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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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entertain you: laughter, games & song for a fun-filled wedding in chester – kate & anton

May 4th, 2018 | Aislinn Thompson

A Fun Filled Wedding In Chester (c) About Today Photography (29)

Today’s talented featured couple, Kate and Anton, are in the entertainment biz, which means they had a host of wonderfully talented friends to call upon to add a bit of extra-special magic to their wedding in Chester.

From a friend touring in the stage production of The Wedding Singer, who performed Grow Old With You after the cutting of the cake, to a Disney Cruise Line vocalist belting out a beautiful rendition of At Last during the ceremony, Kate and Anton ensured their celebration was punctuated with meaningful moments created by their close friends.

And, keen not to deflate their guests hopes, they took to the dancefloor to put on a couple of impressive performances of their own. Lights, camera, action…

With images by About Today Photography.

A Fun Filled Wedding In Chester (c) About Today Photography (38)

kate says: Anton and I used to work together on the cruise ships; I was a singer and Anton was a dancer. During our contract in November 2016, my mum and stepdad were cruising with us around the Caribbean. We had planned to take them on our favourite excursion to Trafalgar Falls Waterfall on the island of Dominica, which I had completely fallen in love with during our previous contract. Little did I know, Anton had planned a distraction with my mum and, once there, he went off climbing the rocks whilst mum and I swam in a natural pool. I kept trying to get him to join us and thought it was odd that he wouldn’t jump in the water as he normally would. As mum and I got out of the water, he all of a sudden appeared from behind a rock and got down on one knee. The setting was stunning and I was so surprised they’d managed to keep it a secret!

A Fun Filled Wedding In Chester (c) About Today Photography (42)

Our wedding date was Thursday 24th August 2017. We chose to have a mid-week wedding during the summer knowing it was a bank holiday weekend. We wanted an outdoor, light feeling to our day, so the summer was the perfect time and we were super lucky with the weather. Also, having it on a Thursday luckily cut costs just a little bit.

When we were planning our wedding, we visited a Brides Up North wedding fair at Chester Grosvenor Hotel, which we really loved. It gave us a lot of ideas and it was great to meet the different suppliers. It was the first one we attended as a couple and I loved getting my ‘bride to be’ sticker!

A Fun Filled Wedding In Chester (c) About Today Photography (33)

When it came to the venue, we knew we wanted to stay in one place for the whole day and not have to worry about travel. We came across Pryors Hayes Golf Club in Chester; they were building a new event space and, when we saw the artist’s impressions, we instantly fell in love and knew it was our perfect venue. The venue gave us our dream outdoor ceremony under a pagoda surrounded by beautiful green foliage and the reception area was so beautiful and bright, with wooden beams and exposed brick walls. It was all so new that it really felt like ours. We would highly recommend the venue. Not only is it absolutely stunning but the manager, Richard, and his team did absolutely everything and more for us on the day. From start to finish, Richard was absolutely brilliant.

A Fun Filled Wedding In Chester (c) About Today Photography (63)

With regards to a theme, after seeing the venue we decided to keep things very simple and light, especially with it being during the summer. We didn’t want too much of a colour ‘pop’, so chose to go with dusky pinks and to keep the whole theme very homemade and rustic, hand-making most of the decorations, such as the signs and favours. Anton is Ukrainian, so we also incorporated this into our decoration choices and used Polaroid photographs of all the places we had travelled together as decoration and also table names.

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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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party on: alive network’s top ten yorkshire wedding bands

November 21st, 2017 | Rachel Parry

Vintage Jukebox

With many talented musicians out there, even those with their finger firmly on the live music pulse can struggle when it comes to narrowing down the options to just one act to perform at their wedding.

And even once you’ve found a potential entertainer, you’ll need to check where they’re based, how far they will travel, what type of formation they have and what type of music they can play. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll also need to know that they’re reliable, and it’s imperative that they will deliver a performance to be remembered for all the right reasons.

To help make the search easier for those of you tying the knot in Yorkshire, our fabulous Sponsor Alive Network Entertainment Agency, has culminated a list of the hottest bands that are guaranteed to fill the dancefloors of weddings taking place across the county.

Here they share the essential info on their top ten Yorkshire wedding bands, so you can cut to the chase. It’s a right mix of rock, indie, chart, jazz, swing, rat pack, and rock and roll – meaning there really is something for all.

Better still, a place on Alive Network’s books mean that the agency can vouch for the reliability and performance skills of each act, so all you need to do is find the one that best fits the bill for your big day.

Blue Note Mitch and The Red Hot Jacks

blue note mitch and the red hot jacks

Wild, jumping and energetic – think The Blues Brothers meets ska, and you’re half-way there. Blue Note Mitch and The Red Hot Jacks are a fab five-piece, who’ve all performed at amazing venues world-wide, such as the Royal Albert Hall and Madison Square Gardens, to name just a couple… Their wide range of fun vintage music will fill your dancefloor big time.

Sinatra, Chuck Berry, Madness, Louis Prima, James Brown, Elvis, The Killers… their repertoire includes classics and funky takes on newbies. Dare you not to dance.

The MBB

the mmb band

If it’s a big sound and a big night of supercool and ultra-luxe entertainment you’re after, West-Yorkshire based The MBB Band can bring it. This ten-piece jazz orchestra specialise in classic swing, jive, and pop in a swing style. They also offer a fun ‘singaoke’ option, where you can take centre-stage – could this be the most classy karaoke ever? We think so! The band embodies the smooth glam of the Rat Pack in sound, style and appearance, wearing dinner jackets and performing with professional vintage instruments for the classy 1940s Glenn Miller orchestra look. Members of the band have performed world-wide, including at prestigious music venues like Ronnie Scotts and Bridgewater Hall. So, if you want a memorable first dance and a band that will have you and your guests dancing (and maybe even singing!) your hearts out, look no further. Shake your tail feather to that!

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