Wedding Music Tips

Violin (4) by A. Vivaldi, on Flickr

During your wedding day, there will be a number of times when you might wish to have some form of music to enhance the atmosphere. Music plays a key part in the majority of weddings so you’ll have to think about what kind of music you want for the following points in you day:

*The Prelude – as guests arrive and as they are seated. Typically you will need to have between 15-20 minutes of soft background music.
*Ceremony – this includes the entrance of the Bride (The Processional), signing of the register and walking back down the aisle (The Recessional). If it’s a church wedding then hymns will also be sung.

*Drinks Reception (also known as The Postlude) – background music is usually played during the photos and as your guests have drinks and canapes (usually 1 ½ hrs).
*Wedding Breakfast – some couples choose to have background music during the meal until coffee is served.
*First dance – usually at the start of the evening’s entertainment. See First Dance for more advice.
*Evening entertainment – the bit your guests are most looking forward to.

There are so many choices in terms of what kind of music you have on your wedding day. To help you with your choice, we’ve summarised the different types of music below.

String quartets are the most common choice of live background music at weddings as they provide the perfect accompaniment to the ceremony and wedding reception. They are also very versatile. Alternatively you could opt for a string duo or trio.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £400 – £850

Harps are magical sounding instruments that will enchant your guests and enhance your fairytale day. The harp is a popular choice as it allows guests to talk without being disturbed or pre-occupied by the music. A good harpist should be able to play a mix of classical and modern tunes depending on your choice. Alternatively why not have a harp & flute duo.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £200 – £500

Flutes are a perfect choice if you want beautiful music that will mesmerize your guests. Both magical and enchanting, they also sound great when accompanied by a harp or guitar.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £250 – £450

An Organist is a good choice if you’re having a church ceremony and the church has an organ. If you want a Pianist and your venue doesn’t have one, don’t let this put you off – many pianists will use a portable digital piano.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £150 – £350

Classical guitarists can enhance the romance of the day as they play a range of easy listening music -classical, Spanish, modern arrangements or a mix.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £200 – £350

Saxophones (solo or duo with a singer or a jazz quartet) are the ultimate in sophistication if you’re looking for that touch of class.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £200 – £350

Bag pipes are an obvious choice if you’re Scottish – but can be played at any wedding. Their unique sound will add a sense of grandeur to your wedding.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £150 – £350

Steel bands are a perfect choice if you’re looking for something a bit different from the traditional forms of entertainment and want to add a fun & lively atmosphere for your drinks reception. They also don’t require a PA system for most events.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £450 – £650

Discos are the still the most popular choice of evening entertainment at weddings. They tend to be the cheapest option and provide the greatest flexibility. DJs can play a mix of dance, pop, music from the decades as well as the cheesy wedding classics – something to suit everyone.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £250 – £550

Barn dance or Celidh (pronounced kay-lee) are the perfect choice if your guests are a mix of different ages. No previous experience is required as guests’ dance and exchange partners along to lively and cheerful music. They are guaranteed to get the majority of your guests dancing very quickly.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £750 – £1,000

Live bands are the ultimate in wedding entertainment. The right band will interact with your guests and get the party started and keep it going all night. There are so many types of live band to choose from including: Tribute, Pop/Rock, Jazz, Blues, Swing, 70’s Funk and Salsa.
Typical cost for 2 hours – £700 – £2,000 +

Different types of music will be better suited to certain parts of your wedding day depending on the mood or atmosphere you want to create. To help you with your choice of wedding music, we’ve put together some suggestions for the type of music you could have at different points in the day. These are only suggestions and you should ensure you know what type of music an act plays before booking to ensure you create the right atmosphere.

*Pre-ceremony – String quartet, harp, flute (or harp & flute), organist, classical guitar, bag pipes & recorded CD.
*Ceremony – String quartet, harp, flute, (or harp & flute), organist, classical guitar, solo singer, bag pipes (The *Processional and Recessional) & recorded CD.
*Drinks Reception – saxophone (solo or with singer), piano & violin, bag pipes, steel band, string quartet, classical guitar, harp & flute.
*Wedding Breakfast -recorded CD, string quartet, harp & flute or classical guitar.
*Evening entertainment – DJ, barn dance/Celidh or live band.

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