed by Tritts And The Numbers

2.     Mr Brightside – The Killers, performed by The Kicks

3.     Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran, performed by Brightlights

4.     You’ve Got The Love, Florence and The Machine/Candi Staton, performed by Live Lounge Electric

5.     Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon, performed by Sugar Rush

6.     Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran, performed by Happy Hour

7.     I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, by Arctic Monkeys, performed by The Dollars

8.     Go Your Own Way, by Fleetwood Mac, performed by Hipster

9.     Uptown Funk, by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, performed by The Long Straws (Rockabilly Cover)

10.  Are You Gonna Be My Girl, by Jet, performed by The Jukeboxes

Top Styles

The styles you’re loving right now are a real mix, reflecting your unique personalities, and there are some excellent ents to match your W-day mood too – check out these hot style trends:

DIY Folksy-meets-Rustic barn dance weddings

Rustic DIY Wedding Entertainment Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Think gorgeous rural locations, that laid-back vibe, unplugged and roaming musicians, artisan ales, wildflowers, perfectly personalised and lovingly-made décor, lanterns, fairy lights, and a footstompingly fun night of banjo, reels and jigs and indie folk, Mumford-style – it’s stripped back, honest merrymaking.

Get Rustic & DIY entertainment ideas

Vintage & Retro weddings

Vintage Retro Wedding Entertainment Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Nothing says era-inspired style like the instant atmos that music can bring at your timeless and super romantic vintage wedding. From the extravagance of the roaring twenties (#Gatsby), to the slicked back excitement of the rock ‘n’ roll era (#Elvislives), vintage and retro weddings are upbeat, uber cool, and totally unique. Artists can perform songs from the era, or modern hits with a quirky retro spin… Jazzy Gangsta’s Paradise? Whyever not!

Get Vintage & Retro entertainment ideas

Boho & Festival weddings

Boho Festival Wedding Entertainment Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Wear your flowers in your hair and your wellies firmly on your feet, for the ultimate in elegant hippy chic. It’s the most chilled of all the casual weddings; relaxed, natural and effortlessly stunning. Think colourful vibes, authentic live music – stripped back or vamped up headliners – it’s the best gig of your lives!

Get Boho & Festival entertainment ideas

Romantic Fairytale weddings

Fairytale Romantic Wedding Entertainment Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Get your glass slippers out – this style of wedding is breathtaking, magical and regally romantic. You shall go to the ball! Think whimsical feminine details, a dress fit for a princess, flower walls, twinkling candelabras and light up letters, heavenly harp music and stunning vocalists set to ‘classical’. Delight your guests with surprise singing waiters, and a photobooth to capture all those magical moments… then party the night away in style with a dazzling wedding band. Fireworks will crown your romantic evening as you prepare to live happily ever after.

Get Romantic & Fairytale entertainment ideas

Country Garden weddings

Country Garden Wedding Entertainment Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Think sophisticated village fête and English country charm, your garden wedding will be the most personal and the prettiest, with sunshine, bunting and fresh floral décor, lawn games, artisan ice-cream, twinkling fairy lights, and ­– pass the Pimm’s – fabulous music from day to night… a jazz ensemble, a party band, a DJ and a marquee made for dancing!

Get Country Garden style entertainment ideas

Classic & Elegant weddings

Classic Elegant Wedding Entertainment Alive Network | Confetti.co.uk

Never out of style, you’re choosing to wed in pure timeless elegance, with subtle colour combos, light, bright venues with ambient lighting, and bespoke details for that special personal feel. Think a classical string quartet performing your favourite modern track as you take to the aisle, a close-up magician to wow your guests at your drinks reception. Pick a pianist-singer for your wedding breakfast, and a premier party band to smash your special first dance, and keep the party pumping and the dancefloor filled all night.

Get Classic & Elegant entertainment ideas

Check out Alive Network for the UK’s best wedding bands, DJs, musicians and wedding entertainers. And don’t miss their gorgeous Ultimate Guide to Wedding Entertainment, full of inspo, ideas and planning tips for your big day.

Win Your Dream Wedding with Confetti 2017 | Confetti.co.uk

Furthermore, Alive Network are donating a prize of a live wedding band to the winner of Confetti.co.uk’s 2017 Win Your Dream Wedding competition! Enter here! Closing date is Thursday 30th November 2017.

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