WOW factor

Add “WOW” Factor to Your Wedding… Live Music
Add “WOW” Factor to Your Wedding… Live Music 1024 682 Natalie Nightingale

By Natalie Nightingale

Yep, I admit it. I’m completely biased with this one because I’m a musician myself… For many years I’ve made a living as a singer, and feel very privileged to be able to do so! But that does mean that I get to see first-hand on a weekly basis just how much live music enhances celebrations and special occasions.

As I get booked to sing for any and all parts of a wedding day, I get to experience the impact it has on the different parts of a wedding, in different ways.

I often sing quite meaningful and emotional love songs as part of couples’ ceremonies, and it moves people in a very different way than listening to a CD being played by someone at the back of the room. People, especially mothers of the bride or groom and slightly older relatives will quite often shed a tear or two and I’ve had to become very well trained in not getting too emotional myself when I see that! Having someone right there performing the words to you live makes you listen to them in a very different way, sometimes maybe REALLY listening to the words of that song for the first time. It also brings an energy to the ceremony room that just isn’t there with pre-recorded music. Time and again I see it make such a difference, and get countless comments from guests about how much they enjoyed the music… and yet it’s still only a minority of couples who think to have live music for their ceremony.

Whether I’ve sung for a ceremony, drinks reception, throughout the breakfast or in the evening, when I hear back from couples after the wedding they usually comment on just how many of their guests are still talking about the music weeks afterwards, so I know live performance at a wedding is something that makes a big and lasting impression on guests.

A singer may not sound like your cup of tea but a string quartet, the heavenly sound of a harp or a sensitively played saxophone will have a similar effect in making your guests say “wow” and making them feel your choice of music in a different way. There’s something very emotive about strings and woodwind instruments. Perhaps your venue and vibe is a bit more chilled and bohemian and you think a quartet or harp would be too formal – what about an acoustic duo? There are some fantastic ones around and they can put a unique spin on well-known songs.

Some venues even have their own grand piano so it would seem a shame to squander it and not add a pianist!

Live music throughout the meal really adds ambience and solves those awkward lulls in the conversation when the food is brought out, and of course live music in the evening will add a whole extra dimension and dynamic that your DJ alone won’t be able to. A lot of singers or bands even offer a DJ/disco service when they’re booked for the evening reception as an extra- so make sure you ask!

Recommended musicians:

Natalie Nightingale Vocalist (That’s me!)

George Simpson – Singer Guitarist

Replay – Acoustic Duo

Soraya Vermeulen – Harpist

Bird and The Bad Man – Acoustic Duo

Nanna Radleys – Party Band

The Burgundys – Band

Dammit Jack – Band

Add “WOW” Factor to Your Wedding… The Element of Surprise!
Add “WOW” Factor to Your Wedding… The Element of Surprise! 1024 683 Natalie Nightingale

Welcome to our series of blog posts on how to add the WOW factor to your big day! This week, we’re kicking things off with….

The Element of Surprise

The simplest way to get your guests’ faces to light up in delight and wonder is to surprise them with something that they weren’t expecting!

When it comes to adding the element of surprise to your wedding, the only limits are your imagination. It could be at any point throughout your special day – ceremony, drinks, breakfast or evening reception – and take any form; although visual and entertainment-based surprises will create the most impact and usually the most fun too!

Try to add that one element that, as it doesn’t generally happen at every wedding, your guests won’t be expecting! It could be a confetti canon at the end of your first dance to get the party started with a bang; a slick magician making your guests gasp and laugh in disbelief during the drinks reception; or one of my favourite ever surprises to incorporate at a wedding: singing waiters/waitresses surprising your guests during the meal! As a singer, I get booked for these performances now and then and they are SO much fun – I can vouch first-hand for the incredible reactions you get from the guests.

Weddings are all about creating magical moments that will remain vivid in your and your guests’ memories when they look back fondly on the day, and all of these ideas will definitely enhance that!

You may choose to splash out on an incredible surprise knowing the impact it will make, but the good news is that if you’re on a budget a great surprise element doesn’t need to cost the earth…. For example, a confetti canon is very inexpensive but the impact they make is huge.

And if there’s a dream element you can’t stretch to, try scaling it down… A firework display at the end of the night is incredible for big budget weddings, but if you can’t stretch to that, why not have a sparkler send-off instead? It will cost barely anything but will bring out the little kid in all your guests and still look magical in pictures.

I’ve seen many fun and surprising elements at weddings over the years – birds of prey, caricaturists, miniature ponies, firework displays, brilliantly choreographed First Dances, casino tables, bridesmaids and ushers dancing down the aisle into the ceremony, wearing masks of the bride and groom’s faces, mini golf set up outside, carnival-style games and space hopper races and even a gospel choir appearing mid-ceremony a la Love Actually!

…Hopefully I’ve got you inspired to include something a little different and unique at your wedding – some of my supplier friends who can help wow your guests with the element of surprise are listed below!

9 Hole Event Hire
http://9holeeventhire.com/

Sapphire Pyrotechnics
http://www.sapphirepyrotechnics.co.uk/

Little Las Vegas
http://www.littlelasvegas.co.uk/

Andy Gilbert (Caricaturist)
http://www.eventscaricaturist.co.uk/

Vintage-Booth.co.uk
http://vintage-booth.co.uk/