Wedding music mistakes: Expert reveals how much wedding rings cost, why cutting costs is a mistake and what he would have chosen for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s royal wedding.
Having a band or DJ play at your evening reception is often expected at a weddingbut the music should not be left out for the first dance and the party.
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Johnny Ross from Jonny Ross Music (who’s been in the industry for 12 years and has even performed for royalty!) revealed that your songs need to be carefully chosen for every step of your big day, from walking down the aisle to having the wedding breakfast. Granted, the more musicians you have at your wedding, the more it can cost – up to around £6,000, in fact – but Jonny spoke to HELLO! why cutting costs is actually the worst thing you can do.
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Keep reading to see his top tips for the bride and groom – plus what he would have chosen for a big-budget wedding like the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s…
1. What are the biggest wedding music mistakes you’ve come across?
Who wouldn’t want to sing in the middle of a meal? Jonny stressed the importance of having music during the meal, which he believes will be the next big trend in the wedding industry.
“I think the wedding breakfast is an unexpected party,” he said. “My group just put together a package where we play acoustic-style background music during the meal, then between and after class we play big hymns to sing, roam the room, get on seats and throw a big party. It’s so much fun; when customers book it, it’s the highlight of the day.
“Nobody expects it,” he added. “I think this concept will be the new trend in wedding music by next year.”
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2. How do you choose a live band or DJ for your wedding?
Unless you have a specific person or band in mind, it’s hard to know where to start when choosing the right musicians, especially since Jonny said that “most bands only play private events “.
Jonny Ross gave his top tips for choosing your wedding music
To prevent couples from being disappointed with their pick of the day, he suggests going to events where you can see bands perform beforehand and get a real taste for their style. For example, his company organizes Music Showcase nights which attract around 200 couples and “features more than 8 acts in one night in a Jools Holland format where they play one after the other”.
3. How much does a wedding band or DJ cost?
This is where it gets tricky! Every couple has their own budget, but Jonny suggested that the music is one of the most memorable parts of a wedding, so it’s worth investing a little more of your budget.
“A 4-5 piece band costs between £1,500 and £1,800. For bands with larger line-ups and additional vocalists, you can pay anything between £2,500 and £6,000,” explained the professional music.
“My advice wouldn’t be to cut entertainment costs. While this naturally seems very biased, according to a survey of our over 4,000 previous guests, the top three things couples and their guests remember the most are music, food and If you’re looking to cut costs, think about which vendors matter to you and how you’ll look at your wedding.
“Think about the best weddings you’ve attended and why you consider them ‘good weddings,'” he added. “Nine out of ten times you will remember a wedding fondly because it was such a great party!”
4. How far in advance should I reserve my wedding ring?
Once you’ve found your ideal band or DJ, you’ll want to secure them ASAP, but with the venue, caterers and more all waiting for deposits, it’s bound to put financial stress on you and your partner. However, you may not need to pay the full money upfront.
Music can be a great addition to your wedding ceremony
“We find that our most popular groups are booked at least 18 months in advance,” Jonny said. “If you find a provider you like my advice is to secure it immediately. not afraid to ask.”
5. Are there any rules of etiquette when it comes to your wedding music?
“The more progressive the industry, the less rules there are. If you’re having a civil ceremony, throw out the rules and make the ceremony whatever you want it to be,” he said, before explaining that one of his clients recently opted to swap hymns for popular songs like Hey Jude, Wonderwall, and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.
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6. Speaking of rules, how important is it to have a “must play” and “don’t play” list?
Jonny’s advice? Trust the professionals to do their job. “I don’t think it’s essential to give them a list. If you hire a good band or DJ, they’ll know what brings your guests to the dance floor,” he said.
That doesn’t mean you can’t suggest “songs matter to you as a couple,” but he did recommend giving them the freedom to play what keeps people on the dance floor.
7. What technical issues should you check with the venue?
“If you’re looking for a wedding venue, you should ask them if there are any noise restrictions. If it’s under 90dB, it’s crucial to let your entertainment know so they can plan accordingly. and bring the best speakers to work around the limits.
“When you book your entertainment, I would also ask them how much space they need so the venue can factor that into the seating plan,” he said.
Jonny discussed the music he would have chosen for the royal wedding
8. If you had the opportunity to organize the music for the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, what would you have chosen?
Jonny and his band, known as The Jonny Ross Band, performed for Prince William and Kate Middleton at the opening ceremony of the Tour de France at Harewood House in 2014, which he described as “a real highlight of my career.” So what music would he have composed for the royal family in 2011, with no expense spared?
“Ooh, that’s hard!” he joked. “I would actually book a wedding cover band. While they would have an unlimited budget to book touring musicians, a wedding is a whole different story. I would have booked The Marc & Abi Band; that’s the best band I’ve ever seen at a wedding.” Jonny described them as “very unique, ‘fun’ and ‘interactive’.
9. Based on your own experience as a groom, do you have any advice for choosing your wedding songs?
Speaking of his own wedding ceremony with his wife Ellie, Jonny replied: “We chose a song (Holocene by Bon Iver) that was special to us, and some of our musician friends played an arrangement of it with saxophone, guitar and piano. As corny as it sounds, it was one of the most memorable parts of our day and it always makes us cringe when we hear it play. It set the stage for a ceremony and was personal to us.
He added that first dances don’t always have to be slow, romantic songs. “While that’s a great idea, don’t be afraid to consider having a more upbeat song to set the tone for the party. A few songs to consider are You Are The Best Thing by Ray La Montagne and Too Late To Turn Back Now by Cornelius. Brothers & Sister Rose. These are great songs and your guests will be engaged and ready for a big party!” he concluded.
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