If music be the food of love, play on, you fabulous wedding bands - play on. It’s no wonder so many couples still choose a live band for their evening reception – it’s a great way to get feet tapping and fill the dance-floor. But what about during the meal (speeches aside), or for those who are still standing after the band has gone home? From chilled-out background vibes to getting the party started, here are a few bits of affordable music-themed wedding advice.
Do a disc-o
Some venues will already have a jukebox, but – if yours doesn’t – why not look into hiring one? It’s an easy way to get all of your guests involved in the music selection (perfect before the band gets going), and to make sure there’s a mix of tunes for all ages. There are loads of jukebox hire companies out there - some specialise in the classic Wurlitzer machines, others do sleek-looking digital ones. You can choose music from all eras, and certain companies will even let you put your own collection in the jukebox (mainly the CD ones).
Try some marry-oke
Got a few singers in the family? Brave bunch of bridesmaids, perhaps? Uncle who does a mean Frank Sinatra? With the right people (and the right songs) a hired karaoke set-up can be the perfect, affordable way to break the ice and get everyone in the mood at your wedding. As the happy couple, you could even lead the entire room in a rendition of ‘your song’. If you’re worried about getting things going, look for a hire company where the host is also a singer and will stay on the mic until your guests find their voices.
Seek out some students
If you’d like some different live music for the daytime (say, a string quartet or solo pianist), but your budget won’t stretch to two professional bands (few wedding budgets would), get in touch with your nearest music colleges. Many have in-house booking agencies that let you hire a student musician for a really reasonable price. For a national search, check out the Music Students For Hire website , where prices start at £150 an hour for soloists and £275 for ensembles.
Fake a festival
Feeling nostalgic for a music festival or stadium gig that means something special to you? Why not look for a live video recording of it to play on a big screen throughout the day? There are official DVD versions of quite a few previous Glastonbury sets, big performances from Wembley and even some of the boutique festivals. Indoors or out, it’ll create a buzzing atmosphere instantly, especially if your guests know the songs too. You could even set up a mini campsite for the late-night crew to crash in.