© 2011 Wedding Music Scotland ......© 2011 Wedding Music Scotland! Wedding Music Scotland...

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© 2011 Wedding Music Scotland www.wedding-music-scotland.com Wedding Music Scotland [email protected] A BRIDE’S G u i d e To Choosing The Perfect Wedding Music Everything you need to know to make your day truly magical!
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Transcript of © 2011 Wedding Music Scotland ......© 2011 Wedding Music Scotland! Wedding Music Scotland...

  • © 2 0 1 1 W e d d i n g M u s i c S c o t l a n d! w w w . w e d d i n g - m u s i c - s c o t l a n d . c o m

    W e d d i n g M u s i c S c o t l a n d i n f o @ w e d d i n g - m u s i c - s c o t l a n d . c o m

    A BRIDE’SG u i d e

    T o C h o o s i n g T h e P e r f e c t W e d d i n g M u s i c

    E v e r y t h i n g y o u n e e d t o k n o w t o m a k e y o u r d a y t r u l y

    m a g i c a l !

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    The most important parts of your wedding where your choice of music is very important:

    1. Ceremony2. Champagne Reception3. Reception Party

    These are the special times of the day when music is the magic ingredient for setting the scene, establishing the right mood and keeping you and your guests happy and in a celebratory mood.

    A BRIDE’SG u i d e

    A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO CHOOSING THE PERFECT WEDDING MUSIC“Music is so naturally united with us that we cannot be free from it even if we so desired.” ... Boethius cited by Storr

    How have you imagined your wedding?In your imagination, your perfect wedding looks wonderful. The venue looks

    fabulous, the tables are set, the weather perfect, but how do you ‘set the mood’ or create the ‘perfect atmosphere’ for your special day? How do you want it to feel? Music creates emotion, it’s what you hear that lifts and affects your emotions more than anything else.

    Picture this .... On your wedding day imagine yourself drawing up to a glamourous country estate in your vintage Rolls Royce. You hear the majestic sound of a highland bagpiper welcoming you and make your way to your wedding ceremony, relishing the sense of occasion that surrounds you as you get closer. The air is filled with the fragrance of flowers and anticipation. You pause at the door .... make them wait a little .... then as you go in, the magical sound of the classical harp washes over you and calms you as you gracefully glide down the aisle. This is it now. It’s all wonderful and the atmosphere is so special. The wedding music really sets the scene.

    T o C h o o s i n g T h e P e r f e c t W e d d i n g M u s i c

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    A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO WEDDING MUSICA wonderful high ....

    Enjoy your wedding and relax, you’re married and it couldn’t be better. The wedding ceremony finishes on a wonderful high and your harpist celebrates with joyful, uplifting music.

    Now the whirling celebrations begin. The photographer vies for your attention amongst the adoring well wishers. You feel vibrant and alive! Grab a glass of champagne, enjoy the moment, listen to the superb string ensemble soothe your soul with their music. Raise a toast to your new husband and watch for the proud glint in his eye as he can now say ‘my wife and I’. It’s a happy day.

    You feel so special ....As you relax into your new roles and husband and

    wife, the characterful Master of Ceremonies calls to all that dinner is served in the grand dining room. You’re so glad that you’ve got him to organise your wedding, making all those necessary announcements. It’s so much easier and you feel special with people running around after you.

    Dinner is sumptuous and the mood sensual with elegant music drifting amongst the tables. Is it classical? Is it modern? Oh yes, it’s that cool mellow jazz band, what a great way to make dinner even more special.

    The atmosphere is expectant ....The meal is

    done now and the speeches well underway. You’re thinking about the evening party and can’t wait to really let your hair down. The mood is changing and the atmosphere is expectant. It’s going to be a great evening. You can

    hear the band tuning up along the hall and it’s already sounding fantastic. The guests hear it too and are looking forward to the highlight of the day.

    Time to party ....

    Your celebrations begin ....Now it’s time to party! The two of you enjoy the

    limelight as husband and wife for your first romantic dance and you’re soon joined by the rest of your guests. The band are straight into getting everyone up on the dance floor. The band is absolutely fantastic, everyone’s happy and having a great time. What fabulous way to end a glorious day.

    It’s not a dream but Your wedding day! OK, you may want to edit it a little, everyone’s tastes are different but you can feel how the music is such an important part of your wedding.

    Tip to remember ....

    Although your wedding day is a gathering of all your family and friends, it’s also YOUR day. Trying to keep everyone happy is going to be impossible and a complete nightmare for you and your budget.

    Choose your wedding music because YOU like and talk to your musicians and see if they can play a little of what you know your friends and family will like.

    This way, you’ll really enjoy the day and your guests will remember it too.

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    The Effect of Music on the Human Brain

    It has the ability to strengthen or weaken emotions.

    Music’s connection with society is evident throughout the ages. Every culture, race and people on the earth has developed music in some form and it is evident that music is one of the basic human needs.

    The effect is powerfulThe effect of music on the emotions is powerful, instant

    and long lasting. It can be used to change mood and has been found to cause simultaneous physical responses in large groups of people. It is thought that music links all of the emotional, spiritual and physical elements of the Universe. It certainly has the ability to strengthen or weaken emotions associated with a particular event. So the memories of your wedding day will be intrinsically linked with the music you choose.

    Our experience of music is affected by the way it is played

    People perceive and respond to music in subtle ways. Our experience of the music is affected by the way a piece of music is played, the level of musicianship of the performer as well as the ‘ear’ of the listener.

    Responses to music are easy to detect in the human body. Classical music from the baroque period causes the heart beat and pulse to relax to the beat of the music. As the body becomes relaxed, the mind is able to concentrate more easily. Music affects the amplitude and frequency of brain waves which can be measured by an electro-encephalogram. Music also affects breathing and the electrical resistance of the skin. Heavy rock has been observed to cause the pupils to dilate, increase blood pressure and increase the heart rate.

    Many scientific experiments have been conducted to discover the extent of the power of music. In the 1970’s it was found that the beat of slow music could slow the heart rate and breathing as well as bring blood pressure down. Faster music was found to speed up these same body functions.

    Music will affect the mood of the entire daySo with all this in mind, you can see the choices you

    make for music on your wedding day are very important. The music will affect the mood of the entire day and instill in the memory of your guests, the very essence of who you are.

    Tip to remember ....

    You can test out this theory the next time you’re travelling in your car.

    First play some really heavy rock music or music that you’re not so fond of. Notice what mood you’re in when your arrive at your destination.

    Then on your way home, play some really mellow music or music that makes you feel happy and joyful. You may even sing along with it. Notice how your mood is different once you get back home again. This is the amazing effect that music has on your emotions.

    Of course, don’t listen to music that’s too mellow! Don’t want you falling asleep now.

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    What you need to know about choosing music for your wedding.

    What to budget for wedding music?I think the very first point and probably the most

    important one to consider is cost! Music is something that tends to get left way behind in the planning process and is only thought of once all is said and done. It could be that you’ve got £200 left in the kitty and you suddenly remember .... oh, what about a band? You’ve got to entertain the crowds after all. Well, unfortunately these days £200 isn’t going to get you much. Just like most things, you generally get what you pay for. For this amount you may get an accordionist or a soloist of some description, which is no bad thing but if you’re wanting a band, you’re going to have to “up the budget”.

    Being a musician is just like any other jobToday musicians tend to take their music and their

    careers very seriously. It’s a full-time job like any other profession, we just don’t see what goes on behind the scenes.

    They need to turn up on time to a wedding well rehearsed, properly dressed and ready to perform at the drop of a hat. This takes time, money and lots of preparation and determination. Musicians can practice up to 8 hours a day or more, 7 days a week. They have to plan all their itineraries, concerts and market themselves. So all of this needs to be squeezed in between their rehearsal times.

    If they’re part of a band then there’s countless long nights rehearsing to perfection, costs of hiring rehearsal venues and the never ending compromise of what music to play. Is it all worth it? Of course, that’s why musicians go through it, and present to you on your special day a seemingly effortless, outstanding performance of quality music. It’s the thrill of achieving perfection and enjoying the energy of music. Music is so powerful it’s like a drug

    (but much better for you) .... not only for the listener but also for the musician.

    So you can see that the quality of your music is dependent on the commitment of the musicians. A professional full-time musician is the only one capable of achieving this and you’ll have to compensate them accordingly. Later on I’ll give you a rough guide of what to expect to pay for musicians but suffice to say now that it does vary and, again, you get what you pay for.

    The band you hire for the evening reception is a very prominent part of your wedding. They are responsible for the party and the success or failure of your evening. If you don’t get it right and invest in the right music it could be a disaster with all your guests going to bed early.

    Include music in your overall budgetMusic should be part of your overall budget right up

    front. The bare minimum to consider is 7% of your budget but depending on which parts of your day you want entertainment, this could go up to 10-12%. Considering music has such an overwhelming effect on everyone and sets the tone of the entire day, it deserves to be given careful attention.

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    What parts of the wedding do you need music for?

    There are three main parts of your wedding that you

    should consider having music or entertainment. We’ll

    going into each in more detail but to summarise they are:

    1. Ceremony

    2. Champagne Reception

    3. Reception / Party

    The Ceremony

    The ceremony is probably the most important part of your Wedding day. Depending on whether you have a religious ceremony, a civil ceremony or an alternative service, such as humanist, you’ll need some form of music to make it the ‘occasion’ it deserves to be. As well as the many types of service you can have there are also many different types of music you can choose to enhance the ceremony.

    There are certain parts common to all ceremonies:

    • pre-ceremony: when guests arrive, groom, best man, all waiting for your arrival

    • processional: the bridal entrance, walking up the aisle

    • service: the marriage bit

    • signing of the register: the formalities & photo time

    • recessional: bride and groom leave the ceremony, the guests follow

    There may be slightly more or less to this list depending on the type of service you choose but these are the main elements concerning music. What music you have during the Ceremony is completely up to you. The following is just to show you some of the choices people make.

    Pre Ceremony:You will want to make your guests feel comfortable

    when they arrive at the ceremony and to set the mood so having music begin 15 to 20 minutes before the official beginning time will give people a clear message that they should take their places and that all is well. The musicians will be ready to play background music until you arrive (early or late)!

    Suitable Music:

    Piper (playing outside), String Quartet or other small classical ensemble, Harp – Classical or Celtic, Guitarist - Classical or Celtic, Solo singer, perhaps with an accompanist.

    Processional:Your musicians will need to get a clear idea, often from

    the minister or celebrant, that You the Bride are ready. They will break into the tune or song that you’ve chosen to make your entrance and carefully watch your progress so they can come to a graceful stop when you have settled yourself and the celebrant or minister is ready to speak.

    Suitable Music:

    Piper to lead you up the aisle or a classical ensemble, harp, guitar or singer, even possibly a 4 –6 piece choir.

    Service:This might include several hymns including a

    Communion hymn in a Church or nothing at all in a civil ceremony. For this the classical ensemble, guitarist and singers fit very well as can the harp but it’s worth remembering that the Celtic harp (Clarsach) is limited in the notes it can play so some songs and hymns are not suitable for it.

    Suitable Music:

    An organist is traditional for a church service, particularly if you’re having hymns, but you can easily replace this with a pianist who will be able to bring along a portable keyboard. For more contemporary songs a guitarist might be best but again a pianist could also cover that.

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    A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO WEDDING MUSICSigning the Register:

    This is often longer than you might expect as official and unofficial photographers tend to keep you with pen poised until they’re quite happy. The best music for this segment is often something soothing to keep the mood controlled before the celebrant declares you man and wife.

    Suitable Music:

    A harpist would add a magical touch as would music from a string ensemble or guitarist. For a religious ceremony the organist could play more mellow pieces while the register is being signed.

    Recessional:Here is the moment of joy, of triumph, of release so a

    piece of music to match the mood is essential. This, of course, would be the moment for the piper to lead out the couple, or the Quartet to play ‘Arrival of the Queen of Sheeba”, the Guitarist might play flamenco.

    Suitable Music:

    Here anything like a harpist, classical guitar, string ensemble or a traditional piper would all be very suitable.

    HymnsAn important consideration is whether or not you will

    be having hymns at your ceremony. If you are having a religious ceremony then hymns are usually part of the service. The sheet music for the hymns you have chosen might well need to be provided to the musicians well in advance, don’t just assume they have the music already. Plus, you want to be sure the congregation will be singing the same hymn that the musicians are playing. There are often variations in the music and even the names of hymns (depending on which hymn book they come from) and this can cause confusion.

    An organist will probably have the most common hymns available but if you have chosen something unusual or a hymn from another country then you’ll want to be sure they have the music to play.

    If you are having another type of music at the ceremony such as a string quartet or a harpist, then the correct music is even more important. They will be less familiar with hymns and will need to have the music well in advance (at least 3 months) so they can arrange and rehearse the music. Plus, they’ll often need to transpose the music into the correct key for the congregation to easily sing along to.

    Hymn Suggestions:

    Here’s a selection of hymns that you’re likely to be familiar with and would suit any type of service.

    All things bright and beautifulAmazing GraceBe our chief guest, LordBind us togetherDear Lord and Father of MankindGive me joy in my heartGod of all livingGuide me, o thou great RedeemerImmortal, invisibleI vow to thee my countryI watch the sunriseJerusalemJesus, stand among usLead us heavenly father lead usLord of all hopefulnessLord of the danceLove divine, all loves excellingMorning has brokenO Jesus I have promisedO perfect loveMake me a channel of your peaceOne more step along the world I goPraise my soul the King of HeavenThe King of love my shepherd is

    Searching for these hymns will be a good start to your selection and we’re sure you’ll find many more. Remember to chat to your priest or minister about your hymn choice to ensure you have enough time for all of them.

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    A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO WEDDING MUSICChampagne Reception & Photos (Location, Location, Location)

    An obvious issue if you are having your photos taken at the church or nearby is how to gather your guests at the reception venue? You will be occupied but will your guests know what to do? An MC could direct them to the Drinks or Champagne Reception. This is the next section of your wedding where music will add an atmosphere of sophistication and celebration. It’s often overlooked but this is a very important time to hold your guests together and encourage them to talk to people they’ve never met before rather than letting them dissipate through not knowing what to do next.

    Entertain your guests while your photos are taken

    Having your musicians playing in the garden (weather permitting), the foyer or drawing room of your venue will not only entertain your guests and set the mood, but let them know that you want them to be in a certain area while you are away having your photos taken. A string ensemble or harpist would be a great way of adding refinement and sophistication, perhaps a classical guitarist for something a bit more modern or a jazz group for something laid back and mellow. A piper playing at the venue is also a great way to keep the Scottish theme or perhaps having a Celtic harpist which would be magical for a highland setting.

    People naturally gravitate towards music People naturally gravitate towards any activity and

    music is an exceptional way to keep everyone’s attention focussed on the occasion while the necessary photographer takes their time capturing those life-long memories.

    Whatever you choose, make sure you have a plan for your guests to progress from the ceremony to the champagne reception. Keep the momentum of the wedding going by keeping your guests interested and the celebrations will continue all day long.

    Reception and Party

    The main focal point of your weddingThe evening reception is the main part of the day in

    terms of choosing music as it is what everyone will be focusing on, ‘the party’. It’s also the longest part of the wedding, a good ceilidh or dance can go on for 4 hours or even longer. (A traditional ceilidh can go on for days in some parts of Scotland ..... I know, I’ve been to a few!)

    When planning your music it’s best to work backwards from the evening entertainment through to the ceremony. Remember, bands tend to get booked up 12 months and the good ones even 2 years in advance so you’ll need to get this sorted out first. More about choosing a band later.

    As I said before, the band can make or break your evening entertainment because everyone is focusing on it. If their music’s sub-standard or they don’t fit with the theme or feeling of your wedding, it’s going to be awkward and people will disappear, you won’t be happy and the memories of your perfect wedding day won’t be what you want.

    A good band will ‘read’ the crowdA good band helps generate the ‘vibe’ of the evening

    and a professional band will easily be able to ‘read the crowd’ and make sure your party is a great success. For example, it’s no fun if the band start to play a slow waltz when the room is buzzing with the energy for something more lively.

    So choose your band wisely, the most important thing to consider is how they sound. Don’t be too focused on how they look, of course they’ll be smartly dressed but you’re wanting good music first and foremost. The visual focus should be on you, the bride. Believe me, if you have a great party with great music you won’t even remember what the band wore. Anyway, most bands these days tend to wear all black, it’s become a standard uniform for formal occasions.

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    A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO WEDDING MUSICWhat Type of Music for Your Wedding

    Cover BandsCover, Function or Wedding Bands are very popular

    for weddings in Scotland these days as they can play a range of music from the 50s right through to this week’s chart hits. It’s a wonderful experience to hear a live band at any occasion and a wedding is no exception. Most tend to play a wide range of favourites but you’ll get bands that specialise in an era or even ‘tributes’ to famous bands from the past.

    There aren’t a huge number of good cover bands in Scotland so it’s important to book early if you really want this option. Most bands are very professional and they come in all sizes from a duo, who sing live vocals and play instruments over the top of backing tracks, right up to large 5-10 piece bands for that huge, totally live sound where you see everything you hear. Some of these bigger bands offer a full ‘show’ with costume changes, lights and the showbiz ‘dazzle’.

    Try a duo or trio for a smaller weddingFor a smaller wedding a duo or trio is usually quite

    enough as they sound much bigger than you’d expect. For a larger wedding the fully live dynamics of a 5 to 7 piece band is worth every penny and, if you really want to push the boat out and you’ve got the space at your venue, why not go for a 10 piece big-band with full brass section and backing singers?

    Most cover bands will play a ceilidh set or two if you’re looking to have mainly popular music at your reception but would like a ‘token’ dance or two for the Scots in your group. It’s most likely to be played on their regular electric instruments. This is because ceilidh is a completely different type of music to popular music and completely different instruments are required. It’s not practical for the electric guitarist to be a expert on the old button accordion or fiddle as well. However, you can occasionally get lucky

    and find a band that will actually play both styles of music live but that’s certainly not the norm.

    Jazz BandsA jazz band could add a wonderful variety of moods to

    your reception from laid back and mellow to vibrant dancing. There’s a great range of jazz bands available and even specialist bands that focus on Sinatra and the ‘Rat Pack’ era. Most will play the jazz standards that are familiar to people of all ages.

    Jazz bands vary in size from an intimate 3 piece band to large dance bands with up to 20-30 musicians! For a smaller wedding a 3 to 4 piece band would be just perfect and the larger wedding could have some real fun with a larger band but perhaps not more than a 6-8 piece band.

    Also, jazz can cover many genres. You can have standard jazz, gypsy jazz, Sinatra and Rat Pack, American Songbook standards, Bee Bop, trad jazz, modern and avante garde.

    Specialist MusicThere are a plethora of bands who specialise in a

    particular type of music. Of course there are blues bands, R & B bands and soul bands but you might also like to consider the more unusual ones like medieval, cajun, world music, african, Australian Bush bands, Steel Bands or reggae, and that’s just a few that I can think of right now.

    Tips to remember ....

    If you can’t stretch your budget to a full band, then consider a duo or a trio. A DJ will cover your evening well but there’s nothing quite like live music.

    For something a bit different, you could go for a tribute band. They’re alot of fun and it makes the evening much more of a show.

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    Practically the only advice brides are given these days about choosing a band is that they must go and see the band live. This is not only impractical most of the time but I would not personally recommend it. This is why .....

    Firstly, if you are not living in Scotland but are getting married in Scotland (which is a good proportion of all weddings here) it’s not feasible in terms of distance, unless you’re willing to spend money on several journeys to Scotland specifically for that purpose. I know I would personally prefer to spend that money on extra touches or some special pampering on the day. I hear Shiatsu massage is fabulous!

    Secondly, if you’re going somewhere to see a band perform in a pub, for example, you’re not seeing them in the same environment as a wedding. Are you going to get a really good idea of what that band will be like at a wedding. You’re more likely to get an idea of how that band will perform in a pub! They’ll be more casual at a pub and will almost certainly choose music to suit the ‘pub scene’. I’m sure your wedding won’t be a pub scene .... will it? If you’re catching them at a festival then again, they’ll be tailoring their music for the festival crowd and, just a point here, most festival bands won’t be available for your Spring, Summer or Autumn wedding as they’ll be travelling all over the world following the festival circuit.

    Thirdly, if you’re hoping to view the band at a wedding you’ll have to intrude on someone else’s special, personal day, probably standing at the door of their reception for 10 minutes or so. You may or may not be allowed to do that. If they’re playing at a concert or other function you won’t be allowed in unless you buy a ticket. If you are lucky enough to see your band at a friend or relative’s wedding then remember the band will be playing to suit the bride and groom of that particular wedding, not yours. Wedding advisors may say ‘you’ve got to view your band’ and ‘don’t book them unless you view the band’ .... fine don’t book them ..... don’t get a band!

    So these are just some of the difficulties you’ll encounter when wanting to view a band.

    So how do you choose the right music

    Tips on finding the best musicians and bands:

    • You’ll find the internet is very helpful these days and musician’s websites have really good quality audio and video. Remember what’s important is the sound of the band and their music. After all you’ll be listening to them rather than watching them. Don’t worry, the band will look good, most bands that perform at weddings know how to dress, the more professional the band the more you can expect from them. You don’t need to tell them how to run things, they are experienced and can easily read a crowd and know what needs to happen at any particular time because they’ve done it hundreds and hundreds of times, you have to trust them! If you’re not really happy with what you hear, you’re not really happy with the band and you need to move on.

    • Often the best place to get advice on choosing music for your wedding is from the musicians themselves. They are full of suggestions and great ideas that you may not have thought of before. Ask for testimonies from previous weddings. Talk to them and tell them what you have in mind, then listen to their suggestions. Call a few and decide which ones ‘feel right’ to you, way up the pros and cons if you like.

    • Ask for references from other wedding clients and contact those clients and find out what they really thought of their music, performance and professionalism. Word of mouth is always the very best recommendation.

    • Venues will also usually have a list of recommended suppliers which is a good place to start. They will have worked with the bands before and won’t recommend anyone that doesn’t live up to expectations.

    • Use a music service. There are many excellent companies in Scotland today. It’s their job to present the very best to you and take the worry off your shoulders.

    • Make sure you get an agreement or contract for your booking which should state exactly what you’re getting and what’s expected of the musicians. Professional musicians will gladly make this available and provide you with receipts for your payments.

    http://www.wedding-music-scotland.comhttp://www.wedding-music-scotland.commailto:[email protected]:[email protected]

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    A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO WEDDING MUSICConsider reliability

    One last thing to consider is reliability. How do you know they’re going to turn up. The biggest problem I’ve come across is when brides are let down by a band a few weeks before their big day. They’ll say “I’ve booked a band but they’ve let me down and now I don’t have a band at all. Please help!” This is because they’re not dealing with professionals and they don’t have a booking agreement drawn up. A booking agreement ensures that everyone, including the band, knows what’s expected of them. What’s the safeguard if the band doesn’t turn up? Who’s going to get you another band? It may be 3 days before your wedding and all you really want to focus on is getting your hair done, relaxing and enjoying yourself, suddenly the band rings up and says “sorry we can’t do it, the guitarist broke his leg” or “we’re going on holiday” ... it does happen. You’ve now got to run around and find another band while adding a whole lot of extra stress in your life. Do you really want that? What’s the backup plan?

    Where to find great advice and great musicians

    One of the best places I know these days that offers great, free advice on choosing all types of music for any event is Wedding Music Scotland. This is a network run by the musicians themselves and has many years experience in performing at all types of venues, events and functions. Everyone at Wedding Music Scotland is a working musician so you’re really talking to people in the know and you will get a legal contract with every booking. More information at www.wedding-music-scotland.com

    Other EntertainmentWhat entertainment other than music might you like at

    your wedding? Blending entertainment with the music can make a wonderful occasion even more special. If you’re having a celtic themed wedding then why not think about a re-enactment group that will make you feel like you’re in the middle of the set from Braveheart or even a complete

    medieval village. You might consider an entertainer such as a clown, a magician or even a characaturist.

    What about a comedy guest or ‘the waiter from hell’ for something really different? It’s a great way of adding a bit of fun to the day and getting the guests wondering ‘is this guy for real’? Have fun with only you and your man knowing that your comedian is a plant and watch people’s reactions. Let your guests entertain you. It’s not just about making sure all your guests are happy, it’s about enjoying yourself.

    Master of CeremoniesA Master of Ceremonies can tie the whole day together

    and take the pressure off you. He (or she) will make sure the day runs smoothly, announce and direct your guests and their character is a treat for all. A Historical Scottish Master of Ceremonies and Storyteller is going one step further with the MC idea. He’s dressed all in traditional highland garb and will tell ancient stories of Scotland to entertain and amaze your guests. He’ll literally sweep people off their feet and make your wedding all the more memorable.

    Childrens’ EntertainmentChildrens entertainment is something to think about if

    you are having children at your wedding. Kids tend to get bored very quickly so parents have no time to relax and enjoy themselves. Why not have a children’s entertainer or clown. This not only allows you and your adult guests to enjoy the wedding but it takes the stress out of what should be a delight, having children around on your day. Kids entertainment has really come of age today and there are so many varieties of entertainment to choose from. Clowns or face painting for a few hours or an entire children’s wedding party all of their own. It makes them feel really special too.

    http://www.wedding-music-scotland.comhttp://www.wedding-music-scotland.commailto:[email protected]:[email protected]://www.musenexus.co.ukhttp://www.musenexus.co.uk

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    A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO WEDDING MUSICGetting Married in Scotland?

    A Traditional Scottish Ceremony

    In Scotland it was traditional to have a Piper at your wedding as organs were not common in churches. Today, the role of the piper is to welcome the guests to the ceremony, pipe the bride down the aisle (the processional) and then pipe the couple out of the church (the recessional). Once the ceremony is over the piper would play and lead the bridal party and their guests to the reception, which was usually just a short stroll away. These days, this may still be possible but if you are having your ceremony at a venue quite some distance away from the Reception, then the piper could play while you and your guests depart.

    You could combine the music at your ceremony with a piper and an organist or other music to make it even more special. The piper could welcome the guests and be there to send you off in Scottish style but the processional and recessional could be covered by the other musicians.

    Highland Piper       The traditions of the

    Highland Piper date back for centuries and in Scotland all pipers learn about the history and traditions associated with the Great Pipe (Piob Mor). They are tradition carriers in a very practical and tangible way.  Years of training and practice are the background of any decent piper and, to achieve more than that requires a real dedication and immersion into the extraordinary physical, theoretical, mental and emotional intricacies of the the art of the Poib Mor.  When you ask a piper to play at your wedding you are calling on an expert musician who in many cases, will have a repertoire running into several

    hundred tunes.  They'll have songs of joy, of triumph, of love and tranquility as well as laments and the high "classical" art-form of the piobreach.  If you want your piper to play a tune you are familiar with or one of the dozen or so "expected" tunes at a wedding such as "Highland Cathedral" you may be missing out on a hundred or more tunes, as good or better than those you know, that the piper would be only too delighted to play instead.

    There are two main options when you are planning to book a piper.  The first option is what often comes to mind: the distant skirl of the pipes welcoming your guests to the ceremony.  A grand fanfare to grab everyone's attention for your bridal entrance, perhaps a tune for the signing of the register and then the joyful moments as you are proudly piped out of the venue as the newly wedded couple .  With a little time for a few photographs that will usually take about an hour.

     The second option is truly more traditional.  In addition to the above, the piper could also welcome you, the couple, to your champagne reception, be available to be photographed with any of your guests who wish it, play in the background until it's time to honour the tradition of piping the bride and groom to the "top table".  This option, which often comes to about three hours, echoes the traditions of times past when the laird or chieftain would call upon his personal piper to highlight the event with the unique dignity, style and drama of the Great Pipes. 

    A word about Pipers and their outfits.

    Pipers are usually dressed in one of two outfits. “No. 1’s” is the full military outfit that you see at the Edinburgh Tattoo - full kilt, brogues, jacket, flying plaid and ‘bearskin’ cap. A very spectacular outfit but only really suitable for very formal weddings. “No. 2’s” is the more functional outfit with kilt, brogues, jacket and Glengarry cap. It’s much easier for the piper to play well in this outfit and still be very impressive, you don’t want the piper looking like a Christmas tree in all his grandeur and overshadowing your bridal party at the photo shoot unless you are set on a very formal wedding.

    http://www.wedding-music-scotland.comhttp://www.wedding-music-scotland.commailto:[email protected]:[email protected]

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        More ancient than the piping tradition that of the harpist goes far back into the mists of time to the courts of kings, chieftains and nobles.  Often thought of as the chosen instrument of Angels, the harp in the hands of the ancient Celts was the highest of instruments, able to evoke feelings of sorrow, joy or sleep and to bewitch the listener in mysterious ways.  In those times the harp was almost totally the preserve of men whereas now it’s an instrument more associated with women, though there are of course some great male harpists to be found.

    Today the main choice for your wedding is between the classical or orchestral harp, a very large instrument which is capable, in expert hands, of playing almost any kind of music, or the Celtic harp also known as the Scottish small harp or Clarsach.  This is still an impressive instrument and ideal for playing traditional Scottish and Irish music as well as a limited range of classical pieces, it’s smaller and often more gentle sounding than its full concert cousin.

    Harps take time to tune and whenever they're moved, such as when brought to your venue, they need re-tuning after having about 30 minutes to settle down.  If you plan to have your harpist move from, say a church to the reception venue, the harpist will need to retune some or all of the 34 to 45 strings for the instrument to sound divine as only a harp can.

    Ceilidh and Celtic Bands

    A Traditional Scottish CeilidhIf you’re looking for a Scottish evening to complete

    your day then you can’t go wrong with a Ceilidh band. They are so much fun and it’s the type of dancing that everyone can be involved in, old or young and believe me, ceilidhs up here in Scotland are no ‘old fashioned’ event.

    Ceilidh dancing has really come of age and it’s extremely popular in Scotland with all age groups. It can be extremely energetic particularly if your partner wants to experience the G-forces of spinning you in the Strip the Willow. It’s sometimes best to clear the room of breakables and antiques first!

    All ceilidh bands will call the dances these days so it’s absolutely no problem if you or your guests are a little unfamiliar with the dances. The main aim is to have fun but if you’re a stickler for details, there are some great videos around that will give you a good head start.

    Ceilidh bands don’t tend to come with a separate caller who talks everyone through the steps the whole way through each dance, as in Barn dancing. What’s more usual is for a member of the ceilidh band to call, talking people through the moves, even give a demonstration of the dance before the music begins and also through the first part of the music for the dance, then the band gets on with playing and everyone can enjoy themselves. If you prefer to have an expert on hand you can hire a specialist caller and there are some great people in Scotland but this will be an extra person at an extra cost and you’ll need to ask the band to arrange one for you. However, it can be more off-putting than helpful having someone telling you what to do the whole time. After all you want to have fun don’t you?

    Tip to remember ....

    All good ceilidh bands will ‘call’ the dances, that is, call out the dance steps as you’re moving through the music. Sometimes, even a short demonstration is done.

    The best way to ensure you have a good time is grab a DVD on Scottish Country Dancing to remind yourself of the steps.

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    A BRIDE’S GUIDE TO WEDDING MUSICLastly .... some important points

    • Read everything! Agreements or contracts, check you are signing for what you want.

    • You get what you pay for - particularly with bands, the higher the price of the band the better quality of music and professionalism from the musicians because they’ve been doing it for a long time.

    • There is a perception that there is some kind of rip off going on for wedding bands and musicians. There are some people who overcharge but they are the minority. The truth is most musicians seem to be underpaid for what they do. Quality musicianship is a skilled craft just like any other profession. If you’re ever unsure about this, try playing an instrument for 2-3 hours non-stop without any error and with the passion of a shakespeare sonnet .... it really does take dedication!

    • Make sure you allow enough in your budget for the right type of music.

    • People can only put up with so much music. You shouldn’t have too much going on in the wedding. Some weddings have music before, during and after the ceremony, during the photos, during the drinks, during the meal and then a band or two for the reception! It gets too much and is very expensive.

    • Integrate all the elements of your wedding. Don’t have mixed messages.

    • There are approximately 33,000 weddings in Scotland every year, and there aren’t that many bands. There is a limited stock of really good bands and musicians in Scotland and you have to make sure you can get the one you want on the day. Book ahead!

    • Most weddings are on Saturdays. If music is extremely important to you and you can’t get the band you want on a Saturday (because they are booked up for the year) then consider having your wedding on a weekday or even a Sunday. Most musicians are more than happy to play days other than Saturdays.

    Author:" Debra B. Carey, "Wedding Music Consultant

    © 2011 Debra B. Carey. All rights reserved.

    No republishing, reprinting, copying or duplicating this document is permitted except with the permission of the author.


    Debra B. Carey

    email: [email protected]

    http://www.wedding-music-scotland.comhttp://www.wedding-music-scotland.commailto:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]:[email protected]