We’ve all experienced great wedding music and of course, the not so remarkable. Here’s our guide to ensuring your wedding music tops the rest…

The wedding entertainment starts, and it feels more like a school disco than one of the most important days in a couple’s life. The DJ is over the hill and thinks an endless stream of 1970s “floor fillers” will do the trick. Not only this, but he forgets he’s played “Night Fever” – so plays it again. This isn’t an affront on disco music (or DJs) – there’s a time and place for it. However, unless you’re a super fan it probably isn’t going to be a part of your wedding.

You want class, style and of course music that everyone will love. Good music. No clichés, no garish white suits – just exceptional musicianship. But what to choose? These days, there’s choice galore when it comes to wedding music. DJs have upped their game, and live music is more popular than ever. To save you unnecessary head scratching, here are some wedding music ideas to start you off…

CLASSICAL: SOLOISTS & QUARTETS

Funnily enough, after Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s stunning performance at the recent Royal Wedding, the demand for solo cellists has skyrocketed. And rightly so – this uncluttered, cleanness of sound is a wonderful way to provide a breather at busy, and possibly noisy wedding.

The thing not everyone appreciates, is that a wedding with classical music isn’t condemned to be formal, and stuffy. It follows the lead of the musicians. Modern classical music can be fun and diverse, with a finger firmly on the pulse of popular culture.

Quartets and classical groups have the instrumental breadth to create beautiful compositions of songs in any genre. Take your pick.

At Bowood, we’re big fans of classical music and can put you in touch with some sublime musicians. For a start, why not have a listen to one of our popular solo violinist – Lizz Lipscombe or solo harpist, Katie Saloman.

MODERN AMERICAN SWING

Fancy a Gatsby wedding? Well, a good place to start would be with the music. Vintage American swing, with a modern twist is becoming a go to choice for weddings.

Bands like Postmodern Jukebox are fuelling a new wave of swing. Rather than covering songs from the 20s and 30s they go for unlikely modern hits and enthuse them with a jazz era* cool.

Have you ever heard a swing version of a hip-hop song? You’ll be surprised in the best possible way.

*It was also the era of prohibition. Authenticity at your wedding is great, but this is perhaps too much.

UNPLUGGED: FREE TO ROAM

One of the best things about acoustic bands is they don’t need electricity to sound great. Plus, this means they’re not tied down to a stage. Stages are overrated.

Acoustic music is something born in the pubs, front rooms, parlours, fields and around the campfires of the land. It’s raw, passionate and doesn’t have to be dressed up.

Having a band roam around your wedding is experiencing music in a chilled and natural way – and it’s always nice to be able to chat with musicians without the formal divide of stage.

FESTIVAL STYLE BANDS

It’s summer, and you’re in a crowd with thousands of other people. The sun has fallen, and now hangs just above the horizon – giving the light a bronzed, ethereal quality. It’s like a dream in real-time. Your favourite band starts playing the first notes of your favourite song.

The crowd around you erupts into verse, a storm of voices carrying a beautiful melody. The feeling of euphoria sends shivers skittering down your spine.

There’s nothing quite like a music festival. But, this doesn’t mean you can’t capture it in miniature for your wedding.

Festival style bands are brilliant at warming up crowds with toe-tapping summery songs – perhaps some George Ezra or the Lumineers. Then, after a low key start they can switch to electric and play their own headlining act.

Your guests will appreciate the diversity – it’s like getting two bands in one.

MUMFORD & SONS STYLE FOLK BANDS

Although the great folk revival of the early 2010s may have run its course, the fast rhythmed, foot-stomping legacy of Mumford & Sons is still alive in the wedding scene.

There’s something sincere, and unfussy in folk that sets it apart from other forms of music. When played with heart and energy, it never fails to get people dancing.

Folk music is atmospheric too and reminds us of cosy winter nights by a fire, as much as it does summer nights – spent camping in the woods or at a festival. Feel good music at its finest.

DJ WITH LIVE ACCOMPANIMENT

Moving well away from disco music, modern DJs can give some diverse and outstanding performances. One of the trends right now is for DJs to have a live vocalist or percussionist join them. This was popularised in big clubs around the world. It’s the perfect meeting of the transcendental sounds of a superbly mixed set and the stage presence of a live musician.

The best of both worlds.

MASH UP BANDS

If you want the heady rush of a DJ’s build up, and the ignition of excitement that comes with a meticulously executed drop – but also want a live band, here’s a compromise.

Mash up bands are very impressive. With exceptional talent they can mix together your favourite songs (albeit they can’t play electronic dance music!) and get a crowd going much like a DJ. Also, it’s a lot of fun trying to guess the song, as it creeps in at the end of another.

WEDDINGS AT BOWOOD HOTEL, SPA & GOLF RESORT

The Bowood Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort is a magical wedding venue, deep in Wiltshire countryside – surrounded by endless views.

Not only is Bowood an undeniably beautiful place to marry, but all the finer details of your wedding can be taken care of – from delicious food to stylish décor and everything in between.

At Bowood, we offer bespoke weddings that reflect your wildest dreams and for ease, carefully thought out packages with all budgets in mind. All those fantasies about your wedding day? At Bowood, we’ll breathe life into them.

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(You’ll not be able to resist)

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