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Essential Questions to Ask When Hiring a Hunter Valley Wedding DJ

Posted in DJs, Music & Entertainment, Hunter Valley Weddings by HUNTER BRIDE

CC-Hunter Entertainment - Mobile DJ & MC Service

CC-Hunter Entertainment – Mobile DJ & MC Service

If you’re looking for live music at your Hunter Valley wedding reception, why not consider hiring a DJ to entertain your guests? Typically, hiring a DJ is less expensive than a hiring a live band or other live entertainment. They usually have access to numerous music genres, and can cater to a wider variety of tastes. However, it is vital you ask potential Hunter Valley wedding DJs a few specific questions to ensure your final choice is legitimate, professional and trustworthy.

Are they a wedding DJ?

As you begin your research, you’ll find there are different types of DJs available. Some specialise in corporate entertainment, while other specialise in parties. Ideally the DJ you’re after will specialise in weddings, or at the very least have lots of wedding experience. An experienced wedding DJ will know the order of proceedings at a reception and will have the perfect song for each moment. They will also be prepared for any unexpected glitches in the proceedings, and can quickly divert attention ensuring everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Are they registered with ARIA?

In Australia, professional DJs must be registered with the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). If they are correctly licensed, you can be sure the songs they play have been legally obtained and are of the highest quality.

What is the quality of their equipment?

It may seem like a slightly invasive question to ask, but a DJ only sounds as good as their equipment, so the answer is vital. Cheap or outdated equipment can look and sound terrible. The last thing you want is the music to die in the middle of your reception. Typically, a seasoned Hunter Valley wedding DJ will also have replacements on hand to cover equipment failure.

Have they performed at your reception venue before?

Because every venue potentially poses different challenges, it’s crucial your wedding DJ is familiar with the room size, acoustics, placement of power outlets and security at your reception site. There are many wedding reception venues in and around the Hunter Valley region, and even the busiest DJ would not have performed at every site, so ask them to familiarise themselves with your venue before the date.

What happens if they are unable to perform?

Despite careful planning, accidents happen and unavoidable difficulties crop up, so it’s essential your DJ has a backup strategy if they are prevented from working on your wedding day. A professional DJ will be prepared for any circumstance, but you should know what their backup plan is and be comfortable with it.

How involved can we be?

The final, but perhaps the most important, consideration is to be sure your DJ is on the same musical page as you. Do they have a printed song list you can look at? Will they accept a playlist from you, and can it be altered? Can you submit a ‘do not play’ list? Are they willing to take special request for guests? An experienced wedding DJ should be able to take these types of questions and requests in their stride and easily accommodate them, but the questions do need to be asked well before the big day arrives.

So when you’re looking for the right Hunter Valley wedding DJ to perform at your wedding reception, do some research, meet with them, check off all your questions and make sure you are satisfied with the answers before you book them. The last thing you want on your wedding day is a glitch with the music!


Finding a Stylish Wedding Band in the Hunter Valley

Posted in DJs, Music & Entertainment, Hunter Valley Weddings by HUNTER BRIDE

Tillee Music

Tillee Music

“If music be the food of love, play on!” wrote Shakespeare, and rightly so, for what is a celebration without music of some kind? Your wedding is an opportunity to blend good food with extra special musical entertainment, so indulge yourself on your special day.

Where and when?

Traditionally, music is often played before and during the actual ceremony, while guests are waiting for your photo session to be completed, and during the reception. However, it is entirely up to you. You can organise music to be played throughout the day’s events, or keep it for after-meal entertainment. Typically couples’ choices are strongly influenced by the style or theme of the wedding, and of course the budget.

Have you thought about where music will be played by your wedding band? Hunter Valley weddings can combine indoor and outdoor elements, so you may need to check that your preferred musicians are prepared to play outside. It also pays to consider the acoustics of an outdoor venue, because it would be a shame to organise wonderful music that no one can hear properly!

Music before and during the ceremony

When you are getting married in a church, music is often taken care of by an organist and choir, and all you need to do is select the hymns and entrance/departure music. If you prefer not to have an organist play, some churches may be willing to let you hire a string quartet, a trio, or a classical soloist instead.

If you have chosen another marriage venue, wider musical choices will probably be possible. While guests wait for the bridal party, they can be entertained by a cellist and violin combination, or perhaps the airy sounds of a harp will set the appropriate mood.

Music helps bridge any gaps

Immediately after the ceremony, time is generally devoted to your photographer. Your guests may have to travel to the reception venue, and wait up to 40 minutes before you join them. While canapés and drinks help to bridge the gap, there’s nothing like some background music to help your guests relax.

There are a number of choices, including classical musicians, or why not hire a folk band for a contemporary Australian sound?

Get your guests grooving!

Many couples hire a professional DJ to take charge of after-dinner dancing. All you need to do is make sure your personal favourite songs are included in the play list, along with a good mix of funky dance music, and some more romantic, chill out numbers.

A popular alternative is to hire a great local band for live music, and possibly even a personalised song! Live bands tend to have an individual repertoire, as well as being able to play a wide range of popular dance music and songs.

Music for themed weddings

If you’re planning a themed wedding, perhaps Caribbean style, or 50’s glamour, you’ll want music to match, from reggae to jazz. This doesn’t necessarily mean finding a specialist wedding band; Hunter Valley musicians who play regularly at weddings can typically accommodate a great variety of musical requests.

Where to begin the search

So much to do, so little time! Even when your wedding day is some months away, it’s never too early to book musical entertainment. The more popular ensembles can sometimes be fully booked up to a year in advance, so this part of wedding planning needs to be organised early on. Fortunately, Hunter Bride is here to help you find the perfect wedding band. The Hunter Valley is home to a number of singers and musicians, so take a look at our listings to find out more.


Two Play Strings

Posted in DJs, Music & Entertainment, Hunter Valley Weddings, Newcastle Weddings by Heidi Bolton

Two Play StringsMusic and songs play a big part of your wedding day. Whether it is background music while your guests mingle or a song for walking down the aisle, you will find you are accompanied by music throughout the day.

It is because of this that it is so important to find the right band or DJ to help you, as what service they provide can help make your amazing day all that more special.

It is a tough decision for some brides and grooms on whether to have live music or use a DJ. A lot of people will get around this by having both, but at different times of the day.

Live music for the ceremony lends a very romantic, fairytale feel to the wedding, while a DJ can get the guests up and dancing at the reception after all the official parts of the day are over. Live music can also be great for when guests are having canapés and waiting for the bride and groom to arrive at the reception.

If you are considering having live music for your ceremony, you should speak to the amazing duo Two Play Strings. Dave and Catherine are both tertiary qualified musicians and their experience is evident through their performance.

Dave and Catherine play a violin and cello duo, which means their combined sound make for a romantic atmosphere for the start of your wedding day.

Through the playing of the strings, they will invoke feelings in the guests at each significant part of the ceremony. There will be expectation and calmness as the guests arrive, excitement as the ceremony is about to commence and suspense as the bride is arriving and everyone is trying to catch their first glimpse of her. Of course at the end of it, there will be joy as the bride and groom complete their vows and become husband and wife.

Two Play Strings have a large repertoire of music so you will be sure to find something you like. They can play popular wedding music such as Pachelbel’s Canon and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons but of course their talent doesn’t stop there. They can also play classical, romantic and modern periods as well as jazzy numbers. Every song they play will enhance the emotions of the day.

Two Play Strings cater specifically to Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, so they are very familiar with all of the locations of the area already. They can also travel further if need be so make sure you ask about packages outside of these areas.

Imagine a gorgeous church wedding in Newcastle or a romantic vineyard wedding in the Hunter Valley with the strings playing softly as your guests arrive. Being accompanied down the aisle by this beautiful music will heighten the mood of the moment, helping to ensure it is one you will never forget.

Written by Heidi Bolton


The Funky Do Da’s

Posted in DJs, Music & Entertainment by Heidi Bolton

The Funky Do Da's on the beach.

The Funky Do Da's

Music and entertainment is an important part of your wedding day. Music sets the tone for the day and enhances the overall experience. If you have the right music or entertainment at the reception, you will have guests moving and shaking on the dance floor late into the night.

It is also a guaranteed way to ensure guests have such a great time that they’ll remember it for years to come. In fact, a survey in the US showed that 81% of guests say that the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment and the food!

And what better way to make sure your guests remember the entertainment than by having a live band? It is always exciting to hear a band playing your favourite songs live, and The Funky Do Da’s are no exception. The energy they exude will have you and your guests jumping from your chairs to go dancing.

The Funky Do Da’s bring both experience and professionalism to any event they are working. They have been together since 1992 and have earned themselves a name throughout all of Australia by playing at corporate events, jazz festivals and of course weddings. They have even played for the Prime Minister!

They are definitely not a one-track band either. Their diverse style in music has seen them perform jazz at various jazz festivals, funky pop at The Queen Victoria Building in Sydney and cocktail music at the Museum of Contemporary Arts.

This is great news for your wedding day. This diversity means the band will be able to switch easily from refined music during the serving of canapés, to easy listening tunes throughout dinner and then of course the fun songs to get everyone up and onto the dance floor.

Music is the hardest part of any event to cater for all tastes, and if you have varying age groups attending, there is always one group who are not as excited about the song choices as everyone else is. Thankfully, this is no longer a worry for the bride and groom-to-be as The Funky Do Da’s will package up an entertaining song list that caters for everyone, young and old. This means all guests will have a turn up on the dance floor throughout the evening, from the children to the grandparents and everyone in between! And in the off chance this isn’t working, over the years they have become experts at reading the crowd and knowing what needs to be done to get people moving and happy. This may mean upping the tempo or perhaps even putting on a slow, romantic song for the sweethearts.

The professionalism doesn’t end there. The Funky Do Da’s are well known for their punctuality, playing music at a volume that is friendly to all guests and for the ease at which they set up and pack up.

And if you have something special in mind for your big day, no request is too big or small for this band. They are happy to learn a song for you, provide a microphone for your use and if your wedding is themed, not a problem! They will have the music to match.

As with any live entertainment, make sure you take some time out to listen to the band play a live gig, or listen to a demo tape, before booking. We challenge you to get through a whole set of the Do Da’s without tapping your foot along to the beat!

Written by Heidi Bolton


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Wedding Entertainment for a Day to Remember

Posted in DJs, Music & Entertainment by Susan Wardle

Bride and Groom enjoying the wedding entertainment.

Wedding Entertainment for a Day to Remember

You’ve been building up to your big day for months, or dare we say years! There’s been planning, seemingly endless list of things to do, buy and remember, and yes, probably just a little stress. And dare we mention those last minute jitters. The great news is that once the formalities are over the fun part begins. After your beautifully romantic ceremony and the speeches at the reception, it’s time to truly let your hair down. And what better way to do it than with music and dancing.

Wherever you choose to hold your reception – restaurant, marquee or dedicated venue – you’ll have the option to organise some entertainment.

First thing is to choose a theme to suit your mood, and the day. Is it a morning, afternoon or evening wedding? Is it a formal occasion or a casual, fun affair?

When it comes to music, you could just stick to CDS (and may have to in a small venue) but if you want to get toes tapping and hips swinging, a live act or DJ might be the go. A DJ can be great if you’re planning plenty of dancing. Just imagine hearing all your special songs, and retro favourites. If it’s a live performer you want then the choices are many. Will it be a singer and guitarist or a rock band? Need something more restrained and elegant? How about a string quartet? Envision soothing but exciting classical music as a backdrop to your reception, and perhaps even during the wedding ceremony.

When it comes to wedding entertainment there are plenty of options. Search our directory and make some calls to find your perfect performer. Ask questions before you book and ensure everyone is clear on what the entertainment will comprise, and when it will begin and end. If you haven’t heard the performer before, ask for a sample of their work on CD. And if you’re looking to book a popular band, book early!

What better way to finish your wedding day than with the sound of music and laughter?

Written by Susan Wardle


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Wedding Songs: From Aisle to First Dance

Posted in DJs, Music & Entertainment by Heidi Bolton

Wedding Music

Wedding Songs: From Aisle to First Dance

Choosing a song for the first dance at your wedding might be the simplest thing you do out of the whole wedding planning process. You may already have a song that is special to you and your fiancé that you wish to use as your first dance. But there are many other songs that need choosing for the day aside from the first dance, which is where it can get harder to think of songs that are both special to you and suitable for the occasion.

Here we will take you through the stages of your wedding day that may require a song, and give you suggestions of what could work for each moment.

The song that will accompany you down the aisle towards your husband-to-be requires a lot of thought. This song is probably the second most important one of the day – second only to the first dance of course.

This song, or piece of music, will be what you and your fiancé hear when you first lay eyes on each other on your wedding day, and this is also the first time guests see you in your wedding gown. It is a momentous and emotional occasion that you will remember for the rest of your days together.

If you are marrying in a church you may want a beautiful piece of orchestral music. Pachelbel Canon in D is probably one of the most widely used pieces of music for a wedding entrance and there is good reason for it. Soft and romantic, yet uplifting and happy at the same time, it is definitely worth a listen to. It can also translate from organ to harp or almost any instrument you desire.

If you are having an outdoor wedding you may want to choose a special song that is sentimental to yourself and your partner. If you are having trouble thinking of one, At Last by Etta James is a popular choice as is Into My Arms by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Fairytale by Enya is a moving and dreamy tune as well.

Any of these pieces of music or songs listed above can also be used for the signing of the registry as well.

Next up is the entrance to the reception. This is the first time you will walk into a room and be announced as ‘Mr & Mrs’. It is a cheerful moment as the official part of the day is over and it is time to relax and celebrate. A lot of people choose an upbeat song as it can really set the mood for the rest of the reception. Again, choose something that is special to you if you can. Perhaps a shared song that has always made you and your partner happy or one that never fails to get you both on the dance floor. If you are stuck for ideas, consider Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars or I’m Yours by Jason Mraz.

Cutting of the cake is a fun part of your wedding day. You will find yourself standing around as guests take photos, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it! Do a little jig with your partner, attempt to feed each other a piece of cake or cheers from behind the layers of cake. Often a fun song is used at this stage and it can be something that is a play on the words ‘sweet’ or ‘sugar’. A nice choice is Ice Cream by Sarah McLachlan or How Sweet It Is by James Taylor. The actual cutting of the cake will probably be over before the length of a full song, so try not to choose something with too long an intro or you may not reach the chorus by the time you are sitting back down.

Now the first dance, the most important song you will play at your wedding. This is when you and your partner will take to the floor in front of all your guests and dance for the first time as husband and wife. It can be a very moving moment, or it can be a very happy and light-hearted one. Some couples will move slowly in each other’s arms and some will step out a pre-choreographed number.

You may know immediately which song you want to dance to, something that has always been special to the two of you. But if not, these ones are nice for romance: Heaven by DJ Sammy, Amazed by Lone Star, A Whole New World (Aladdin’s Theme) or for a slightly faster beat you can’t go wrong with Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.

Lastly, if there are any other songs that you had wanted to include in your wedding day but couldn’t find the right place to fit it in, you can get away with almost anything as your leaving song. This is where you make your last exit and farewell your guests, so either cheerful or sentimental can work well here.

Written by Heidi Bolton


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