Wedding related tips, advice and occasional event journal .
Last Saturday, the 6th October, I had the pleasure of performing at the Wedding of Jennie and Thomas.
It was taking place at Lyndir Hall Chester, part of the Hallmark Hotel group. It’s the second time in a couple of weeks I’ve performed at a Hallmark Hotel, and they are all unique in their own way!
The clients had a Disney theme during the day but wanted a mix of Swing, Rat Pack and 60s, 70s and 80s music for the evening party.
I was working with Pete, the resident DJ with over 40-years experience.
Jennie had great enthusiasm, and never stopped smiling. I must say that the entire wedding party were a fun, outgoing bunch who wanted to dance all night.
Pete was able to take some footage of the event, and I’ve compiled a small montage of these clips to produce a little video. It is clear everyone had a wonderful time!
It was a long, long day – but a very successful one.
I always relish pressure situations, and having two bookings on the same day – back to back – is certainly one of those.
During the busy period between May and September, it’s not uncommon to have multiple bookings on the same day. It’s a similar story in December.
Julie and Rupert’s Wedding
A few weeks ago, I got a call from a gentleman called Ken, who was looking for a singer for his friends Wedding.
His friends, Julie and Rupert, had been let down at the very last minute by another Wedding singer who they had known for a long time. Apparently, she had been offered another job.
I find it concerning that a ‘professional’ would do that, but anyway, that’s a different matter.
Ken had offered to take over the search on behalf of the happy couple, and before long, I had learned all about the bride and groom’s music tastes and requirements.
I explained how the little details make a difference, and promised to help make their special day a unique memory that will live on forever.
The next day, I heard from the bride herself, Julie, who was impressed with everything she had seen and heard and asked to proceed with the booking.
We were all booked in, and it was time to prepare the set lists for the client’s Wedding Drinks Reception and Wedding Breakfast.
Julie had asked for predominently Swing and Rat Pack during her Drinks Reception and a mix with some 60s, 70s and 80s during her meal. She wanted to include a lot from The Drifters, as she is a big fan.
Destination Colne: The Alma Inn
It was an early start, but by 10am I had my suit on and car loaded ready for the 1hr 30 minute drive to Colne.
I was performing at the Alma Inn, a charming venue with excellent reviews.
The journey there went quite quick; I always prefer to listen to a talk show or sports rather than to music on route to a booking, given that I’ll be listening to music all day once I’m there.
My first set was at 2pm, and provided quality, lively entertainment for guests during the Drinks Reception, which took place once the ceremony had finished.
I enjoyed performing a range of Rat Pack, Swing and American Songbook favourites, which really enhanced the atmosphere and complimented the attire and ambience greatly. Guests appreciated the variation but the emphasis was on upbeat, lively music.
The room was filled with guests singing along to the likes of ‘That’s Life’, ‘Laughter In The Rain’, ‘How Deep Is Your Love’, and ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’ and drinking bubbly.
After the performance had finished, I had a short window to setup my PA system in the main room, where the Wedding Breakfast was taking place. Given that I use a discreet, high quality, portable Bose L1 PA system, easily done.
Guests had entered the room at 3.30pm and by 4pm food was being served and I began my second set. It wasn’t long before guests were up on their feet and had their hands in the air!
Some of my clients prefer more subtle, easy listening background music during their meal, but Julie and Rupert asked for upbeat music to entertain their guests.
They were certainly all great fun, and a very friendly, happy bunch. ‘The Drifters’ are one of Julie’s favourite bands so I included ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’, ‘Saturday Night At The Movies’ and ‘Under The Boardwalk’ in the set.
One of my highlights though, was Sweet Caroline. He’s a video, just wait a few seconds in.
It was a great set, and a fantastic afternoon.
It was nice to meet some interesting people and many guests asked for my details with regards to potential bookings.
Lysa’s Birthday Party
Closer to home, I was booked to perform at Lysa’s birthday party at her house in the Wirral that night.
It was a long drive from Colne to the Wirral, but I was looking forward to performing at her party.
She had booked me many months ago and asked for predominantly Michael Buble but with some 80s music later in the evening.
Although it was a small birthday celebration with around 20 people in the house, her guests were a really fun, entertaining group with most of them in fancy dress.
My favourite fancy dress costume was the Star Wars character, who even kept his mask/helmet on for the entirety of my first set. I must admit, though, there were some great costumes – including a man dressed as one of the Flintstones.
My first set included ‘Haven’t Met You Yet’, ‘Everything’ and ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’ by Michael Buble. ‘Call Me Irresponsible’, ‘Moondance’, ‘I’ve Got The World On A String’ and ‘Crazy Love’ also featured, as some as Michael Buble’s most famous songs. My second set featured 80s classics – they all had a great time.
Today, I received some great feedback from Lysa: “Thank you for a truly memorable evening. You’re amazing!”
There was a great vibe at the party and it was a pleasure to be performing at the Wedding earlier in the afternoon too.
I won’t be able to share my activities every week, given the volume of gigs I do, but thanks for reading.
Until next time,
Your wedding meal, known as the “Wedding Breakfast”, is a traditional meal which takes place following on from the ceremony or drinks reception. It’s important to consider appropriate music and entertainment for this stage in the day.
Why is it called a Wedding Breakfast?
The name derives from past traditions, when the wedding ceremony was held after mass. The entire wedding party would fast before mass and so for the wedding party this was their first meal – effectively their ‘breakfast’.
These traditions tend to be a thing of the past now, but the name of the meal has been retained throughout the years.
Live Music during the Wedding Breakfast
I get asked about wedding breakfast music a lot, but the reality is that you can’t beat live music during your wedding breakfast.
Pre-recorded music of course, can fill in the gaps between sets.
In terms of style of music, it really depends on your own requirements. Some couples like the music to be more of a background music style; relaxing, chilled and designed to enhance the atmosphere and ambience. I find the American Songbook and Rat Pack genre is ideal for this but there’s plenty of excellent material throughout the ages that compliments this.
Other couples prefer upbeat, lively music throughout their meal. Some of the most memorable Weddings I have performed at have opted for this. I’m happy to talk through your requirements, learn about your wedding, your guests and offer advice.
A Discreet and Quality PA System
I’m sure you will have been to plenty of events over the years, and I can almost guarantee that most of them will have had a DJ or Singer using a large, old fashioned, often low quality PA system.
I’ve always believed there was no point having a great act if didn’t use quality equipment, so I invested in a couple of Bose PA systems – the L1 Model and L1 Compact. I have the same philosophy with everything I use, including my microphones and instruments.
What these PA systems allow me to do is provide a discreet amplification solution. The L1 is a tall cylindrical speaker with a small footprint and is ideal for use when performing during Wedding Breakfasts.