In Tune: Choosing the Perfect Music For Your Wedding

There’s no doubt that wedding music can truly make or break a wedding. There’s nothing better than that wedding band that ticks all of the right boxes, and that gets every guest partying on the dancefloor. But how is a couple supposed to know where to start to find that perfect performer? This is where the likes of Eight Ray Music come in. Representing some of the best wedding performers in the country, who better to guide you through the ins and outs of choosing the perfect music for you wedding than Eight Ray Music‘s very own Tom Sandall. Read on below to get his expert insight into the world of wedding music!  trumpeter playing at a wedding

There’s a famous saying that everyone will remember a bad wedding breakfast and bad music at a wedding. Time and again, these two factors are highlighted as imperative to a weddings success. In my experience, the food’s important but the music is critical. From the emotive classical act for the ceremony to the dance floor filling party band, music will set the tone and tempo for your wedding day.

There’s a lot to consider when choosing your wedding music: the budget, the type of act, the guests, your schedule and, it’s easy to forget, your personal preferences need to be considered too.

I hope this guide acts as a useful resource to those looking to gain a better understanding of the available options when it comes to wedding music. One thing to always remember is that everyone’s needs are unique, at Eight Ray Music we tailor the entertainment to suit the individual. So take this as a rough guide and get in touch if you would like more advice!

The Ceremony

The Ceremony is an emotional and memorable moment. To truly capture the immensity of the occasion, I would always advise brides to choose a live musician.

Traditionally, people choose a classical act during the ceremony. Classical musicians add an emotive touch to proceedings and their elegance greatly complements and enhances the occasion. I favour using harpists and violinists, especially if the bride would like the Wedding March played.

You don’t have to stick to classical acts, however. Many people choose to have a more contemporary sound. It’s amazing how many people choose Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud and this means many elect for solo singers, which can be incredibly moving to witness.

Suggested Eight Ray Music Acts: Siren or Camilla Pay.

For a vocalist I would choose either Mike Newfield (singing below) or Celine of To The Sun. The beauty of hiring these two is the fact that they can also provide the evening entertainment too, helping to cut costs.

Drinks Reception 

As people mill into the drinks reception it’s time to lift the mood without proving too intrusive. People are rightly excited, it’s wedding day!

It’s early, however, and people are still in the meet and greet phase. They want to chat and catch up with everyone, there’s no need for an overpowering band.

My two favourite options here are to use a classical act or a roaming band. The latter is more upbeat and will generate a more invigorating atmosphere, but the former is better if you’re looking to keep it a more refined affair at this point.

Suggested Eight Ray Music Acts: The Roaming Revue, Kat Eaton Duo, Siren or Camilla Pay. The Roaming Revue and Kat Eaton Duo can also provide the evening band too, saving on costs. camilla pay sitting with harp
Eight Ray Music’s wonderful Camilla Pay


Every bride is working on a budget. If you want to have music throughout your day but it’s stretching the wedding budget, consider choosing versatile bands.

Using the same classical act for the drinks reception as you did for the ceremony is one way to keep costs down. Some roaming bands, such as the The Roaming Revue, can also provide an evening party band. By booking the same band for both, you will save money on the budget, compared to hiring two different bands for each.

Wedding Breakfast

Generally speaking, people don’t tend to have music whilst they’re eating. If you do, I would recommend a string quartet. String quartets work well because they’re not too intrusive, people need to breathe, relax and have a chat during dinner.

If a string quartet isn’t for you but you would like music, a roaming band can work well in-between courses as a feature. It helps to lift the dinner and generates a bit of atmosphere.

Novelty acts can also work well during dinner, singing waiters are one of my favourites. As the name suggests, they are musicians disguised as waiters who break out into song. They serve and then they suddenly start singing. And while it’s on the pricier side, it’s an incredibly cool and unique idea.

Suggested Eight Ray Music Band: Soprano Bella (singing waiters), Siren.

Evening Band

Live music is so engaging, a top band will create a memorable atmosphere. The mistake some people make here is being too specific in terms of the band they want.

I think when you’re selecting a band you need to consider a few things. You need to find a band who can mirror your character and represent you as people, yet they need to appeal to the majority too. You want as many people as possible inhabiting the dance floor, for as long as possible.

Guests at weddings tend to be a diverse bunch. Older guests are unlikely to be as enthused at hearing modern tracks, just as the younger ones among the crowd may not react well to an evening filled solely with classic hits. That’s why party bands can be a good solution. One thing top party bands have is versatility. Most of the bands on our roster are able to cater to a wide variety of audiences, playing both classic and modern tracks, which helps to please each of the various demographics.

The best part of hiring a live band or musician is that they can read the audience, finely tuning their set throughout the night to suit the mood of the evening, ensuring that the dance floor remains full until the early hours.

Suggested Eight Ray Music bands: Kat Eaton Band, FREEMAN, Coyote, To The Sun or The Revue Band.


When it comes to employing a DJ or soliciting the use of an iPod playlist I think it’s a no-brainer and would reiterate the above point:

Live musicians can read the audience, a DJ will chop and change their playlist to suit the audience; if they are dancing to Motown then the next song is not going to be Skepta. You don’t want to spend your evening skipping tracks, a great DJ takes the pressure off.

In regard to cost, a lot of party bands will offer a package deal with a DJ. It’s always worth asking for this when you enquire, it might mean you have enough budget left for something else – which is always a pleasant surprise!

Suggested Eight Ray Music DJs: AJ Odudu, Baller Sounds, Patrick Hagenaar. wedding dj smiling
Aj Odudu in action

Bio: Tom Sandall is Eight Ray Music’s Business Development Manager. He specialises in providing exceptional entertainment for weddings and events. Feel free to get in touch with Tom if you would like to explore music for your wedding.

Happy Planning! Inspired by Eight Ray Music’s suggestions? Check out their Bridebook profile.



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