Eco-Friendly Wedding Entertainment

Green Wedding Entertainment Ideas

Green Wedding Entertainment Ideas

Choosing to go green for your wedding doesn’t mean you have to cut back on the style. It is easy to get caught up in the fast paced planning of your perfect wedding, trying to create the best day out of your friendship groups, whilst making all your dreams come true.

If you take a step back, choosing to save the environment, you never know – it may even save you some cash, allowing you to spend more on other areas of your big day.

Gypsy St Germaine are a Wonderful example of Acoustic Musicians

Gypsy St Germaine are a Wonderful example of Acoustic Musicians

Acoustic Musicians
For a romantic touch to your special day, acoustic music will create a brilliant atmosphere to your fairy tale day. Because the acts don’t need amplifiers, acoustic musicians can be a great eco-friendly entertainment choice as their power usage stands at zero. Acoustic guitars will echo throughout your venue, sending chills down your guest’s spines. Or, string quartets will create a romantic ambiance to set your day off perfectly. Event organisers be wary however, for larger events a solo acoustic musician may not be loud enough – so amplification may be needed.

Inspire Gospel Choir

A choir is perfect eco-friendly entertainment for a Ceremony

Choirs
Why not invite a Gospel choir to top off your special day, easy to set up, no power needed- just sit back and let them sing till their hearts are content. A choir will fit in perfectly as the bride walks down the aisle, serenading the happy couple. You will even have the option to choose which songs you would like them to sing. They will really get the party started, with very little cost to the environment.

Drummers and Dancers

Acoustic Drummers and Dancers really get a party started!

Drummers
Adding a bit of spice to your big day, and of course culture! From bongo drummers, to steel drummers, they will definitely bring happiness and dancing to your party! Whether you wish to hold an African or Brazilian themed wedding, or simply fancy something different.

Picking drummers to provide entertainment will ensure that your big day is a talking point for years to come.

Green Energy

Green Power Generators = Clear Conscience but plenty of ROCK!

Green Power Generators
If you have your heart set on a live band or a DJ then there are ways in which you can have them but still help save the planet. Plug a DJ and it’s disco lights into a green power generator, you will get the same experience as normal!

Locally Sourced Bands means Less Carbon Emissions

Locally Sourced Bands means Less Carbon Emissions

Shop Local
When choosing your wedding band or entertainment make note of where they are based. If you can book acts that are as local as possible to you then you will cut down on the carbon emissions from their journey.

There are lots of small changes you could make that if all brides and grooms followed suit would make a big difference to the impact we have on our lovely planet whilst still ensuring everyone has an awesome time!

At Warble Entertainment we have loads of ideas to help so feel free to give us a shout!

By Matt Warren

Should you have a Marquee at your Wedding?

Whilst many of the wedding enquiries that we receive at Warble are for lavish venues, hotels and stately homes, there are LOTS where couples will be celebrating in a marquee… and the numbers are on the increase.

But is having a wedding reception in a marquee or party tent a wise move?

Well, we spoke to Robert from North Wales premier marquee hire company, Skye Marquees, to find out a little more…

Should You Hire a Marquee for a Wedding?

Should You Hire a Marquee for a Wedding?

Who are Skye Marquees?
Skye Marquees is a marquee hire company based in North Wales but covering the North West, Cheshire area and the Wirral. Since 2008 we have been providing wedding marquees and party tents across these regions and getting great feedback from many happy couples and private party and corporate customers.

Marquee Hire in North Wales, Cheshire & the Wirral

Marquee Hire in North Wales, Cheshire & the Wirral

So, we have noticed a huge increase in marquee weddings but why are they becoming so popular?
Marquees provide the perfect romantic setting for any wedding and I think brides and grooms all over the country are starting to realise this. The outdoor feel adds a touch of getting back to nature and an element of boho chic through billowing drapes and organic honesty. The fact you are in a tent where a party is happening makes it almost seem like you are at a festival… obviously with much posher toilets… but both the festival vibe and bohemian theme have been hugely popular over the last couple of years and the trend seems to be growing. Also, a marquee is very flexible and so it means you can get married pretty much anywhere as long as you have permission and there is enough space. Plus, marquees come in all shapes and sizes so you can adapt to the number of guests you have. The same can’t always be said for more traditional wedding venues where couples may have to limit numbers or find that the small intimate wedding they wanted gets lost in a vast space.

Marquees are extremely popular for Weddings for many reasons..

Marquees are extremely popular for Weddings for many reasons..

But we live in the UK… are marquees really such a great idea with our weather track record?
We do get this question asked quite a lot. You’re right, we have very unpredictable weather in the UK and where we are based in North Wales it can be quite harsh at times. But, our marquees are protected from all the elements – rain, wind, sun (yes, even sun can be a problem!) – so there really is nothing to worry about. All of our marquees have wind bracing and should it be a bit cooler, or, you’re going for a Winter Wonderland style wedding it’s no problem for us to provide heaters too.

Marquees can be very versatile

Marquees can be very versatile

OK, you’re convincing us… but what about costs?
Hiring a marquee for a wedding is something that you can’t really quote for ‘off the shelf’. Personally, we like to speak to all of our customers and offer a free site visit so we can chat through options and check the location thoroughly. (Hopefully,) You plan on getting married only once and so we don’t want there to be any glitches on the day. So, before providing a quote we like to discuss the number of guests, how many will be seated, will you require space for a dance floor etc. I’m afraid that there are many factors to be taken into account before I could answer this question… sorry.

Accessories like Star cloths are fantastic party tent & marquee additions

Accessories like Star cloths are fantastic party tent & marquee additions

This brings us onto the next question… dance floors… can you also provide them?
Of course! In addition to the marquees themselves we can also provide lots of extras, including dance floors. With previous weddings we have arranged everything from the chairs, toilets and lighting to star cloths, generators and bars! We’re happy to help wherever we can to ensure that your day is perfect.

One of the many Skye Marquees available to Hire

One of the many Skye Marquees available to Hire

What parting words of wisdom would you offer to anyone thinking of hiring a marquee?
I’d say that before committing to anything make sure you shop around and really find out as much as you can. There are companies out there that will offer a price but neglect to tell you until much later that no wooden flooring is included under the carpet, which then makes their initial lower price not such a great deal. So, be sure to ask the right questions and do your research beforehand. Also, get them to do a site survey – it will put your mind at ease and enable you to meet the person at the other end of the phone or website.

Wedding Tip from Skye Marquees…
Always go for a lined marquee to hide all the technical gubbins. It will make your photos look much nicer without bracing and metal work showing up in the background and add that final touch to your wedding day experience.

For further advice on marquee hire in North Wales, Cheshire and the Wirral visit the website www.skyemarquees.com

Published by Warble Entertainment

Diaries of a Serial Wedding Crasher

Abi from The Charming Skulls has hopped on board today to give us some insight in to one of their recent wedding bookings…

Our 2014 calendar kicked off in style with a fab wedding party at Rowton Hall Hotel in Chester on 7th Jan.

Rowton Hall, Chester

Rowton Hall, Chester

Our overriding memory of this venue is that the staff were amazing!!

They gave us such a warm welcome and throughout the evening kept checking we were okay and had everything we needed. This is more of a treat than you might imagine, as venue staff are not always overjoyed to see a band turning up… probably because they’ve had mixed experiences of bands. We’ve all heard the horror stories of bands trying to live the rock ‘n roll dream, TV sets flying out of windows and furniture glued to ceilings… but we’re well behaved and we appreciated their ‘take as you find’ attitude :D

The wedding was running late which tends to happen with most weddings, so we were offered a drink in the bar and enjoyed the extremely comfy sofas. We could hear the speeches and there was a lot of cheering, laughing and clapping. This almost always means it won’t take much to get a great party going afterwards, so we couldn’t wait to get started!

Wedding Dance Floor Antics

Wedding Dance Floor Antics

We’d been able to unload our gear from the van through the back of the venue and stack it just outside double doors onto the stage end of the reception room. So as soon as the speeches had finished we moved in like a bunch of ninjas (Is ‘bunch’ the correct collective word for more than one ninja?). The speedy set up was made even more efficient by the staff clearing the tables from the band area first. This might sound silly but you’d be amazed how many times we have to clear the tables ourselves because venue staff have started clearing at the opposite end of the room to where the band are waiting to set up.

Wedding Dance Floor Antics

Wedding Dance Floor Antics

We don’t see many Masters of Ceremony these days, which is a shame because they usually do a wonderful job. This bride & groom had a great Master of Ceremonies and you could see their guests enjoyed being directed. He made sure we were ready to go with our coloured lights glittering on the walls, then he ushered all the guests back into the room to surround the dance floor. He announced the bride & groom in for their first dance which we’d learned specially, and the groom made everyone laugh by tripping over the bride’s dress on their way to the dance floor. It’s always nice to see a bit of humour and not too much formality.

Wedding Dance Floor Antics

Wedding Dance Floor Antics

The bride and groom spent the whole night on the dance floor, and so did the rest of their guests. At every wedding event the bride & groom are obviously the stars of the show, and everyone else wants to be with them and be part of their celebration of love and commitment. We always notice that if the bride & groom enjoy dancing then it’s easy to keep the dance floor packed all night as everyone wants to dance with them and enjoy their happiness.

Wedding Dance Floor Antics

Wedding Dance Floor Antics

This wedding party were full of enthusiasm and it was a brilliantly raucous night! There was a lot of shoulder-carrying on the dance floor with a few nose dives… although fortunately no casualties. They had a great sing-song together and all danced in a big circle with the bride & groom in the middle. We enjoyed it as much as they did and the setting was perfect. At the end of the night the bride came to show us that her hair was sweaty from so much dancing… Perfect sign of a good night if you ask us – we were extremely proud of her! :o)

Until next time…

Abi x

Published by Warble Entertainment

Can You Feel It? Try Golf…

Guitars and Golf? What...?!

Guitars and Golf? What…?!

The Jackson’s sang about it and many others talk about it but what does the word ‘Feel’ really mean? Dan Logan from Orchard Studios attempts to shed some light on the matter by playing golf…

When I was about 14 or 15 I found a golf ball on the village green near my house. I took it home and began belting it round the garden, much to my parents’ dismay, but to the delight of my golf-mad next door neighbour who had failed to persuade his two sons to take up the gentleman’s game (they both preferring either football or just beating seven bells out of each other). He gave me some of his old clubs and a couple of practice balls (making my parents sigh with relief for their windows and the cat). I quickly decided I quite liked the game and after a few goes of pitch and putt I moved onto a full round of golf. To be fair I only ever played about 6 rounds and I was terrible, but I kept reading magazines and listening to the tones of Peter Alliss (who I think sounds vaguely like a small diesel engine on tick-over), talking about ‘feel’. I wondered what on earth they were going on about; I could feel the club as I wrapped my hands around it and as I’d had a couple of lessons from the local clubs’ pro I knew I was holding it correctly, so did that mean I had feel? I decided not, as my continual battle from one side of the fairway to the other whilst ever more annoyed bankers, councilors and estate agents looked on trying to get past and play their rounds was proving. Even though I’d decided I didn’t have it, I still didn’t know what this mythical ‘feel’ was, and I wasn’t going to find the answer on the golf course.

After I’d given up making my claim as the next Tiger Woods (who at the time was making the headlines for all the right reasons) I concentrated on playing my drum kit and my guitar. However, try as I might, I still couldn’t escape this word, ‘feel’. Just as I thought I’d finally got rid of it and didn’t need to worry about what it meant anymore, there it was again peaking through the pages of magazine articles like a dodgy French photographer though the bushes at your holiday retreat. I suppose at least I could see it, but I still didn’t know what it was up to, and it looked shifty.

Guitar Face

Guitar Face, Feel or Both?

It wasn’t until after I’d began actually working in the music industry though I finally realised what it really means and just how important it is.

Feel is described by mix engineer Frank Filipetti as, “Something that happens between a group of people instantaneously; microsecond by microsecond.” He’s right, and a band with great feel doesn’t have to be full of the best players. Take The Rolling Stones for example, if you listen, particularly to their newer live material, they are constantly hitting duff notes and miss-fretting their guitars but somehow it just seems to work and maybe the mistakes are as much a member of the band as Charlie, Mick, Keef and Ronnie. This is where the concept of ‘feel’ really shows itself; the way the members of the band interact with each-other’s playing and the music as a whole, breathes life into it allowing the song to move both dynamically and emotionally from start to finish.

Feel is also an individual skill: the ability to feel your instrument as you play it. This is more than just pulling a guitarist’s face when bending a note or pushing your lips out as you hit a drum. Rather, it is allowing your emotional connection with the song to show through your instrument and the way you play it. There’s no doubt that the best players have the best feel but it’s power is dependent on many elements. How much the player has this emotional connection with a particular piece of music, how comfortable they are at the particular time they are playing it, even if they’ve had a good or bad day all these make a difference to how they play their instrument and the song at any given time.

To make matters worse, feel isn’t really something you can teach. I’m currently working with a drummer at the moment who has brilliant technique but really struggles to feel the song he is playing. The rest of the band need the drummer in particular to have the right feel, as this drives the song along. Putting the wrong feel into a drum part can sometimes make a song sound like it’s a lot slower than it is and even sound like it’s stalling.

As a session player I need to make sure I get the right feel very quickly as often I won’t have much time between hearing a song for the first time and playing it live with the rest of a band. When it comes to a recording session with a song that is still being created, I need to find my feel in just a few takes, knowing that once it’s committed to tape that’s what will be heard for ever more.

I hope that with time, my drumming friend will improve and there really is no substitute for experience; playing with as many different players in as many styles as possible to gain confidence in letting out your emotion as you play.

However, feel is also the controlling of emotion just as much as letting it go. A song has ups and downs and being able to ride this ebb and flow is a key part of feeling it. As a drummer and percussion player I can’t just beat Hell out of my instrument; there needs to be a light and shade and everything in between if I’m to really show off the song to it’s full potential. A guitar player can’t just play the most complex riffs and solos all the time, there needs to be subtly in a performance to give it weight and texture. I understand now that this is what they meant with golf: the best golfers have a slight of touch as they swing the club, they contain the power in the swing and they control the momentum of a round of golf.

As far as I can see, feel is an unconscious understanding of and connection to a song or piece of music that allows you to bring out the very best in it, not just showing off the most complex thing you can do but having a slight of touch in a performance as well as producing power when it’s needed to drive the song and the people playing it forward so that the listener can understand what’s being said.

Feel will though undoubtedly mean different things to different people – that’s the point. When you hear a band or artist, or when you play yourself, you’ll know when the feel is good because you’ll just… feel it!

Published by Warble Entertainment

Born in the Wrong Decade

Following on with our series of vintage theme blogs, one of our most popular and truly awesome (we know as we had the privilege at seeing him live and he blew everyone away!) vintage acts, Paul Matthews has popped along to give his perspective on the vintage / retro wedding movement. Not only that, we think he may have quite possibly entered himself into proposal negotiations… YEY! We always love the chance to buy new hats! :o)

The Black Cadillacs Vintage Band

Paul Matthews & Black Cadillac Vintage Band

Growing up in the 80s and being a teenager in the 90s often led me to believe I’d missed all the truly classic music decades and that I was born in the wrong time period for my musical taste. However, my parents were a key factor in my musical education playing The Beatles, Herman’s Hermits, Cream, The Mamas and Papas etc. on vinyl when I was still in single figures. Once at University I started to explore the world of Jazz which gave me a repertoire of music dating from the 1930s – 00s. After playing at countless weddings since Uni I’m now in a steady relationship with Helen (from Black Cadillac Sister Band) and my mind has started to wander about the kind of music I would want at our wedding that would document the music of my youth. I’m also hoping that Helen doesn’t go on the Warble website too often as this paragraph can only lead to more questions about my ‘our wedding’ comment (no proposal has ever been mentioned before!).

Black Cadillac Sister Band

Black Cadillac Sister Band

When I first became a gigging musician the wedding scene was very different. The early 00s saw a mixture of bands playing either straight up Swing and Jazz (which, with the exception of people north of 60, nobody knows how to dance to) and extremely cheesy Pop/Rock bands doing the same small collection of songs. As great a film as it was, The Commitments (released in 1991) was responsible for bands playing cheap Rock versions of classic Soul songs from the likes of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding. Apart from this there wasn’t much of a mention of classic Soul and Funk at weddings (James Brown however, still made it through this fog onto dance floors across the country).

Paul's Eary Band 'That Swing Thing'

Paul’s Early Band ‘That Swing Thing’

As our then band ‘That Swing Thing’ started to realise that people who said they wanted Jazz actually didn’t, we started to look at the idea of ‘Retro’ music. This is quite a loose term, and within the wedding industry it gets thrown around quite liberally alongside Shabby Chic, Vintage and Kitsch. My interpretation of ‘Retro’ in reference to music is the classic timeless sound of songs from the ‘past’ mixed with modern songs and sounds that younger generations will identify with. As Retro and Vintage music became popular at weddings, my musical knowledge from the 80s, 90s and 00s mixed with the music I’d sought out that traced back to the 30s became a vital asset in our song choices.

Retrol BandA band with a Jazz background was exactly what the Doctor ordered. With the resurgence of live music in the media, people’s expectations of what to expect from a band had started to increase. Live bands had started to appear on many TV shows such as all the Pop Idol and X Factor finals. Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing on Ice also had and still have some amazing live bands for contestants to dance to. Chat shows such as Jonathan Ross also had house bands. Over the last 10 years it seems that excellent live bands are popping up everywhere, Brides and Grooms now look more closely at the standard of bands they are booking.

Only a few music agencies were successfully operating 10 years ago, now several have emerged. The market had started to become more competitive from the musical side but even more so from the marketing aspect. Bands with the best photos, demos and repertoire were starting the get all the gigs. Equally the best agency websites attract the most clients, the Warble website is a great example of how an agency website can be as easy to use as a social media site.

I knew having a Jazz band behind me would give me the edge over most ‘Covers’ bands in terms of musicianship, but the marketing hook was difficult. When I stepped back and looked at how my Jazz musicians were trying to play simple pop songs I realised that we had re-created a sound that has already happened back in the 60s in Detroit. I watched the documentary film ‘Standing In The Shadows Of Motown‘ and realised that the whole Tamla Motown movement is no different than the much slated Simon Cowell culture that is happening now. Simply put, a guy owned a car factory in the Motorcity region of Detroit, he then decided to build a studio instead. He then drafted in 18 ish musicians from the local Jazz scene who all knew each other, they named themselves ‘The Funk Brothers’. When asked to play Pop songs, their musicianship meant the music had more ‘colour’ than other Pop musicians of the time. All that was left to do was to find some great singers with an even greater image to sing songs that they employed song writers to produce. The Motown sound was born with Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson and the like singing with the same band. Our bands ‘Black Cadillac‘ and ‘Black Cadillac Sister Band’ have the same colourful sound as the Funk Brothers. When I realised this and communicated it through our marketing both bands started to get booked all over the country and beyond.

more fun signOnce we realised that we were a Retro/Kitsch/Vintage band we became part of a scene of weddings that started to have some very similar characteristics. Pieces of patchwork material made into bunting, Vintage cakes, Shabby Chic table place settings and table plans, Chic signs outside of Teepees pointing out Loos, ‘I Dos’ and Camper Van zones were commonplace.

material bunting[1]It is incredible how quickly the Wedding industry moves, each year there are Vintage trends that many people follow across the country. The chocolate fountains disappeared long ago and were replaced with Vintage sweet stands made out of weird and wonderful Vintage items such as converted penny farthings bicycles. Traditional Ice cream vendors and Fish and Chip stands also started to feature as well as Vintage DJs with converted gramophones which have digital speakers installed in the horn. We started to see the same companies at local weddings, a real community of businesses that strangely all have the same vision from their companies point of view.

welcome to hiltonbury[1]A great example of this type of wedding with no expense spared was called ‘Hiltonbury’ (http://www.festivalbrides.co.uk/) (The groom’s surname was Hilton, and they had created a festival close to the feel of Glastonbury). They had the Shabby Chic outdoor signs, table settings personalised to each guest, handmade cushions with quirky messages, Teepees and VW Campers plus a selection of Retro bands. The rumour with the guests was that they tried to book Mumford and Sons for a large sum of money, it didn’t quite happen, they settled on Black Cadillac Unplugged instead and were very happy.

The Rinky Dinks

The Rinky Dinks

The current chart Folk Revival which includes bands such as Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers, Jake Bugg, Of Monsters And Men etc. has also moved in line with the Vintage trends that have swept across the wedding industry. This has led to Black Cadillac offering an unplugged option for the day times at weddings. I have also set up a separate band called The Rinky Dinks that have Folk Revival instrumentation but still include song choices from the 40s -60s. I predict Folk/Retro bands like The Rinky Dinks will be the next phenomenon for weddings over the next period of change as weddings continue to follow the trends of the music industry.

Paul.

Published by Warble Entertainment

The Vintage Dancers – By Lucky Hap!

1920s Vintage Dancers

1920s Vintage Dancers

Warble is loving everything vintage at the moment! We’re receiving lots of enquiries on a daily basis for lovely vintage themed weddings, parties and corporate events and we’re especially loving that they all have their own little quirky vintage twists.

We have vintage entertainment to suit all events and budgets and one of our most popular is the Vintage Dancers. They are managed by Velody who is an awesome dancer – we have first hand experience of this after challenging her to a dance off at one of our events and losing… Badly! Anyway enough of our two left feet, Velody has joined us on the blog today to tell us a little more about The Vintage Dancers…

Velody the Vintage Dancer

Velody the Vintage Dancer

“In October 2012 I was a Swing Dance teacher about to set off on a year long tour. During my leaving party an ill-fated athletic dance step went wrong, breaking the 5th Metatarsal in my left foot (Same injury as Rooney I’m told!). I suddenly had to lease out work I could no longer do, & soon realised just how many wonderful dancers I knew with the same passion: celebrating The Charleston, Lindy Hop and Jive. I quickly understood how much more effectively we could spread our love of Swing dancing by banding together to bring the best talents to all corners of the UK. So out of the ashes of a perceived disaster, a flash of inspiration, a few calls and emails later,  “The Vintage Dancers” were (re)born!

On any given day, I’m listening to wonderful Swing, Dixieland Jazz and Electro Swing music to get inspired with new choreography – for hen parties and cabaret shows – as it keeps things fresh. Clients know they are getting something made specially just for them.

Vintage Dancers

Vintage Dancers

Clients, bands and venues we work with always mention how much more the crowd engage and are able to make the best of the music when we work alongside them. Our meet and greet personnel set the ambiance & we follow up with authentic vintage cabaret performances. One of my favourite things to do is our 5 minute ‘rapid fire’ Charleston class: we teach a handful of super fun, stylish Charleston steps. We find people’s personalities really come out, they easily get the hang of at least one step and they are often unstoppable, strutting their stuff well into the night!

Vintage Dancers Teaching the Moves!

Vintage Dancers Teaching the Moves!

I look forward to seeing you on the dance floor… Velody x”

To check out Velody and the Vintage Dancers in action feel free to check out the Dancers section on the website (www.warble-entertainment.com/entertainers/dancers) to see how we can help to add some fancy footwork to your wedding or party.

Published by Warble Entertainment

Why Book a Wedding Magician?

A Wedding Magician will Enhance your Special Day

A Wedding Magician will Enhance your Special Day

One of Warble’s fabulous and extremely talented Magicians, has jumped on board our blog train to give you first hand experience why booking a Magician for your wedding is such a good idea.

Carl R is one of the leading cabaret and close up magicians in the UK today, performing his magic for a corporate events, weddings and more… so, it’s over to Carl…

“Booking a magician on your special day will truly enhance the wedding day experience for your guests. I am so lucky to have performed at quite literally hundreds of weddings over the last ten years as a wedding reception magician. But, the question is, why does magic work at a wedding?

Well, as the Bride and groom you will be the stars of the show on your special day and whether you are getting married in church or at the venue of your reception there will normally be a period of anything from one to two hours where a drinks reception is taking place. During this time it is very likely that you will be having photos taken whilst trying to make sure you are being sociable with every guest.

Magic during the Drinks Reception is a Great Idea!

Magic during the Drinks Reception is a Great Idea!

The drinks reception is when a wedding magician really serves a great purpose. A professional magician will ensure your guests feel involved and looked after -but, also amaze and amuse them with stunning magical effects. A quality wedding reception magician will act as a great ice breaker and bring together groups of people that may not yet know each other.

Remember as a bride and groom part of the pressure of your day is wondering if your special guests are having a great time. If you can see people laughing and clapping it will relax you as the bride and groom which then in turn lifts the day as that relaxed feeling spreads through the wedding party.

Magicians Create Happy Guests

Magicians Create Happy Guests

I love to get feedback from weddings where brides tell me that their guests felt as if they had been entertained whilst still being able to meet, mingle and talk to friends and family. A good close up magician knows how to work with guests and not be intrusive.

Most brides just say everyone is still talking about the magic and asking “how did he do it?” !!!!

Book a magician for a wedding… you will be very pleased you did! :D

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or would like more info on the magical services I can offer please call one of the friendly Warblites!”

Thank you Carl for this useful advice, and, as the maestro magician says, please call us or check out the website for further information.

Check out Carl’s magical profile here: Carl R The Magician

Published by Warble Entertainment

Save the Date!

Save the Date Magnet

Save the Date Magnet

So, you have an awesome Wedding planned but no guests to enjoy it with you… Nightmare! To help you make sure this doesn’t happen we have a fabulous article from Jessica Harrington who runs her own handmade ‘Save The Date Magnets’ company… perfect!

WHY SEND SAVE THE DATES?
Saving the date comes right at the beginning of your wedding planning process. Once the venue is booked, it’s best to start looking at how you’re going to let your guests know when your ‘Big Day’ is.

The ‘Save The Date’ part of the process is becoming more popular due to guests having to book time off work well in advance, sort out travel plans and book accommodation. The magnets are sent prior to sending your wedding invitations and it is a nice way to give your guests a ‘taster’ of your wedding theme or colour… Maybe you are planning a ‘Woodland’, ‘Vintage’ or a ‘Tea Party’ inspired day?

Woodland Squirrels Save The Date Magnets

Woodland Squirrels Save The Date Magnets

WHO IS BESPOKE WEDDING SAVE THE DATE MAGNETS?
The company is run by myself Jessica Harrington at home in Essex. I got married myself in August 2012 and made the save the date magnets with packaging for my own wedding guests. The ‘Rose Floral’ design was inspired from the design of my wedding dress by Ian Stuart called ‘Flowerbomb’ and I ended up styling the whole wedding based on it. I had my save the date magnets published on a wedding blog, just to showcase what I had created for my own wedding. From that I started receiving enquires from other brides asking if I could make them for their weddings too.

Birdcage Save The Date Magnets

Birdcage Save The Date Magnets

I work full-time as a Creative Artworker for Cath Kidston, but love working on this part-time business alongside my 9-5 job. So far I’ve met some great creative people through networking within the wedding industry. My business officially started June 2012 and my Etsy Shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeddingSavetheDates has helped to open my business outside of the UK. It feels like a great achievement when you know your products are being talked about not only in England but Ireland, Scotland, Wales and over in the United States, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Germany, Holland, Australia and Canada too!

As a small business which I run by myself, I feel I have achieved so much with my products being featured on various recognised wedding blogs, including Hitched (www.hitched.co.uk) and Bride De Force (www.bridedeforce.blogspot.co.uk) and have also been picked to be sold on a boutique wedding website called Ruby + Diva (www.rubyanddiva.com). I also won ‘Best New Wedding Invitation Designer’ in Essex in the 2013 ‘Industry Expert Awards’ and my ’1950′s Vinyl Record’ design has also been featured in the May/June and June/July 2013 editions of ‘County Wedding Magazines‘.

1950s Vinyl Save the Date Magnet

1950s Vinyl Save the Date Magnet

WHAT DESIGNS ARE AVAILABLE?
The idea of the save the date magnet has been around for sometime, however I didn’t like the general quality of design and saw a gap in the market. The ‘handmade’ element of the added packaging also makes them even more personal and sets them above the rest, which are usually just attached to a simple piece of backing card. They are great as they can be kept as a lovely keepsake long after the wedding day and are less likely to get lost than regular paper save the dates.

In my shop there are 3 products which can be adapted to any of the 20 designs currently available:

1. Rose Floral
2. Sunflower Floral
3. Birdcage
4. Autumn
5. Pretty Bow
6. Seashell Beach
7. Aviation Birdcage
8. Retro Bunting
9. 1950′s Vinyl Record
10. Tea Party
11. Woodland
12. Vintage Carnival
13. Butterfly
14. Hummingbird
15. Woodland Squirrels
16. Woodland Stags
17. Festive Present
18. Mason Jar
19. Two Hearts
20. Whimsical Woodland

Save the Date Magnets & Packaging

Save the Date Magnets & Packaging

The magnets come in two different sizes 58mm and 77mm, but also if you’re looking for something a little different the 58mm magnets can also be bought with handmade packaging. The packaging is a piece of coloured card with a beautiful delicate lace paper and a matching label attached to the top. A clear plastic pouch displays the magnet beautifully within the packaging. The designs can be adapted to any wedding colours, so they can be made to match the style of your wedding day.

I am also open to creating a completely new design to match any wedding theme. I love when a bride comes to me asking for something new as I can get my ‘creative mind’ flowing! I have also adapted designs for christenings, a sweet sixteen and birthday parties… They can be made for any occasion.

Autumn Save the Date Magnets

Autumn Save the Date Magnets

HOW CAN YOU ORDER?
My Etsy shop is the best place to contact me and see all my designs available:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeddingSavetheDates

You can also contact me direct on handmade.savethedate@gmail.com, if your unfamiliar with Etsy and have any enquiries. I am always happy to respond to any questions…. I want your save the dates to be perfect for your day.

Keep up with news, photos, updates over on my Facebook and Twitter pages.

WHATS THE PLANS FOR 2014?
Lots of new exciting designs are in the pipeline. I am also going to be selling through another website which will hopefully open up my business to a new audience.

I hope this helps and I look forward to hearing from you with any questions!

Jessica x”

Published by Warble Entertainment

For Those About To Rock… Recording & Studio Tips

Orchard Recording Studio

Orchard Recording Studio

Our lovely friend Dan Logan, the sound engineer from the awesome Orchard Studios (where we hold our monthly acoustic sessions) has kindly offered some advice about what artists should do before heading into the studio to make sure that they sound their absolute best.

“Here at Orchard we welcome all types of people into the studio, both professional, and those for whom the recording process is a new experience. However, it is always useful to run through what to get ready before you come into the studio to record.

Whether you are recording a guitar, drum kit, bagpipes or singing, it is important to make sure your instrument is in good working order. A drum kit needs to be tuned and free from any rattles, guitars need to have correct intonation and voices need to be warmed up and free from hangovers! Earlier this year someone came in to sing who was possibly still slightly drunk from the Leeds Festival the day before and it really didn’t help their vocal!

Where Does This Lead Go...

Where Does This Lead Go…

The microphones and recording chain here at the studio will pick up your instrument in incredible detail which not only means that we record the true sound of your saxophone for example, but also the fact that you have a squeaky key! So, please make sure that everything is working how it should be before you get to the studio – as much as I like getting paid to watch you try out several batteries in your favourite overdrive pedal before you finally give up and decide it’s broken, it isn’t what any of us are really in the studio to do :D

New Strings the Day Before...

New Strings the Day Before…

A good tip for a guitar recording is to put new strings on the day before. Not only does it mean that you don’t need to waste time doing it at the studio but also it gives them a good few hours to settle in and begin to stay in tune. New strings make a huge difference to a guitar recording so it’s well worth the investment. It’s also worth bringing a set of new strings with you on the day as well, just in case…

Production Studio

Production Studio

Although you should practice and have rehearsed what you will be doing before you get to the studio be careful not to over-practice. This is particularly important if you are coming in with your band. You should, unless you are lucky enough to be using your studio time as a writing/recording session, already know the songs inside out anyway so a good couple of run-throughs should be enough the day before to get you ready. Otherwise you will just get bored of playing the same things over and over again and by the time you actually record them the energy could be lost.

Recording Space to Control Room

Recording Space to Control Room

Sometimes we are able, usually by prior arrangement, to supply instruments and session musicians. I strongly suggest however that if you would like to record your own instruments that you bring everything you can along with you. By that I mean; if you play electric guitar then bring your guitar, amp and any effects pedals you have with you. Although we have a collection of guitar amps we may not have the exact sound that you create with your own equipment (also, we want to record your sound, not ours). Equally, if you are a drummer then bring your entire kit (shells, hardware, snare, cymbals etc.) so that you can set it up the way you want to. If during the recording you wish to try the sound of some of our equipment then you are welcome, but if you take everything you can with you then you won’t be short on anything you may need.

Drum Kit Set Up

Drum Kit Set Up

All our equipment is designed to bring out the best from the sound source it receives. Be that an acoustic guitar or drum kit, or a vocal or trumpet, the best recording practices and the best equipment cannot truly come to fruition without a great performance. The quality of the recording chain starts with the quality of the performer and their instrument.

Finally, the secret to a good recording is a relaxed performer, so take your time and don’t feel the need to rush. Your recording will last a lifetime so make sure you work towards quality rather than quantity. You have a professional recording studio at your disposal. Use it!”

If you’d like to pop along and meet the guys at Orchard and get a feel for the studio why not head over to the next Orchard Sessions Acoustic night? Here’s the details and we hope to see you there :D

The Orchard Acoustic Sessions

The Orchard Acoustic Sessions

Or, check out some of the videos from the previous sessions here…

Published by Warble Entertainment

To Dance or not to Dance? That is the Question…

First Dance Advice

First Dance Advice

First dances always raise a lot of questions for brides and grooms contacting Warble and so who better to get a bit of a lowdown and advice from than a professional singer who has seen more than 3,500 of them!! Sophie is the bandleader for no less than 4 bands on the Warble roster and offers the following…

“The first dance decision is an absolute mine field. I speak to a lot of couples who don’t actually have a special song and therefore want advice or suggestions on what to choose. Some want a slow number and others want an upbeat fun song that their friends and family can join in with. Then there’s another option which is to perform a dance routine……. I’ll come back to this a little later.

Here’s a list of popular upbeat and slow first dance songs in no particular order that have been requested the most over the past 3,500 plus weddings I’ve performed on:

  • Moon Dance – Van Morrison
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • Have I Told You Lately – Van Morrison
  • Let There Be Love – Nat King Cole
  • Your Song – Ellie Goulding Version
  • Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
  • At Last – Etta James
  • Thank You – Dido
  • The Greatest Day – Take That
  • You’ve Got The Love- Florence And The Machine
  • Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • Marry You – Bruno Mars
  • Use Somebody – Kings Of Leon
  • Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
  • Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Andy Williams
  • It Had To Be You – Frank Sinatra
  • Sex On Fire – Kings Of Leon

No surprise ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ and ‘Unchained Melody’ are in the list. They rank as two of the top ten selling songs of all time where royalty payments are concerned. Here’s a few more popular first dance songs as well: http://whimsicalwonderlandweddings.com/2013/05/first-dance-wedding-song-ideas.html

However, some of the more bizarre choices I’ve performed:

  • Every Breath You Take – The Police (about Stings ex-wife and his loathing of her!)
  • Baby Can I Hold You Tonight – Tracey Chapman (this song is about a couple who’ve broken up!)
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison (unusual that the bride at the wedding had blue eyes?!)

In some cases it is recommended to do a quick bit of research to just check that the song you have chosen is really appropriate for what you are wanting to say…

First Dance Suggestions

Nervous? Not a chance… Gulp!

Anyway, it’s your big day, you’ve chosen the song and all your friends and family have formed a circle of love round the edge of the room. The band has just announced your entry as you both take to the floor to the sound of rapturous applause and then……

* Dry throat, sweating, jelly legs and a quick glug of something strong…*

It’s no wonder 3 minutes can seem like an hour for some couples! Mid song the bride and groom often signal to me desperately to announce ‘EVERYONE on the dance floor!’

And, truth be told, this actually works really well because those 3 minutes are then fun-filled and it keeps everyone on the floor for the band to launch straight into their first set, avoiding an empty dance floor straight after the first dance… which, can make it harder for the band to get the entire crowd back in one go.

I mentioned ‘dance routines’ at the beginning of this blog so let’s come back to that…
It’s become popular in recent years for couples to take professional dance lessons keeping it a surprise from everyone until the big day. Often the surprise is not the one you wanted. Trust me when I say this – unless you really have the timing, rhythm and the moves to pull off a Strictly Come Dancing style routine – gliding round the floor like Fred & Ginger, avoid it completely!

I’ve watched too many disasters unfold in front of me in those cherished 3 minutes as we play the first dance. Couples falling over, going the wrong way in the routine, the groom stepping on the brides foot, arguing who’s got it wrong, two left feet and worse of all the bride stepping on her own dress ripping through it and getting stuck in the middle of the floor. The moment is gone in a flash and you’ve spent the entire time concentrating on getting the dance routine correct after your 6 lessons with a choreographer. The song ends and it’s just been 3 minutes of stress and excruciating pain for you and your guests, watching, what is often, a car crash in slow motion.

So, for those of you who shy away from being the centre of attention (quite literally in this case) heed my advice. Whether your first dance is slow or fast, invite your guests up to join you after a couple of verses. It gets a bit lonely out there and you’ll enjoy it a whole lot more. The result? The photographer gets some relaxed and happy snaps and you get 3 minutes well spent with your partner AND everyone you love!”

Thanks Sophie for some great first dance suggestions and helpful advice :D


First Dance AdviceSophie is the bandleader for the following fantastic Warble Entertainment bands:

 

Published by Matt Warren