Wedding Photographer Recommendations

One of the cool parts of being in a wedding band is that every weekend you get to meet some very talented people, who just happen to be wedding suppliers. In this post we are featuring the work of a couple of our favourite photographers. And seeing as we are a wedding band, we’ve also asked them a couple of questions about how the music at a wedding affects their job.

Journey By Light Photography -Macedon Ranges

For over 5 years Journey By Light Photography have been capturing the love, moments and memories for brides and grooms throughout the Macedon Ranges, Hepburn Shire, Melbourne and beyond. It’s what husband and wife team, Adam & Pam do best.
 
They understand that as your wedding photographers, you are trusting them to do the same for you too and will go out of their way to exceed your expectations in every way.
 
The honesty, emotion, love, laughter and tears, and those fleeting moments which are gone in the blink of an eye will be captured forever, timeless images that in years to come will evoke the joy and emotion you both felt that day!
 
Adam & Pam are there to help guide you through the planning of your wedding, from the day you first make your initial enquiry, right through to the moment they leave you as newly weds, and they look forward to do the same for you too!
 

Q. How does the music at a wedding affect what you do?

A. No wedding is complete without music. It’s a universal language which can be very powerful, especially when you put it in the mix with the emotion, nerves, joy and happiness of a wedding. So as wedding photographers, we’re always looking for those elements and music certainly influences those moments and helps to bring out the love in everyone!

Q. Does having live music at an event make shooting weddings easier?

A. Absolutely! We both have a love of music (Adam Is a musician himself!). We hear a beat and we’ll get our feet tapping! It actually helps us to concentrate more on what is happening around us, and we can sometimes anticipate when a moment worth capturing is about to happen based entirely on the music playing. DJ’s are okay, but there is nothing like live musicians entertaining the wedding guests. There is an organic connection between the two and the reactions on peoples faces, when they are up dancing, are far more animated than compared to a DJ playing thieir MP3’s. We’ve got the proof in our photo’s! So we wouldn’t say it makes shooting weddings easier, but live music certainly creates many more opportunities for us to capture the days moments!

 

Jessica Prince Photography – Mornington Region

We have worked with Jessica many times and not only is she a joy to work with, but her work is of the highest quality. 

Jessica began shooting weddings in 2016 but has been taking photographs since she was 15 after learning the darkroom process in secondary school. She became drawn to weddings after completing her Bachelors in photography as she saw it as an opportunity to photograph not just a day, but a couples story. Her work captures the raw and quiet moments amongst the loud laughter and tears of joy in an artistic style that is a fusion of candid and intimate moments. 

She explains her passion for wedding photography best in her own words:

“To be able to capture the love in someones eyes is my driving force and the reason why I do this, it is what makes my heart beat the hardest. I love seeing how people love and share their lives together. When I photograph a wedding, I want to capture that real love, the perfectly imperfect.

Q. How does the music at a wedding affect what you do?

A. When I think of each wedding I’ve photographed, the ones that stand out the most are the couples that choose to have live music. It gets the guests up on the dance floor and gives me the opportunity to photograph everyone’s crazy dance moves!  It helps to create a vibe like no other and a busy dance floor looks the best in photographs.

Q. Does having live music at an event make shooting weddings easier?

A. Yes, definitely!  When I photographed alongside Brightside Duo, the floor was packed and every time I turned around there was something new and exciting happening because live music creates an amazing sense of atmosphere and celebration. People are more relaxed and ready to party on into the night so it makes photography easier when everyone is involved and enjoying the wedding.

 

5 great Melbourne Wedding Venues

As a Melbourne based wedding band, every weekend we are lucky enough to play in some amazing venues both in Melbourne and in the surrounding areas. Living here we are very lucky to have the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula so close to the city, not to mention the Macedon Ranges and Bellarine Peninsula. There are way too many amazing venues for just one post, so we will continue this series in the coming weeks. So, without further ado, see below for some of our favourite venues, listed in no particular order.

1. Stillwater at Crittenden – Mornington Peninsula (Dromana)

We absolutely love this place, and have literally never seen a bad wedding here. The staff is first rate, and the guests are always happy and very well looked after. Food is excellent and the setting is spectacular. Ceremonies are held by the lake, and then guests move to the outside bar for canapés, before moving inside for the main reception.

Weddings are extremely well organised here, and always run smoothly. The space is versatile enough to accommodate any style of event – We have played some very relaxed afternoon weddings here, and some absolutely massive night time weddings. Highly recommended.

Visit the Stillwater website

2. Gum Gully Farm – Yarra Valley (Silvan)

A beautiful venue with a warm family atmosphere. Gum Gully Farm is a family run operation and is one of the happiest places we have played. Set in a charming hillside location, they have a chapel on site for ceremonies and a beautifully rustic building for the reception. For weddings in the colder months there are 2 huge open fires, and pot belly stoves on the verandah.

There are farm animals for the kids and a warm and intimate atmosphere for all to enjoy. One of our very favourite places to play. They even loaned us a guitar once when one of ours broke during sound check!

Visit the Gum Gully Farm website

3. Riverstone Estate – Yarra Valley (Cold Stream)

This venue must have one of the best views of any venue we’ve ever played. Perched on top of a hill in the scenic Yarra Valley it is a truly special place for a wedding. The venue is managed by an ex wedding muso, so as a band you are very well looked after. The food is excellent and the vibes are warm and hospitable. Ceremonies are held just outside the main venue on the lawn and then the happy couple take a spin down the hill on a golf buggy for some quick photos at sunset. Photographers love this venue as it’s very hard to take a bad sunset shot here! Whilst the couple are away,  guests can enjoy the view and some light refreshments on the verandah before kicking into the reception. Below is some footage of us playing instrumental music during canapés, on the verandah.

Visit the Riverstone Estate website 

4. Farm Vigano – Plenty Gorge (South Morang)

For those who don’t want to venture too far from the city but still want the country vibe, this place is for you. Set in the beautiful Plenty Gorge, just a stone’s thrown from the city, Farm Vigano is a hidden gem! They serve excellent Italian food and wine, and the staff are warm and professional. Your guests will enjoy canapés and drinks on the paved outdoor terrace, which has a great view. And then head inside for fantastic Italian food in the cosy dining room. Oh, and we’ve had some great dance floor action here too – so there’s definitely enough room to get the party going later in the night!

Visit the Farm Vigano website

5. Rupert on Rupert – Inner City (Collingwood)

This is one of the coolest inner city venues we have ever played at. It is an ex-industrial space tucked away in the back streets of Collingwood and is absolutely beautiful inside. There are plenty of separate spaces for guests to mingle and relax. Also there are no noise restrictions, so the band can really crank up the party. The food and staff are awesome and it never strays into the “so cool it’s unfriendly” territory that some other inner city venues can fall into. There are cocktails, wines, and craft beers aplenty. Definitely on top of our list for inner city vibes.

Visit the Rupert on Rupert website

Conclusion

So there you have it, our list of 5 great wedding venues in Melbourne and surrounding areas. We know picking a venue for you big day is a massive decision, but hopefully this article has helped. Stay tuned for more in this series!

Wedding Guest Etiquette

wedding guest etiquette

You’ve been invited to a wedding hey? Congratulations! You’re obviously an important person for the happy couple. It is one of the most important days of their life, and they want YOU there. It’s an honour to be invited to a wedding, and if you want to repay the faith shown in you – here’s a quick (and hard hitting) guide on how to act 🙂

1. Dress nice

Make an effort to dress as nicely as possible. The happy couple have probably spent an absolute fortune on this day, and it has cost them dearly in terms of stress too. So if you rock up with a wrinkled up old suit, or in your 2nd best pair of jeans then you’re just disrespecting their effort. Also, everyone else will look great and you’ll probably be the only one who is under dressed. 

2. Bring your A-game

So, you’ve been invited to this wedding- and guess what? Some people missed the cut. And what’s more, there is a chance you have only just scraped on to the guest list. I’ve planned a wedding and let me tell you, there are some very tough selection decisions made at the final round of invitations. So if you have made the cut, it is up to you to repay the faith the couple have shown in you. It is an extremely important day for the couple (and their family) so don’t sit at the table all night with a miserable look on your face. Don’t duck outside for a smoke at every opportunity. Talk to people, get on the dance floor, laugh at bad jokes, don’t roll your eyes during speeches, and in general bring your A game. In other words, do your best to make it a great day for the couple. 

3. Don’t look at your phone every ten seconds

We have literally seen people watching football on their phones during speeches at weddings. Look, we understand that speeches can be very boring, we get that. But in the scheme of the whole event they really are just a very small part of what is otherwise a great big fun party (with free food and drinks). So if you’re sitting there checking your phone at every opportunity you really just look like a very unappreciative person, or in plain English – a douche bag. And, people notice. Believe me, they notice.

4. Dance to at least one song

Even if you hate dancing you should dance to at least one song. Think of it as payment for all the free food and drinks you’ve been shoving in your mouth all day. 

5. Do not leave early. DO NOT LEAVE EARLY. DO NOT LEAVE EARLY 

It is truly amazing to us how many people will leave a wedding early. Sometimes guests will leave 10 minutes before the farewell circle! Really? You couldn’t survive for 10 more minutes?? It’s rude. Don’t do it. Speak to anyone who has been married – they can tell you who left early. I know I can (I can even remember the exact time the first guests left – 9.36pm if you must know). This all sounds pretty harsh, and of course some times it’s unavoidable that you can’t stay for the whole event. So, in the spirit of charity and understanding, if you fall into the following categories you get a free pass.

  • You are old (70 +)
  • You have a baby/babies.
  • You’re unwell
  • Someone in your family is unwell
  • You have information regarding a terror attack
  • You are secretly in love with the bride or groom and it’s tearing you to pieces being here

However, if you want to leave early due to the following reasons you are, simply put, a bad wedding guest.

  • You have to get up early the next day (pathetic)
  • You’re bored (make your own fun!)
  • It’s too loud (get over it, go outside, get earplugs)
  • You need to beat the traffic (at 11.30 on Saturday night? Please)
  • You are the + 1 of a guest and you’re hating every moment of the night (toughen up, drink more, make friends, or go sit in the toilet until it’s over) 

Oh, and when you do leave, say goodbye!

6. Bring a gift

It doesn’t have to be a great big amazing present. But a card with some cash in it will buy you a lifetime of good will. I’ve been there the day after a wedding when the gifts are being sorted out and tallied up. And everyone is accounted for. You can’t slip under the radar. If you are hard up for cash at the time of the wedding, simply write a card and tell the couple you plan to surprise them with a thoughtful gift in the next few months. And then follow through.

7. Treat the band, suppliers, and venue staff with respect

Friendly banter is great! We love it. But heckling, messing with equipment, being demanding to staff, and acting like a dick is plain rude. The band and the venue staff are there to help you have a good night. When the staff tells you it is last drinks, listen to them. 

Conclusion

It’s pretty easy really. Have a good time, and be seen to be having a good time! Think about the couple who have staged this high-pressure, complicated, and expensive event and do whatever you can to make sure they have an unforgettable day!

Acoustic and Electric Duo Wedding Band

Brightside Duo Hero

There are plenty of options out there when it comes to booking a Melbourne wedding band for your big day. Maybe your wedding is going to be big, hundreds of guests, a spectacular venue with no expenses spared. You want the music to match the grandeur so you decide to book a large ten-piece super group. Alternatively, maybe your wedding is far more low-key, held at a small venue on a Sunday afternoon for example. So, you feel a duo simply playing acoustic guitars and singing some mellow tunes would be far more appropriate. But what if neither of those options suit your needs? What if you are looking for something in between, or perhaps you’re looking for elements of both! If that’s you then the “Acoustic & Electric Duo Wedding Band” may just be the option you’re after.

What exactly is the “Acoustic & Electric Duo with Backing Tracks”?

In short, the Brightside Acoustic & Electric duo is both an acoustic duo AND a full 4-5 piece rock band all in one! But wait, I hear you ask, how can a ‘duo’ be an entire band??  Well that’s where the backing tracks come in.

 

A video of us performing Footloose with our Electric Duo package

What are “backing tracks”?

Backing tracks are essentially pre-recorded instruments (such as drums, bass guitar, keyboards, horns etc) that we play along with. Our own vocals and guitars are live but the rest of the ‘band’ lives inside our iPad. The combined sound is of such high and professional quality that if you were to close your eyes you would swear that you were listening to an entire live band.

What makes your backing tracks so good?

Other solo/duos/groups often buy pre-made backing tracks from websites that sell them for a few dollars each. Some of these can sound okay, but a lot of them have a tinny “karaoke bar” sound. Our approach is totally different – we make every backing track from scratch ourselves. Fortunately, we both have a couple of decades of composing and audio production experience. Our experience combined with state-of-the-art recording software and equipment ensure every backing track is crafted to sound its absolute best. It really is nearly impossible to tell the difference between our tracks and a live rhythm section.

acoustic and electric duo wedding band

So, if it sounds just like a real band then why not just hire a real band?

Great question! By all means, if you have your heart set on a full band with live drums, horn section, the works, then I encourage you to hire one. We offer a four/five-piece band package and it is awesome! However, there are many benefits that the Electric & Acoustic Duo Wedding Band package can offer:

  • Price: Simply put, hiring 2 people instead of 4+ is going to be cheaper.  And it’s not just the number of people you are paying for either. A large band usually requires more equipment, which in turn means they will need more time to set up and pack up. All of this gets factored into the overall fee.
  • Space: Following on from the previous point regarding equipment, A duo requires less gear than a full band. There are no drums, no keyboards, fewer microphones, fewer fold back speakers, fewer cables etc. So, if the venue you booked is a little short on space then there is a much better chance the duo will be able to fit.
  • Time: As mentioned, a band will take longer to set up and pack up. The logistics of a wedding day can be pretty hectic so a wedding band that can take up less space and set up quickly and efficiently can save a lot of headaches for the venue as well as the happy (stressed) couple
  • Volume: When half the band lives inside the iPad it is much easier to control volume. Big bands can be very loud with little room to move when it comes to noise. With the Acoustic & Electric Duo we can go from background music volume to stadium concert volume and everything in between. It can be easily adjusted to suit your needs.

That all sounds great but where does the “acoustic duo” fit into all of this?

The beauty of the Acoustic and Electric Duo is we are able to offer a dynamic variety of music throughout the reception. Generally during the first half or so of the evening people are mingling and chatting as well as eating their meals. Throughout this period, it’s not appropriate to blast out dance floor party anthems so we tend to start of with a couple of sets as an acoustic duo. Just acoustic guitars and vocals.  It sets up a great atmosphere, with great music without being too overpowering allowing everyone to enjoy each other’s company.

Once the formalities are over though (and usually after everyone has had a drink or two) it’s party time. That’s when we replace the acoustic guitars with electric ones, put on the backing tracks and turn up the volume!

Here’s an example of how a reception might run if you book the Acoustic & Electric Duo:

  • Set 1: Acoustic Duo set
  • Set 2: Acoustic Duo set
  • Set 3: Electric Duo Party set 
  • Set 4: Electric Duo Party set 

Conclusion

The Acoustic & Electric Duo with Backing Tracks can be a great option for your wedding band if you are looking for a variety of music ranging from mellow to dance floor fillers. Pricing is very competitive, and you have far less to worry about if your venue is on the smaller side. In many ways the Acoustic & Electric Duo Wedding Band can offer you as much if not more than a regular acoustic duo and regular full band combined!

We hope you have enjoyed this post. Please get in touch with us if you would like to know more!

Melbourne Wedding Band Prices 2018

wedding band prices melbourne

After a long search, and hours of googling you’ve finally found a great band to play at your wedding! That’s great. Now the next question usually is, how much will it cost? The answer to the question is (as any good wedding band will tell you) – The price of your wedding band depends on a lot of factors. The main ones being:

  1. The date of your wedding
  2. The location/venue of the wedding
  3. How many guests will be attending
  4. How many musicians there are in the band
  5. How many services & set-ups you require

With this in mind it is important that you let your band know all of the above when you make contact with them. Read on for a more detailed explanation of each factor listed above.

We have also included a very rough guide to 2018 Melbourne wedding band prices at the end of this post.

1. Date of wedding

This is probably the most important factor in determining your band’s price (it is for us). It will come as no surprise to you that most people want to get married in peak wedding season (Feb to May, and October to early December). And during this time peak season we charge more as the demand for our services is higher. On a very popular date, let’s say the middle Saturday of March or November, a good wedding band in Melbourne (like us) will receive up to 10 enquiries for the one date. So naturally during times of high demand our prices are higher. This will be the same for all wedding suppliers. 

If you are working on a tight budget we strongly suggest holding your event either on a weekday during peak season, or in winter. We charge less for weekday weddings, and we also charge less for weddings held in Winter. This applies industry wide, with most wedding venues and other suppliers offering big discounts in off peak times. We have played some absolutely awesome weddings in winter and think there should be more of them! It’s a win win situation – You are far more likely to get the venue and suppliers you want, and you will save money. Plus your suppliers will love you for filling up their calendar in an otherwise quiet period. 

 

2. The location/venue of the wedding

This one is pretty simple, if your band needs to travel a long distance to play at your wedding then they will charge you more. If your event is 2 hours travelling time away from Melbourne, or wherever the band is based, then keep in mind that you may also need to pay for the band’s accommodation. Most bands will assess this on a case by case basis. For example, if they have a gig early the next day they might opt to drive back home after the event.

wedding band prices 2018 travel
If your wedding is in a remote location you should expect to pay more

Weddings in the inner city with difficult access and/or paid parking will also mean that your wedding band will charge slightly more. When we say difficult access, we’re not just being fussy. Loading in and out of Crown Casino for example can add up to 3 hours or more to you band’s day. Plus band members very often need to complete online supplier training and must pay for parking. 

If you are holding your wedding on a private property you need to factor in the price of supplying shelter for your band. Musical equipment is not waterproof, nor can it be exposed to full sunlight, or dew. So you will need to provide your band with waterproof and safe shelter – this is NOT the responsibility of the band.

3. Number of wedding guests

The number of guests you have will determine how much equipment your band needs to bring and the price they will charge. A simple lunch time wedding with 20-30 guest requires a lot less PA and lighting equipment than a 200 guest wedding held at night. For some really big events your band may have to rent extra equipment and this obviously adds an extra cost.

Melbourne wedding band prices 2018
A very large wedding might mean your band will need to bring extra equipment

3. How many musicians there are in the band

The good news about having your wedding in Melbourne is that there are a lot of great musicians available, due to Melbourne’s great live music culture. The flip side to this is that most good wedding musicians in Melbourne are not doing it as a hobby, they are getting paid for their skills and the more of them there are in a band, the more it will cost! Every band will charge more for a four piece band package than a duo package (us included). Luckily for us we are able to provide a full band sound with just the two of us, so we can offer a full band experience for a lower price.

How many services and set-ups you require

Wedding band prices will also be determined by how long you require the band. Do you want your band for the whole event, including ceremony, canapés, and reception? Or just the reception? Would you like to add the MC service? Most bands (including Brightside Duo) will offer an MC service.  

Another important point to consider is how many different set-ups will be required on the day. If you need the band to set up in multiple locations then it will more than likely cost you more, as the band will need to bring extra equipment and arrive earlier. Brightside Duo has enough equipment for multiple set-ups – you just need to make sure you let us know before the day of your event if you need us to set up in different places.

Conclusion

in conclusion, here is a very rough guide to wedding reception pricing for wedding packages available in Melbourne. We emphasise that these figures are from our own experience and research and should be used as a VERY ROUGH GUIDE only. They are not a quote for our services. Every band or DJ will set their own prices, and of course, as outlined in this post, how much you end up paying will depend on many factors. Some acts we know will charge double what we have listed below – and they receive no complaints. Because the bride and groom value so highly what they have added to their special day.

It is also worth noting that not all wedding bands are created equal – There are some very good bands out there (we think we’re one of them :)) and there are some bands which aren’t quite so good. And, as in the rest of life, the better acts will have more demand for their services and can command more money. Crazy how that works hey? Our advice is to do your research online, read reviews, take recommendations and have a chat with the band. It’s amazing how revealing a 5 minute chat with a potential supplier can be!

Without further ado, here is the Melbourne wedding band price guide for 2018

  • DJ – from $900
  • Solo singer/guitarist – From $1000
  • Acoustic Duo – From $1300
  • Acoustic & Electric Duo (backing tracks) – from $1700
  • Trio – from $1800
  • Four piece band – from $2500
  • Five piece band – from $2750

We hope you enjoyed this post and please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions!

Wedding Songs 2018

Welcome to the Brightside Duo guide to wedding songs 2018. We are asked for song suggestions very often by our couples, so we thought we’d throw this information together in a post. Read on for wedding song suggestions for your wedding, from the ceremony right through to the dance floor!

Wedding Songs | Ceremony

For most ceremonies in Australia you will need to choose 3 songs

  1. Walk down the aisle
  2. Signing of the Registry
  3. Conclusion (Recessional)

In addition to these songs, a wedding band like us will usually provide about 20 minutes of background music before the bride arrives.

Walk down the Aisle Songs

You ideally want to choose something that is special to you both. A skilled wedding band will be able to fade the song out at the exact right moment. And yes, you can change the lyrics to songs if they don’t quite suit the situation. Below are some suggestions.

  • This Year’s Love – David Gray
  • Adore – Amy Shark
  • A Thousand Years – Christina Perri
  • XO – John Mayer
  • Marry me – Train
  • Pachelbel’s Canon in D
  • Say you won’t let go – James Arthur
  • Here comes the Sun – Beatles
  • First time ever I saw your face – Roberta Flack
  • Songbird – Fleetwood Mac
  • Heartbeats – José Gonzalez
  • Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
  • Can’t help falling in love – Elvis Presley
  • Somewhere only we know – Keane
  • No one’s gonna love you – Band of Horses
  • You and me – Lifehouse
  • The one – Kodaline
  • Nothing else matters – Metallica
  • All I have to do is dream – Everly Brothers
  • Better together – Jack Johnson
  • Even when I’m sleeping – Leonardo’s bride
  • Grow old with me – Tom Odell
  • All I want is you – U2
  • All of me – John Legend
  • Everlong – Foo Fighters
  • Have I told you lately that I love you – Van Morrison
  • Stand by me – Ben E King
  • To make you feel my love – Bob Dylan/Adele

Signing of the registry

The signing of the registry can take a few minutes, so having background music is a great idea. We will usually play through the song a number of times adding solos and repeating sections. Most of the songs from the list above will work here too. Here are some suggestions:

  • That’s all – Michael Buble
  • The way you look tonight – Tony Bennett
  • Romeo and Juliette – Dire Straits
  • One crowded hour – Augie March

Ceremony Conclusion (Recessional)

This song should have a bit more “zing” than the others. Something fun and up tempo works really well here. Some suggestions:

  • I’m a believer – The Monkees
  • Here comes the Sun – The Beatles
  • I gotta feeling – Black eyed Peas
  • My Girl – Temptations
  • You make my dreams come true – Hall and Oates
  • I feel good – James Brown
  • Home – Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
  • Sky full of stars – Cold Play

Wedding Songs | Reception

The really serious business is complete, and now it’s time to have some fun. But before the real fun stuff kicks off you need to have your first dance with your partner! Read on for our first dance and other wedding song tips.

Best wedding songs for first dance

It goes without saying that you should choose a song which is special to you and your partner. We know this can be easier said than done, so if you are having trouble choosing a song we have a few suggestions to get you started! We learn many many songs for weddings every year, so if you don’t see your favourite on this list please feel free to ask.

  • Everlong – Foo Fighters (acoustic version)
  • Perfect – Ed Sheeran
  • Thinkin’ out loud – Ed Sheeran
  • Dream Lover – Bobby Darin
  • Can’t help falling in love – Elvis Presley
  • XO – John Mayer
  • My Girl – Temptations
  • Never tear us apart – INXS
  • You are the best thing – Ray LaMontagne
  • Say you won’t let go – James Arthur
  • Moon Dance – Van Morrison
  • Wedding Song – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • You’re my best friend – Queen
  • Halo – Beyonce
  • At Last – Etta James

Best wedding songs for dancing

It’s party time! The formalities are done and dusted and the dance floor is filling up. You might not have any of these songs on your super hip spotify play list, but we can tell you from experience that these old and modern classics will get your party started. 

Remember that there will more than likely be a wide range of people at your wedding, from grandma and grandpa, down to little kids. So your song selection should reflect this and cover a wide range of styles and eras. The key theme should be FUN.

Classic Wedding Songs

  • Foot loose – Kenny Loggins
  • Twist and Shout – The Beatles
  • Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
  • I’m a believer – The Monkees
  • Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
  • The way you make me feel – Michael Jackson
  • I wanna dance with somebody – Whitney Houston
  • Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams
  • Proud Mary – CCR
  • Shake a tail feather – Ray Charles
  • Take on Me – Aha
  • Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
  • Faith – George Michael

Modern Classic Wedding Songs

  • Mr Brightside – The Killers
  • Shut up and dance  – Walk the moon
  • Castle on the Hill – Ed Sheeran
  • Wake me Up – Avicii
  • Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
  • Valerie – Amy Winehouse
  • I don’t care I love it – Charlie XCX
  • Firework – Katy Perry

Current Hits

  • One kiss – Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa
  • Solo – Clean Bandit
  • Flames – David Guetta & Sia
  • No tears left to cry – Ariana Grande
  • Remind me to forget – Kygo

Bogan Bangers (guilty pleasures)

  • Run to paradise – Choir Boys
  • Am I ever gonna see your face again? – Angels
  • 500 miles – Proclaimers
  • Horses – Daryl Braithwaite
  • The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
  • Khe sanh – Cold Chisel
  • Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  • You’re the voice – John Farnham

So there we have it, the Brightside guide to weddings songs in 2018. We hope you have found some of our suggestions helpful and we wish you all the best for your big day!  We have played all of the songs on this page at Melbourne weddings and they have all worked a treat. As always, you should feel free to totally ignore these suggestions – it’s your day!

Should You Hire an Acoustic Duo For Your Event in Melbourne?

Melbourne Acoustic Duo Brightside Duo corporate events

When searching for music for your special event one of the first questions you will probably ask yourself is “should I get a full band, a DJ or an acoustic duo?” While all these options can be fantastic choices here are some points to consider and possible advantages to going with the acoustic duo.

We are a Melbourne based acoustic duo for hire. We very often recommend our Acoustic Duo package for corporate events, birthday parties, day time weddings, and regular gigs at pubs & venues. And when we play larger events with our Electric and Acoustic Duo package or Full Band, we nearly always play at least one set of acoustic music.

PRICE

This is a pretty obvious one. It’s always going to be cheaper to book 2 people rather than 4, 5 or more. 

VARIETY

An acoustic duo is great if you are looking for mellow background music that is loud enough for everyone to enjoy but quiet enough so people can mingle and chat without having to yell at each other.  This is may not be possible with a full band as a drum kit tends to have only one volume – loud!

Don’t under estimate the energy of those acoustic guitars though. By simply cranking up the volume and performing some upbeat anthems a duo can quickly transform your event into an awesome party with everyone on the dance floor.  

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the diverse range of music and atmosphere an experienced acoustic duo can provide. We have played events with over 200 guests in attendance, which start out very mellow and end up as massive parties with everyone on the dance floor. With just our acoustic guitars!

FLEXIBILITY & ADAPTIBILTY

Having only two performers an acoustic duo generally doesn’t require much room to set up and can fit in most spaces whether it be a full-sized stage or the cramped corner of a café.  Therefore, when booking a venue, you generally won’t need to worry too much about the musicians having enough room like you would with a full-sized band.

It not just the number of musicians to consider either.  A full band also tends to require a lot more equipment than an acoustic duo, which in turn means they require even more space and a lot more times to set up and pack up. 

All in all, there are less logistical challenges to face with an acoustic duo meaning less stress for you and the venue staff and more time to enjoy your event and the music.

CONCLUSION

A full band, or Electric and Acoustic Duo is a great choice for a big event and I would certainly recommend these options if you have the space, budget, and volume isn’t and issue. But for a lot of events an acoustic duo may just be what you’re looking for! You can check out many videos of us performing as an acoustic duo here on our video and audio page.

5 Minute Guide to Wedding Music 2018

Brightside Duo Wedding band Melbourne

You’re getting married hey? Congratulations! Now all you have to do is organise an awesome event which reflects your personality, hopefully doesn’t send you broke, and that all your family and friends will be raving about for years to come. So, all you really need to worry about is (deep breath): The date, The venue, food & beverages, photographer, videographer, the guest list, invitations, seating plan (family politics), flowers, the wedding cake, the wedding dress, the suits, styling, budgeting, dieting, travel arrangements, accommodation, choosing a band…and the list goes on. Simple right?

Unfortunately we can’t help you with a lot of what we listed above. However, we can definitely help you with the music! We may be biased, but we think getting the music right will help enormously in making sure the whole event is a success. Read on for our Super Duper 5 Minute Guide To Wedding Music 2018!

Note: Rules are made to be broken – so please feel free to ignore all of our advice. It’s your wedding after all!

1. Structure/timing matters

Every wedding is unique and special right? This is true, BUT after playing at hundreds of weddings we can tell you that there are some universal guide lines which, if followed, could help your big day run smoothly.

Most wedding receptions in Australia will start at around 6pm and conclude around 11 or 11.30pm. In this period of time there are usually quite a few things that need to happen: Everyone has to eat, there needs to be introductions, speeches, cutting of cake, dancing, and farewells. And everyone has to have a great time!

Typically a band like us will approach the night in two halves (roughly speaking), the first half we are there to create atmosphere, play light dinner music, and more or less stay out of the way. The Second half of the night is very different, it’s PARTY TIME,  and your band or DJ needs to bring the party. Big Time. We commonly play 2 big party sets starting at around 9pm (of 45 minutes each) and play dance floor fillers in between with our DJ service.

See below for some “Golden Rules” for structuring your wedding reception.

Golden Rule 1.

You should  have all meals and formalities finished by 9pm. Then it is PARTY TIME. Your guests have been very polite and civilised for a few hours now, and you need to let them loose. Weddings are a celebration after all and you need at least two hours free from formalities to let the party roll on.

Golden Rule 2.

Do not do your first dance as soon as you enter. It’s too awkward, and the room hasn’t been “warmed up” enough yet. For most couples at least one of them is very nervous about the first dance, so we suggest doing it later in the night when everyone is a bit more relaxed (see golden rule 4 for more details). If you want to get something out of the way at the beginning of the reception we suggest cutting the cake might be a better option.

Golden Rule 3.

Speeches should go for a MAXIMUM of 30 minutes. You might have the most interesting speakers in the history of human kind. But guess what? Your guests do not care. If they go on too long, people lose interest. And it cuts into dancing time. Also, consider that people usually have been drinking alcohol for a couple of hours by now…so maybe use the capacity of the human bladder as your guide. 

Golden Rule 4.

You should start a dance bracket with your first dance (bridal dance). This is an excellent way to kick off the dance floor. Simply invite your guests to join you at the end of the bridal dance. It works every time! Note that this doesn’t have to be one of the last two sets which start at 9pm. Quite often there will be a short dance bracket directly following the speeches and first dance, which then leads into dessert. Having a short dance bracket like this actually works really well as a dance floor ice breaker before the party really gets going later in the night.

Golden Rule 5.

Have a farewell circle or similar. It’s a great moment of togetherness and an opportunity for you to thank your guests and vice versa. It’s also the only time some of your guests will set foot on the dance floor. If a farewell circle isn’t to your taste then don’t call it a farewell circle. Just get everyone on the dance floor for one last song!

Golden Rule 6.

The musicians you hire should work around what is happening at your event – not the other way around. This is particularly important early in the evening. You should never have to wait for your band or DJ to finish their set – it’s your wedding, not their gig. Ask your MC to coordinate with the band, and you’ll have no problem. Or even better, ask your band to MC

2. Pick a band or DJ that has wedding experience

Playing music at weddings is very different to playing gigs at the pub. I could go into all the reasons why, but this is a 5 minute guide, so you’ll just have to trust me. We have heard many stories of couples who have chosen their favourite local band only to find that even though they were a great band, they just weren’t right for the job (I have actually been in one of those exact bands when I was much younger, and it was terrible – we weren’t right for the job, and it became very obvious very quickly). They are quite often too loud, don’t have an extensive enough repertoire, or don’t understand how to structure their performance. If you choose an act with significant wedding experience (like us!) then you can rest assured that we know exactly what to do at your wedding and can adapt to nearly any situation that may arise on the night. We can even help you plan your running sheet if you would like some advice.

3. If you want your guests to dance then you need to dance too (just a little bit)

I don’t know if this needs much explanation. But when the bride and groom hit the dance floor, good things always happen. Even if you HATE dancing (we’ve seen some grooms who look like they’d prefer to be at the dentist than on the dance floor). But if you just make a small effort and dance to a song or two, it makes a big difference to the vibe. Seriously dude, just dance to one song.

4. By all means tell your band or DJ what music you like, but for the love of God, do not choose every single song.

This last rule might be hard to swallow for some. But I have some shocking news for you. Ready? You probably aren’t that good at choosing music. Sorry. Presuming that you have chosen a band/DJ with lots of experience, part of what you are hiring them for is their judgement. We ask our brides and grooms to choose a few DO and DON’T play songs from our list and then let us choose the rest on the night. The reason we do this, is because we have played at hundreds and hundreds of weddings and events, and we back our experience to play the right song at the right time. At most weddings there are people of all ages and with varying tastes in music – and your band needs to react to what is happening on the dance floor. A strict list of songs can be a severe hindrance to this process. We have had situations in the past where guests are begging us for a particular song and we can’t play it because the bride and groom have banned it. 

5. Make sure your band/DJ has lighting and professional equipment

Most bands and DJs have a lighting rig these days, but we’ve seen some pretty poor displays. Ask them about their lighting before you book and check out their photos online. Awesome party lights make a big difference to the atmosphere of your event. Also, ask your band if you can use their microphones for speeches. We provide a wireless mic for speeches, have top of the range lighting, and enough equipment for multiple set ups.

Conclusion

So there it is – the Brightside Duo 5 minute guide to wedding music 2018. Of course you should feel absolutely free to ignore all of our tips and advice. Rules were made to be broken! If you have some fresh ideas for your wedding music we’d love to hear them!

Get in touch today if you would like to discuss your wedding or event.

Should you hire a wedding MC?

Brightside Duo MC service

Well you may be surprised to know that there’s a whole lot more to it. In fact, the quality and experience of your MC can mean the difference between a smoothly run reception and a chaotic one! Read on to learn more.

The Role Of The Wedding MC

The pre-wedding planner

The duties of the MC get underway before the big day even arrives. They communicate with the bride & groom, the venue manager, wedding planner, and even family members/friends who may have special requirements for speeches or announcements. This often involves many emails/phone calls in the weeks leading up to wedding.

They make sure they have read the running sheet, familiarising themselves with the names of the bridal party for introductions, speeches and the various formalities occurring throughout the reception.

The wedding day organiser

A key difference between a professional MC and a family member or friend doing the MC duties is experience. We couldn’t tell you how many times we have seen an uncle or best friend who has agreed to take on the role of MC only to discover on the day they have bitten off more than they can chew. They spend the day running around stressed and nervous and are unable to enjoy themselves at all.

At the other end of the spectrum you get the MC who is oblivious to the importance of their role and their duties. This generally leads to everything running behind schedule with formalities having to be reorganised and rushed on the day.  Not something you want after many months of meticulous planning.

None of the above occurs when you use a professional MC who has worked at hundreds of weddings (like us!).  A lot goes on behind the scenes on the big day to make it run smoothly. A good MC is able to organise and liaise with venue management, the bridal party and guests to make sure this happens. They also need to be cool and calm under pressure as there is a lot to fit in during a short few hours and yes, the running order of formalities can sometimes change and unexpected events can arise that need to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. 

It should absolutely NOT be the role of the bride to be running around organising everybody on the day of her wedding. With a good MC at the helm, she can spend more time enjoying her special occasion.

So far, we’ve mainly covered all the behind the scenes responsibilities that the MC has. But, the part that most people think of when they think of an MC is the hosting and communication with the guests. This involves introducing/announcing formalities such as:

  • welcoming all the guests
  • house keeping announcements
  • introducing the bridal party
  • cutting the cake
  • speeches
  • Announcing the first dance
  • Garter/Bouquet toss
  • Farewells

All these formalities need to be communicated to the bridal party and guests in a clear and professional manner with a fun attitude.  It’s a party after all!

The last thing you want is a shy, awkward and sometimes overwhelmed friend or family member to be announcing all these important formalities. Even understanding seemingly small things like correct microphone techniques can make a huge difference.  A great MC can really set a fun and happy tone throughout the reception.

Conclusion

Now I know it looks like we’ve given the friend/family member who’s taken on MC duties a bad rap. But we’ve actually seen some excellent MCing done by first timers. Some people are just naturals. The simple aim of this article is to give you a deeper insight into how complex the role of the MC actually is.  And if you want the peace of mind knowing, after many months (sometimes years) of planning, that your wedding day will run smoothly, efficiently and with everyone having a great time then our suggestion is to go with a professional and experienced Master of Ceremonies.

See below for some random hints and tips you might want to consider when deciding whether or not to hire an MC.

  • If you decide to ask one of your guests to take care of the MC duties, they need to make sure they don’t get drunk early – it just doesn’t work. We’ve seen it before, and it’s not pretty. They can drink as much as they want after about 9pm when the dance floor kicks off – they won’t have much to do after that.
  • Your MC might say yes before the event (it is an honour after all) but when the big day rolls around it can be a very nerve wracking experience. The amount of times we’ve seen terrified MC’s sweating bullets before the event even begins is unbelievable. Make sure you aren’t ruining their day – seriously.
  • Just because your friend is funny and confident in everyday life that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be great at MCing. They should have at least some experience speaking in front of crowds, and using a microphone.
  • If you do decide to hire an MC your venue will love you. Whenever we let the venue know that we’ll be MCing the event they, without fail, respond with something like “Thank God”.  It makes it easier for everyone involved, including the venue/kitchen if you hire a professional MC.
  • Let your MC know that he or she should introduce themselves to the band at the start of the night. It is very likely that they will be using the band’s microphone for announcements, and will be coordinating with them throughout the night. A lot of bands (like us) will have a wireless mic for the MC to use.