Entertainment Nation is one of the UK’s most trusted wedding entertainment agencies. Founded by two experienced wedding musicians with the mission of giving outstanding service to brides and grooms in search of their perfect wedding entertainment, they started out with a website, a few bands and the willingness to go the extra mile for their clients.
Since those humble beginnings, they’ve grown to represent hundreds of the UK’s most talented wedding bands, musicians, DJs and entertainers, while still retaining their commitment to offering the best possible service to each and every couple they work with, which is why they come highly recommended by RMW…
Finding a great live band or DJ for your wedding can be one of the most time consuming aspects of planning your big day. As well as actually choosing from the plethora of musicians out there, there are ALL the questions too. Should you take the plunge and book an act? Or should you save the money and curate a playlist? What type of music works best for the ceremony? And how about the reception? What happens if something goes wrong? What actually is gypsy jazz?!
With this in mind, we interviewed James at Sound Generation, leading music agency for weddings and events. As well as some excellent recommendations for musicians, bands and DJs for your big day, James sheds the light on our questions plus much, much more…
I guess the first thing to say is that music is a very personal thing, so I’m not about to make any recommendations on whether you should be having a live music or a DJ or choosing this particular genre over that one. That is not what this post is about.
On a very generic “advice” level I would strongly advise you to see your potential wedding entertainment in action, if at all possible – going on a few minutes of MP3 played from a website could be a risky business. But that is where the advice ends.
Hey Mr DJ
It is becoming really popular to ask your guests to contribute to your wedding playlist – it’s a good way of ensuring you cater for everyone and a great way to get feet on the dancefloor.
You could make a little space for song suggestions on your Save The Date’s or if you are feeling particularly technically minded (and your guests are switched on) you could even set up collaborative playlist online. Online music applications like Spotify allow for your guests to simply drag and drop their favourite songs into your playlist at the click of a mouse.
Of course – this could lead to some dodgy suggestions and you may prefer to create your own playlist without compromise – don’t feel the need to try and please everyone. If the party is in full swing no-one is going to notice the lack of Aunty Maureen’s favourite Simply Red track.
If you are the musically creative type, you could always get up and have a go yourself. Natalie joined her husband Jez and close friend Mike to perform a few songs for their family and friends on their wedding day.
If you want to avoid the limelight but you have a budding Ed Sheeran or Adele in the family then you could always give them a nudge and see if they will perform. Families do love that sort of thing. Nan’s especially!
At Chris and Joe’s Cotswold Wedding a young family member sang a few impromptu songs with an acoustic guitar and we heard via the photographers that it was one of the most moving parts of the day for everyone there.
Your musical entertainment can be as informal and relaxed as you like, Stephen and Julia decided to have a really chilled open mic set-up at their reception, in between sets by a hired musician, anyone was free to get up and have a go.
I love this idea, a little bit hippy and a little bit geeky but definitely very cool. And I imagine this sort of set-up could get rather more interesting as the ale starts flowing.
You might let your musical tastes slip out subtly on your big day, or you could let them dictate the entire wedding theme. It’s up to you how far you go.
A really nice subtle concept that goes back (all those years!) to the O’Shea big day is the idea of incorporating music into your wedding stationery. You could name each table after your favourite bands or give every table it’s own musical genre. Or, as Charlotte did, you could name the tables after your favourite songs.
Charlottes Nan: Charlotte! your father tells me you are naming your head table sex something or other! is he joking?!
Charlotte: It’s Sex on Fire Nan – after the song… You know, don’t worry though you won’t be sat on that one, you’ll be sat on Mr Brightside… Not literally obviously, I mean the table named Mr Brightside….
And if subtlety is not your bag then just flippin’ go for it! Stage the whole shebang around your musical interests if you want, Tom and Leila did. They wanted a Spanish Fiesta so, for their outdoor wedding with bright mismatched colour scheme, they choose to have a traditional Flamenco dancer, singer and guitarist who provided the perfect mix of passion and flair.
Similarly, George and Harriet embraced their passion for music and basically staged their own bonkers festival in place of a traditional reception. We are talking bands, welly boots and overnight camping!
If you have hit the wedding planning brick wall, and you’re not sure which direction to go down for your theme or décor, your musical interests could provide some inspiration to get your thoughts off the ground again. You don’t have to turn your wedding into Glatonbury, it can be as simple or as all encompassing as you like.
A final thought. If you are stuck for wedding favours, this idea could literally be music to your ears. It’s really easy and very cost effective to create your guests a mix-tape (or CD as it would probably be now, but tape sounds so much better). You could base the mix tape on your favourite songs or a selection from your wedding playlist.
With a bit of D.I.Y skill you can make your mix CD favours look pretty presentable. And if you personalise each one you have your table name cards sorted too.
If you haven’t seen my D.I.Y tutorial on how to make these with a single sheet of A4 paper, then check it out. And yes – these were made for the (currently) imaginary wedding of Adam and Kylie… I have held on to them though, just in case…