Which Live Wedding Musician is for you?
Music at a wedding is overlooked as a last minute thing but hiring a live musician has the most impact on the atmosphere you want to create for any part of your wedding day. Whether you choose a saxophone player, harpist or a wedding guitarist and singer (like me), your live musician can absolutely transform your wedding and elevate it to an unforgettable experience for you and your guests. If you leave it too late to book live wedding entertainment, you may be stuck with your venue's 'standard' wedding music playlist through the in house PA system.
You deserve better than 'Standard'.
The whole point of hiring a dedicated musician is to tell your story. As a couple, there may be songs which are just, you. Maybe you met at a cocktail bar or your first date was to see a specific movie. Your musician can incorporate these tracks into their set and create a unique and personal experience. This extends to tying in with a specific wedding theme.
Gaming themed wedding
Metal music genre
Game of Thrones
Festival themed wedding
Each one had it's own unique flavour and made for the most memorable wedding that I've been a part of. Any good live musician can do the same.
2. Atmosphere and Ambiance
There are certain part of your wedding day which really do need the touch of a live musician. The main one being the ceremony.
Ceremony - A live musician will time your entrance song to you, not the other way around. We don't want you to have to count and plan the timing of your walk. What if you walk too fast and the staff stop the song prematurely? Or even worse, what if you forgot to account for a tiny bridesmaid's short little legs and the song excerpt finishes before you get to the front? A live musician will take that worry away.
Filling the gaps - As much as you plan your schedule down to the minute, it will not go to plan. You may say...
"I've got that sorted, I'm very meticulous with planning and I know exactly how...."
It will not go to plan. Trust me.
It may be the weather, it may be slow walkers or the lighting not being right for photographs. It may be your hair not doing what it should or the best man doubling the planned time of his speech. Things will run over time and throughout the day it can really mess with the venue's schedule, who will be pushing you and your guests from one area to the next. A live musician can fill the time between sections of the day and give people something interesting to see so that they don't feel like the day is moving too fast. I regularly work alongside venues to get the schedule back on track. Either playing longer or shorter sets to finish at the right time.
Evening Party - If you want your evening party to get your guests on the dance floor and let loose. There's something about a live band which does it like no other. It's important to make the right choice in terms of band style and genre but ultimately, there's an energy exchange which happens when people watch a live band which doesn't happen with a DJ. The movement, the timing, the sound and audience interaction.
You do have to be careful here though. I was part of a full time wedding and function band you would be disgusted by the amount of money agencies charge on top of the musician's actual fee. Book direct with the band (Tips on this coming soon).
3. Interaction with Guests
Every live musician has a unique personality which they bring to the stage. Some people will interact with the audience to give an interesting back-and-fore to the day and makes more of a spectacle.
Personally, I like to play more music than talk unless I read that the audience wants some interaction, but that's the point. Live musicians read the audience and are flexible to what they see. If I notice that people enjoy a certain era of music, I'll focus on that a little more.
Some, more extrovert, performers will make observational anecdotes which will be talking points for the rest of the day. Quite often members of the audience will have specific song requests, either pre planned and arranged in the booking process or during the performance. This is a normal ting for all performing musicians to deal with and can create special moments which will stick with your guests.
Being versatile is a big part of providing clients with the right entertainment for them. As I mentioned above, different parts of the day require different degrees of energy. It changes with the audience but there are other things which require a pivot in tempo, volume or energy on the fly.
- Real Wedding
I recently played an intimate wedding party at Smith's Hotel, Gretna Green.
It was an early evening package starting after the wedding breakfast and was planned to be a quiet and chilled acoustic gathering.
As I arrived, I realised the venue had multiple weddings booked in a partitioned function room, each with a different DJ or band all competing for volume. I quickly realised that if I kept things chilled as planned, I would be drowned out by 'Living on a prayer' on one side and 'Pretty green eyes' on the other. The first thing was to up to volume.
This had an affect on the over all atmosphere in the room and everyone started to get into the party spirit. There were shots, table dancing and singing along to nearly every song I played. After some requests - Mr Brightside, Wonderwall, message in a bottle, Queen etc... We called it night when there were people falling over with ties around their head. The complete opposite to what was originally planned but it's what the atmosphere needed at the time.
If my clients used a chilled playlist instead, there wouldn't be any way to pick up the energy.
5. Unforgettable Memories
A live musician does more than just play music. There are inflections in the voice, improvisations, every performance is different and unique. We create memories for you and your guests. Bride's have cried, Grooms have cried, guests have cried, even I have cried during a performance at a wedding and I have the stoney lifeless heart of a prawn. It moves people.
In conclusion, the magic of hiring a live musician for your wedding transcends mere background music; it's about creating an emotionally resonant atmosphere that reflects your unique love story. Live performers like wedding guitarists bring a personal touch that playlists simply can't match, tailoring every note to the rhythm of your special day. From the customised renditions of meaningful songs that narrate your journey as a couple, to the adaptability that ensures seamless transitions and fills any unexpected pauses with melodic grace, a live musician enriches every moment. The interactive presence of a live performer adds a layer of warmth and engagement, making your guests feel part of a shared, memorable experience. As you embark on this new chapter, the right musician won't just provide a soundtrack; they'll craft an unforgettable ambiance that echoes the depth of your bond, leaving a lasting impression long after the last note fades.
If you are still on the fence about hiring a live musician for your wedding entertainment, why not get in touch with a few different wedding musicians and get a song sample.
I specialise in rewriting any song to fit the wedding setting and I love a challenge so be weird with it!