6 Tips For Creating An Unforgettable Wedding Playlist

6 Tips For Creating An Unforgettable Wedding Playlist

It’s time to create your wedding playlist. But constructing one playlist that will get your best friends, your new in-laws and your 97 year old great Aunt Dorothy all up and dancing? Now that is going to be tricky.

We’ve outlined our top 6 tips below to help you build an unforgettable wedding playlist, that will have your guests partying all night long and make your wedding reception one to remember.

#1 Get Requests

Include a card alongside your wedding invites, asking guests to request a song. This will help you to collate requests from all of your guests and give you a much better idea as to everyones musical tastes. Use wordings such as:

‘I promise to dance if you play …..’
‘You’ll see me on the dance floor if I hear …..’

And don’t forget to drag them up if they don’t keep their promise!

#2 Decide If Cheesy Is For You

What are your first thoughts when you hear ‘Y.M.C.A’, ‘Come On Eileen’, ‘Macarena’ or ‘Cha Cha Slide’?

If these are your jams, then go ahead and include them in your wedding playlist – it’s your big day after all, and with the right group of people these cheese anthems can go down a storm!

However, these types of tunes can often have people heading toward the bar rather than the dance floor, so if you want to keep the atmosphere high it could be worth giving these ones a miss.

#3 They're Popular For A Reason

You probably can’t remember the last time you attended a wedding and didn’t hear ‘Marry You’, ‘Crazy In Love’, or ‘Hey Ya!’ … and thats because they work!

Nothing beats a good sing-a-long when you’ve had a few drinks and these radio friendly pop hits will be familiar to almost everyone who’s celebrating with you, making it a sure-fire way to get everyone involved.

Check out our top 10 songs in this category below and don’t be scared to throw a few of these wedding classics into your playlist.

1) Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
2) All Of Me – John Legend
3) Don’t Stop Believing – Journey
4) Crazy In Love – Beyoncé
5) I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
6) We Are Family – Sister Sledge
7) Hey Ya! – Outkast
8) Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
9) September – Earth Wind and Fire
10) I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston

#4 Pick & Mix Genres

When it comes to the wedding playlist, you don’t need to follow any rules. Don’t try to stay inside of one mood or genre, instead, get creative!

Remember, you are trying to ensure that you have a bit of something for everyone, so go ahead and put Eminem, Tina Turner, The Killers and Frank Sinatra in the same room and see what happens! We bet that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at which of your guests knows all the words to the ‘Lose Yourself’ rap.

#5 Watch Your Language

This one is particularly important if you have children attending!

Lots of us are somewhat desensitised to swearing now, especially in lyric form, however checking through your playlist for expletives might help you to avoid any potentially awkward situations.

Searching for a ‘radio edit’ version of a song is a great way to navigate these tricky waters and will mean that you don’t have to ditch your favourite tunes.

#6 Find Inspiration

Still stuck for ideas? There are loads of great wedding playlists on Spotify and Apple Music, so go and check them out! You don’t have to use these exactly as they are, but sometimes getting started is the hardest part – right?!

Find a playlist that has a good amount of followers (remember, they’re popular for a reason) and then start dragging your favourite songs into your own list, leaving out anything that isn’t for you.

How To Deal With Sound Limiters

How To Deal With Sound Limiters

If you have been looking at venues for your wedding or event, you may have come across sound limiters. While sound limiters are not a new device, they are popping up in more and more venues across the country. Some are put in place due to the proximity of their neighbours, others are fitted due to noise complaints, while some new venues have them fitted right from the start with the intention of avoiding any potential problems that they might run into.

What Does It Do?

Sound limiters contain microphones that listen to the noise within a room and provide a reading in decibels (dB). Each limiter will be set to a different ‘limit’ which your venue should be aware of. Commonly this will be somewhere between 90-110dB. The sound limiter itself can come in many shapes and sizes, however they usually follow a traffic light system which helps the band understand how loud they are at any given time. If only green lights are showing then the band can continue exactly as they are. Once an amber light appears the band will know not to push the volume any further. If you see red lights then the band are exceeding the noise threshold. If this continues for a set duration (usually between 3 and 10 seconds) then power to the band will be cut off – which can kill the vibe of the party pretty quickly, so let’s try to avoid that!

How Loud Will My Band Be?

Generally speaking, a function band will sit somewhere around 95-105dB. This will vary depending on the type of band you have hired. For example, an acoustic duo or jazz band are likely to be much quieter than an indie rock or 8-piece soul band. We understand that if you have never had to think about it, then conceptualising what 65dB verses 105dB might be like is quite tricky, so check our decibel graph below (who doesn’t love a good graph?!) to help you get an idea of where certain sounds rank on the scale.
Screen Shot 2020-02-25 at 19.47.30

Our Five Steps To Deal With Sound Limiters

  1. Does the venue actually have a sound limiter? This should be a question that you ask venues when on your first visit there.

  2.  What is the dB limit? Find out what the venues sound limiter is set to and what happens if this is exceeded. (Bonus tip: make sure you ask the venue if their sound limiter is serviced regularly. Unserviced limiters can give inaccurate readings causing additional issues for the band).

  3. Share this information with the band. The band might have steps they need to take to accommodate for the limiter, but won’t be able to do so if they don’t know that it’s there!

  4. Put the band in contact with the venue directly. Venues often provide guides and helpful insights about how their specific limiter works and the best way to deal with it. This also means that your venue and band can sort everything behind the scenes without you having to worry.

  5. Enjoy the party! If you have read through the information above and followed these steps then there is no reason that the sound limiter should dampen your party spirit.

What Do I Need To Do?

Our biggest piece of advice is to speak to you band. They will have worked with sound limiters before and will be able to advise you on what they can do to help stay within the limiters restrictions. They might even have played at the venue before and will be able to reassure you if you have any concerns. Remember, the people you are hiring are professional musicians and have dealt with almost every obstacle that can be thrown at them – so relax, you’re in safe hands.

Booking Live Music For Your Christmas Party

Booking Live Music For Your Christmas Party

Summer is now a distant memory and we are hurtling towards the festive season. With the countdown clock ticking, the ‘Book Staff Christmas Party’ note on your to-do list is fast becoming an urgent task! 

Whether you opt for the classic office party, or something a little more formal, adding live music is a great way to entertain everyone attending. Live music is not only a great talking point at a party, but it also gives your employees / colleagues a chance to let their hair down after a busy year.

What Type Of Atmosphere?

It is important when booking your entertainment that you consider the vibe you are aiming for. If you are planing an all out party then make sure you book a band that can accommodate that! A large line-up soul band or energetic indie act will suit your event perfectly, getting everyone on the dance floor and interacting with guests as they dance the night away. These acts usually have the most wide ranging repertoires too, ensuring that everyone’s musical tastes will be catered for. For this we’d recommend Heatwave!

If “classy” sums up the event that you are planning, then you might want to think about booking a Jazz band or sophisticated acoustic duo. These options will still be able to play all of your favourite festive numbers as well as the classic party tracks and sing-alongs, but will ooze style and class as they do it! These kind of acts better suit drinks receptions and black tie events, but are also a great option if noise / space is limited. For this we’d recommend The Statesmen!

What Kind Of Space?

The type of band that you are able to book might be limited by the space that you have available. A lot of Christmas parties happen in the workplace itself, which is not usually built for a performing band (unless you work in a music venue of course!) 

This is worth considering especially if you are looking to book a larger line up of 6 or more band members. You are going to want to have enough space for guests to enjoy themselves, but you also need the band to have the space that they require to put on a great and memorable show. Things like lighting are also worth mentioning here, as office lighting doesn’t exactly lend itself to a party environment. Switch those strip lights off and make sure that your band can bring a lighting rig (plus lasers, up-lights and smoke machines if you’re feeling fancy) with them to complete the office transformation. 

When Do You Need To Book?

As with anything involving a lot of planning, it’s always a good idea to get your bookings in as early as possible. Top party bands will be in high demand and will book up for the festive season very quickly. That being said however, a lot of Christmas parties take place on weekdays rather than weekends. Having your staff get-together on a weekday will increase the chances of your favourite band being available – but might also increase the number of staff calling in sick the next day too!

If you’re still looking for entertainment for your Christmas party please get in touch and we’ll help find the perfect entertainment for you! 

Our Favourite Christmas Songs

If it’s still too early for you to dig out the Christmas playlist and remind yourself of all those festive favourites, then check out our top 10 below:

Last Christmas – Wham!
Baby It’s Cold Outside – Dean Martin 
Let It Snow – Frank Sinatra 
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
Winter Wonderland – Bing Crosby
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Jackson 5
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – Bruce Springsteen 
Fairytale Of New York – The Pogues 
All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey 
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas 

Top 20 Most Requested First Dance Songs

So it’s time to pick your first dance song, the last formality of the day before the party really kicks in and you can let your hair down. This, however, can be a difficult decision, especially if you and your special someone don’t share the same taste in music. 

But fear not, we are here to help! 

We’ve gone through the archives and collected our top 20, most requested first dance songs from the last year. You’ll find everyone from Ed to Elvis and everything from pop hits to timeless classics. 

Whether you are looking for a traditional slow dance like ‘At Last’ by Etta James or something more upbeat like Walk The Moon’s ‘Shut Up And Dance’ there really is something here for everybody.

First Dance Chalkboard

Feeling brave? A pre choreographed first dance always goes down a storm, especially if you can keep it a secret from your guests until the big day. In our experience, this is a great way to add an extra spark to the first dance formalities and make it a real moment to remember! 

Still stuck for ideas? Check out our ‘17 Guaranteed Dance Floor Fillers’ post for some more inspiration. 

11 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Band

When booking your wedding band you will no doubt have a lot of questions. However, this needn’t be a stressful experience. We’ve complied a shortlist of ‘must-ask’ questions to ensure that the entertainment for your big day goes off without a hitch.

Q.  Is the band available for my wedding date?

Often you will already have your wedding date secured before you begin to enquire with bands, so check that they are available before asking any other questions. We recommend enquiring with bands 6-12 months before your big day to ensure you get the best band for you.

Q.  When is the deposit and final payment due? 

When planning a wedding, there are a lot of people asking for deposits and payments, so it is key to make sure you know when this money will be due. Usually, your deposit will be a method of securing your booking while the final balance wont be due until the wedding day itself.

Q.  Does the band hold up-to-date PLI?

A lot of venues require a copy of musicians public liability insurance in order for them to perform. For this reason, we make sure that all of our acts hold up to date PLI certificates that can be forwarded to you upon your request.

Q.  How much stage space does the band need to perform? 

The stage size that performers will need will often depend on how large the band is, for example a 7 piece band will need more stage space than an acoustic duo. Our bands 4 pieces and larger require a space 3×5 meters. Trios, duos and soloists can fit into smaller spaces, but this should be discussed with the act directly.

Q.  How long will the band take to set up?

One thing that a lot of people forget about is that bands carry a lot of equipment and will need time to set this up. Our bands, 4 pieces and larger, require a 90 minute set up time while trios, duos and solo acts all require 60 minutes. Often this set up can be done behind the scenes while other parts of your wedding are taking place. 

Q.  How long will the band play for?

For evening entertainment, all of our acts perform 2 hours of live music as standard. You are welcome to choose how these 2 hours are split up, however in our experience 2 x 60 minute or 3 x 40 minute sets work best. If this doesn’t quite feel like enough then you can always add an extra set to keep the party going! 

Q.  Are the band able to learn our first dance?

Your first dance is one of the most important parts of your wedding reception and something that you will want to be perfect. Often, couples like the band to learn and perform their special song, in which case we recommend giving at least 4 weeks notice so that the band are able to do this.

Q.  Can we suggest songs for the band to play?

Wedding bands usually have an expansive repertoire and therefore will not be able to get through all of these songs in one night. We recommend sending your band a ‘play’ and ‘don’t play’ list so that they can build a custom set, just for you. If you have any requests that aren’t already part of the bands repertoire, they will usually be happy to learn these for you for a small fee.

Q.  How many parking spaces do the band need?

This is worth keeping in mind as while some bands have a shared van, others bring their own cars and might need more than one parking space. If your venue is short on parking spaces, just let the band know so that they can plan ahead.

Q.  What will the band need in terms of electricity / power supplies?

While this may vary, almost all musicians will require some form of power supply in order to perform, whether this is for their speakers, amps, lights or other pieces of equipment. Our rule of thumb is to ask your venue for 3 x 13 amp sockets as this should be enough for a band of any size. Power supplies are especially important to consider if any musical performance is taking place outside.

Q.  How will the band dress?

All of our acts follow a smart dress code for wedding performances. If you have any specific requirements (themes or colour schemes etc) that you would like the band to follow, then just let them know and they will do so. 

17 Guaranteed Dance Floor Fillers

A full dance floor is a must for every wedding reception, but getting the right combination of songs is a tall order. With a mix of age ranges and music preference, you might think that keeping the dance floor busy on your wedding day is an impossible task, but that’s were we come in. 

We have created a fail safe list, guaranteed to keep everyone happy and ensure that everyone stays dancing right through to the end of the night (with the occasional trip to the bar and back, of course!) 

Mr Brightside – The Killers 
Over 15 years on from its release and this is still the most commonly requested song for a lot of our acts. Instantly recognisable from just the first few notes of the guitar riff, this high energy number will pack out any dance floor and have your guests jumping from start to finish. Even though it only peaked at number 10 in US and UK charts, ‘Mr Brightside’ is number 1 on our list! 

Respect – Aretha Franklin 
Ladies, it’s time to get your diva, show us your best Aretha Franklin impressions and demand some ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’! This tune is a great opportunity to test out those dancing shoes and really show everyone on the dance floor what you’ve got.

Blame It On The Boogie – The Jackson 5
This upbeat 1970’s classic by the Jackson 5 always goes down a storm, and with dance moves as simple as these even your Dad / Uncle / Grandma will have no excuse not to join in the party. “Don’t blame it on the sunshine, don’t blame it on the moonlight, don’t blame it on the good times, blame it on the boogie!”

Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon 
Most of our bands learnt this rock anthem when it was first released back in 2008, so now that it has celebrated its 10 year anniversary, it’s safe to assume they’ve played it a few times! Usually positioned towards the end of the night this number will have your guests singing at the top of their lungs.

Senorita – Justin Timberlake
This list wouldn’t be complete without an appearance from the prince of pop, JT, and this song with its audience participation section seems like the obvious choice. Guys say … “It feels like somethings heating up, can I leave with you?” Ladies … “I don’t know what I’m thinking bout, baby leaving with you.” Include this one in your set and watch that dance floor fill up! 

Superstition – Stevie Wonder
We could have written a list consisting entirely of Stevie Wonder songs, as every single one will get your feet moving, but if we have to pick just one, it’s got to be this classic.  From the opening drum groove, you guys go nuts for this one and our bands love performing it.

Don’t Look Back In Anger – Oasis 
A true sing-a-long, this is the moment to grab your family and friends, throw your arms around them and belt out the chorus together, before dusting off your air guitar for Noel Gallagher’s iconic guitar solo. 

Marry You – Bruno Mars
A song about marriage? Well it’s clear to see why this song always has everyone up and dancing when our acts perform it at weddings up and down the country. Also a very popular choice as a first dance song, this is real chance for everyone to gather round and celebrate with the newly married couple. 

Shake It Off – Taylor Swift 
There is nothing quite like a room full of people partying together to this track, so get on that dance floor and ‘Shake It Off’. This song is all about letting go of your inhibitions and just going for it because after all, “the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate”, so we might as well enjoy ourselves!!

Hey Ya! – OutKast
Here is a song that seems to make all of the top 10, 50 and 100 lists, and we couldn’t agree more! Some songs take until the first chorus for everyone to hit the dance floor, but this one doesn’t take more than a few seconds before people to realise that they too want to “shake it like a polaroid picture”. 

Shut Up and Dance – Walk The Moon 
With the instructions for this one right there in the title, this is a great number for getting those last few people up on their feet and seeing the night out right. With its disco groove and infectious melody it really is one that everyone can get involved with.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody –Whitney Houston
Another great opportunity to show off your inner diva here and after a few drinks you might be surprised at who you see giving this one their all out there in the middle of the dance floor. 

September – Earth Wind and Fire 
“Do you remember, the twenty first night of September?” Nope, neither do we, but you’ll certainly remember the sight of all of your nearest and dearest boogying the night away to  this funk sensation. Hearing this song and not getting up to dance is almost impossible in our opinion.

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
There is a very good reason that this song was the record breaking, mega hit that it was – it makes you want to move! And with some of you even learning Bruno’s original dance moves from the music video, this is a real chance to claim a couple of extra cool points (although, you might still be a few behind the man himself!) 

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor 
If it’s disco you’re looking for then look no further than this platinum selling, 70’s sensation. After countless cover versions and movie soundtrack appearances, guests of all ages share the same look of excitement when our bands kick into this one. Try to remember the moves from your dance mat days or just freestyle it, either way you’re gonna look awesome! 

Rock DJ – Robbie Williams
As one of the best-selling British solo artist in the UK we know you all love a bit of Robbie, and when it comes to dance floor fillers, he certainly knows a thing or two! With lyrics like “If you can’t get a girl, but your best friend can”, he just might be talking to all of those single best men out there! 

Proud Mary – Tina Turner
A great choice for the final number of the night, Proud Mary’s slow intro gives everyone the chance to catch their breath before one last dancing opportunity. We’ve seen people go for the running man, the worm, the floss and all sorts of other (sometimes unnamable) dance moves. So get yourself on the dance floor and lets party!