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Article by our fabulous sponsors Entertainment Nation; header photo by the magnificent York Place Studios

Ready to throw away tradition, and eschew all those notions of dancing to the tried-and-tested at your wedding reception? New music is emerging all the time – so why stick to what’s already been done on your once-in-a-lifetime day?

If you’re a cutting-edge contemporary couple, or you simply want to make a statement by defying expectations, we’ve put together a list of infectious dance tracks and romantic stripped-back ballads to help inspire your wedding playlist.

From country blues to contemporary pop and dance floor filling house beats, here are 20 modern songs you and your husband or wife-to-be can use to make memories and strut your stuff on the dance floor. They guarantee a night you’ll never forget!

1. Paradise – George Ezra

A lovely marquee wedding in a Sussex village captured by Martin Beddall Photography (50)
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Article by Entertainment Nation; header photo by Sussex wedding photographer Martin Beddall

The world’s most popular music streaming service, Spotify, now boasts over 35 million songs, while the number available for download from the iTunes Store has been rumoured at over 40 million – which sounds like a lot to us! With so much choice when it comes to music, one question repeatedly burns in our minds – why do we keep hearing the same songs at weddings?

Okay, the obvious answer is that they’re really great. There’s no question there! But polls from the last 10 years have shown that many of the old favourites are at last becoming endangered by more recent endeavours in pop, rock and hip hop. We’ll be sad to see some of the classics go – there’ll always be a spot in our hearts for anything by The Rolling Stones and The Beatles – but some won’t be as fondly missed. Y.M.C.A. springs to mind for us… and we’re sure you can name a few of your own!

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The pleasant hills and satanic mills of Yorkshire and the North East offer some of the most breathtaking scenery in the UK – so it’s no wonder enamoured couples flock here every year to exchange their vows!

The sprawling, magnificent Alnwick Castle and the whimsical Bamburgh Castle are stunning historical landmarks for couples to tie the knot, but let’s not forget the profusion of contemporary wedding venues either. The National Glass Centre and the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art offer quirky settings for newlyweds, and there can be no better backdrop for your wedding album than the dramatic North York Moors, scenic Yorkshire Dales, and the vast and otherworldly Northumberland National Park.

Any land this rich in history must also enjoy a wealth of musical heritage behind it! Sheffield is well known for churning out heavyweight vocalist Joe Cocker, rock band Arctic Monkeys, and Phil Oakey with his new wave band The Human League. Northumberland, meanwhile, enjoys status as being the birthplace of legendary singer-songwriter Sting.

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When Mumford & Sons kicked open the doors for the indie folk scene over ten years ago, they pulled the genre from dowdy to dramatic, and a flood of similar acts were caught up in the rising tide of popular folk. Now one of the most popular wedding band hire choices for newlyweds (helped by their rustic vibes and fairy lights), there’s a staggering choice of Mumford style folk bands for weddings to make your big day special. But if you’re looking for your dream wedding band, who do you choose?

We’ve put together a selection of the very best rootsy talent the UK has to offer. Below you’ll find solo singer-guitarists, dynamic acoustic duos, tidy trios, roaming ensembles, as well as bands both modern and traditional, including authentic roots-driven folk acts, and festival wedding bands who perform acoustic twists on modern songs. Have a listen and see which style you love!

Wandering Wings

 

Based in West Midlands, available nationwide.

wedding bands for hire in the midlands
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Stunning countryside, historic cities, and a proud industrial heritage make the Midlands region of the UK one of the prettiest locations to host your wedding! From the picturesque Wye River Valley to the stunning Malvern Hills, there’s plentiful gorgeous countryside to enjoy, while historic and attractive towns like Warwick and Stamford are home to wedding venues where you can tie the knot in style.

The Midlands is renowned for producing some incredible musicians too – Just think of all the bands and artists Birmingham alone has churned out! Black Sabbath, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Duran Duran, The Spencer Davis Group, UB40, and countless others all hail from the Midland’s financial and cultural epicentre, which to this day hosts a vibrant live music scene.

Those looking for amazing wedding bands in the Midlands are in luck, as we’ve compiled a selection of the best Midlands wedding bands for hire today. Ranging from wedding bands in the West Midlands to acts in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire, these bands are ready to travel and won’t have any issues crafting a truly incredible soundtrack to your special celebrations.

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What comes to mind when you picture your dream live wedding entertainment? Are you caught up in the pageantry and glamour of extravagant wedding bands, or the romance and traditionalism of enchanting classical ensembles? When we picture our romantic day, it’s easy to leave a great many alternatives out of mind. Well, as wonderful as floor-filling function bands and romantic string ensembles are, we’re placing another praiseworthy wedding artist in the spotlight – the acoustic solo artist!

There’s a minimalist beauty in an acoustic singer-guitarist that’s often underestimated. Imagine a lone singer delivering heartfelt vocals with nothing but their own charisma (and an instrument honed by 4,000 years of history, of course) to captivate an entire audience – an incredible performance using only what is absolutely necessary. Have an unaccompanied virtuoso make your big day exceptional, and you experience a unique connection that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

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The green and pleasant hills of North West England are idyllic for tying the knot! Its countryside and scattered villages are sprinkled with magic and folklore, and you’ll find historic cities home to unmistakable architecture and stunning wedding venues both traditional and modern – unrivalled romance in every corner!

But the North West isn’t just the home of awe-inspiring architecture; rich in history and culture, the region is renowned for its musical legacy, inspiring momentous bands from The Smiths to The Stone Roses, Take That to Oasis and, of course, The Beatles. The region’s thriving wedding scene is similarly bursting with creativity. Choose from an abundance of sensational live wedding bands and masterful musicians in myriad styles – pop bands, soul bands, folk bands, string quartets and rock ‘n’ roll bands to name a few – to add sensational live music to your special day.

Naturally, Manchester and Liverpool are the live entertainment hubs in the North West, but you’ll find live wedding entertainers distributed all across the region, in Cheshire, Cumbria and the Lake District, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. While you might be tempted by bands from farther afield, consider the benefits of hiring local:

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The South East is glorious place to get married: it’s home to countless fabulous venues, from majestic stately homes, to rustic converted barns, to dramatic coastal retreats, to ultra-chic cosmopolitan spaces in the nation’s capital.

The South East also happens to host a thriving wedding music scene. There’s an abundance of awe-inspiringly talented wedding bands and musicians located throughout the region, all competing with one another, driving the standard of performance ever higher.

As you’d imagine, London is the heart of this vibrant live music scene, but you’ll also find local wedding bands for hire for venues in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex.

Why is hiring local musicians important? It isn’t crucial, but by opting for a local South East wedding band you’re getting some very real benefits:

  • Your band won’t have had to endure a mammoth journey to get to you and will thus be fresh to give their best performance
Apres ski wedding styling ideas with Nicola Norton on the English Wedding Blog (25)
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Morning lovelies! Are you feeling a little chill in the air today? Autumn is coming… and here on English Wedding we’re racing ahead and bringing you a ski and snowboarding themed wedding! Gorgeous bride Hayley and Matt describe their day as a ‘family celebration après ski party’ – inspired by how they met. 7 years ago, these two were working for a ski company in France, where they met. 5 years later, this is where Matt proposed (on a surprise holiday back to Les Gets). The ski resort theme continued at their DIY wedding in Bedford, with multi-coloured hats and sunglasses as favours, welcome cocktails – even the Save the Dates and invitations were designed as lift passes!

Apres ski wedding styling ideas with Nicola Norton on the English Wedding Blog (31)

As the great hall was just an empty school hall it all needed decorating including the stairs and entrance hall.
We used fake snow EVERYWHERE, hung snowflakes , built a ski rack and piste map stand (table plan), hung gondolas from the stairs, had drapes from the balconies, uplighting on the pillars, photos and piste maps of places we have been over the walls, different tables (sweets, mountain post box, memory table), snowboards and sledges with lanterns on the top of the stairs and finally a sign post in the entrance.

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One style of wedding music we’re seeing explode in popularity is the authentic rock ‘n’ roll wedding band. We’re not talking Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, or The Killers here, we’re talking about the original pioneers of the genre – the Elvis Presleys, the Buddy Hollys, the Little Richards – the legends who blew away the stuffiness of the post-war era with their tumbling piano runs, slicked-back quiffs and jaunty, jangly guitar riffs.

Arriving on the back of the vintage wedding trend, rock ‘n’ roll wedding bands are simply perfect for pretty much any wedding scenario: their smart retro attire and quirky style fits in beautifully at historic venues and boho, festival weddings alike; they’re a hit with every generation (often throwing in a few more modern tracks for the youngsters) and their music is just perfect for dancing to!

There’s a surprising diversity of old-school rock ‘n’ roll wedding bands out there: from purists who only perform the originals to those who relax the rules and throw in “modern” stuff by the Beatles, the Kinks and the Rolling Stones, not to mention bands who stray into related genres like blues, rockabilly and swing.

Nicola Norton Photography on the English Wedding Blog (59)
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Header image credit Nicola Norton Photography

We’ve talked extensively over the past few months about live wedding bands in their glorious diversity – pop and rock wedding bands, soul and Motown wedding bands, festival wedding bands, even vintage-inspired postmodern wedding bands – but about other forms of wedding entertainment? We’re talking wedding entertainment to make your special day unique, entertainment that’ll drop jaws and get people talking.

Here we present a selection of alternative wedding entertainment that’ll make your wedding stand out and, best of all, keep everyone entertained during those afternoon lulls. While you’ll most likely spend it in a whirlwind of hasty congratulations and meticulously posed photos, the time between the ceremony and the wedding breakfast, and then between the wedding breakfast and the speeches and the evening reception, can stretch out endlessly for guests. But what are you meant to do apart from ply them with copious amounts of wine?

Bellini Jazz vintage wedding band with Entertainment Nation
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A guest article by Steven at Entertainment Nation

If you’re planning on filling your wedding day with vintage details or you’ve got a passion for music from days gone by, then you’ll love this selection of amazing bands for vintage weddings.

While we’ve combined them all under the vintage umbrella, the vintage wedding band scene is actually thriving with diversity. There are bands out there specialising in every nostalgic niche you can imagine: 1920s speakeasy swing, postmodern pop, Rat Pack crooning, 50s and 60s rock n roll and rockabilly, Latin jazz and more.

Whichever decade inspires your devotion, vintage-themed wedding bands are dedicated to evoking the sights and sounds of their specialist era. Dressed in authentic attire, performing on beautiful period instruments and giving spot-on renditions of retro tunes, vintage-styled wedding bands are the perfect way to bring your vintage wedding theme together.

This all sounds great, but what about if your guests don’t know any 1920s music? There’s no need to fear. Many vintage bands for weddings incorporate modern pop, rock and soul songs into their repertoire, giving them a vintage twist to make songs you’ve heard a thousand times before sound fresh and original again.