Choosing a wedding band can be one of the hardest tasks during wedding planning. Many of us enjoy listening to numerous music genres and styles, yet it can be hard to think of what would work best on the big day. How will your wedding band represent you as a couple? Will that wedding band's music sound jarring as you walk down the aisle? Will it work for your all-important first dance? Will your guests find it hard to groove along to? We've tried to make your choice a little easier by showcasing some of our favourite wedding bands and music ideas below. They's all pretty different, so we hope this will inspire you during your wedding music hunt. Read on to find out who they are and listen to some of their tunes. We hope this will help you choose!
A Modern Soul Band
Soulidify, from £3,240
Soul music has been transformed by modern-day artists, bringing with it a fresh spin for your wedding dance floor. Think feel-good hits by the likes of Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams or Cee Lo Green, but paired with super-cool brass sections and performed by a talented group of live musicians (the more the merrier). That's what you're looking for when you choose this kind of wedding band. Remember: any Soul & Motown band worth its salt should have repertoire that's packed with classic tracks from the 50s, 60s and 70s, as well as the popular dance floor fillers!
A roaming band
Juke Joints Music, POA
A roaming band is a group who carry their instruments with them as they move through the space and occasionally interact with guests. It's a fantastic way to have music playing at a garden wedding, as they ensure they're constantly bringing their performance to everyone. The best roaming bands are fun, upbeat, confident and do killer harmonies – with their own take on well-known songs.
A jazz and swing band
Alexander Stewart, from £750
We all love a bit of amped-up jazz music. And that's basically what a combination of jazz and swing sounds like (to the untrained ear, of course...). It's smooth yet fun; relaxing yet enlivening. Guests chill and chat as it plays (we're thinking club chairs and cocktails), just as much as they could get up and have a boogie to it. It's one of our favourite wedding band options – and could be yours, too!
A band that basically does it all
The Velvet Notes, from £2,650
If you aren't sure what you want playing on the big day, hiring musicians that perform in multiple styles is a great option. There are lots of bands that do this, but it can be tricky finding one that does it well. Anyhow, we like the idea of having a mix of genres throughout the day; maybe a romantic pop song during the ceremony, some jazz instrumentals during your drinks reception and then a combination of R&B, chart hits, afrobeat, motown, indie tunes, gospel and more to keep guests on their toes at the party – quite literally!
An acoustic-folk band
The Wayfarers, from £1,619
A live acoustic-folk band can be lively as much as it can be sweet and romantic. We love the mix of vibes that can be created in this genre. Good acoustic-folk wedding bands often add their own twist to very popular songs, so guests can recognise hits and even sing along, all while enjoying the talent of live performers with distinct harmonies and sound.
A string quartet
The Wedding String Quartet, from £719
Made up of four string players, two violins, a viola and a cello, this classical style is extremely elegant. We think this is a wonderful idea for filling the silence before, during and after your ceremony or during the wedding breakfast. A string quartet can create a peaceful or joyful atmosphere – or both. They're also a very nice classical-music option for when guests are milling about with drinks and canapés. (Before getting the party started later...)
A rock(-style) band
Tomorrow Band, from €2,000
If you're into rock music, but you're worried about your guests' reception of it, go for a rock band who can play music in this style but more to everyone's tastes. There are many rock-esque wedding performers who can tone it up and down. They can introduce a motown, funk, pop (you name it) element into their set, while keeping their gruff vocals and hardcore instruments in action. The perfect balance!
A contemporary pop band
The New Tones, from £1,325
If you're a pure pop lover then this one's for you. Hiring musicians who perform chart hits and pop classics will please the majority of your guests. You're sure to have singalongs, cheers of delight when people realise their favourite tune has come on and lots and lots of dancing. The repertoire can also include a diverse number of styles, from Ed Sheeran tearjerkers to Daft Punk and Pharrell's Happy!
Brendan Mills, from £1,995
Saxophonists are great because you can often get two genres in one! Of course, it's really lovely to listen to the smooth jazzy sound of this classic instrument, but now saxophonists have also started adding party-hard music to their repertoire. This originates in the Ibiza party scene, where dance tracks are frequently accompanied by a mega-cool live saxophone player. It does sound extremely cool – and unusual – and these musicians are reporting that Sax-DJ sets have become their most-requested wedding performance!
A traditional ceilidh band
Frank Reid, from £900
A Scottish ceilidh, otherwise known as Scottish Country Dancing, is all about bringing guests together. Groups of people are taught, usually by the band playing, simple (more or less) choreography that takes them around the room partnering with lots of different people. It's a wonderfully social ice breaker – and is always hilarious. And the music is really lively and fun. Needless to say, as more and more drinks are consumed, it can get a little bit chaotic... But, frankly, if it doesn't, then you're not doing it right!
Rebeca Jones, from £250
Another classical wedding music option, entering your ceremony as a harpist plays is really quite special. The sound falls seamlessly into the background of a room and harpists can play continuously, so there's no momentary silence between each piece. Everyone will enjoy listening to this heavenly instrument as they wait for your ceremony to begin. If they don't, they must be crazy!
Listen to Rebeca Jones play here.
A folk-pop band
The Haywains, from £2,225
Folk-pop is more upbeat than pure acoustic-folk music. They might be more interactive, use more unusual instruments (a banjo is known to make a welcome appearance!) and the performers are there to bring a smile to your face. We love how happy this style of music is. You and your guests will, too!
A pop-playing saxophonist
Tim Watson Saxophonist, from £300
Saxophonists can also do pop covers, and we quite like this option for something a little unusual. You can either have him or her play over backing music or ask for the tune to be played solo. We like the idea of the latter for guests are milling about on the lawn sipping Champagne – or perhaps as a prelude to a larger band during your party. And don't forget that a jazz- or classically trained saxophonist can also play that style during your ceremony or wedding breakfast.
Listen to Tim Watson Saxophonist play here.