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the perfect match: entertainment nation’s themed live act suggestions

September 13th, 2018 | Rachel Parry

sean-the-guitarist

When piecing together your big day it’s often the case that you will want one element to complement another; from the dress, hair and makeup, to the venue, styling and flowers. Entertainment is another factor often chosen to complement the wedding setting and theme – so those wanting timeless and traditional will look to string quartets and classical pianists, while those taking their celebrations outdoors for a festival style affair will be on the hunt for rocking bands that can really get the party started.

Keen to help you line up which live acts will fit in perfectly with your plans and vision, we’ve asked our amazing Sponsor, live music agency Entertainment Nation, to advise on the best types of musicians to suit varying styles of weddings.

Hooking up brides and grooms with top acts from across the country day in day out, it’s fair to say these guys know their stuff and help to make the booking process as easy as possible with a user-friendly website and friendly staff on-hand to answer any questions or queries.

So, without further delay, we’ll hand you over to Steven Robertson, Content Manager of Entertainment Nation, to share his expert opinion on which musicians to book for which settings…

gracella-strings

historic castle

We’re so lucky in the UK to have an abundance of gorgeous historic venues in which to celebrate a wedding. If you’re getting married amidst the grandeur of a majestic castle, the evocative strains of a string quartet reverberating around those ancient stone walls provide a suitably stately accompaniment to the bridal entrance.

For your evening party, how about flipping your guests’ expectations of traditional entertainment and opting for an act that’s as current as they come? Fresh from the Ibiza club-scene, DJ Live acts combine all the best bits of hiring a wedding DJ and live musicians. DJ Live acts mix pumping dance tunes spun by a pro DJ with live saxophonists to pick out those catchy melodies, percussionists to intensify the beat and live vocalists to bring it all together. We’ve seen wedding guests go wild to these acts, so if you’re in the mood for a medieval mash-up, a DJ live act can’t be beaten.

Entertainment Nation suggests…

Ceremony and daytime: Gracella Strings

Evening: DJ Union Collective

city centre hotel

For ultra-slick cosmopolitan hotel venues, you’ll want to supplement the cool, contemporary surroundings with cutting-edge wedding entertainment. We’re again suggesting a string quartet to supply your ceremony and daytime wedding music, but this time a string quartet with a difference. The addition of a beatboxer brings a brand-new dynamic to this traditional form. This modern twist on the string quartet will deliver string arrangements of the freshest chart tunes with added percussive punch.

And for the evening? Reach for show-stopping, globe-trotting, dance-along extravagance with a premier international show band. Taking their lead from the unrivalled musicality, dazzling choreography and sumptuous stage production of the spectacular world tours of superstars like Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, international show bands supply a live wedding music experience that’ll be right at home in the most opulent of city centre hotels.

Entertainment Nation suggests…

Ceremony and daytime: String Box

Evening: Jam Hot

jazz-empire

outdoor tipi festival

The UK festival scene has never been more vibrant. The traditional titans like Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, Download, Creamfields and the rest have been joined by an explosion in smaller festivals that offer a more curated experience. If you’re a dedicated festival-goer, why not create your very own festival line-up at your outdoor tipi wedding?

Kick things off with a chilled solo set from a singer-songwriter style singer-guitarist, before upping the ante with a roaming set from a folk-pop band. Roaming sets always go down a treat with guests, allowing them to feel part of the show as they sing and dance along to an up-close performance from wandering musicians.

As the (hopefully) sizzling sun sets and the torches are lit, get ready to let loose to all the biggest indie and rock anthems by monster bands like Arctic Monkeys, The Killers and Kings of Leon from a mainstage-headliner covers band.

Entertainment Nation suggests…

Ceremony: Sean the Guitarist

Daytime: Acoustic Roaming Set from The Wayfarers

Evening: Indie Kings

rustic barn

Converted barns are prevailingly popular choice of wedding venue and it’s little wonder: what could be more romantic than celebrating your special day under timber beams, surrounded by rustic stonework, dust motes dancing in fanned rays of light piercing the barn’s atmospheric shade?

Pairing perfectly with a rustic barn wedding is a Mumford and Sons-style modern folk band. Versatile and upbeat, a modern folk act can supply entertainment for every aspect of your barn wedding: laid-back acoustic duo music for your ceremony, an afternoon roaming set and a fully amplified evening set of uproarious modern folk and folky spins on classic songs from throughout the decades.

Entertainment Nation suggests…

Ceremony, daytime and evening: Wandering Wings

the-wayfarers

urban warehouse

Banish all your preconceptions about cheesy wedding bands – the wedding entertainment scene is thriving right now and attracting the best young musicians around. This influx of top young musicians has led to a diversification of the styles of act on offer, so if you’re getting wed in an urban warehouse, you can hire on-trend wedding entertainment to match your slick, modern venue.

Narrowing down our wedding music selections for an urban warehouse wedding has been tough. So tough in fact, we’ve gone for two evening acts.

Starting with the infectious soul, hip hop and RnB of an urban-themed acoustic duo to perform during the early evening, things start to heat up with a mic-dropping showcase of beatboxing skills from a beatbox crew. To take you into the early hours, the booming sound of a modern brass band collective, whose New Orleans-style reworkings of rock, of songs will have the dance floor bouncing.

Entertainment Nation suggests…

Ceremony and daytime: Soul Junkies Duo

Evening: Block Beatbox and Drum N Brass

quintessential country hall

If you’ve got a fairy tale wedding planned at a quintessential country hall, a wedding pianist is a sublime daytime entertainment choice, especially if there’s already a grand piano present at the venue. Creating a refined and romantic ambience, a pianist is also versatile enough to tailor their sets to suit your taste and themes. The soothing sounds of classical music partner beautifully with the clinking of champagne glasses, while mellow modern ballads form a subtle backdrop to the conversations of your guests. For your evening reception, retain the air of sophistication with a smooth performance from a premier jazz band to get heads nodding in appreciation.

Entertainment Nation suggests…

Ceremony and daytime: Piers

Evening: Jazz Empire

prestige

elegant marquee

The spacious luxury and the glowing purity of sunlight filtered through translucent white canopy makes a marquee wedding a tranquil delight. Complement the peaceful setting with the timeless melodies of classical guitarist. As well as impressively performed music from the great composers, a classical guitarist can perform intricately picked arrangements of popular modern songs for unobtrusive background music that lends your day an elegant ambience.

By day, a marquee may be a peaceful haven in which to share congratulations and reminisce with friends and family; by night, it is transformed into a space for ebullient celebrations and some seriously questionable dance moves. A high-end Motown band, resplendent in sharp suits and graceful gowns, will deliver classic songs by the likes of to compel you and your guests to flock to the dance floor.

Entertainment Nation suggests…

Ceremony and daytime: John Pizzati

Evening: Motown Inferno

grand manor house

National Trust members know well the joys of spending a weekend rummaging around carefully restored period properties. There’s something revivifying about being surrounded by such splendour, especially as many of these properties are home to exquisite grounds that sing with the sounds of nature. It’s easy to forget that a grand manor house was once a home, a living building that housed lavish banquets and magnificent balls – why not reinvigorate these storied halls with a decadent performance from a high-end, luxury soul, funk, Motown and pop wedding band?

Entertainment Nation suggests…

Ceremony and daytime: Elegant Strings

Evening: Prestige

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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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Ear Candy: AMV Live Music

April 6th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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Brides Up North does like to feature the best Northern talent… and my, my the musicians represented by AMV Live Music are just that.  Officially.

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Between sets, Brides Up North chatted to Michael of AMV Live Music about their superior service and what makes for a great wedding score.

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AMV

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What and who is AMV Live Music?

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AMV Live Music is a new music agency in Newcastle with a difference. It was set up by myself, Michael Forster and Andrew Garner and between us we have over thirty years experience in the entertainment business both on and off stage. We only sign high quality bands and musicians and over 80% of our artists have either Bachelor’s or Master’s in Music degrees.

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How can AMV Live Music make my wedding day memorable?

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We can provide almost every type of music imaginable and for every aspect of the wedding day. For instance during the ceremony we have the two best Classical String Quartets in the North East and unlike many Quartets they are willing to alter their repertoire to suit your taste. We have Classical guitarists and Soprano’s to welcome you into and accompany you out of the church. For receptions we have some of the finest pianists, guitarists and saxophonists offering everything from Classical music to Jazz to Rock and Pop to entertain guests whilst they wait for the wedding breakfast. We also have some of the finest male and female vocalists who can accompany all of our solo musicians. For the night-time festivities we have what we believe to be the finest choice of "non-cheesy" bands that there is in the North East. You won’t find any "cabaret" vocals with our bands, just extremely tight musicians with vocals that make a difference.

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AMV

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What sort of acts does AMV Live Music represent?

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We represent Bands, Soloists, Duo’s, Jazz bands and musicians, DJ’s, Céilidhs, Classical String Quartets, Sopranos, Harpists, Classical Guitarists & Pianists, Saxophonists, Pipers and Traditional Folk Ensembles.

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What sets AMV Live Music apart from other agents?

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We have worked at some of the highest levels of the industry and will only put our name to the highest quality musicians as we could not sleep at night knowing that someone’s biggest day of their lives might be upset by a sub standard musician or band. When setting the agency up we were told by some of our peers up here that the average person doesn’t recognise quality over price. I dispute that enormously, when such care is taken over the smallest of details of someone’s wedding then the same care should be applied to their entertainment as it is probably one of the main parts of their day their guests will remember. We know we are competitive on price and we know we supply the best live music there is here in the North East.

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How can Brides Up North hear demos before booking?

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By visiting www.amvlivemusic.com -  all of our artists have demo’s on the site and an example of their repertoire, many also have video’s of live performance and we are encouraging them all to invest in getting a video produced. However we have personally been to see all of our artists and can vouch for their demo quality being the same as their live performance. We have refused to represent some artists who had fantastic demo’s but when live were awful.

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Can Brides Up North see a video of an act playing another wedding?

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We are working with all of our bands to video their performances, some have videoed a public gig and some have done so at another wedding but the best way to confirm what you are going to get is to go along and see them perform at a public gig. We try to get our bands public gigs at Mr Lynch and As You Like It, Jesmond on a regular basis.

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Why book through AMV Live Music rather than approaching an act direct?

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Most bands work through the day on another job and then perform at night and this often leaves some of the arrangements to the last minute. This is our day and night job, we are professional to the end and we make sure that each bride gets what they ask for, for instance a first dance or a specific set-list. We also make sure all of our bands are insured and that they are PAT tested which every venue will ask for. We do not charge the bride and groom for this, we charge the artists, so for the happy couple it’s a win win situation of once it’s booked we take care of everything and any extra requests.

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Does live music really make that much of a difference?

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Absolutely it does, a good band can judge the mood of the crowd and can engage with it making the night go as best as it can. Recorded music can’t do this and it just doesn’t have the same atmosphere as great live band in the evening or a string quartet playing in the chapel. It adds a dimension to your day and night that can not be replicated buy just having recorded music. Go to any live gig and watch what the audience are doing when there is a DJ and what they are doing when the live band is on, the difference is huge, live music stirs something inside of us all, as long as it is done well!

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What would be your top three tips for choosing live music for a wedding?

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1. Go and see the band play live
2. Have a look at their repertoire list to make sure they play the right kind of music for you
3. Enquire about the reputation of both the agency and the act you are wanting to book from other sources.
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What type of music would you recommend during drinks/ dinner/ for dancing?

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Drinks: A pianist with accompanying vocals or a saxophonist
Dinner: Pianist, String Quartet (they don’t have to play purely classical music)
Dancing: A live band with a great front man/woman who can engage the audience and follow their mood.

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AMV

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How can Brides Up North find out more about AMV Live Music?

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By visiting our website or by contacting us directly. We will provide a step by step process of making sure that they get exactly the right music for their wedding, no matter how long it takes.

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How much can Brides Up North expect to pay?

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It varies hugely on what it is you are after, from £150 for a saxophonist to play for an hour, up to £1000 for a big six piece band to play for over two hours. We have everything in between, what we can guarantee is that you won’t find better quality at better prices anywhere else.

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Anything else to tell Brides Up North?

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We are running special offers at the moment where you can book seamless music throughout your day at a discounted rate compared to booking them separately.

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Why do you like and sponsor the Brides Up North blog?

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As we are a new business also we have approached the wedding industry from a different angle to the established providers and we feel that Brides Up North has too. Brides and Grooms are usually young and are therefore social media savvy and so is Brides Up North. We like what you’re doing!

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Why, thank you! :-)

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AMV Live Music is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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