Ideas for your live wedding drinks reception music
Hiring live music for your wedding drinks reception is a very popular idea. It’s a great part of the day – you’ve just got married so everyone is naturally in a great mood, and also they finally have a drink and get to mingle (which doesn’t always happen before the ceremony).
Having live musical entertainment for this part of the day creates a fantastic vibe, and it’s one of the moments where you can most effectively use live music.
We tend to call the live music options for this part of the day ‘background music’, as the idea is not to get people dancing but rather to entertain them and add to the atmosphere. I’m never sure if this is the best term because calling it ‘background’ makes it seem bland and uninspiring. I try to use the term ‘ambient’ music instead – we don’t want to intrude on people’s fun, but also do want to keep them entertained and enhance the atmosphere.
The first thing to think about when choosing live drinks reception entertainment is whether you’re planning for your reception to be indoors or outdoors, and whether or not you’ll be able to run power to the musicians.
Entertainment options for outdoor wedding drinks receptions
If you’re lucky enough to have your reception outdoors in a place far away from the nearest power source, you’ll need a completely acoustic act. We have three such groups available – the first two also have the added advantage of being walkabout acts, so they can move around your reception making sure everyone gets a bit of the action.
Alexander’s Dixieland Band is fun and quirky, performing trad jazz music in a unique style. They are able to walk around your venue – just like Get Brassy, who are a louder New Orleans-style brass band playing covers of pop songs.
You also need to think about the type of ambience you want to create. The two above bands are fun and lively, whereas Down for the Count Strings are subtle, sophisticated but certainly not boring – they have a great repertoire of both classical and pop music and we think they are ideal for wedding drinks reception background music. Even better, you can also book them for your wedding ceremony for a fraction of the price of having two separate acts!
Do remember that if you’re planning an outdoor drinks reception, you must have a wet weather plan – you’d be surprised how many people don’t! Also, please remember that musicians perform with incredibly valuable instruments and will need to move them inside at the first hint of rain.
If you’re able to run power outside to the band, you also have the choice of our fantastic jazz bands. The Hollywood Jazz Band and Lady Gatsby Jazz Bands are both fronted by a vocalist (and therefore need power for the PA system) and both bands are fun and classy. See below for more details on these bands.
If I had to choose, and you really, really pushed me, I think I would probably go for one of our three above acoustic acts for an outdoor drinks reception over one of the jazz bands below. An acoustic act is just that bit more flexible, and running power cables outside can sometimes be quite a bit of effort, and not visually very appealing. Having said that, we do often perform outside with our vocal-led jazz bands, and it’s still a great way of adding atmosphere – if those are your favourite bands, go for it!
Entertainment ideas for indoor wedding drinks receptions
Our vocal-led jazz bands come into their own for indoor receptions, where the acoustic is a little kinder to live music.
The Hollywood Jazz Band is smart and sophisticated and adds a touch of glamour to the occasion; whilst the Lady Gatsby Jazz Band is 1920s themed and has a slightly more fun, uptempo feel. If you can’t decide between the two, don’t worry – just let us know and we’ll provide you with a mix of the two bands!
Of course, all of the acoustic jazz options listed for outdoors receptions can perform just as easily inside – and often will have to in the event of inclement weather.
Another option for indoors drinks reception entertainment is a cocktail pianist or an instrumental jazz band.
I never think a cocktail pianist sounds quite right outside – but indoors it is fantastic. If you’re fortunate enough to have a venue with a piano our pianist can use that, but he will always bring a digital piano as a backup. Also, it’s possible for us to arrange the hire of an grand or upright piano – let us know if you would like a quote for this option.
Finally, we also have an instrumental jazz band, the Jazz Standards Quartet. We think this sounds best indoors, but it can perform outdoors as well (it would usually need power, although there is an acoustic option available).
Down for the Count have loads of fantastic entertainment options for indoor and outdoor drinks receptions. Remember that if you’re booking them alongside one of our evening party bands we offer fantastic package deals!
We can also create bespoke acts so if you have any ideas, just let us know and we'll see what we can do!
If you have any questions or would like to know more, email us now or call band manager Mike on 07855 488 462.