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There is SO much to organising a wedding, isn’t there?!! And with each little item on your wedding checklist, there’s a small army of sub-items to check too! For example, planning when your band will start to play, or if you’ll need a DJ afterwards, and how all of that ties in with food! (Because as much as we love a dance, we really can’t wait for the meal, right?!) So here are some real couples’ top tips for getting the most from your wedding band, courtesy of our lovely friends at the fabulous Alive Network.

Alive Network and Live Wires, image credit Brett Symes Photography (3)

All images are by Brett Symes Photography at www.brettsymesphotography.co.uk

So you’ve weighed up the options, done your best Simon Cowell, and chosen the live wedding band that’s going to give you and your friends the hands-in-the-air party of your life. Good work!

But getting your perfect music match doesn’t end there. The very best artists and agencies should work with you to truly tailor your celebrations, helping you make the band experience your own.

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With your venue secured and wedding date firmly in the diary, it’s now time to start thinking about the music! Along with photographers and the wedding dress, live music is often considered one of the most important aspects of the day, from the unforgettable moment as the bride enters the room, to the first dance and final singalong of the night. Whilst there’s always the option of an mp3 player, nothing quite compares to the spine tingling sensation of a string quartet or harpist to really get the emotion in full flow.

If this is your first time taking on wedding planner duties then you’ll no doubt have a long list of queries on everything from schedules and logistics to band requirements and more. Having worked in the wedding music industry for the best part of 15 years, there are certain questions that come up time and time again and so to set you off on the right foot, we’ve put together this simple infographic focusing on budgets, timings and musician requirements.

Infographic by Bands For Hire, an entertainment agency in the UK specialising in wedding string quartets, solo harpists, pianists, guitarists and live wedding bands.

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It’s never been easier to have the wedding YOU want – be that a festival-inspired party, a woodland celebration, an farm or barn wedding – traditional venues are almost a thing of the past! And over the years our appetite for sunny weddings abroad has become more and more apparent. Perhaps our unpredictable English weather plays a large part in that, but for others it could be the sometimes misconceived notion that a wedding abroad is less expensive that a wedding in the UK.

Destination wedding photography Mexico Benjamin Toms (11)

Photo credit: Benjamin Toms – see full feature here

Whilst a wedding abroad can often work out cheaper, many couples do still choose to fly out their favourite wedding suppliers in order to achieve their dream wedding day. As the owner of a live music agency, I’ve had the pleasure of organising a number of live bands and musicians for clients getting married abroad; at first it can seem fairly overwhelming for the couple, but the process needn’t be stressful if you know what to expect in advance.

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Where do you even begin to choose your first dance song? It’s kind of an important decision to make as a couple… but if he’s into Frank Turner and you’re more Take That, who gets to decide?! How about a little inspiration from other couples to help you choose…  Join Adam from Bands for Hire for a proper nosey into the top first dance songs of the last year – it’s all kinds of fascinating!

A Cheshire wedding inspired by Kew Gardens, with the most beautiful dress you can imagine... (36)

Images in this feature all by the fabulous, highly recommended Vickerstaff Photography in Cheshire. www.vickerstaffphotography.co.uk

Having been in the wedding industry for the best part of twelve years, first dance songs are a big part of the conversation with many brides and grooms-to-be. With infinite choices and other factors such as song length, tempo and dance routines to consider, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.

There are certain songs that become the go-to ballad for a particular year, and then fall out of favour and are never to be heard again, but, there are also hundreds of golden oldies that are here to stay… and some that just won’t go away however much we wish they would! (Amazed by Lonestar anyone?).

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Hello!

We got into music for the love of the art itself and once we could play a bit, we loved it for the performing too. We love to play live because we love music and we love to watch other people like you love it with us. Music is powerful and we want to make sure you enjoy us or any wedding band you book to the fullest. That’s why in our series of free guides designed to help and inform you, we picked “what to look for in a wedding band” as the first one.

Even though this article speaks from years of experience, some of our advice may put you off booking with us but we don’t mind, we are happier knowing you have the information and knowledge to make the right decision for you when it comes to booking a live band for your wedding.

We hold our hands up, we do use the way we advertise and run live acts as examples in some of the topics below so you could class that as a bit of shameless plugging. Sorry!

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I’ve just learned a few dozen things about booking a wedding band online. I’ve been absorbing info like a happy little sponge from the guys at Seventh Second – a wedding entertainment website with a real difference. These guys are honest, helpful, 100% committed, oh and they’re musicians themselves so they know everything there is for you to know about booking your wedding band.

Seventh Second Entertainment on the English Wedding Blog (4)

Pop Up Folk at Seventh Second

I’m really happy to tell you Seventh Second Entertainment are joining our little team of English Wedding Blog sponsors and will be sharing plenty of advice with you lovely lot over the next year or so!

Full roster, brilliant information & booking:

www.seventhsecond.co.uk
Instagram.com/seventh.second
Twitter.com/Seventh_Second
Seventh Second YouTube channel

Seventh Second Entertainment on the English Wedding Blog (5)

Night and Day

Seventh Second describe themselves as fun junkies. They’re all about the celebration, that special day, that perfect moment for you and your friends, family or colleagues.

“We all desire a day which we’ll always remember and which makes us smile when we’re maybe not having the best of days and here at Seventh Second we’re bringing talented people together who help make those days unique.”

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I’m a music lover – I live for amazing concerts in intimate venues, singing my heart out and dancing all night long. Music is important – I’d even say for me it would be the number 1 important thing at our wedding. I’d love to take our wedding to a live concert rather than host an evening do ourselves… I wanted to share something with you today which will help even the fussiest music lovers (like me!) choose the perfect wedding entertainment.

Cool wedding at Utopia Broughton Hall on the English Wedding Blog with York Place Studios photographers (36)

Image credit: York Place Studios

Our friends at Alive Network believe in making choosing your wedding entertainment simple and fun, and with their brand new website it couldn’t be easier!

Go to AliveNetwork.com and do a search with your event date, location and preferred artist type and the website will show you who’s available to perform at your wedding with video, audio, photos and instant online prices.

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Never let anyone tell you your wedding has to be unique! Your wedding should be personal, reflecting both your personalities and enjoyable for your guests. But for those of you who are looking for that little extra something to surprise everyone, here are 16 creative and unusual wedding entertainment ideas. Fire jugglers not exciting enough for you? Well then…

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There is nothing better at a wedding reception than a great band, great food and great friends. However, entertainment for weddings is now branching out beyond anything ever seen been before. Brides and grooms all over the UK are opting to have their entertainment reflect themselves, their hobbies or bring back memories from their relationship to share with guests. Entertainment ideas range from a fire show at the end of the night to bring back memories of that perfect holiday in Thailand, a football freestyler as a gift for your soccer mad fiancé or a Del Boy look-a-like to astound your ‘Only Fools and Horses’ loving family during your wedding breakfast.

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There’s music in the air at English Wedding Blog today – both here at HQ (I’m listening to the incredible Dan Donnelly while I type) and on your very own screens. Today’s guest article is from the lovely Rich at Alive Network – one of the UK’s experts in wedding entertainment. Rich is about to share his top tips for wedding music: time to find out which are the best bands and music styles to make your evening reception a resounding success!

wedding band UK Alive Network entertainment (1)

The most popular wedding entertainment – by Alive Network

When you’re looking for that perfect entertainment for your wedding reception, nothing beats the excitement, energy and sheer fun of a live wedding band. But what type of wedding bands should you choose?

For wedding entertainment that gets everyone of all ages up and dancing, choose a four-piece rock and pop function band. If you choose a wedding band from Alive Network that offers a great range of music, whatever they play, at least some of your guests will know it!wedding band UK Alive Network entertainment (2)

First dance wedding blog by Geoff Reardon
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First dance wedding blog by Geoff Reardon

“The First Dance” Photo credit: Geoff Reardon (click to see Jean-Luc & Liza’s wedding)

For some couples even the thought of the ‘first dance’ induces a state of blind panic whilst for others the whole world’s a stage. Of course the majority of couples fall somewhere in between but whatever your attitude to this time-honoured tradition may be, a little planning in advance can go a long way.

1. Choosing the first dance song that’s right for you

You may already have a favourite song – perhaps one that was playing when you first met – or it may be that neither of you have a clue which song you’re going to choose. If so, don’t worry – all you have to do is Google ‘first dance songs’ and you’ll find plenty of suggestions. One word of warning though – be sure to check the lyrics before reaching a final decision. The song ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police sounds like ideal first dance material – until, that is, you realise it’s about a stalker! Give some thought also to the kind of tempo you’ll feel comfortable with. If you’re both competent dancers then you probably won’t mind whether it’s a foxtrot, a rumba or a waltz – but if you’re not too clever on your pins, or your partner has two left feet, then a slow song may be your safest option.

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wedding music advice (6)

Weddings used to be simple affairs; registry office in the High Street, a few pals as witnesses, bowling club for some egg sandwiches. After a few dances one of your cousins has too much to drink, starts a fight then all the pre-ordered cabs show up at 1am. Job done. Oh, how things have changed. Today’s bride expects a proposal in a gondola, the ceremony must be at the base of Victoria Falls and catered by Gordon Ramsay and that’s before you’ve even thought about the entertainment.

Ask ten people what’s the most important part of a typical wedding and you’ll likely get ten different answers. Ask the same people what type of music goes down best at weddings and you’ll get another ten.

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An apology is due, dear readers. I tried so hard to think of a brilliant, snappy and fun title for this guest post, as great advice deserves a strong introduction. “Top ten tips for hiring a wedding band” would have been fab, but my challenge was to think of an adjective for nine instead. “Nine nice … ” and then I wanted a word instead of tips. Starting with n. There isn’t one.

Shall I just crack on with this guest blog post? Martin from 24-7 has some great advice for you if you’re considering a live band for your wedding.

Thinking of booking a live band for your wedding reception?

Read this handy checklist first.

When it comes to creating a vibrant atmosphere for your wedding reception you’ll be hard pressed to beat a live band. There’s just something magical about watching real musicians perform with real instruments that you don’t get with other forms of entertainment. But how do you go about finding a band to hire and what are the things to watch out for?