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drop a beat: live wedding music advice from warble entertainment

July 12th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

First Dance

I think I speak for the majority of brides-to-be when I say that one of my main dreads for the big day would be an empty dancefloor. While I adore the sentimental parts of a wedding, a measure of how much I’ve enjoyed the celebrations is often determined by the amount of time spent on the dancefloor – and so a tumbleweed moment come our evening reception just won’t do.

As such I’m eager to do the required research to ensure we bag the right live acts to set the tone during the day – and keep the party rocking at night. But where to start? Thankfully we’re hearing from our fabulous Sponsor Warble Entertainment today on how to select the best live acts for you, your guests, the theme and the venue. See, already some elements that you might not have thought of!

As a trusted agency with an impressive portfolio of UK-wide acts on their roster, Warble can not only help to narrow down the entertainment search to suit your individual day, but they can also advise on how to get the very best out of the live band or performer that you book.

So, without further delay, we’ll hand over to Warble Entertainment team member Joey Burdon, to lift the lid (or raise the roof!) on securing a jumpin’ dancefloor!

Images provided by Warble Entertainment.

Wedding Entertainment

Why would you encourage couples to hire a singer/band for their wedding?

joey says: Live music is an experience. It’s an amazing thing that has the power to move you and create lifelong memories. With a live wedding musician you are getting a truly unique performance for your special day. Not only that but the pure energy that a party band can bring to your night is unmatched. One comment we hear all the time is how couples enjoyed having their own private gig or concert on their wedding night and how interactive the whole experience was.

Consider the times where you would usually have pre-recorded music on your wedding day and think, can this be performed by a live musician instead? Key moments might be walking down the aisle or your first dance. Having a bespoke and live performance of a song that encapsulates you as a couple is the perfect touch to add to proceedings and is sure to be remembered.

How should couples go about choosing the right genre of live act for their wedding day – what elements should they take into consideration?

A lot of couples make the mistake of being too self-indulgent here (why wouldn’t you?!) but you really do need to consider your guests. It’s great to find a band you like but are they going to get on with your friends and family? Can they play songs to please everyone as well as some numbers that fit with your theme? Are they equipped to fill the dance floor on your wedding night and get your guests dancing? You will want to be asking these questions as you do research into potential live acts for your wedding.

You will also want to consider both your venue and your theme, if you have one. Certain acts lend themselves better to certain themes and settings, and you will want your wedding entertainment to feel at home on your wedding day. For example a barn venue or festival theme is just screaming for a Mumford & Son’s style folk band with a towering double bass and banjos. If your chosen venue is a picture perfect castle with rich history, find an act that lean towards more classical vibes or even create that fairy tale atmosphere with elegant entertainment.

Helen Lisk Photography

Helen Lisk Photography

How can couples source potential acts and what elements should they check when comparing those in their short-list?

The majority of couples look online now for their wedding inspiration and have done for a long time! This is no different for wedding entertainment as there is so much information available on potential acts at your fingertips. Do some heavy searching and start to get an idea what you like or dislike about certain acts to help you narrow it down.

A lot of acts that are set up specifically for weddings rarely get to play public events. This makes it difficult to see your band before you book so how can you be sure you have the right band? Reviews and testimonials are key. A band might look and sound amazing online but how do you know how much experience they have or what other people think of them? Look around and build up a picture using reviews to tell you exactly what the act are like at a typical wedding.

Do couples need to check with their venue if they can have a live act at their wedding before booking and, if so, are there any other key questions they should ask?

Yes, definitely ask the question, ‘can I have live music?’. If this is important to you on your wedding day it should be one of your first questions. Sound limiters are also becoming more commonplace at wedding venues around the country so it’s important to check this. However, don’t be disheartened if the venue has one in place! You can still have live music, just find out what the limit is so you can make better decisions on what acts you look at. Warble Entertainment have a wide variety of limiter friendly bands that can work with these types of venues.

I would also ask to see the space where the band would set up, and also if there is a designated dancing space for you to throw some shapes! This will allow you to visualise the band on your night and know that there is adequate space for guests to enjoy your live act.

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what’s your jam? alive network’s top lancashire wedding entertainers

June 27th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

6 - Andy Billington_Side On Dancefloor

Andrew Billington Photography

Up there as one of couples’ main concerns when planning a wedding is “what if guests become bored?”. As your nearest and dearest there to witness you make a life-long declaration of love to one another this is highly unlikely as they will just be thrilled to be a part of your big day. But in a somewhat Bride Wars mindset, there’s always the desire to top any wedding you’ve been to before with your own, and hope that it creates memories that guests harp back to long after the celebrations have been and gone.

As such it’s important to get your entertainment in order – which elements of the day require music to keep the vibe high and what other live acts could you incorporate into your day to make it all the more special?

Being our true helpful selves, we’ve called upon our rocking Sponsor, entertainment agency Alive Network, to talk us through all options for the wedding day, from the ceremony to the evening par-tay! Better still, for those of you in the North West, the Alive Network team have pinpointed some of their very favourite Lancashire-based acts that can deliver that added wow-factor to your proceedings. Over to the experts…

the ceremony

It’s the biggest moment of your day. So, it’s no wonder couples aren’t waiting for their evening band to get goosebumps. More of you than ever are choosing live ceremony music to make things super special from the start. #itsoktocry

Prelude: As your guests gather – and the nerves kick in – how about a little musical calm? Your prelude is usually 30 minutes of live music, and a great way to warm things up for your big entrance.

Processional: Your musician can play your special ceremony music as you take to the aisle for your processional, which is usually one song. Top tip: Go through the version with your artist (see if they can send you a recording of them playing it) and time your walk during rehearsal so that you hit your favourite bit of the song at the right time!

Signing of the registers: This is usually two to three songs. Depending on your style of ceremony, this could take a bit of time, so live music is a great way to keep the excitement up for your guests and make the moment even more special.

Recessional: Your joyful, hand-in-hand jaunt back down the aisle as a couple! Choose something upbeat that reflects the crazy-happy moment.

1 - Andy Billington_Ceremony_Holding_Hands

 Andrew Billington Photography

our picks for the ceremony

Harpist – Bella Rose creates a sound that’s ethereal, subtle and pretty.

String quartet – Lancashire String Quartet perform elegant, classical versions of chart tracks, which is perfect for a modern-classic feel at your ceremony.

Classical singer – Rousing and captivating, Gemma La Voce performs your choice of operatic arias, show tunes, and modern classics.

Acoustic singer-guitarist – A guitarist is by far the most popular choice for chilled ceremonies. James T or John Gough both perform beautiful, unplugged music to underscore one of the most emotional parts of your big day.

Live taster. See Lancashire String Quartet perform A Thousand Years here.

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mighty music: entertainment nation’s top tips for booking a live wedding band

June 14th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Entertainment Nation (9)

Through our trusted Sponsors we’re able to hook you up with the top pros in the industry who can guide you safely along the wedding planning path, helping to avoid any trips and falls along the way. From how to pick a standout venue and dream dress, to tips on styling and completing your day, our guys have got it covered.

Today on the blog, we’re inviting along an expert who can assist in the ‘live music’ category, with a host of incredible acts on their books that can bring the added wow factor to your celebrations – step forward the team from Entertainment Nation.

Covering oodles of weddings every year, the team have mastered the best way for couples to go about picking the right band and ensuring the logistics of the performance go to plan too, with an easy to use website and friendly staff available to answer any questions or queries.

And so keen to help make the entertainment task that bit easier for brides-and-grooms-to-be they’re sharing some of their pearls of wisdom with us this afternoon as they list their top tips on booking a live band. Take it away team…

Entertainment Nation (8)

entertainment nation say: What better way of rounding off your special day in style than by hiring a live wedding band?

The atmosphere begins to build from the moment the band arrive and start setting up fancy instruments and equipment. Short bursts of song and isolated chords from the soundcheck build anticipation further, and then, before you know it, the band are on stage, delivering an adrenaline-pumping performance that encourages even the most reticent of dancers to unleash their inner Michael Jackson!

But, as much as we hate to be the boring folks getting in the way of the dream, we need to let you in on a few things you need to consider when hiring a live wedding band. We’ve been helping brides and grooms book their dream wedding band for years, and during that time we’ve encountered every potential issue possible – and figured out how to solve or avoid these hiccups altogether.

As such we’re sharing our golden band booking tips with you today ensuring that you can sort your evening entertainment without a hitch and be on that dance floor with your new husband or wife, surrounded by family and friends rocking it out before you know it!

Entertainment Nation (6)

book early

If you don’t book your wedding band early, you risk missing out on your number one choice. Just like with wedding venues, the best wedding bands get booked up well in advance; peak dates getting filled two years ahead of time is common, and we’ve often received enquiries for even farther into the future.

So, if you want the biggest and best choice of wedding bands possible, make sure you book as far in advance as possible. Booking well ahead of your wedding date also means you can benefit from paying this year’s prices, rather than the inflation-adjusted prices of two years’ time.

check with your venue

Generally, you’ll secure your venue before you book a wedding band (although we’ve seen it done the other way around when a couple has their heart set on a particular band). If you’re keen on having live music at your evening wedding reception, it’s important to find out whether your venue is able and willing to host a live band.

There’s nothing more soul-destroying than spending hours finding the perfect musical entertainment and then discovering the venue won’t allow them to perform.

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a musical match: warble entertainment

March 21st, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Image supplied by Warble Entertainment (3)

If we’ve said it once, we’ll say it again; there’s nothing like live musical entertainment to set the scene at a wedding.

Whether its creating a romantic ambience for the ceremony, chilled out vibes at the drinks reception or creating a full-on party atmosphere for the evening celebrations, live acts have all the skills to take your big day celebrations to the next level.

Our fabulous Sponsor Warble Entertainment, know this better than anyone as a trusted agency with an incredible portfolio of UK-wide quality acts on their books that cater for thousands of weddings and events year on year.

As such we’ve invited them to the blog today to update us on their amazing offering while also sharing their pearls of wisdom on how to pair the right musical entertainment to particular styles of weddings. So, we’ll leave you in the safe hands of the lovely Warble Entertainment team member Joey Burdon…

Image supplied by Warble Entertainment (2)

Can you give us a brief overview of Warble Entertainment and tell us what it offers to wedding couples?

joey says: Warble Entertainment Agency was established in 2007 with a vision to make entertainment hire both simple and fun. We aim to make things easy at Warble and are proud to offer something exciting and different when it comes to booking wedding entertainment with the best acts available in the UK right now. From the beginning our approach has been one of honesty and passion towards understanding our customers’ needs and the importance of weddings. We are lucky to have a strong team who value the company’s core beliefs and ethos when it comes to reliability, transparency and incredible customer service in providing the UK’s most exciting wedding entertainment.

What sets you apart from other entertainment agencies?

Warble are an agency with bags of personality and a huge passion for what we do. Our team is made up of industry professionals and experts who have vast experience in co-ordinating all manner of events. We are always on hand to answer any questions or give impartial advice to help make your wedding a success. Warble are also the only agency who run a video advice series with guides on booking entertainment, wedding inspiration and tips – often with guest spots; from appearances from acts, suppliers and wedding industry professionals to help educate couples on the world of weddings and entertainment!

Image supplied by Warble Entertainment (1)

Steve Grogan Photography

What is the feedback like from your clients?

Every customer of ours is highly valued and we make sure that we are able to provide a bespoke service to every single one. We are always getting amazing comments from couples who have booked with us and it makes us so happy when we know that we were able to help them find an amazing act for their wedding. Everyone is always surprised to find out how easy the process can be! We are aware that booking wedding entertainment isn’t something that people do every day – or only do once in their lifetimes so we are constantly keeping couples up to date throughout the process and making things stress free. We know that great entertainment can absolutely make a wedding, and this is something we hear daily from couples who have booked through us. Our acts are the best around and there is so much choice to suit absolutely any event.

How do you vet the acts on your books to ensure they meet the Warble standard?

The quality of our acts is important to us and we ensure that every act is stringently vetted before being allocated a place on our roster. We have a dedicated Artist Liaison team here at Warble who have procedures in place in order to assure that every act has the correct PLI and PAT documentation, so you can be safe in the knowledge that they are eligible to perform at your chosen venue. We work with trusted and experienced acts who do this full time as a profession and only a small number of acts who apply are accepted onto the roster – we have a very high standard! We also hold regular showcases, host interviews and act features meaning that we are lucky enough to see many of our amazing acts from all over the UK performing live.

Image supplied by Warble Entertainment (5)

Jake Morley Photography

What elements should couples take into account when choosing the right type of entertainment for their wedding?

Our aim is to always try and match the right entertainment with the style of the wedding. Entertainment comes in all shapes and sizes and can be used in so many different ways! Every wedding has some kind of personality or theme. This can be something simple like a ‘casual’ wedding or ‘rustic’ and other themes can be much stronger such as ‘vintage’ or a ‘wedstival’. These play a massive part in choosing the right entertainment so look for entertainment that not only matches your theme, but enhances it! Definitely pay attention to gaps and lulls throughout your day too. Using entertainment to fill these is a great idea if you’re aware of them.

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report to the dancefloor: seventh second

January 24th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

Seventh Second (17)

Personalising your wedding isn’t all about the theme and décor, but your choices for the whole day and the atmosphere that you create.

As such, live music can be a huge help in achieving the right vibe for the day; whether you want an air of romance, an informal, chilled environment, full on party mode – or a combination of all three!

To expand on the options, we’re chatting to our uber-knowledgeable Sponsor Seventh Second, about the various entertainment they offer for weddings and how such acts can enhance the whole mood of the day.

Set up and run by talented and experienced musicians, we couldn’t be leaving you in safer hands…

Seventh Second (9)

When was Seventh Second set up and how has it grown since that time?

seventh second say: As a fully-fledged website we have been around for about five years now and year on year we play for more happy couples in more wedding venues around the UK and abroad. We are essentially a family of musicians who’ve been performing together at weddings for more than 15 years but since we put together a website with all our acts in one place. We’ve gone from performing at five weddings to more 400 weddings. We’ve added a huge amount of varied live acts and look forward to adding more in the future.

What does Seventh Second aim to bring to the wedding industry and what types of entertainment does it offer?

We aim to bring fun, enjoyment and a packed dancefloor to the wedding world! We want to create a memorable day for brides and grooms. On the more practical side, when you speak to us, you speak to a musician who performs in the bands you are looking at. We believe this is important in the industry as it ensures we know everything we possibly can about our acts and guarantees excellent, honest customer service and a bespoke band at a price that can’t be beaten. At the moment we offer all sorts of live wedding bands for all types of weddings but in the future, we will be adding wedding event services too.

Seventh Second (15)

How can live entertainment help to enhance a wedding day?

There’s not really a substitute for a talented live band. They add something truly special to wedding that you can’t quite put your finger on. For a truly memorable party, you need live music. It adds a vibrancy and energy to a wedding that can’t be replicated in any other way. Live music looks and feels special and people see it as a highlight of any wedding party. They look forward to and enjoy it. You get to see people’s fun side (and dance moves) and can be happy in the knowledge that you’ve created an amazing party!

What are the benefits of couples arranging their wedding entertainment through Seventh Second and how does your website help to make the process simple?

One major benefit is that when you talk to us about any of our acts, you are talking with a real band member who’s proud of their band and cares about what they promote. This ensures we know everything we possibly could about our acts and guarantees excellent, honest customer service and a bespoke band that is truly designed for your needs. We keep the website as clean and simple as possible and because we are the authority on our acts we don’t waste your time with useless information or bands that just won’t work for you.

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and for our next trick: introducing wedding magician danny jewell

December 6th, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Stephen McGowen photography

Stephen McGowan

A DJ and live music are the types of entertainment that instantly spring to mind for brides and grooms to consider when planning their wedding, but there are further acts that can be incorporated into the day to make it all the more memorable.

Magicians being one such offering – and we’re not talking seen-it-all-before pulling a rabbit out of a hat style tricks, but mesmerising magic that will leave guests impressed, stunned and enthralled.

We know just the man who can help wow you and your guests with his amazing skills – talented north-west based magician, and Brides Up North Sponsor, Danny Jewell.

Having been practising magician for more than 12 years, Danny has developed a fabulous range of close-up magic that works particularly well as an ice-breaker among guests and keeps all ages entertained during the ‘slower’ points of the day, such as during photos and the switch over from the wedding breakfast to evening reception.

Jess Yarwood Photography

Jess Yarwood Photography

When did you first start performing magic and how did you get into it?

danny says: I started performing magic at the age of 13 (I’m now 25!). I saw a magician on holiday in Dominican Republic blow up a balloon, pop it and a live dove appeared on stage! It was the first time I’d seen live magic, so I decided to buy a Marvin’s Magic Set with some pocket money I had saved from my holiday spends. I practised every magic trick for hours then ended up doing my first family show that night. I then found myself a mentor and I started learning all the techniques used with cards and coins.

I ended up performing in Salou, Spain at the prestigious House of Illusion magic dinner theatre show entertaining more than 200 guests per evening six nights a week. All the hard work was worth it in preparation for all the lovely bride and grooms I’ve met over the years. Evidently, I learnt a lot more about the performance side of magic and being a top-class entertainer specialising in wedding entertainment.

Is there a certain type of magic that you specialise in?

I predominantly specialise in close-up magic around Manchester, Cheshire and the North West, performing at weddings to guests of all ages using cards, coins, ropes and other everyday objects. In my opinion, performing high quality magic with plenty of audience participation for adults and children is important because the bride and groom are purchasing a package that they can trust for their wedding day. I have the ability and experience to accommodate the magic to the situation of the event too. For example, performing around tables or mix and mingle magic for guests in groups of two to ten people, who have a drink and are relaxing in the bar area of your chosen venue.

Every single routine I utilise has been tried and tested at more than 150 weddings, so you can be sure to receive the very best in wedding entertainment for your special day!

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For what points of the day do wedding couples tend to book you and what type of magic do you perform at these times?

Drinks Reception – shortly after your ceremony finishes, you will be having photos taken with your photographer so your guests will need entertaining until you sit down for the wedding breakfast. This is the perfect time for me to break the ice for all your guests by performing interactive close-up magic for approximately five to ten minutes per group of two to ten people. Most of the magic I do can be done in the spectator’s hands and I always work my hardest to ensure everyone is involved during the wedding performance.

Wedding Breakfast – the show usually continues from the drinks reception around tables in between the courses of the meal. The magic doesn’t interfere with service and I perform a varied routine which adds a lot to the atmosphere of your special day. I have the experience to work the tables in a professional manner ensuring guests have a fantastic day!

Changeover Section – this is probably my favourite place to perform at a wedding because everyone has eaten, the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed and guests are up for high quality entertainment before your evening party starts. I’d perform magic for people in the bar area and around tables.

Jess Yarwood Photography (1)

Jess Yarwood Photography

In your opinion, why is a magician a good choice of entertainment for a wedding?

Every bride and groom want their wedding to be unique, memorable and to stand out from the rest! A magician is the perfect way to do this because magic is an interactive personal form of entertainment suitable for adults and children. People presume magicians are cheesy however, this is definitely not the case! The right magician with plenty of experience will entertain guests with magic, laughter and plenty of applause throughout the drinks reception, around tables or during the changeover section at your wedding.

Magic has also been revitalised from shows such as Britain’s Got Talent. Therefore, the public understand that a good magician stands out from the rest and is definitely something to squeeze into the plans for your wedding day.

What makes you different from other magicians?

Most magicians are remembered by an audience from one particular trick they did, such as walking on water or bending a coin in the spectator’s hands. The main difference with me is the fact that I have an extensive repertoire whereby every magic trick I do flows in a routine and I have the ability to change my act if people start following me around. This is important on a professional level and develops from a lot of experience performing at many types of events.

Amanda Boileau photography (1)

Amanda Boileau

What do you enjoy most about performing, and particularly at weddings?

I’ve always had a passion for acting and a strong interest in performing arts. I think magic combines both of these together and enables me to express myself as a performer. I love meeting new people and putting a smile on their faces and after all, there’s not one person I’ve met that doesn’t want to be entertained! Magic enables people to remember a special moment in their lives that they can talk about for years to their friends and family and that means a lot to me.

I love performing at weddings because each wedding is different. Brides and grooms always put their own spin on their wedding and it’s fantastic to see so many people come together and celebrate the wedding of their loved ones. Everyone has a smile on their face and wants to be entertained which makes everyone more approachable and encourages a much better performance.

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