We’ve done some great weddings at Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park over the years. Since becoming an official recommended supplier of live music and DJs here in 2011, it’s been a pleasure to build a great relationship with this wonderful wedding venue. We work in several venues and there’s no real absolute favourite (when you work enough in any venue, you see that it’s very hard to make an overall comparison). However, Pembroke Lodge definitely has a similar approach to us in terms of service. We love how they show flexibility with their clients, letting them squeeze in a band upstairs in the Russell Suite. Other venues would (and do) just create barriers and say there’s not enough room, thus killing the dream of the Bride and Groom-to-be of matching their favourite band with the venue they were choosing. Pembroke Lodge wants wherever possible to ensure their Bride and Grooms get the kind of wedding they dreamed of with the suppliers that they want.
Some of the recent weddings we’ve done at Pembroke Lodge have been our most popular combination, which is a string quartet or string trio for the ceremony and reception and then a DJ for the evening. This can work really well – the string group starting off more formally with classical music and then playing jazz and pop for the reception. We can look into requests also. We didn’t play Dancing Queen before Stephen and Brian requested it for their wedding a couple of weeks ago. But we were able to source and learn it on time for their exit music, much to their delight, and we ended up getting lots of guests filming us on their phones at the end of the ceremony, which was a novelty for us.
Or Carrie and Jack, where Carrie wanted to walk in to The Swan for cello. We managed to find a version for cello and string quartet so were able to play that for her magical moment of entrance into the ceremony.
We usually start playing inside in the ceremony room as guests arrive and are seated. Then after the ceremony, in finer weather, there are shade options (string quartets can’t play in direct sunlight as it damages their instruments) so we can carry on outside. Or if the British weather doesn’t allow, the live strings sound amazing inside also. Other acts that can work well are small jazz bands and acoustic singers with smaller bands. It’s worth remembering that amplified music is not allowed outside in the Royal Parks, so if you have a lot of guests at your Pembroke Lodge wedding, then just a solo guitar player won’t really work as without an amplifier outside the music will be a bit lost amongst all the celebrations. So larger acoustic acts (at least 3 musicians) will be much more effective.
In terms of a band or DJ, there is more room downstairs in the Belvedere Suite for a band than upstairs in the Russell Suite, but whether band or DJ we’ve had lots of successful evenings in terms of client feedback. It comes more down to personal preference and budget. If you really want a great live party band, we think it’s worth stretching the budget for, as your memories and those of your friends and family will be all the stronger for it.
If you’re thinking of getting married in West London and have not visited Pembroke Lodge, we strongly recommend checking out this beautiful and historic venue. You may just fall for the stunning view from the terrace and decide this is the place you have to tie the knot! In which case, get in touch with us for any help regarding live music for your big day there.