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playlist perfection: classic fm’s the wedding collection

July 26th, 2018 | Julia Braime

Pic one

Lyndsey Doran Photography

When planning a wedding the ‘to do’ list can seem never ending, and so we’re all ears for any time savvy solutions that can help to get another box ticked off.

Today on the blog we’re bringing you news that can help save serious time on the wedding playlist.

Introducing, The Wedding Collection, a double-sided compilation album brought to you from the musical experts at Classic FM. Carefully put together to provide music for all parts of the day, from the ceremony through to the reception, the album features classical masterpieces and contemporary hits, to create the desired atmosphere for differing parts of the proceedings.

So, there’s no need to spend hours trying to recall the titles and composers/acts of songs you like then tediously compiling your own playlist as The Wedding Collection has it all covered. Music to your ears, right?!

Time now then to hear more from the pros behind the album on how such music will help to enhance a wedding, which tracks made the big day grade and, most importantly, where The Wedding Collection is available to buy from.

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Can you give us an overview of The Wedding Collection?

classic fm say: The Wedding Collection album is a brand-new collection of music which promises to create the perfect atmosphere for upcoming weddings. We know how difficult it can be to choose the perfect wedding music, so with this album we have tried to package up all of the best bits with a modern twist to suit all parts of the day and all guests.Disc one is full of traditional music specially curated to be played during the ceremony including, beautiful performances of classics like Wagner’s Bridal Chorus and Pachelbel’s Canon in D. Disc two features more contemporary music which has been classically arranged, perfect for the reception. There’s something here for everyone, such as Ed Sheeran’s Perfect, Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You, and the much loved This is Me from the Greatest Showman.

What elements of their day should couples take into consideration when picking the right music for their wedding?

Background music (guests’ arrival); ceremony, including hymns and wedding march; reception music; dinner soundtrack and extra entertainment.

Pic two

Ash Martin Photography

What genres of music tend to work particularly well for weddings?

Classical music traditionally tends to feature heavily in wedding ceremonies, with pop music also frequently making an appearance later on as entertainment at the reception. It can be quite difficult to pick your wedding soundtrack as there’s just so much choice! We think the Wedding Collection will help you get a selection of the best traditional pieces and a taste of popular songs rearranged with a classical twist.

What type of music would you suggest for the wedding ceremony and why?

Traditional classical pieces are often chosen for the wedding ceremony as they fit so beautifully, but of course there is a huge variety to choose from depending on your taste. We did a study on the nation’s favourite wedding music (which you can see on the Classic FM website) and the winning piece was revealed as Widor’s Toccata, from his Symphony No.5 for Organ. Other extremely popular pieces are Handel’s Arrival of The Queen of Sheba and Pachelbel’s Canon. All three of these feature on the Wedding Collection Album, the first disc of which was specifically curated for the wedding ceremony.

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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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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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