October 18, 2017

Top Tips on How to Choose Your Wedding Music

Top Tips on How to Choose Your Wedding Music

How to choose the best Music For Your Wedding


Top tips from Industry Mavens at Eight Ray Music!

Having more than one member of Team E doubling as a DJ (can you guess who?!) and an owner who was at the forefront of the music and festival scene before opening a wedding venue, music is really important to us, and we know wedding music can make or break a wedding.

While there is nothing worse than a snooze-worthy DJ, there’s also nothing better than a wedding band who know how to get the party started, and keep your guests on the floor all night long.

But how is a couple supposed to know where to start to find that perfect performer? Well this is where the likes of Eight Ray Music come in. Representing some of the best wedding bands and performers in the country, they have a whole lot of insider knowledge on what makes the best music for weddings, so who better to guide you through the ins and outs of choosing the perfect music for you wedding than Eight Ray Music‘s very own Suzanne Hurley?


Read on for Suzanne's expert insight into the world of wedding music!


There’s a famous saying that everyone will remember a bad wedding breakfast and bad music at a wedding. Time and again, these two factors are highlighted as imperative to a weddings success... In my experience, the food’s important but the music is critical. From the emotive classical act for the ceremony to the dance floor filling party band, music will set the tone and tempo for your wedding day.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing your wedding music: the budget, the type of act, the guests, your schedule and, it’s easy to forget, your personal preferences need to be considered too!

I hope this guide acts as a useful resource to those looking to gain a better understanding of the available options when it comes to wedding music. One thing to always remember is that everyone’s needs are unique, at Eight Ray Music we tailor the entertainment to suit the individual. So take this as a rough guide and get in touch if you would like more advice!


The Wedding Ceremony Music

The Ceremony is an emotional and memorable moment. To truly capture the immensity of the occasion, I would always advise brides to choose a live musician. 

Traditionally, people choose a classical act during the ceremony. Classical musicians add an emotive touch to proceedings and their elegance greatly complements and enhances the occasion. I favour using harpists and violinists, especially if the bride would like the Wedding March played.

You don’t have to stick to classical acts, however. Many people choose to have a more contemporary sound. It’s amazing how many people choose Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud, and this means many elect for solo singers, which can be incredibly moving to witness.


Suggested Eight Ray Music Acts: Siren or Camilla Pay.

For a vocalist I would choose Mike Newfield; The beauty of Mike is the fact that he can also provide the evening entertainment too with his full band Radio, helping to cut costs.


Ceremony by James Fear

Music for the Drinks Reception

As people mill into the drinks reception it’s time to lift the mood without proving too intrusive. People are rightly excited, it’s wedding day!

It’s early, however, and people are still in the meet and greet phase. They want to chat and catch up with everyone, there’s no need for an overpowering band.

My two favourite options here are to use a classical act or a roaming band. The latter is more upbeat and will generate a more invigorating atmosphere, but the former is better if you’re looking to keep it a more refined affair at this point.


Suggested Eight Ray Music Acts: The Roaming Revue, Jukebox, Siren or Camilla Pay.


The Roaming Revue and Jukebox can also provide the evening band too, saving on costs.


Drinks reception by Ann-Kathrin Koch

Wedding Music on a Budget

Every bride is working to a budget. If you want to have music throughout your day but it’s stretching the wedding budget, consider choosing versatile bands. 

Using the same classical act for the drinks reception as you did for the ceremony is one way to keep costs down. Some roaming bands, such as the The Roaming Revue, can also provide an evening party band. By booking the same band for both, you will save money on the budget, compared to hiring two different bands for each.

The Revue by Rob Tarren

Music at the Wedding Breakfast?

Generally speaking, people don’t tend to have music whilst they’re eating. If you do, I would recommend a string quartet. String quartets work well because they’re not too intrusive, people need to breathe, relax and have a chat during dinner. 

If a string quartet isn’t for you but you would like music, a roaming band can work well in-between courses as a feature. It helps to lift the dinner and generates a bit of atmosphere.

Novelty acts can also work well during dinner, singing waiters are one of my favourites. As the name suggests, they are musicians disguised as waiters who break out into song. They serve and then they suddenly start singing!


Suggested Eight Ray Music Band: Soprano Bella (singing waiters), Siren.

Adam Isaac by Lizzy May

The all important Wedding Party Music

Live music is so engaging, a top wedding band will create a memorable party atmosphere at the reception. The mistake some people make here is being too specific in terms of the band they want.

I think when you’re selecting a band you need to consider a few things. You need to find a band who can mirror your character and represent you as people, yet they need to appeal to the majority too. You want as many people as possible inhabiting the dance floor, for as long as possible.

Guests at weddings tend to be a diverse bunch. Older guests are unlikely to be as enthused at hearing modern tracks, just as the younger ones among the crowd may not react well to an evening filled solely with classic hits. That’s why party bands can be a good solution. One thing top party bands have is versatility. Most of the bands on our roster are able to cater to a wide variety of audiences, playing both classic and modern tracks, which helps to please each of the various demographics. 

The best part of hiring a live band or musician is that they can read the audience, finely tuning their set throughout the night to suit the mood of the evening, ensuring that the dance floor remains full until the early hours. 


Suggested Eight Ray Music bands: Jukebox, FREEMAN, Coyote, Bloc off The Wall or The Revue.

First Dance by James Fear

Wedding DJ or Wedding Playlist?

When it comes to employing a DJ vs a wedding playlist I think it’s a no-brainer and would reiterate the above point:
Live musicians can read the audience, a DJ will chop and change their playlist to suit the audience; if they are dancing to Motown then the next song is not going to be Skepta. You don’t want to spend your evening skipping tracks, a great DJ takes the pressure off.
In regard to cost, a lot of party bands will offer a package deal with a DJ. It’s always worth asking for this when you enquire, it might mean you have enough budget left for something else – which is always a pleasant surprise!


Suggested Eight Ray Music DJs: Luke Nukem, Baller Sounds, George Hilton.

Luke Nukem

That's a rap!  ;)


Thank you so much Suzanne, we feel totally ready for a party now! 


If you’ve been inspired by Eight Ray Music’s suggestions Contact Suzanne or check out their website for more details.


Lots of love,


Team E x

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