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Music to Your Ears

Music to Your Ears

Are you fed up with the traditional choices for reception music? Fancy something a bit different for your big day? With every bride aiming for something a little bit unique, here are some ideas that will be music to your ears.

Roaming Band
Imagine your guests being treated to a more personalised entertainment. They can stand, eat and chat, while a roaming band mingles around the crowd. This type of entertainment is guaranteed to please any group looking for a good time. The roaming band category takes in so many different options too. You can customise your favourite style of music with a theme or instrument. Here are just a few ideas:
• Jazz trio;
• Mexican Mariachi band;
• Serenading guitarist/s;
• One-man band;
• Barbershop or other a cappella quartet
Works best at:
Cocktail style functions where guests are standing or mingling.
Functions where guests will enjoy time to talk, interspersed with individual attention.
Weddings where fun is a theme.
When to avoid:
At a seated event.
At very formal receptions.
If you just want to dance to well-known classics spun by a DJ.
Other theme ideas:
Hold the reception in a jazz club

Flamenco Theme
If you’ve ever seen Spanish music live, you’ll know the atmosphere it can create. It’s sexy, fun and rhythmic. It can liven up any room, and will certainly give your guests an experience they’ll never forget. While the guitarists alone sound fabulous, to achieve the full effect of this theme, make sure you hire a dancer as well. And if you’re worried about a gorgeous Senorita outdoing you on your wedding day – hire a male!
Works best at:
A function with a captive, quiet audience who enjoy being entertained
When to avoid:
When your guests will want to talk loudly
Other theme ideas:
Serve tapas food
Learn some Flamenco moves for your first dance
Have the band teach your guests some dance moves

Caribbean Theme
If you don’t know much about music from this part of the world, it may surprise you to learn that Caribbean music incorporates many different rhythms. These include Reggae, merengue, calypso, salsa zouk and soca. The properties they all share, is their fast tempo and joyful melodies.
Works best at:
Events where guests are open to something different
Functions with a truly ‘party’ atmosphere
When to avoid:
If you and your guests want something traditional
Other theme ideas:
Hire someone to lead your guests in a dance
Good for a beach-theme
Serve tropical cocktails

DIY Entertainment
This theme works best when organised well in advance. Leave it until the night to invite your nearest and dearest up on stage, and you risk the evening turning into a bad karaoke session, or spending it in complete silence.

Ask your more musical guests to put together a couple of songs they can perform on the night. You could even introduce your guests to each other – say a singer and a guitarist – so they can work together. For those who are shy, tell them it would mean the world to you and make your day really special. It could even be their gift to you (after all, who can resist emotional blackmail and a financial saving?).

You don’t even have to restrict this theme to singers. Instrumental solos (surely your friend’s daughter would relish the opportunity to show off how her flute lessons are progressing?) work just as nicely and will help to break up the evening.

If you organise this in advance, you can prepare a run-sheet so the evening runs smoothly, and you’ll know how much time you have left to fill with other music.
Works best if:
You have lots of musical friends and family
When to avoid:
If you and your guests are tone-deaf.
Other theme ideas:
Buffet meal – just like the music, your guests can tailor their meal to include exactly what they want.

Preferably, the entertainment should be in keeping with the theme and feel of your wedding, so consider carefully before booking that Mexican trio whether they will match the period costume theme you chose for the bridal party. Above all, your music choice should reflect the day you want to achieve, whether it’s fun, formal, casual, or quirky, music can go a long way towards creating the right atmosphere – so make sure you choose what appeals to you.

Other Options
Guests’ Choice
If including a reply card with your wedding invite, ask your guests to list their one or two favourite songs on it, then compile the list for your DJ for a ‘guest’s choice’ reception. You could even ask the DJ to dedicate the songs. As a guideline, for a four-hour reception you’ll need around 60-80 songs.

Music from the Wedding of
For a truly personal bonbonniere, you could make a CD of songs from your wedding reception to give as a gift to all your guests.

Here are some more unusual options you might use just to spice up an otherwise traditional reception:
A bush band
An Irish folk band
A human beatbox
Request-taking pianist
Chinese dragon dance


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