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wedding music and entertainment

Music is the perfect accompaniment to make sure your wedding day is atmospheric. The below article gives a guide to all the musical moments of your day, an introduction to different wedding music options and how to pick the right choice to reflect your musical tastes.

wedding music

Opportunities for wedding music

There are surprisingly a lot of opportunities throughout the wedding day have your favourite songs played. In order of the day, below is a list of moments when music can, and usually does, accompany the nuptials:


  • Getting ready music
  • Welcome drinks
  • Ceremony music
  • Drinks reception/wedding Breakfast
  • First dance
  • Disco

  • Related articles: hiring a wedding DJ - hiring a wedding band - creating a wedding playlist - top wedding songs

    wedding music

    Determining what music your venue will allow

    Before searching for playlists, DJs and live bands, it is crucial to find out if your wedding venue has any restrictions and guidance. Usually, any included entertainment will be outlined when booking your wedding venue. However, it is also wise to early establish the following via email or at the initial wedding meeting:


  • Any restrictions or specific requirements for ceremony music
  • Feasible evening music options
  • Any restrictions or additional requirements for live music
  • What equipment the venue have/what format pre-recorded playlist should be provided on?
  • How far in advance will wedding music need to be confirmed/provided?
  • wedding music

    Live wedding band

    Pros of a wedding band:

    A live band will an extra element of surprise and enjoyment to your evening reception. Bands are fun to watch, dance to and they can be very responsive to keep your guests dancing. Bands will often include some form of recorded music for interludes, and they can add an extra touch of sentimentality to your first dance.


    Cons of a wedding band:

    The extra entertainment that a band will bring to your wedding will come at a cost. The standard and versatility of the musicians do vary by price, and good bands will need to be booked up to 10 months in advance. Having a band will also mean more logistical planning with your venue.


    Average wedding band costs: £1,200 - £2,000

    wedding band
    wedding DJ

    Pros of a wedding DJ:

    A DJ will give you, and your guests access to your favourite original tunes. DJs can cater to a much broader genre of music, and they can often be more responsive to your guests' needs and requests that a band can. While the pricing of DJs do vary, they are generally much cheaper than bands and need less logical planning.


    Cons of a wedding DJ:

    The quality of wedding DJs can vary enormously as can the music selection. The entertainment value of a DJ is more restrictive, and it can be helpful to have another non-dance related entertainment option or a well-stocked bar for those not interested in dancing. A wedding DJ can MC to make sure that guests are notified of the first dance etc. but this may not always be included.


    Average wedding DJ costs: £400 - £800

    wedding DJ
    Instrumental quartets/trio

    Pros of a wedding instrumentalist:

    An instrumental band can add an elegant and emotive touch to wedding guest arrival, the ceremony and drinks reception. Bands can often play lovely versions of modern and classic songs that give a backdrop to get your guests talking. Occasionally live bands will have instrumentalists who can play separately earlier in the day too – this is always worth checking before going for this option individually.


    Cons of a wedding instrumentalist:

    On their own, an instrumental band has a limited usage at a wedding as they cannot provide the range of music needed for an evening disco. This option is usually combined with a DJ or band and should only be considered if you have the budget for additional spend. The cost of an instrumental or string band can vary but will increase with the size of the band and quality.

    wedding Instrumental
    Pre-record wedding playlists

    Pros of a pre-recorded wedding playlist:

    Creating your wedding playlist is the cheapest music option, which will leave room in your budget for other entertainment touches. This option also enables you to have complete autonomy over what music is played at different points in your day. There is an abundance of ready-made playlists in Spotify and other platforms that can then be amended to your musical tastes.


    Cons of a pre-recorded wedding playlist:

    If you are creating your playlist you will need to invest time in downloading venue compatible software or recording music in a way it can be played. Creating your playlist can take considerable time to compile, and it will be vital to designate someone to set this up on the day. If opting for your music is important to clearly label the various playlists and distribute backup copies to the venue.


    The average cost of a pre-recorded wedding playlist: Free apart from downloading Spotify or Itunes

    wedding playlist
    How to choose the right music option for you

    Your wedding music budget

    If you are on a reasonably tight budget, it is best to save by having a DJ and intermix your playlist for the ceremony and drinks reception. Music is not strictly needed at the wedding breakfast, and this will save on Money too.


    Your music tastes

    If you are a big band fan or love music which is more alternative, a band can be a great way to add a twist to your favourite songs. This option will also give more entertainment for those wedding guests who also prefer going to gigs and festivals. If you are into your dance music, R&B or hip-hop it is recommended to go for a DJ who will be able to play a much more diverse range of songs by your favourite artists.


    Is dancing a high priority for you as a couple

    For those who are keen to get the dance floor moving a band that incorporate DJ interludes are a great way to combine lots of genres. Bands can also get people on the dance-floor.

    Disco
    Do you want your first dance to be to your favourite artist or live band

    If you want your first dance to be played by a band, then this is worth investing in. If not, it may be wise to stick with a DJ for the whole night and include other entertainment touches.


    What is included in your wedding package

    Many all in one venues will include some entertainment, such as a DJ. This will negate additional costs and means you can spend money elsewhere.


    How much time are you willing to invest in designing your music

    If music is your thing, then it is indeed worth creating a few playlists for the day and then having more input with a band or DJ. For those who want a convenient solution, a standard DJ can be hired who will play their music and adjust it to the response from your wedding guests. A string quartet for your ceremony will also guide you on what music they can play so you will not have to spend time working this out.


    Related articles: hiring a wedding DJ - hiring a wedding band - creating a wedding playlist - top wedding songs