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by Mel LazarusComments Off
Being a bride or groom is a surreal experience at the best of times.
And for a seasoned wedding pro like Jimmy Cannon – charismatic band leader of Rat Pack Style Swing & Jazz Band The Jazz Cannons – marrying his lovely fiancee Jaye this July was a wonderful, if not somewhat surreal experience!
Here Jimmy tells us what it was like being the groom at his own wedding, and what he’s learned from the experience that will change how he works with brides & grooms forever…
Talk us through your & Jaye’s special day
“We got married at Fowey Hall Hotel on the Cornish coast – the original inspiration for Toad Hall in The Wind In The Willows. The day was in 2 parts: We started with the ceremony followed by a wedding breakfast with drinks on the lawns overlooking the sea and then got boats across the river and walked down to the beach. In the afternoon, we’d allowed an hour or so for us and our guests to relax before the evening festivities began. The party kicked off with an ice breaker of punch & traditional Cornish dancing, followed by a Hog Roast & wedding cake. And of course dancing late into the night”.
How was it being the groom this time?
“Getting married gives you an insight into how special the day really is. It’s really YOUR day. As a band leader, I could always understand the stress of the build up and juggling logistics etc, but having been through it myself I can really empathise on a deeper level what it actually means to the bride & groom”.
Did The Jazz Cannons perform at your wedding?
“No, they were a bit out of my budget, ha ha! No the Jazz Cannons were all guests – we’re all friends, infact Matt (The Jazz Cannons sax player) was my best man. I didn’t want to get up and sing, I wanted to be a guest at my own wedding. But I did end up doing a bit of spontaneous singing in my speech!”
What was the live music entertainment?
“I wanted a link with my roots, so we had a Cornish band with lots of traditional Celtic dancing, and a duo with a fiddle and a bazooka. In the evening we had a quirky 4 piece rock band, doing offbeat covers from other genres, like Britney’s ‘Baby hit me one more time’. It was fun”.
Were you a good client?
“I knew from experience that weddings don’t always run to time, so I was pretty relaxed. I also really appreciated the importance of giving guests time to chat in between the band’s sets – lots of our guests had come from far & wide and hadn’t seen each other for ages, so it was a fantastic opportunity for everyone to catch up”.
What will you take away from the experience?
“Brides & grooms on the night sometimes appear to be a bit stressed as they are panicking about things running on time etc. I’m naturally very relaxed and – although I’m used to it and always respond professionally – I might have inwardly baulked a little. Now I really understand what they’re going through, and how they just want their day to be perfect, so I’d take it much less personally than before!”
Wishing you both all the best for your future together Jimmy & Jaye – and special congratulations for the exciting arrival of Cannon Junior in February! Xx
by Mel Lazarusposted in Band Booking Practicalities, Live Band Inspiration, Live Band Research, News, Top Tips, Wedding Experts
What do Gary Barlow and Sharon Osbourne have to do with MY wedding, I hear you cry?! Well, gentle reader, much more than you’d think!
In the fourth and final part (sob!) of our guest blog series on B.loved weddings - “The Fabulous Bride’s Guide to…Wedding Music”, we uncover….
- Why The X Factor has a heart of gold (yes, really)
- The secret quality you’ll be wanting from ALL your wedding suppliers
- Why choosing a great live band isn’t an exact science
- What the X Factor is NOT
- How to know when you’ve picked a winner
Read on for the full blog post below……
by Mel Lazarus
When you’re up to your ears in live wedding band research – have you ever wondered if what you see is what you’ll get? Is the band really as good as its promo video? Can you 100% rely on them to show up? What should you be looking for anyway??
In the third of our four part guest blog series on B.loved weddings - “The Fabulous Bride’s Guide to…Wedding Music” - we answer your questions, and reveal….
- Why some bands ARE more fabulous than others
- Exactly what to look for during your live band research
- What the right audio & video can tell you about a band
- The type of client testimonials you’ll be wanting to see
- Why seeing a band live is a good investment of your time
- Why ultimately, it’s all about chemistry…
Read on for the full blog post below……
by Mel Lazarus
We’re back!!! Yes, dear reader, we’re THRILLED to be back in the spotlight on the extremely fabulous b.loved weddings, a firm favourite for stylish, contemporary brides everywhere.
In the second of our 4 part guest blog series “The Fabulous Bride’s Guide to…Wedding Music”, we’re posing the ultimate wedding music question: What Does Your Wedding Band Say About YOU?
In the post, we cover…
- What ALL brides secretly want their guests to think about their wedding
- What the stylists mean by your “Wedding Brand” and what it means for you
- Band-related inspiration for whichever wedding style floats your boat…
- Your Oh-So-Pretty Wedding
- Your Rustic Chic Wedding
- Your Laid-Back Bohemian Wedding
- Your Great Gatsby Style Affair
- Your Festival Wedding
Read on for the full blog post below……
by Mel Lazarus
Well. We can hardly contain our excitement this week as our guest blog series “The Fabulous Bride’s Guide to…Wedding Music” launched on the very fabulous b.loved wedding blog (hurrah!).
The champion of pretty, contemporary weddings, b.loved is one of the top 20 wedding blogs in the UK, according to industry yardstick UKwed.com. We were recently extremely lucky to meet the blogger/stylist behind it, the lovely Louise Beukes, and spent a very entertaining couple of hours chatting about all things wedding music.
In this, the first of our 4 part series – Why your live band is a bridal styling issue (and not just the groom’s job!) – we discuss…
- Why most brides delegate the wedding music to their unsuspecting grooms
- The ONE thing your guests will remember most about your wedding
- The regret that 78% of brides have with the gift of hindsight
- How your live band can help you to ‘tell the story’ of your wedding
Read the full blog post below……
by Mel Lazarus
This week we’re talking to Kelle from Black Pearl Weddings – London-based wedding planners extraordinaires. With her background in Haute Couture fashion, and love of all things opulent & fabulous, Kelle tells us what makes for “The Wow Factor” at your wedding…
Tell us a bit about your business – What’s unique & special about what you do?
Black Pearl Weddings of London is a superior boutique wedding planning and consultancy service. At Black Pearl Weddings we provide an exquisite service, inimitable in its level of style and added mystique, similar to the Black Pearl itself, the rarest gem from the sea, long sought after by distinguished clientele.
Black Pearl Weddings offer support and assistance with every single detail of that perfect day. By consulting with the prospective couple, we garner inspiration from their vision, and work towards making that vision an impeccable reality.
We are a highly exclusive and undertake a strictly limited number of weddings per year, to ensure our clients receive the finest, most attentive service. Understanding what our client wants through consultation we create a structured plan of action, source the very finest venues, suppliers, music, and wedding attire to match any desired theme, all within their budget.
As Wedding Planners, Black Pearl Weddings not only support clients to coordinate their wedding to perfection, but also provide inspiration with a Haute Couture edge. We bring with us an established network in both the fashion and wedding industries, and a wealth of knowledge and experience to create the perfect support for the perfect occasion.
How do you bring style & personality to your clients’ weddings?
With our extensive knowledge of fashion, creative aspects, and great working relationships with clients, we help make a mark by tailoring the event to stand out from others. We believe every wedding should have its own unique and creative feel, so that every bride can feel as though her special day was inimitable, and can’t be rivalled.
As we work alongside our client, we share inspiration at every stage, thus creating a wide range of options for consideration which can all be infused to create a beautifully unique and elegant day.
What do you think makes for “wow” wedding entertainment?
Whether it is music, dance, or other acts, it should bring with it a style that captures the complete attention of every guest, so that no one will want to turn away even for a second.
It should be perfectly matched to the ceremony to provide the ideal accompaniment, and correlate to the style of the event in a way that makes the entertainment an integral part of the day – as opposed to some entertainment that can seem or feel incidental to the day and possibly not relevant to the style or theme.
Classical music and dinner jazz are always conducive to a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, whereas swing adds piña he to really get all the guests in the party mood.
What’s the most fabulous thing you’ve done for a client at a wedding this year?
One of our lovely brides had an outfit malfunction; when she donned her wedding shoes, she experienced severe discomfort in her ankles and could not enjoy wearing them or walking due to the pain she felt.
As I was providing coordination on the day of the ceremony, I actually lent her my shoes, to avoid any unnecessary discomfort, and she couldn’t bear the idea of hobbling down the aisle. Luckily, my shoes complimented her dress perfectly, so I spent the rest of the day in my spare trainers, and she enjoyed her day in comfort!
To find out more about what Black Pearl Weddings can do for your big day, visit their website at www.blackpearlweddings.co.uk
by Mel Lazarus
Let’s get this straight, lovely brides & grooms. The purpose of a live band at your wedding is not to crank out your favourite classic tunes and look increasingly bored as the night goes on.
As with any entertainment, choosing a Swing Jazz band is not an exact science – sadly you can’t just compare 5 piece bands like-for-like. So in the immortal words of Alfie: What’s it all about?
Let’s see. To name but a few, it’s about charm… personality… magnetism… energy… dynamism… charisma… likeability… and that ol’ favourite, chemistry.
It’s about your band pouring life & soul into their performance. It’s about a charismatic front man or woman with a natural empathy for their audience and the ability to put your guests instantly at ease.
It’s also about the whole band having a contagious chemistry together, being fun and entertaining without a hint of self-indulgence.
Utterly dynamic Swing Jazz bands are rarer than you’d think, but you’ll know when you’ve found one because your dance floor will never be empty for very long.
Feeling inspired? Hear how incredible Swing Jazz band ‘Schwing’ set the dance floor alight at this couple’s glamorous Mandarin Oriental wedding.
by Mel Lazarus
When it comes to your wedding band, you can definitely make a style statement that is a reflection of you and your love of all things retro. If you’re serious about creating a truly fabulous vintage-inspired wedding, then don’t settle for a bland, generic “wedding band”.
Think of it like this. Your choice of band is a bit like your choice of wedding menu: You could put on a buffet to cater for all tastes, and it would be nice, and everyone would find something to enjoy.
Or… you could take an interesting slant (e.g. Middle Eastern Mezze, Oriental Food Theatre, Traditional Great British Fayre) and create a menu that adds a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ to your guests’ dining experience.
Sure, one or two people won’t eat the sushi, but most will love it and agree that it makes a refreshing change from the usual chicken.
So remember: Use your band to bring your wedding theme to life. And nothing brings style and swagger to your dance floor, or creates that glamorous, sophisticated ambiance, more than an authentic Swing Jazz band.
by Brad Lazarus
Curious about what type of swing band might be right for your wedding. Watch the video to find out more…
00:35 – Most swing bands cover music from the 1920s to the 60s
00:51 – Swing music was the dance music of its day
00:59 – People will dance to a swing band… as long as it’s a great one!
01:08 – Swing bands are perfect for vintage or other similar themed weddings
02:24 – Go for the largest band you can afford. At least one horn player will make the difference
Hi! Brad Lazarus here with a short bluffers guide to swing bands for weddings. Swing bands or swing music is generally characterized by a rhythm section of double bass and drums with a pretty heavy horn element of trumpet, trombone, and saxophone.
Most Swing Bands Cover Music from the 1920s to the 60s
Most swing bands will cover the music broadly from the eras of the 1920s right up to the 1960s. So if you’re looking to book a swing band, you’re probably going to get a mixture of all of the songs that came out of those eras.
Swing Music was the Dance Music of its Day
The real danceable swing style actually came out of the era of 1935 to 1945 when swing music really was the dance music of its day. So if you’re looking to book a swing band for your wedding and you’re worried about people getting onto the dance floor, just really keep that fact in mind. It was the dance music of its day. So if you’ve got the right swing band that really know how to get the floor filled, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Swing Bands are Perfect for Vintage or Other Similar Themed Weddings
If you’re looking to have a vintage theme or an art deco theme or something of that kind of era, then look to bands that specialize in 1920s and 1930s style. That’s really going to enhance your theme for you.
Prominent Figures of the Swing Era
People refer to artists like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and those Rat Pack guys as very much swing music. Strictly speaking, they are swing music. They came from the eras of the late ‘40s through to the ‘60s which is only characterized by what they would call… it was known as swinging pop, really. But if you’re looking to book a swing band, the chances are, they’re going to play quite a heavy proportion of that repertoire as well.
Look for a Swing Band that can Cross Over to Other Genres
Now, here’s a big tip. Find a swing band that has the ability to be able to cross over into that more classic, pop, and soul material as well. It’s really going to help you for later on in the evening. People love to hear that swing and that jazz style but as the evening progresses, they also want something a little bit more mainstream. And a band that has the versatility to be able to progress seamlessly from that swing into the classic pop of Stevie Wonder, Motown, that type of feel is really going to do a great job for you.
Go for the Largest Band You Can Afford With at Least One Horn Player
The other great piece of advice I’d give you is try and go for the largest band as possible and that includes at least one horn section. The horn sound is such a significant part of swing music that lacking that, it will feel slightly empty. The dynamic won’t necessarily be there. So go for the largest band you possibly can for the budget.
If you’re thinking about a swing band for your wedding, click the link below. Check out the three swing bands that we have on our roster. They cover all the repertoires from 1920s right through to the 1960s and some even more kind of classic, contemporary material as well they cover. So check those out.
If you’ve got any questions or comments, please leave them below. If you’d like to hear some more information about other areas of booking a band for your wedding, just let me know and I’ll do a video for you as well.
by Brad Lazarus
Watch this video to discover ways of finding unique wedding entertainment that lasts all night…
00:19 – Unique Wedding Reception Entertainment
00:40 – How Do You Find Unique Entertainment for the Whole Evening
00:55 – Find a Band that Will Bring a Uniqueness
01:08 – Look for a Musical Specialism
01:20 – Look for Charisma, Personality, Style, and Magnetism
01:36 – Soul Fiesta
02:02 – Schwing
02:33 – The Jazz Cannons
Get Your FREE Guide here – 7 Surprising Ways Your Wedding Band Can Transform Your Party From Bland…To Grand!
Hi! My name is Brad Lazarus and I’m here this week with a wedding entertainment inspiration tip. So let’s get to it.
How to Find Unique Entertainment for the Whole Evening
So this time of year, there’s always a lot of talk about wedding trends for the year to come, and one of the things that really stood out to us was this idea of wedding reception entertainment and unique wedding reception entertainment. Now, there’s talk of couples looking for nontraditional reception entertainment to create kind of a spectacle and a memorable evening. What they’re referring to a lot of the time are jugglers, fire eaters, dueling pianists, that type of thing. Now, this is all great, but this type of cabaret style doesn’t give you entertainment for the whole night.
Find a Band that Will Bring a Uniqueness
So how can you create that element of uniqueness without booking an act that only plays for 30 minutes cabaret style? So my suggestion to you is to look for a band that has that element of uniqueness and personality and authenticity which can play for the whole evening.
Look for a Musical Specialism
Now, how do you find the characteristics of uniqueness and personality within a band? Well, what you’re looking for is some kind of specialism. For example, what style of music they play is unique to them, the charisma of the lead singer.
Look for Charisma, Personality, Style, and Magnetism
The purpose of the live band at your wedding is not just to kind of crank out the tunes and begin to look increasingly bored throughout the whole evening. What you’re looking for really is a band with a personality, a charm, a character, a likeability, some kind of magnetism that really comes off the stage. So they really need to be pouring their life and soul into the performance, with the whole thing being fun, entertaining, without a of self indulgence on their part.
Things You Could Maybe Ask Your Band to Do for the Evening
Here’s a couple of ideas of the things that you could ask your band to do or find a band that has these types of characteristics, or something that can really thrill your guests for the evening. Now, one of the things that Schwing do is they lead the bride and groom into the main hall, the main ballroom, or main function room with a procession led by their horn section.
The other thing you can get the band to do is maybe if you… a lot of bands will play for two hours. So that leaves some kind of flexibility. Make sure they’re flexible. And you can maybe take about 15 minutes of that performance and have some cabaret performance between the main course and the dessert. Here’s the Jazz Cannons performing I Want to be Like You, a kind of a fun drum solo type thing which goes down exceptionally well, and is really a talkable event for the evening. Some people really chatting about this throughout the rest of the evening.
And we’ve got loads more ideas like this of what you can get your band to do or at least find the band that can do certain things in our free guide, “Seven Surprising Ways Your Wedding Band Can Turn Your Event From Bland… to Grand!” So just click on the link below and you can download that guide.
I hope that’s been useful for you and see you next time.