That’s entertainment! An A to Z guide of Scotland’s best offerings

Wedding entertainment comes in all shapes and sizes – your job is to find something that lifts the mood, breaks the ice and makes everyone happy. Easy, eh? Amy Shearer takes a trip through the alphabet to get you started…

couple with banger sign at weddingThis wedding captured by Pocket Square Photography definitely passed the vibe check

A is for…acoustic versions 

Putting an acoustic spin on your favourite songs is a great way to personalise your day, and it works for energetic reception music just as much as it does for heart-warming and emotional wedding processions. Dynamic duo Kaleidoscope promise to bring a magical quality to your day, as Paolo’s skilful strumming pairs beautifully with Lauren’s soulful vocals. You have control over the ceremony songs, so you can pick those that mean the most to you.

C is for…cracking ceilidhs

Is it really a Scottish wedding without a Strip the Willow or a Gay Gordons? We think not. If you’re looking for authentic and awesome entertainment with a twist, the Bass Rock Ceilidh Band has you covered. Their electric guitars and drums add an exciting, modern element to traditional music, making them a top addition to your w-day line-up. 

D is for…DJ

Nothing beats dancing the night away with your nearest and dearest to a non-stop playlist of your favourite tunes. The Anti Wedding Wedding DJs will have a chat with you before your day, so you can give them some direction about which discs they should be spinning to keep you and your guests happy. They say they offer an award-winning five-star service with record bags filled with party jams. Now that sounds sweet!

Duo of singers with guitar and DJ in booth with disco lights
Kaleidoscope (left) and Anti Wedding Wedding DJs (captured on the right by Caro Weiss) both know how to get the party going!

E is for…‘everyone’s happy!’

‘It’s our wedding so it should be our kind of music all night, right?’ Hmm, perhaps only if you want the whole dancefloor to yourselves too – the two of you might be alone out there. Better to find a balance between the stuff you love and the kind of thing that’ll appeal to the widest possible range of guests. Chat to your band or DJ about who’ll be there (think ages, personalities and interests) and ask them for a mix that’ll delight everyone most of the time.

F is for…a flexible line-up 

Many entertainers have multiple strings to their bow (see what we did there?). A group like WooHoo Band can customise their line-up to suit your needs: “Whether you want a smaller, intimate ensemble for the cocktail hour or a larger band for the main reception, we can adjust our group size accordingly to create the right ambience at different points throughout your event,” says Liz Rohde. “We can also incorporate interactive elements like singalongs and dance-offs to get your crowd rocking.”

G is for…getting ahead

The most popular musicians and entertainers are often booked up years in advance, so if you see someone you like and they’re available, make a move! In most cases, you’ll be able to secure your booking with a deposit, so you can have the band of your dreams in the diary without you having to fork out the full cost up front. A Spotify playlist is always a fallback option if you’ve run out of time, but nothing really matches the power and pleasure of hearing great music played live.

H is for…harpist

Picked a classy, elegant venue? You need equally chic and sophisticated entertainment – and for that a harpist fits the bill, especially someone like the award-winning Sam MacAdam: “People usually book me for a mixture of the ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast, but I can play at any point,” she says. “I have over 1,000 pieces of music at my fingertips, and I’m constantly learning new songs as I can arrange and learn anything for a ceremony.”

Left: Sam MacAdam can play just about anything on the harp – classical, folk, Frank Ocean, you name it… Right: Start off the party right – Marshali Scott Music gets the room going!

I is for…Ibiza vibes

Missing the breezy upbeat vibe of an Ibiza summer party? Well, book Marshali Scott Music for your wedding and it’ll feel like you’re back on the White Isle. The super-talented sax player promises to bring “class and a bit of sass” to your do, before or during the ceremony or accompanying the drinks reception. Her energetic performances guarantee a fun-filled atmosphere that’ll get everyone in the mood for good times.

K is for…keeping to schedule

 As well as playing music, a DJ like Stuart Maclennan of Fresh Entertain­ments
can act as your MC (master of ceremonies). He can be on hand to introduce the newlyweds, make announcements and coordinate various parts of the day. “This saves you having to book a separate MC and ensures a smooth flow to proceedings,” he says. “All-day packages are very popular and give you complete peace of mind.”

Champion of Magic Billy Reid will blow you and your guests away on the big day!

M is for…magician 

Your wedding day is already pretty magical, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add another layer of thrills to the whole experience. Scottish champion of magic Billy Reid believes his tricks and sleight of hand will be enjoyed by everyone from your nine-year-old niece to your 90-year-old nana. “As well as being brilliantly entertaining, magic also acts as an ice-breaker to get people laughing and talking, thus helping to create a brilliant atmosphere at a wedding.”

N is for…national pride

There really is nothing quite like the skirl of the pipes, is there? If you’re looking to give a nod to your Scots heritage, you’ll want to enlist a top-class bagpiper – someone like Jason Faulkner, who has been playing the pipes for over 20 years. He’ll pipe you and your guests in and play during the ceremony or at other points in the day, and his stirring music will fill you with pride. 

Left: Stuart from Fresh Entertainments shows how it’s done (Photo by Anna Laska) Right: Jason Faulkner plays the pipes in full regimental regalia

P is for…photobooth

Looking for a way to capture all your amazing memories? A photobooth will do just that, and provide fabulous entertainment in the process. “Our photobooth comes loaded with props for magnificent, memory-making photos,” says Douglas, owner of Oot n Aboot Photography. “We can cater for any outdoor space (indoor too, if we can fit) and operate in all weathers.” 

R is for…requests

Requests are one way to be certain you hear your favourite songs on the night, but your band are the best judge of whether they’ll work for the crowd. “We usually email our couples in advance to ask for some requests from our repertoire, but the advice is to keep this to ten tracks or fewer – if there’s too many on the list, it can be difficult to juggle them,” explains Dee McLaren from Splendid Gentlemen. “We also take requests on the night from the crowd, as that’s sometimes the easiest way to get them up on the dance floor.” 

Left: Make sure your guests are photo-ready for Oot and Aboot’s offering! Right: Wow-worthy waiting staff can surprise guests – a perfect addition to your entertainment

S is for…streaming services

If you’re going to stream music at any point in the day, make sure there are no ads between the tracks – imagine some voice interrupting your walk down the aisle to tell your guests about getting money off their next toilet roll purchase… Likewise, it is worth checking with your venue about what type of connection there is to the PA system. You don’t want to turn up and realise your phone or device won’t work with it. It goes without saying that all batteries should be fully charged, especially if you plan to dance the night away.

T is for…try it out

Choosing your entertainment is a big decision. That’s why many bands and musicians let potential customers see them in action before you book. Do your research and try to see them perform as much as you can. Are they playing a gig at the local pub? Go along for a nosey. Have they announced they’ll be at the Scottish Wedding Show or a venue open day? Pencil it into your diary. Seeing someone play live and hearing how they interact with an audience can make all the difference.

Want trad music that’ll blow you away? Book the Bass Rock Ceilidh Band!

W is for… wow-worthy waiters It might not be as much of a shock as it once was, but you’ll still surprise and amuse your guests with a troupe of singing waiters. The ‘Secret Serenader’ from Dynamix Productions always gives a polished performance that your friends and family will still be chuckling over for years to come.

Y is for…young ones  A wedding can be a long day for wee people, so if you’re inviting a crew of youthful guests, why not provide entertainment for them too? So long as you’re okay with sharing your day with another princess, Wish Upon a Star Entertainment has loads of characters from Disney to Marvel who’ll come to your celebrations to keep the whole gang happy. Don’t be surprised if the adults steal a selfie too! 

Wish Upon a Star can ensure wee ones are suitably entertained!