Thanks Chris from Moonlight Blue for this guest blog, which gives you an insight into the important role that music can play at your wedding day. Contact details for the band are included at the bottom of this post, along with a video of the guys in action. Enjoy! Beckie xx
YOUR WEDDING AND MUSIC
Everybody loves the romance and sparkle of a wedding. And which bride and groom wouldn't want their wedding to be magical?
One key ingredient to creating that special atmosphere is music. Music can lift the soul and conjure up emotions that make life so special. Music can be the thread running throughout your wedding, creating a canvas during events like drinks or the reception, or playing a more active part, like a performance from a soloist during the breakfast.
Here are some of the key moments of a wedding that can really be enhanced by a musical contribution.
-Guest arrival: some light and cheery music helps guests to relax and might help to encourage conversation. Choices often include organ music or lighter options such as a flute, cello, harp or even bagpipes!
-Entrance of the bride: this key moment could feature a piece loved by the bride (and groom!) that is both positive, uplifting and why not, triumphant. A solo instrument like piano, organ, harp, or a duo can suit the moment.
-Signing of the register: music can play a role here too as it can entertain guests while they wait for the bride and groom to complete the formalities, avoiding a bit of a dull moment.
-Exit of the bride and groom: this is the height of the ceremony: the bride and groom are officially married, the formalities are over and celebration awaits! There is so much to choose from but a joyful, celebratory and anthemic piece loved by both bride and groom should work well. This is one of the highest points, so make sure that the music reflects this! Songs range from classical music to easy listening or even more up-beat choices like Happy feat. Pharell Williams!
IDEA: Why not choose some special music beforehand, just for you, the bride and groom if you are travelling to a different venue for the reception?
-Arrival of guests/drinks: light but up-beat music suits this moment, helping guests to relax and enjoy conversation. A live jazz band, quartet or a duo can work well.
Moonlight Blue are available as a duo (piano and vocals), covering tastefully selected covers, arranged in a jazz, soul or lounge style. Great for drinks and canapé receptions.
Both recorded music and live acts can work for this part of the celebrations. This can be a chance for the bride and groom to play their favourite playlists. It can also be an occasion for music to take centre stage in the form of solo performances (eg violinists, saxophonists, harpists), comical acts, singing waiters, etc. The performers may wish to work from a specific place in the room or more adventurously move between the tables.
This is the most relaxed and laid-back moment of the celebrations. The formalities have been completed, speeches have been given and most guests have enjoyed good food and drink.
It is vital that keeping with the flow, the music is taken to another level.
A live band or DJ can help achieve this. Live bands bring a great atmosphere (we all know there is something special about a live band!) and it's often so much more than simply the music, with the singer acting as an MC and interacting with the crowd.
DJs offer a reliable form of musical entertainment with more chances for the bride and groom to select their favourite tunes (and even take guests' requests beforehand or during the evening). Some deejays may be able to act as an MC, offering links between key moments like the first dance, announcements or a late cutting of the cake!
Ceilidh dances, line dances and ethnic-inspired performances can be a way to involve people on the dance floor.
Live equipment from the DJ or band mean that this can be used by the wedding party for things like speeches, announcements, etc
IDEA: why not have a wedding set-list? This could be used for specific moments or been on hand just for when there is a dull moment, when that proverbial ice needs breaking?
All these milestone moments are a chance to let music be the support for the moment, and a chance for the bride and groom to leave their mark on the day by selecting a piece of music that is uniquely theirs.
-Always check the wedding venues (church, hall, reception venue, etc) for available audio equipment, including whether there will be someone there to operate it on the day. If possible, ask to hear it in operation to get an idea of quality and power potential. Remember that the equipment's volume will be absorbed by people in the room and having some margin can always be handy.
-Ask if there are any restrictions on sound volumes and timings. Some may be set by the venue, local authorities or even based on informal agreements with neighbours!
-Try to get a written agreement with the music supplier(s). It may be appropriate to pay a deposit in order to guarantee their attendance.
-Requests may be optional with a band. If you are planning on having special songs performed by a live band at your wedding, check that they are able to perform this and if this involves an extra fee.
For ideas on music at your wedding, Hitched offer a comprehensive list of ideas, divided by key moments.
Moonlight Blue Band are a professional band that offer a unique jazzy or soulful wrap to great hits and popular tunes. These are a great relaxed theme tune for drinks and receptions. Alongside this, they offer funky and soulful dancefloor classics, ideal for the party!
Contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org
Something I've been asked several times recently is "should I invite children to my wedding?"
Now of course, it's personal preference, but you should also consider the style of your day.
If you're having a relaxed, informal wedding (such as we hold at Flaxbourne Gardens) then chances are it will be a child friendly day.
However, if you're going for a more formal, glamorous affair then it may be best to ask your guests to leave the kids with a minder, & enjoy a few hours out.
If you decide to invite the little ones to your big day. there are lots of ways to make sure that they don't become bored & restless. Here are a few ideas to consider:
You can hire professional childcare professionals, to provide a child minding service & keep the kids entertained through a range of activities - they offer things such as crafting, soft play, etc.
You could hire a bouncy castle or similar outdoor play (space & budget allowing).
You could supply some craft items (pencils, colouring books etc), placed on tables for your younger guests. This will keep them occupied during the wedding breakfast, speeches, etc.
If you're worried about babies or little ones interrupting your vows & ceremony, you could consider asking parents solely to the afternoon & evening celebration. Or again, an activity bag should provide a distraction while you say "I do".
Of course, parents should also be able to put your mind at rest & keep their children from causing a disruption - I remember leaving several ceremonies when my son was very young, to avoid disrupting the proceedings.
I hope you've enjoyed this blog, please do get in touch with any further ideas you have!
Now, as a qualified wedding planner I may be a little biased on this subject! However you can't deny the value & importance of employing the services of a wedding planner. Below I've tried to outline a few of the reasons why we're so important to your big day, but believe me there's much more too. Let me know what you think?
I will take the stress off your shoulders, taking on the responsibility of scheduling meetings with wedding suppliers, day to day arrangements, leaving you free to enjoy your engagement
Talking of chasing people, still waiting on answers from Aunty Joan or your work friend Neil? Are you fed up of asking them whether or not they're attending? Here's where your I can come into my own. With patience & time on my side, those RSVPs will soon be received.
Budgeting & scheduling skills run through my veins. I *love* lists, being organised & will happily create budgets & timelines for you, so that you know what should be happening at any time. It doesn't matter how tight or fluid your budget, I can help you realise your perfect day without breaking the bank (or a sweat!) I have it covered for you.
Insider knowledge & access to tried & trusted wedding suppliers. OK hear me out on this one. I admit, I have favourite suppliers that I work with time and again, but I never get commission from any that I recommend to you. I only work closely with people whose businesses provide the best possible service &, well, who are decent people! No attitude, no fuss, just amazing wedding services.
Communication with your wedding suppliers - you don't have the time to be speaking to 15 different wedding suppliers in a week. You have more important things to do, like work & keep up with friends & family! Give the communication over to me, I'll still keep you in the loop but not trouble you with little admin details.
Introducing you to some new & original ideas, personal to YOU. Every couple wants their wedding to be unique, so they all read the same magazines & blogs & websites for ideas. Time to break the habit, & get myself on the case. With my experience in the industry, I guarantee I will have original ideas just for you - anything from outstanding photography shots, to unique floral ideas, & more.
Solutions to tricky situations - What are you supposed to do if your mum and mother-in-law disagree about hen party details? How much should you ask your bridesmaids to pay for their dresses? When should you send out your save-the-dates? I can safely say I've seen it all, so will be able to guide you through any tricky situations that arise during the preparations for your wedding day.
Invaluable assistance on your big day - right this is the BIG one, which is obviously why I've left it until last to address! A wedding planner is, as far as I'm concerned, essential to your big day. If any issues arise during the ceremony or reception, I'll be the first one on the scene, so you won't need to worry about anything except enjoying your special day with loved ones. You don't need to worry about logistics or timings or queries from suppliers - I have it covered, while you have a perfect wedding day.
Hi & welcome to Beckie Melvin Weddings & Events! Whether it's your first time visiting the website, or the 25th time we've met, a warm welcome is always guaranteed. It's been a while since I did a little intro on myself & the business, so here I am.
My business is Beckie Melvin Events. I run weddings & wedding shows in Herts, Beds & Bucks (plus sometimes a little further afield if I'm lucky!) I am a qualified wedding planner & have been in the events industry for around 10 years now.
I love working with overwhelmed couples, bringing order & organisation to their wedding plans. Part of this is sourcing them suppliers, & one of the best ways to do this is refer to my huge database of wedding specialists that I work with at the wedding shows. I see couples go from overwhelmed the excited about their future & this is so satisfying! It never gets old.
For the wedding shows, this is just as fun. I ADORE showcasing wedding suppliers to local, engaged couples, getting them known & seeing the wedding specialists grow their business. Some suppliers I've worked with since my very first show, & it's just as satisfying now as when I first met them. I'm truly very lucky to have these guys choose me to help them market their services, and I hope I never take it for granted.
Here at Beckie Melvin Events, it's a very small team - in fact, it's pretty much just me! You'll only ever speak to me on the emails or phone, & on show day itself it'll be just 1 other family member (usually my lovely Mum) who sits at the registration table. You'll meet me in person at the door of the wedding show, whether a supplier or a visitor, where you'll get a personal welcome by name. Then once the show is over & you're leaving, you'll get a personal goodbye from me too. What's the point in being the face of the business of I'm just going to hide away?? No thank you! :)
Well I hope this gives you a but of an insight into the person you meet. I'd love to hear from you & hope to meet you at an event soon. In the meantime, make sure to follow my Facebook page & Instagram page for posts about life, love, bulldogs & all sorts of other fun.
PS Photos here of all the things I love - motivational quotes, Irregular Choice shoes, English Bulldogs & all things positive!
Beckie is a qualified wedding planner, with a passion for assisting overwhelmed couples to achieve their perfect wedding day.