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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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hit a high note. supplier showcase: Silver Dog Music

March 12th, 2015 | Julia Braime

Silver Dog Music (9)

If you’re on the hunt for some excellent wedding entertainment, we’re on the case this afternoon at Brides Up North HQ.  I’m really happy to welcome Helen of Brides Up North Sponsor and wedding entertainment agency Silver Dog Music to the wedding blog.  Silver Dog Music is here to help you hit the high notes with your wedding music choices.

Let’s strike up the band

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What is the story behind the business and your background?

Silver Dog Music launched over 8 years ago. One of the Directors is a professional vocalist with many years of industry experience behind him with the other a considerable event industry background. We knew we were both had the skills to make a very successful agency thus Silver Dog Music was born!

What does Silver Dog Music do?

Silver Dog Music provides live musicians and bands for weddings throughout the UK, for the wedding ceremonies themselves to drinks receptions and full on party entertainment in the evening.

Silver Dog Music (10)

Where are you based and what areas do you cover?

Silver Dog Music is Cheshire & North West based but our acts are placed all over the UK. We also regularly send musicians to Europe and beyond for wedding clients getting married abroad.

Why should a Bride & Groom use Silver Dog Music? 

Silver Dog Music has a small, select roster which are handpicked by us with the knowledge they are top quality. Most agents simply put you in touch with bands after the booking has taken place but we continue to offer support and advice from the enquiry stage to the wedding day itself.

How can a Bride & Groom use your website to help find their wedding entertainment? 

The website has separate categories depending on whether you are looking for party bands, bands for vintage weddings (swing & jazz) or solo/duo acts. Each act has a full page with glossy photo galleries, songlists and music samples, Most also have live videos.

Explain your bespoke service – how can your agents help Brides & Grooms to find an act to suit their requirements?

We often find that brides & grooms feel very overwhelmed when looking for a band and we really like to encourage them to get in touch with us explaining a bit more on what they would like musically. We can often point them in the right direction on what may work/suit them. As much information the better, we love to get a picture on what their guests are like, what kind of atmosphere are they trying to create etc.?

If clients have something in mind but don’t necessarily see this on the website please still get in touch as we have an enormous amount of musician contacts. Once such recent example was a bride looking for musicians for her drinks reception who would play music from a very specific region of Spain which we successfully sourced.

What happens once a Bride & Groom have chosen an act?

Once a Bride & Groom has chosen one of our acts we secure the bookings with contracts and take a deposit. Balance payments are due 2 weeks prior to the wedding. Every client is assigned a dedicated agent thereafter. We work through itineraries, send out playlists for input, liaise with the venues on logistics and send the bands final, comprehensive notes ahead of the wedding.

What about insurance?

All our bands have full Public Liability Insurance.

Silver Dog Music (5)

Tell us about the range of musical acts available to book via Silver Dog Music?

We can offer party bands (anything from compact trios to large 8/9 piece bands) playing rock, pop, soul, funk, indie. We have a fabulous vintage section with swing/jive/jazz bands and even offer Irish, Latin and French acts. We also offer guitarists, sax players, string quartets – anything you can think of!

Are your bands recommended by you personally? 

Many of our acts are personally recommended  and we do receive a lot of applications as musicians are very keen to work with us. We are fussy though, only 1/10 acts on average are deemed good enough quality to be on our books as we strive to keep a very high standard.

We don’t just look at the musical ability of the musicians, we also assess how much security the band can offer to brides/grooms on their wedding day, if a key member was ill on the day how able are they to replace the musician, how secure will the booking be? We also do look at the way the bands communicate with us – it seems a small consideration but it is very important that we send out musicians who are flexible, co-operative and charming.

It can be a stressful time and we want to ensure everything goes smoothly.

What would be your top five tips for Brides Up North when choosing their wedding entertainment?

  1. Choose music that reflects you as a couple and how people know you
  2. Make a top 3 list of acts you like and ask your friends/family their opinion
  3. Consider your guests and try and look for options that encompass as many tastes as possible
  4. If you have a themed wedding e.g. vintage – book acts that can complement this
  5. Book through an agent as they offer more protection.

Silver Dog Music (2)

Which acts would you recommend where money was no object?

There is no particular act I would recommend but if budget allows, I do recommend hiring live music for the drinks reception/afternoon as well as the evening.

What about for brides on a budget?

We can always help brides on budgets to have some element of live music on their wedding day and encourage them to get in touch.

How can Brides Up North get in touch to discuss their requirements or book an act?

You can visit our website at www.silverdogmusic.co.uk, contact us by email at helen@silverdogmusic.co.uk or call us on 0845 838 3514.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Anything else we should know?

We offer all brides and grooms a £20 Marks & Spencer voucher if our agency is featured in a Brides Up North wedding blog!  We love to share the details of your big day with Brides Up North’s readers.

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Supplier Showcase: An Update From The Dotted Crotchets On A Very Busy Year Of Beautiful Live Wedding Music

August 30th, 2012 | Julia Braime

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String quartet for weddings by Dotmoxee Photographers

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Take it from me, these guys are good.  Very good.  After hearing them play their mix of classical and contemporary arrangements I snapped them up to play at my inaugural Brides Up North Tweet Up networking event in Yorkshire and they went down an absolute storm.  I am also thrilled that they will be joining the fun this Sunday at the first Brides Up North Wedding Exclusive of the season at Nostell Priory (I promise I’ll shut up about it soon, I’m just so excited. Total mentionitis or what?!). 

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Anyway, it’s lovely to welcome Ruth and the rest of the band back to to blog this afternoon as they celebrate the launch of their new website (take a look!) and a very successful year.  I just love it when a plan comes together. 

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Ruth says: It’s been a busy year for The Dotted Crotchets. Amazing, but busy. We’ve dressed up in costume for a Venetian Ball, helped raise money for charity, performed for many beautiful weddings across the North West and beyond, and had a special booking to perform for the Queen. Yes you heard me right, we played for Her Majesty the Queen at Manchester Town Hall during her Jubilee visit to Manchester. Still waiting on the Royal String Quartet appointment though…

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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We are now bigger and better than ever with a brand new website featuring beautiful photographs by the super talented Dotmoxee Photographers and we’ve even started our own blog (www.thedottedcrotchets.blogspot.co.uk) so that everyone can keep up to date with what we get up to.

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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After a session at the Manchester Recording School new recordings have been added to the website and our repertoire list is bursting with new arrangements including Sweet Child of Mine, Bohemian Rhapsody, Someone Like You and Back in Black. We have also started a Bollywood string quartet, Rajah Strings, and have performed for several Asian weddings including one where the bride and groom arrived by helicopter! See what I mean? We’ve been busy!

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UK Wedding Blog

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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If you’ve always dreamed of having a string quartet perform during your big day then have a look at our website and get in touch to find out about our prices and availability. If you’ve never thought about having a string quartet and don’t really fancy having classical music then have a look at our repertoire list and see if our large selection of pop songs and chart hits can change your mind. Remember we can also arrange any of your favourite songs that we don’t already have so you can make the music choices as personal and unique as you like.

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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Nostell Priory Wedding Fair.

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We are very excited to be joining Julia from Brides Up North for another year as a Featured Supplier on the blog and are looking forward to exhibiting with her at Nostell Priory on the 2nd September. It would be great to meet lots of new couples so we hope to see you there!

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The Dotted Crotchets by Dotmoxee Photographers

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  – Images © 2012 Dotmoxee Photographers

The Dotted Crotchets are a Brides Up North Featured Supplier, and this is a sponsored post

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

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Brides Up North UK Wedding Blog

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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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