Expert advice about entertainment

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your West Midlands Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to


Christmas carols

Christmas carols

Q. We're tying the knot in winter and would love festive music but still want it to be elegant. What would you suggest?

A. Christopher Langdown says: In years gone by families and friends would gather together around the piano to sing Christmas carols. Today, the piano still has the capacity to create a magical atmosphere at Christmas time. Timeless classics such as White Christmas, Winter Wonderland, The Snowman, Sleigh Ride, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and The Christmas Song work wonderfully well on the piano. Mix in some arrangements of traditional carols such as Silent Night, Away in a Manger and We Wish You A Merry Christmas and you'll have the perfect mix for all your guests. For a real touch of class, why not get a musician to play these songs on a elegant baby grand piano at your wedding?

Christopher Langdown


...The music

...The music

Q. What advice would you give me on choosing the music for my wedding?

A. Christopher Langdown says: Most people book a band or a DJ for their evening, but are unsure about what music to book for their ceremony, drinks reception or the afternoon wedding breakfast. Here's ten top tips from Romantic Piano:

- If you're looking to create a vibrant atmosphere for your ceremony, drinks reception and afternoon wedding breakfast, why not consider having some live music?

- In contrast to the evening, music during the day is usually more subtle in the background. An experienced musician will be able to create a perfect ambience for you and your guests.

- As wedding guests often range in age from 8 to 80, it's good to choose a musician with a wide repertoire as this will help to keep all suitably entertained.

- Live piano music is a great choice for weddings as it's classy, unobtrusive and all styles sound equally fantastic on the instrument.

- Make sure you book an experienced musician who will deliver a top quality performance. This will definitely make your big day even more enjoyable and memorable.

- Ask if they have Public Liability Insurance and whether all their equipment is fully PAT tested as many wedding venues now insist on this.

- Enquire whether your musician has verifiable reviews from previous couples and ask to hear examples of their work.

- Make sure you have a proper contract and that the booking is confirmed in writing.

- Check what would happen if they became ill just before the wedding and whether they have a contingency plan.

- Ask your musician whether they would be able to learn any special requests in advance.

Christopher Langdown


Daytime entertainment

Daytime entertainment

Q. Weather permitting, we'd love to have our wedding reception al fresco but we're worried about the entertainment. Would performing outside effect our choices of which act we could hire?

A. Steven Robertson says: First of all, there's no need to worry about your entertainment. If your venue has an outdoor performance space that has an adequate power supply and protects your entertainers and their equipment from the elements, your choice of entertainment will be almost unaffected.

If your act will be outdoors with you, then choices won't be as extensive, but there are still a wealth of options for you to consider.

Fortunately for you, two of the most popular trends in wedding entertainment right now are George Ezra-style singer-guitarists and Mumford & Sons-style acoustic folk bands, both of which match perfectly with a wedding under the sun and stars.

Performing on acoustic instruments, these bands are both practical and a stunning showpiece at your celebrations. Whether you'd like laid-back live lounge covers to conjure a dreamy atmosphere or upbeat acoustic twists on party hits to get everyone dancing, an acoustic act is a versatile choice that can deliver both. And if the rain comes, they can quickly pack up their instruments to move the celebrations indoors!

Steven Robertson


Game on!

Game on!

Q. For our summer wedding we want guests to spend plenty of time outside, how could we entertain our guests within the venue's grounds?

A. Aria Barrett says: I had the same problem on my wedding day! Our venue had beautiful outdoor space I wanted people to enjoy, and I wanted guests to mingle and have fun whilst we had our photos taken. We decided to have a few garden games. I couldn't find a supplier I liked, so thankfully my dad made me a carnival! Everyone loved the games, they were used all day, and nothing is more fun than watching your nan beat the best man at almost everything. It rained on our day, so we just moved things inside. But my best bit of advice... always let the bride win!

Aria Barrett


Music to my ears

Music to my ears

Q. My husband-to-be and I are tying the knot in a gorgeous stately home and would like elegant music throughout the day which is in keeping with the setting. What would you suggest?

A. Helen Barley says: What could be better for your special day than a romantic harp, setting the perfect ambience for you and your guests with music of a gentle, intimate nature. Whether you opt for the harp by itself, or couple it with singing, the sound will enhance the various aspects of your wedding without being intrusive.

For your ceremony I can provide all the music you'll need, including your favourite song in place of one of the readings. For the drinks reception or wedding breakfast a mixture of classical, modern and pop songs on the harp will make the perfect backdrop to your photo shoot or meal.

I have a choice of harps, all of which have amplification, if required, and there is a great deal of music available, from Bach to John Legend. I have vast experience of playing and singing for weddings, indoor or al fresco. In your free home consultation I'll be able to play for you and help you find your perfect music, tailored just for you on your special day.

Helen Barley