Are you considering what kind of live music to have at your wedding reception? Here are our top five tips:
1 – Match the music to your setting
If you’re having an outdoor summer wedding with a relaxed festival atmosphere, then a singer/guitarist can be perfect. With the hope of a lovely sunny day, a singer can create a great live atmosphere during the drinks reception whilst still being in the background. This makes it an act very much in keeping with a slightly more laid-back and informal feel to a wedding.
If you are getting married in a classic old London venue, like Wilton’s Music Hall, with its champagne bar for a reception, then it would make more sense to have something like a vintage jazz clarinet trio. Although you don’t have to match the music to the setting too exactly (after all, it’s your day and should be about the kind of music that you enjoy), it can work really well to consider this as an aspect to the music planning. If you’re not sure, you can always ask your venue what type of music acts have been effective there in other weddings. This should give you a bit of inspiration.
2 – Don’t go with a ‘show’ act
Keep things simple and elegant with an act that plays fabulous background music. Acts like jazz trios, string quartets, singers with guitarists or sax players work really well. Or a more classical option could be flute and harp duos or a solo cellist.
Having a big impact act, like a gospel choir or big band, can work but may just end up being a bit of a distraction to people chatting and getting to know each other in a wedding reception.
3 – Make sure your act plays a variety of music and genres
At this point of the wedding, there’s a good chance you’ll be whisked away by your photographer for some beautiful wedding photos. In which case, your friends and family are there to relax and celebrate and look forward to your return to the party. This will likely include a mix of older and younger guests and it’s great to have an act that caters a bit to more than one generation. So a string quartet could play a mix of classic jazz tunes, some film and TV, a few popular classical ones and then a mix of classic and contemporary pop. You can’t please everyone, but the point is it’s more fun this way and doesn’t alienate anyone so everyone should enjoy at least some of the tunes that they recognise.
4 – Have some fun with your choice of music
We think background music works best for the wedding reception. But there are acts that play in the background and can also come up to guests and play a tune to them. A wandering band like this can be really great fun but you have to consider whether your guests will generally enjoy it. They probably will but if you’re aiming for a really formal wedding, this is obviously not the choice of music to make.
5 – Aim for a lively act, but not too lively
Some lively music will keep the fun levels high and this part of the wedding can be really buzzing – the formal ceremony has finished and it’s time to celebrate. But in most weddings the real party starts a bit later with the dancing and so there’s no need for really uptempo tunes in the reception. A good mix of slow and mid-tempo should work really well and with great event musicians, they’ll know when to pick things up a bit or slow them down somewhat. As per the third tip, variety is key here and it will be boring if everything is too slow or too samey.
If you’re not sure which music to have here but you know you want some live music, then please get in touch with us to have a friendly chat about choosing the right music for your wedding reception.