Wedding Music GUIDE - Part 2 - Canapes and Early Reception

In today's blog we're going to talk about Part 2 of the wedding music guide - We refer to this part as the canapés/early reception part of the wedding.

1. SO you're married now - WOOO!
2. You're guests are getting their champagne, cheese and oysters in and everyone is in a cracking mood. 
3. You might be there with them, or you might be off and most likely getting photos done, but either way it's a good time and the night is just beginning. 

We decided to outline the following ideas as a series of thoughts. These are just our opinions and considerations based upon our experiences over the years.

So...What happens musically here?

This part of the night is that is really up to your own discretion. The dance-floor certainly hasn't kicked off yet, but the atmosphere is festive and, in our experience, beautiful music should be in the air.

Thought 1 - If you're close or in a similar location and time line to the ceremony (i.e. 3pm ceremony, 4.30 canapés and reception for example), keep the musician from your ceremony for a few hours to play some background music as guests mingle and chat. This is Oberon Lane's most common type of booking - A ceremony + 2 canapés set for a soloist, duo or trio. 

If you want to pick it up a little bit, you can add a duo or percussionist to the ceremony musician to change the vibe and freshen it up without having to pay for a completely new setup. The musician is there already and happy to keep the vibe going, however most singers only do 3 x 45 minute sets on average so adding another singer or musician enables them to play for longer without blowing out their voice.

This kind of set up also works very effectively with a DJ booking, as you can have chilled music until the party starts later on with a DJ and with all the audio production. 

You can see the Oberon Lane Trio featuring Elle May play here - This is a good guide for how you can pick it up without having to have a band booked in.


Thought 2 - If you're thinking of a band to bring the party to your reception, make sure you specify that you want some chilled/relaxed sets from them earlier in the evening, or just get them to start and do 3 sets from 8-11 for example (or ask for a discount for 2 sets or party time tunes). 

Wedding bands are the best, but the last thing your guests want is to have a loud party band smashing 'Don't Stop Believing' whilst you snack on scallops and lamb and chat with your Uncle Geoff. The band doesn't want to do it either. All bands want to feel wanted and feel like they're doing a great job on your special day, and it's a tough balance to workout. Inevitably there's a table that's been put too close to the set up and someone has to ask someone else to turn down etc.

To keep the vibe right here, make sure you tell whatever you have booked to keep it chilled and relaxed and work around your formalities. Keep in mind also that throughout this period there are normally a lot of formalities i.e. speeches, cake cutting, table service etc. Generally speaking the band or DJ won't be the focus until this part of the evening is done.

Thought 3 - The entrance song - This happens after your guests are into your reception and either sitting, or drinking, or both. Now comes time for you to enter your reception.  Whatever you have booked musically needs to be aware of this and able to bring you in with their sound system.

You need an entrance song - Generally speaking, DO NOT get acoustic musicians to play this - It's never cool enough and lacks impact.  NOTE - If you think you don't need one, you kinda do. Some couples just want to mingle in slowly and keep it chill, but don't make the mistake of thinking it's nothing. You can still keep the entry and song chill and beautiful. You don't need a dramatic dance off event like you see on Youtube unless you want it, but I assure you that this is a cool moment for a couple to be welcomed to their party night and it really makes a difference.  You both look the best you've ever looked. Enter!

Many bridal parties choose a different song for each couple walking in. Make sure you tell the musicians what you want well in advance so they can have it lined up on an iPod and make sure it pumps!. If you've booked a DJ or band, then you've got more options, but if you've still got a chilled atmosphere then get the songs on an iPod and have a good ol time. 

Keep in mind here - The MC - Check out our MC Blog for more details on this. You need a good MC who's comfortable on a mic or the night gets out of hand! People underestimate this, but it's important.  They'll be the one introducing the couples, so just ensure that they're on top of it and knows how to do it well. 

Things to note:
1. Ensure the band is set up well before guests enter your room if it's in the same room, unless there's a discreet way of them doing it closer to when they're performing. 
2. Keep in mind that throughout this period there are normally a lot of formalities, speeches, cake cutting, table service etc. 
3. You will need good audio for this. If your musicians have a system set up then make sure you tell them that you need an extra mic for speeches

Hopefully that's a pretty good guide to this part of the night. It's a fun part of the evening for sure. Everyone is settling in, the drinks are flowing, the food is coming out. It's a nice time to have some beautiful wedding music in the air!

Check back in for our thoughts on part 3 of the wedding music guide - The Reception/PARTY

Wedding Music Guide - Part 1 - The Ceremony

Here at Oberon Lane we pride ourselves on being wedding music specialists! While we most definitely can get the party started with our amazing bands and DJs, we have built an impeccable reputation on our unique ability to take your wedding ceremony above and beyond any wedding you've been to before.

In our first blog post we thought we'd break down what music at a wedding is all about  how it impacts your day, where it fits in, how to get the most bang for you buck, etc. 

These are just our thoughts, of course. We've been performing and booking artists at weddings all over Australia for over 10 years so we're drawing from that experience. We'd love to get your thoughts and comments on our Facebook page if you want to get the discussion going. 

Wedding Music 101 - Part 1 - The Ceremony

Ceremony = The Big Deal :)

Your wedding ceremony is going to be one of the most amazing moments of your life. It's the moment when, finally, you can ignore the giant floating cloud of anticipation, stress, nervousness and excitement that's been following you around for the last year and just BE. You see your future husband or wife for the first time standing there – It's an amazing thing. And while all this is going on, you want the music in the air to breathe with you and take this moment to the next level.

These days, people often go with an acoustic soloist or duo for this moment, mostly because they want a song that connects with you and your future life partner – a song that you see walking down the aisle to. You want  it to be perfect, you want a musician who you can depend on to make it as beautiful as it can be, you want it to be a perfect moment that you'll never forget. Popular song requests include things like Marry Me by Train, All Of Me by John Legend, I'm Yours by Jason Mraz etc. 

That being said, some brides opt for a more traditional song to walk down the aisle to (e.g. Bridal Chorus or Canon in D), which can be equally beautiful. We've been asked to do everything in between as well, from solo singers with strings, to church organs with cellos and keyboards in parks. It's all doable. It's all available and it's totally up to you. But no matter what happens, you want this moment to be enhanced and made even more meaningful by having the most stunning soundtrack you can imagine.

How does the ceremony work?

Step 1 - Musicians arrive at the venue well before any of your guests to ensure that everything is set up and sounding good. 

Step 2 - Our artists will:
1. Play 15-30 minutes of instrumental music as guests are arriving (this sets a beautiful atmosphere)
2. Play you down the aisle to the song of your choice (we need about two weeks to really learn and nail your perfect song)
3. Play a song of your choice as you sign the register (if you're doing that), which they've also learnt in advance
4. Play (or play a recorded version of) the song you want as you exit back up the aisle. Sometimes it's fun to go with a more upbeat track for this moment as people are all cheering and feeling good. 

A nice and unique one we got requested to do the other day was:

Other people like You Make My Dreams Come True, by Hall and Oates - You can hear Jordan Millar from Oberon Lane cover this here:

This is a popular one that people ask us to play on an iPod:


It really is a personal decision and it's a song that sets the tone of what's to come next in the evening. 

And boom, then it's done – you're married! The energy in the air is amazing, everyone is feeling good, there's music, there's love. Good times! Often, our musicians are asked to stay around for another 30 minutes or so, or move to another location to do a few hours during the canapés time, but we'll deal with all that in part 2. 

Things to note:
1. If it's outside and away from power, a battery powered amplification system will be required. These can be hired from Oberon Lane or a number of other places, but ideally a power source = easier sound. You want it to be loud and proud!
2. Sometimes the celebrant wants to use the same system as the musicians so check with your celebrant to ensure their audio is all good. No matter how big or small the crowd, everything sounds better if it's miked up and projecting

There's so many other options available, like string quartets and acapella singing groups, but in the end it's really all up to you. 

Hopefully this gives you a helpful rundown of how music will interact and create the vibe for your ceremony. It's the most exciting and important time of the day, so nail it!

Stay tuned for our next post on part 2 of your wedding music guide :)