Planning Live Music for Outdoor Weddings

Live Music Outdoor Weddings Advice Tips Planning

Acoustic Space

It is easy to see why getting married outside is so popular. Right across the UK there are some truly beautiful locations, with incredible scenery to act as a backdrop to your ceremony. With large country estates, hotel gardens and marquees, your options are literally endless.

Expansive gardens mean you can celebrate late into the night without having to worry about bothering anyone local, and obviously the best way to take advantage of this is with live music!

When it comes to live wedding music for outdoor weddings, you have some fantastic options to consider that can really add to whatever theme or atmosphere you are trying to create, however there are also some practical considerations to take into account. Below are a few top tips on the type of entertainment that will work best outdoors and some things to take into account to ensure a memorable show!

Practicalities of Live Music Outside

Live Music Outdoor Weddings Advice Tips Planning

Vintage Riffs


Before you pick your act (and afterwards!) in order to make the most of your evening and ensure that it runs smoothly, here are a few things to think about (and ask your venue) if you are planning to have live music outside.


Weather Planning – Surely the most obvious of all issues that could arise, especially in the UK! Make sure you have a contingency plan in case of rain; as a rule, always have your band performing under adequate cover (whether that be a marquee, tent or similar). Remember, if water gets into electrical equipment it can end up being both expensive and dangerous!

Adequate space – If you’re having live music at your outdoor wedding, try your best to leave adequate space for the band to set up. The more room the better, but make sure to liaise with the band in advance (a 9 piece soul band will obviously need more room than an acoustic duo!).

Power – Now this can be especially difficult in an outdoor environment, but remember that simply running one extension from a house isn’t usually enough. For electrical safety, running extension after extension from one plug can be quite dangerous. Band’s needs will vary and they will often come equipped with enough extension reels to cope with virtually any situation. However, do speak to them in advance and try to provide as many sources of power as possible, as near to the performance space as you can. If you are hiring a generator, speak to the company when hiring and let them know you are planning to have a band with a lot of equipment.


Live Music Outdoor Weddings Advice Tips Planning

Theme – There are 2 schools of thought when it comes to reflecting your wedding’s theme in the live music. The first is simple… it’s your wedding and you’re entitled to have whatever music you’d like, whether that be a Jazz Big Band or a Nirvana Tribute! The second says that your 90 year old grandmother may not enjoy 90’s Grunge Rock as much as you might imagine, so it may be better to pick an act by considering the type of audience they are going to have in front of them!


Sound restrictions – No matter what event you’re planning, if you are going to have live music it is always best to check on any volume limitations, no matter what the venue. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, there may be neighbours nearby who have a tendency to complain. If you’re in the grounds of a country house or spa, they may have other hotel guests to think about. Always liaise with your venue and tell them you plan on having live music.


Live Music Outdoor Weddings Advice Tips Planning

Kingston Folk


Live Wedding Music Ideas

Live Music Outdoor Weddings Advice Tips Planning

The Rib Ticklers


Now that a few practicalities have been taken care of, it’s time to get creative! There are all sorts of fun and unique ideas for live music at weddings, but here are a few of the most popular:


Classical Guitarist or Harpist for the ceremony – If you’re planning on having your ceremony outside, why not consider having some live music to accompany you down the aisle? A classical guitarist provides an elegant and eclectic repertoire, while a Harpist makes any atmosphere seem intimate and romantic, no matter how big the setting.


Expect to hear: Popular classical pieces, rearranged pop songs for solo instruments.


Rock/Pop function band – A classic solution to live music, and with very good reason. Across the UK, there are thousands of wedding bands whose sole job it is to make your night memorable! If you’re tighter on budget, you can try looking for a trio that’s relatively local. If you have more money to play around with, check out a classic guitar orientated 4-piece or maybe something with a keys player!


Expect to hear: a little bit of everything! Usually popular chart hits from the 60’s to current, with a few hidden gems.


Folk Band – If you’re looking for something really unique, then a folk band can really give you the feel of being at a grassroots festival! Bringing that Glastonbury vibe to your wedding is not for the feint of heart or serious of temperament, but can prove a truly memorable way to celebrate your day and keep people talking for years to come!


Expect to hear: A traditional folk group will play lively “Jigs and reels” whereas a more modern Mumford-style band may cover popular chart hits in a rootsy folk-style.


Funk & Soul/Motown Group – If you’re planning on having a more formal, black tie wedding then a Motown band can be a great way to get your guests to cut loose and relax into the celebrations later on! Classic songs like “Higher and Higher”, “I Feel Good” and “Superstition” are guaranteed dance floor fillers, and nothing quite compares to the sound of a live full brass section!


Expect to hear: Classic Funk, Soul and Motown numbers played how they were intended… for dancing!


Live Music Outdoor Weddings Advice Tips Planning

The Kings of Hot Swing


Whatever you decide on, the folks at wish you the very best of outdoor celebrations, and we’re all hoping you get the good weather!


Live Music Outdoor Weddings Advice Tips Planning



“ is the UK’s leading live entertainment portal. More than just a directory – it’s the most convenient way to find the right entertainment for your event. Visitors can browse profiles, read reviews, listen to audio, watch videos and choose from a rapidly growing selection of the best musicians, bands, entertainers and related companies.”

FOLLOW // Twitter | Facebook | Youtube

More from Louise Baltruschat Hollis

Wednesday Wedding Wonders. 19/02/2014

Image by Cecelina Photography, full shoot here.   So last week was...
Read More


  • It was really helpful when you said to have a contingency plan in case weather gets bad. My sister’s outdoor wedding is coming up in a couple of weeks, and she and her fiance were telling me a couple of days ago about how they want to hire live musicians for it, and they want to make sure that they do everything correctly. I’ll make sure to pass these tips along to them as they continue to plan their outdoor wedding!

  • My sister is about to get married and she’s looking for advice on how to make her wedding special. Your advice on how she could consider hiring a feel-good musician is a great idea. I should pitch the idea of her hiring a musician that can set the mood of the wedding for her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *