Whether you’re dreaming of a breezy ceremony on the beach or a lively cocktail-style reception buzzing with laughter and chatter, an acoustic musician is a bit of a go-to for creating the perfect atmosphere. Able to read a crowd and get their feet tapping, these talented guys know how to get the party started (ideally without muttering the phrase ‘Anywhere, here’s ‘Wonderwall’).
Thinking of including an acoustic musician in your celebrations? We put together a few need-to-know tips to make your special day (pitch) perfect!
Related article: The entertainment traditions to keep and ditch
Work out exactly what you’re after
It’s probably the most obvious thing to consider, but it’s also one of the most important. Have a think about what sort of atmosphere you want for your wedding and how your musician will work with that. Are you keeping things totally laid-back? Going for something a little more lively? Want something in-between? Discuss this with your musician and they’ll be able to suggest a playlist that’ll suit your ideal vibe.
Lock in exactly when you want them to play
No, it’s not enough to just say ‘at the wedding’. Be sure to think about at what points of the celebration you’d like to have live acoustic music and be clear with your musician. Communication is key here.
Popular times for live acoustic music are right before the ceremony when guests are arriving, when the couple are announced as married, when they’re signing the marriage register and when they walk back up the aisle. Also, if you’re having a cocktail hour while off having photos taken, acoustic musicians are great for keeping the excitement alive but the atmosphere still chilled.
Acoustic musicians are also fantastic for leading into the reception and for while everyone is eating. But, if you’re looking to fill the dance-floor you might want a full-band (or at least two musicians with some sort of backing). Finish the festivities with a DJ or one of your favourite playlists – it’ll make your reception feel like one massive party and will give your musician a break after playing, well, pretty much all evening.
Speak up about what you want played but don’t dictate
It’s your wedding – of course you should include a few special songs that are close to your hearts but resist the urge to micromanage. Catch up with your musician and suggest some must-play songs – chances are they’re happy to learn them if they don’t already know the songs. On that note (pun intended), make sure you tell them if there are any songs you really can’t stand. Sick of hearing the same chart-topper at every wedding you go to (we’re looking at you, ‘Call Me Maybe’)? Tell them!
Of course, being wedding pros it’s likely your musician will know a wide range of fabulous foot-tappers and tear-jerkers – tell them what sort of feel you’d like your wedding to have and they’ll be able to put forward their suggestions.
Have a little courtesy
It seems obvious but it needs to be said – don’t expect your musician to play throughout your whole wedding without breaks. They’re people! Make sure they get something to eat at some point (check if they have any dietary requirements) and don’t watch them like a hawk.
Check things with your venue
Most venues are happy to welcome a musician and are likely to have the essentials that they might need, but don’t just assume. It’s crucial to check if they have any volume restrictions, if the actual acoustics of the venue work well (you might need a speaker if tying the knot in an open-air space) and if they have the proper equipment (i.e. microphones, and speakers). Discuss all this with them first before organising a musician to save an embarrassing “thanks anyway” situation.
For more tips and advice, the team at Wedding Wine Fridays caught up with musician Matt Gavin at our last Queensland Brides Wedding & Honeymoon Expo. Be sure to head along to our next expo on October 12-14 to meet face-to-face with talented vendors and musicians!
Looking for entertainment for your special day? Take a look at our helpful directory here…