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