Ok, well this isn’t exactly an article about all the things involved in planning a wedding. I’m assuming you’re sorted on flowers, food, and favours, and don’t need advice from a musician. But with my experience of being involved in many different weddings, here are some aspects of the day where music might help in taking your special day to the next level.
Music in the Service
Have you ever arrived early at a wedding service? Or had to wait a bit extra while I bride got ready?
Having some chilled acoustic music during this time with familiar tunes can make all the difference in setting the tone to the beginning of the big day, rather than a hushed silence. I’ve found that cool acoustic versions of popular songs work really well in this time.
Songs that work well: Your Song (Elton John), For once in my Life (Stevie Wonder), Just the way you are (Bruno Mars), I’m Yours (Jason Mraz).
And then imagine having the songs you love, or are special to you as a couple being played as the bride walks down the aisle, or as the register is signed. I offer to learn two new songs that aren’t on my repertoire as part of every booking, so that you always know you’ll be able hear the songs you love on your special day.
Songs that work well: Grow old with me (Tom Odell), Always a Woman (Billy Joel), I will always love you (Whitney Houston), Blackbird (The Beatles), God only knows (Beach Boys), Perfect (Ed Sheeran)
Canapés or wedding breakfast
People arrive at the reception venue, pick up a glass of champagne and look around for others they might know. Whether in an outdoor spot by a fountain, or the large entrance of a hall, one thing that will definitely get people talking is live music. I can’t describe how music not only creates an atmosphere as people chat, but also how it gives a feature to the moment as something to talk about – “ooh I love this song…this was our first dance song…when’s Ed Sheeran’s next album out?”
Songs that work well: How deep is your love (Bee Gees), Put your records on (Corinne Bailey Rae), Ain’t no mountain high enough (Marvin Gaye), Call me Al (Paul Simon), Fast Car (Tracy Chapman), Man in the Mirror (Michael Jackson), One day like this (Elbow), Rocket man (Elton John), Shape of You (Ed Sheeran), Budapest (George Ezra).
It’s now 7pm, you’ve had your food, the speeches are done, and at this point of the day, you just want people to have a good time. You want people to dance. You want people to feel part of something fun, and you need something to bring people together. At this point I think you know that music is the only answer (and perhaps another glass of Prosecco!)
This is my favourite part of the day…setting up the disco lights, bringing out the bigger PA system, and getting ready to get people dancing and singing along to some classics.
I’ve seen this work well with just me, a guitar, and a stomp pedal…if you’re on a budget, then it really does work, and having a massive repertoire of songs means it’s easy to adapt to the feel of the audience, and any requests that are shouted out.
But it’s even better with a drummer and bassist (and numerous other musicians available on my books to join us) as part of the Simon Cragg Band. We know the songs that work, and we really enjoy working with you beforehand so that you hear some of the songs you love on the night (and we avoid the ones you hate!).
We normally play for an hour, take a break where we offer a free complimentary DJ service for 30 mins, and then play the final hour, slowly ramping up the intensity, and getting more and more to dance and sing along. And of course, there’s always the “One More Song” encore at the end!
Songs that work well: Shut up and Dance (Walk the Moon), September (Earth Wind and Fire), Billie Jean (Michael Jackson), Mr Blue Sky (ELO), Blame it on the Boogie (Jackson 5), Mr Brightside (Killers), Can’t stop the feeling (Justin Timberlake), Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond), 500 miles (The Proclaimers), I’m a believer (Monkees), Don’t stop me now (Queen), Valerie (Amy Winehouse).
It’s now 10pm and people have no intension of leaving! And you don’t want the day to end either. Luckily the band has built up the crowd, and as they play their final chord, the crowd claps and cheers… the DJ kicks in. This is all part of our Wedding Day Offer, offering a professional DJ service for the rest of the evening. We know the songs that work and are able to keep the party going.
And so you get to the end of the day…it’s gone so well…and the great thing about it has been you haven’t had to worry about any part of it…someone else was able to oversee all the entertainment for you, so you could just enjoy your special day.
Weddings don’t get better than that do they? Well that’s why we’re here to help.
Please do get in contact for a quote