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.

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A challenge for you: picture a dance floor heaving with guests ranging in age from bouncing toddlers to groovy grannies. What music is playing? Which artists immediately spring to mind? We’re betting you’ve pictured at least one legendary soul and Motown artist, someone like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight – the list is seemingly endless. There’s nothing quite like this enduringly popular style of music to encourage guests of all ages onto the dance floor at a wedding reception.

The irresistible grooves, the flashy costumes, the velvety vocals, the immortal tunes; it’s no wonder soul and Motown wedding bands are always in such high demand. Soul wedding bands specialise in giving you and your guests a fun-packed night of dancing and singing that’ll leave you all sore-footed and hoarse-voiced – and loving it. It’s not all high-intensity dancing either; there’s nothing like a smooth and soulful ballad to create a moment of pure romance.

Pretty wedding styling with images by Dale Stephens Photography on the English Wedding Blog (30)
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Elegance, glamour and the most romantic looking wedding… this is all just so wonderful, and I LOVE everything about gorgeous Lucy and Adam’s Elmore Court wedding – I only wish I’d been there to see the first dance! (Cracking song choice, guys!) Here’s an inspiring, emotional and stunning wedding to brighten your Wednesday, everyone… You’re welcome!

Pretty wedding styling with images by Dale Stephens Photography on the English Wedding Blog (31)

Our wedding venue is so beautiful it didn’t need much decoration, but we did use Lauradana from Wedding Creations to help style and she did an amazing job!

Pretty wedding styling with images by Dale Stephens Photography on the English Wedding Blog (13)

Images by Elmore Court wedding photographer Dale Stephens Photography

Our style evolved as I did more and more research and spent hours on pinterest. I wanted something uber romantic, but personal at the same time. I was insistent that we had lots of candles in mercury jars which created the perfect romantic ambiance. The venue was so beautiful that we wanted it to speak for itself so I went for quite a neutral colour scheme, lots of creams and blush with a little bit of sparkle on the bridesmaids dresses. I love champagne, so we had the tables named after different types of champagne and we supplied a lot during the day!

find string quartets for your UK wedding
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Whether you’re getting married under the arched beams of a church or in the serene surrounds of a stately home, there’s nothing like a wedding string quartet to provide the perfect romantic soundtrack to your quintessential English wedding. Just imagine the moment you walk down the aisle – or watch your spouse-to-be walking towards you – as a quartet of classical musicians take up their instruments and perform an achingly beautiful piece of music. There won’t be a dry eye in the house.

The harmonies created by expertly played violin, viola and cello stir the emotions like no other instruments. For centuries composers have taken advantage of the magic created when these musical instruments are performed in unison, giving you a treasure trove of gorgeous music to choose from to accompany your wedding ceremony.

If you’re not classically inclined, that doesn’t mean you can’t hire a wedding string quartet. Modern string ensembles are made up of versatile musicians who play arrangements of pop, rock, jazz, film and TV music just as well as they play the classics. This versatility means you can customise your wedding music to suit your theme, tastes and personality as a couple.

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Want to recreate those sultry nights listening to stripped-back acoustic songs in the flickering glow of a crackling campfire? Or perhaps capture the infectious energy of festival favourites Mumford and Sons? When you hire a festival wedding band, you can relive those heady days and endless summer nights on your big day.

Festival-themed weddings are a huge trend that shows no sign of slowing, and why would they? The carefree vibe, gorgeous rustic style and feel-good folk-style music all make for the perfect outdoor wedding. Thanks to the popularity of music festivals large and small, there’s been an explosion in festival wedding bands. Inspired by the likes of Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers and (of course) Ed Sheeran, the best young musicians are choosing to pick up the acoustic guitar instead of the electric and going back to traditional musical roots for inspiration.

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There’s no better way of celebrating your newlywed status than by losing yourself in music, surrounded by the smiling faces of friends and family on the dance floor. So how do you encourage your guests to join you on the dance floor for a wild wedding reception filled with fun and dancing? Hiring a pop and rock function band, that’s how!

Pop and rock bands are versatile acts who often perform an eclectic range of songs, spanning genres and time periods, making them ideal for the mixed crowd found at most wedding receptions. Arriving at your venue with all the skills and equipment to give you a stunning live concert experience on your big day, a pop and rock band is a sure-fire way of whipping up the atmosphere into the early hours.

Discover the best pop and rock bands for lively, all night weddings below:


Jam Hot

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Hey everyone! What are you listening to today? My soundtrack is pretty mixed… a dash of Frank Turner mixed with highlights from the amazing roster on Entertainment Nation. How fab that you can watch and listen to every band in a little pop out window while you read blogs / research / work?! I’m currently loving vintage band Park Lane, who are providing the perfect Saturday soundtrack for a wedding blogger!

Entertainment nation wedding bands London Birmingham Manchester UK nationwide (13)

Entertainment Nation is the home of some of the UK’s best live wedding bands, artists and performers, and your trusted supplier of recommended professional entertainment for weddings in the UK and worldwide. Their website is super easy to use, polished and professional with great shots of their acts along with those high quality videos – so you really know what you’re getting when you book your wedding entertainment through them.

Entertainment nation wedding bands London Birmingham Manchester UK nationwide (8)