If there’s one thing we’ve learned as a wedding band; life is certainly never dull! 2015 saw us perform a diary-busting 75 weddings, zooming off in all directions of the United Kingdom. Marriage is most definitely soaring in its popularity and with this, the demand for couples to think outside the box when putting their own stamp on their big day. The desire for complete originality has resulted in a new trend which has seen Rock My Reception pack our bags/instruments and hit the skies for the ultimate wedding experience: the Destination Wedding.
At first glance, a wedding abroad may seem to have an air of extravagance about it; “and what’s wrong with good old Britain?” you may say. Absolutely nothing, of course, but it’s when you begin to compare the logistics and prices of a lavish wedding in the UK with an intimate wedding day abroad including close friends and family in a more sun-kissed romantic setting that the idea becomes rather appealing. But why is hiring a wedding band to accompany a couple on their wedding abroad becoming such a popular accoutrement?
When a couple have a specific budget in mind for a wedding it often dictates what add-ons they can and can’t include. If it’s a wedding with a shoe-string budget the couple know to leave out such extravagances such as lavish bouquets of flowers and expensive hire cars. At the other end of the budgetary scale, other weddings have included a 5 minute £4000 firework display and drones hovering around the grounds of the ceremony filming the proceedings from every conceivable angle. One thing that cannot be scrimped on is the music. Music is of paramount importance to a wedding day. As the venue and scenic backdrop is a vital element to the visual ambience of a wedding day, the music, whether it be a band, singer or even a bagpipe player is providing the vital service of a suitable soundtrack to the day. Without music the atmosphere is often flat and conversational pauses between guest’s can sound like awkward chasms of silence. A wedding breakfast without a gentle musical accompaniment drifting through the air can sound like the clattering, clinking and scraping of a school dinner hall.
It is testimony to the importance of music at a wedding that has proved to be the award-winning success of Rock My Reception as a wedding band, but we also have other advantages over other musical suppliers when it comes to Destination Weddings and why we appear to be the first choice to provide the musical backdrop for weddings abroad.
Travel and logistics.
First of all it is surprisingly easy and cheap to transport us to a destination outside the UK. For only an extra few hundred pounds of what it would cost in the Uk, we can arrange cheap flights and accommodation in advance. Because we travel light-there are only ourselves, basic hand luggage and our guitars to bring-this cuts the risk of equipment and baggage going missing and also the cost of travel. Travel insurance is taken care of for a small fee and we always liaise with wedding organisers before the big day to discuss any transport which maybe needed between venues. Incidentally, we have always maintained a healthy working relationship with venues and organisers, as we would in the UK. This ensures the smooth running of the whole day.
What service do we provide once we arrive?
In every Destination Wedding we have performed at we have offered a unique musical experience and pulled out all the stops for every couple. Each wedding has been completely different from the last because of the bespoke nature of how we work. Here are some examples of services we provide and destination weddings we have performed.
An invitation to perform on the Southern Coastline of Dubrovnik, Croatia is a must for any musician. The Old Town centre of Dubrovnik is steeped in so many varieties of art forms from its 16th Century Renaissance and Baroque architecture, art museums and galleries, to live street performers. The centre piece of the town, Sponza Palace would be our first port of call for the wedding ceremony, moving on to the harbour to board a boat which would take ourselves and the wedding party on a tour on the glistening deep blue Adriatic Sea.
The 3pm ceremony was blessed by glorious, baking hot sunshine which blazed through the open air hall of Sponza Palace upon the gathered wedding guests. We had previously been asked to accompany a friend of the bride ,Carly, in a song dedicated to the happy couple. Having already learned the song prior to the big day, all that was required from us and Carly to have a quick run through. The song was performed beautifully and added a real personal touch to the ceremony.
As the couple and the guests were led to there boat by their own personal troubadours, everyone was in the mood for a post ceremony singalong. And what better way to do this than to be sailing around the Dubrovnik coastline in the glorious sun and the sound of the clear blue Adriatic lapping at the sides of the boat. Even the local residents cheered from their villas as we sailed passed singing We are sailing! A truly magical experience for everyone!
An example of blending a formal approach of following an itinerary to being able to ‘stray from the script’ was a key feature of the day performed at a wedding in Prague.
The day started of in the grand and magnificent baroque Vrtba Gardens playing the ceremony in the domed, ornate chapel, moving on to perform a champagne and strawberry drinks reception at the John George hotel in the city centre. High up on the couples song wish list were a collection of Beatle song requests, which we happily played to the guests within the garden walls, however-our sounds were beginning to attract the attention of many tourists gathered at the other side of the garden walls, and this wasn’t any ordinary garden wall: It was the John Lennon memorial wall which had been set up as an unofficial graffitied shrine after Lennon’s assassination. The groom had a the great idea of playing a few Beatle tunes to the 40 or 50 tourists gathered there! This act of spontaneity paid off as not only did our public audience get a free 10 minutes of songs, but the bride and groom inadvertently got a public first dance opportunity. The gathered crowd cheered as we played and the couple danced. A perfectly unplanned moment.
In recent years many of our song requests have been from the 90’s Indie back catalogue and our wedding in Kos proved to be a real case in point. The couple, who had a shared love of all things Indie, had met at The Stone Roses bar in Kos several years earlier and made a promise to each other to return there for their wedding.
One of the advantages of having a wedding abroad is that you and your guests can treat it as a mini break holiday. In this case the couple also treated their day as their own ‘Mini-Glastonbury’! And what better way to have your first dance than to be barefoot sing along to a medley of The Beatles, Hey Jude and Elbow’s One Day Like This, with the sun setting over the Aegean Sea illuminating the sky to a rich orange and pink. After a campfire was lit and the drinks flowed, even a few tourists joined in with the merriment till the early hours making this a wedding the couple, their guests and indeed ourselves, would never forget.
Rock My Reception is the ideal wedding band to perform at a destination wedding. We travel light resulting in cheaper travel, our setup of two guitars means we’re accessible and can be on hand all of the day and our spontaneity has resulted in the key moments that stand out at a destination wedding, whether performing on a boat on the Adriatic, playing to a couple and a crowd of onlooking tourists in Prague or helping a couple create their own personal festival in Kos, we will ensure a premiere bespoke musical soundtrack for your destination wedding.