Hope you’re all having a great start to the week!
So, when I featured a wedding blog post on Snapchat recently, I recorded it to the backing music of the song ‘The Power of Love’, which, as I explained at the time, was the song I walked up the aisle to. Since then, I have received so many Snapchats and emails with questions about the rest of the songs we chose for the church, as well as entertainment for the reception, the DJ, etc.
With that many questions, I knew the only way to answer all queries was to write a blog post about it!
So here it is, the full run down of or wedding entertainment!
Not long after I got engaged, one of the first tasks I wanted to get a start on was finding the right musicians for the church. I put the call out for recommendations on Twitter and one of those who contacted me was soprano, Sinead O’Brien.
I looked up her testimonials and online video footage and was so impressed, I pretty much booked her straight away!
When I explained that we would like to have a tenor there as well, Sinead said it wouldn’t be a problem as she often sang with an amazing tenor called Derek Moloney. The seriously talented team accompanying Sinead and Derek on instruments were harpist Sinead Ryan, violinist Ciaran Collins, and celloist Mary O Donovan.
Not long after that, Sinead came to my house and had a chat with myself and Dylan about the songs we would like. We wanted the ceremony to be as personal as possible, including the music, so we chose all of our favourite songs.
For the church we had the following songs:
Bridesmaids entrance – Pachabel Canon
Bridal entrance – The Power Of Love – Jennifer Rush version – (sung by Sinead)
Unity candle lighting – For The Love Of a Princess from Braveheart movie
Psalm – Mo Gra Thu A Thiarna (sung by Sinead)
Marriage candle – The Prayer (sung by Sinead and Derek )
Communion – All I Ask Of You (sung by Sinead and Derek ) Nessun Dorma (Derek solo)
Register – Nella Fantasia (sung by Sinead and Derek )
Il mondo et nostro (sung by Sinead)
She Moved Through The Fair (sung by Derek)
Exit – Young and Beautiful
Guests who attended still mention the church music to me ad how amazing it was!
The first part of my reception entertainment came about by chance!
We were having dinner in Siam Thai one night, and while we were there, we saw the beautiful singer Robbie Doyle performing there.
Robbie was a real entertainer and what struck me most was how well he worked with the crowd.
When I first spoke to Robbie that night in Siam Thai, he told me that he often sang at weddings with a lady called Hannah Stockwell Quinn and that they worked really well together.
I always find that it’s so important to create the right atmosphere from the moment the guests arrive at the hotel. People don’t know each other, and they’re all quite sober at that point, so a nice atmosphere helps people can relax a little and have the banter.
That’s exactly what Robbie and Hannah did. They performed during the champagne reception in the marquee in Powerscourt, and they were absolutely amazing. All the guests loved them!
When it was time to move into the ballroom for the meal, pianist and singer, Eibhin Eveston, performed as guests filtered into the room. She played the piano version of songs by bands such as One Republic, etc, and she also continued playing and singing while guests enjoyed their meal.
Following the second course, we had a surprise entertainment act for the guests! The Singing Waiters.
If you haven’t seen them in action, they’re basically opera singers, but they incorporate a comedic act into their performance as well. None of our guests even knew they were part of a performance act because they were dressed as Powerscourt waiters, and before they began the act, they blended in with the staff and moved about the room doing things like refilling glasses of water, etc.
Suddenly, a waiter with a microphone came running into the room in a panic, apologising for interrupting the meal and that he had something really important to say. Everyone went silent because they genuinely thought he was being serious!
He then started talking about how he had a message for a girl he loved and didn’t know how to tell her. After explaining it in a little more detail, he suddenly burst into song! It was a complete surprise to the whole room, but not as much of a surprise as when another waiter – who at the time was pouring a glass of water for a guest – got in on the act and started this comedic banter back-in-forth over who was the better singer.
Next thing, he burst into song until the two started singing together! They were so good, it sent shivers down the spine!
By this point, the Powerscourt staff had stopped serving while the act was taking place so they were all lined up by the side of the room. The act continued between the two ‘waiters’, when suddenly one of the ‘waitresses’ stepped forward and also began singing.
In total, there was 3 of them performing and it was just amazing to witness. If you haven’t seen them in action, look them up!
I should point out that they weren’t just amazing singer, they were also extremely funny as well.
By the end of the performance, they literally had the guests on their feet swinging their napkins around while they sang their final song, which blew everyone away, it was so good!
Following the singing waiters, the meal continued, but just after dessert, there was another big surprise for guests.
At the back of the room, there was a large white drapes covering what most people probably thought was a wall. It wasn’t! It was a special nightclub area set up by our wedding planners, Gotcha Covered.
After the teas and coffees were served, suddenly loud drums boomed from behind the drapes. No one knew what was going on, until suddenly the drapes were pulled away to reveal the Appassionato String Orchestra and a stage area occupied by two Celtic drummers.
The lights darkened and out walked Mary Sexton into the spotlight and started singing the Riverdance song! It actually made the hairs stand on the back of your neck, it was so incredible!
For those who might not know, Mary is the lady who sang the original Riverdance song at that very famous Eurovision performance back in 1995!
Next thing, the dancers entered the stage and performed the whole Riverdance routine! Honest to God, it was amazing! By the time it was over, everyone was up on the tables and chairs dancing and cheering!
Afterwards, we had the very talented Colin Fleck from Prodijig and his dancers perform Irish dancing but choreographed to modern songs such as Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You, etc.
This all REALLY got the crowd going and it was so amazing to watch!
Following some seriously enjoyable performances from Colin and his dancers, the party mode was in full swing and for this part of the night, we had a 7 piece band called The Gatecrashers who really kept the crowd entertained.
To finish off the night, we had booked Riff Shop. So, about Riff Shop! Those of you following me on social media will know exactly who they are as we had them perform at the SOSUbySJ Hot Fire Palette launch in Fire Restaurant recently. They are, to put it lightly, AMAZING! In fact, the reason we booked them for the launch is because they were so good at the wedding!
For those who aren’t familiar, Riff Shop is a three piece band. Steve O is on decks, AJ is on drums, and Conor is on sax. Steve O plays well known chart songs from all genres while AJ and Conor play their instruments as an accompaniment. To give you an example, at my Hot Fire launch, when Steve O played Macklemore’s Thrift Shop, Conor played the sax parts while AJ performed on drums throughout, and it honestly gave the song a whole new livelier edge because it really felt like it was ‘live’, which, in a way, it was!
These guys know how to put on a show and they were definitely the ultimate way to end the wedding party!
For day 2, we held a BBQ for guests in the marquee in Powerscourt. This kicked off at 3pm. We knew that a lot of guests would probably be feeling a little fragile at that point, so we wanted the accompanying music to be somewhat soothing! So to start the day 2 celebrations, we chose an amazing jazz singer called Katherine Timoney.
I’m a big jazz fan, and I LOVE movies from the 1920’s era where jazz plays a big part of the film. The Great Gatsby is one of my all time favourites! I was determined to have a jazz singer and I knew Katherine’s amazing voice would be just the thing to get day 2 started.
She really helped create such a relaxing atmosphere while guests enjoyed the gorgeous BBQ.
Later, we had Riff Shop back on, this time as a two piece – Steve O and AJ. Steve O played mellow house music with AJ doing his thing on the drums and that really got people up on their feet and back in the party mode.
Even my dad joined them on stage and had a go on the drums!
The Riff Shop guys played from 5 until 8 and it was at that point that we all moved into the nightclub area of the ballroom.
From 8pm, we had a really good RnB DJ – DJ Tando – on decks and he kept the party going until Riff Shop came back on again at 11pm and performed until around 2.30am!
Honestly, some of the videos I have seen from the day 2 celebrations are just brilliant!
We just had the most amazing time and it was great to be able to let the hair down and relax after all the pre-wedding stress and build up!
If you’re getting married, I would, without a doubt, suggest putting a lot of thought into the kind of entertainment and music you will have. Go see the acts in person before you book them, look up their testimonials, and best of all, ask former brides who they would recommend (or not recommend) because you really can’t beat word of mouth for an honest review.
Until we had our wedding, I never realised just how big a role the entertainment played in terms of atmosphere. It’s one of the things our guests still talk about. They loved the surprise element of some of the acts, and they really felt entertained from start to finish.
The right entertainment and music really does make SUCH a big difference!
There you have it, guys, all the info on our wedding music!
If you’re planning a wedding and in search of some recommendations, I hope the above helped give you some ideas.