www.xsp.co.uk
XS Promotions - The North of Scotland's Music & Entertainment SpecialistMember of the Agents' Association (Great Britain)
Jason Porter is Michael Buble
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OUR ARTISTS & ACTIVITIES
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The Ceremony
The Photographs
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& Wedding Bands

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To enquire about an artist or activity, please complete our ONLINE ENQUIRY FORM

Wedding Entertainment Specialists

From the wedding service through to the early hours of the morning we supply newly wed couples with a full array of entertainment to ensure that their big day goes smoothly and successfully from beginning to end. Provisional bookings can be made for your wedding via our BOOKING FORM. It is also a good idea to browse our Function & Wedding Bands pages where you may access the booking form again, but this time your favourite band is automatically included in the form as your first choice.

The Ceremony

A big moment in every couple's life - and one that is traditionally always accompanied with music in and out (and usually during) the wedding ceremony.

Although it is still fairly common to have church organ music playing for the ceremony, couples are increasingly choosing other forms of musical accompaniment.

Popular alternative musicians are harpists, pipers, violinists and classical guitarists. Couples who have larger numbers attending the ceremony may often opt for a classical duo consisting of cello and violin, or possibly a full string quartet if the budget allows.

For those who prefer the sound of the church organ, we have solo keyboard players who play for wedding ceremonies using an electronic keyboard with the full sound of a cathedral pipe organ. This is a particularly popular option for couples holding the ceremony in the hotel itself rather than at a church.

All these musicians are available prior to the event to discuss your exact musical requirements, and there are very few pieces of music that they would not be able to master given sufficient notice.

In addition to playing for the marriage ceremony, for an additional fee they will also provide background music during the period when photographs are being taken, and even continue creating subtle mood music during the meal if required.

The Photographs

The average time lapse between the end of the ceremony and the meal being served is at least two hours, and this is the most common misjudgement by people planning or holding wedding receptions. Although the couple, immediate family and relatives are fully occupied during this two-hour period being congratulated and having photographs taken, many of the other guests are often left at a loose end, particularly as many guests will not be familiar with the majority of other people attending the wedding.

This can often have a twofold effect:

1. People head to the bar, end up worse for bar before the meal has even started, have a big argument and end up in their beds by ten! OK, maybe only sometimes - but we've all been to weddings and we bet you can't deny this doesn't ring a few bells!

2. Seriously though, people can get bored; particularly those who do not wish to start drinking in the middle of the afternoon (and these people DO exist!), and even more particularly - KIDS! If you have any number of children at a wedding, we seriously recommend you have someone to entertain them during this period.

In our vast experience of booking wedding entertainment, this is the time when a wedding most needs something happening. Here is the type of entertainment we know works extremely well during this period:

Our close-up magicians wander around the guests performing to small groups of people, enlisting volunteers to partake in the tricks they perform. They use state-of-the-art magic with illusions that bring people together, get people talking and help break the ice. They are also able to do a thirty-minute illusion stage show if you wish.

A more recent addition to our team of entertainers is a caricaturist - and to say he has proved popular at weddings is an understatement.

Our caricaturist - or 'lightning cartoonist' as he is also known - is able to draw a comedy caricature of a person within minutes. Amazingly, over a two-hour period he can draw up to 80 caricatures of people who do not have even to sit down and pose for him.

Indeed, it is equally entertaining watching him in action drawing a caricature of a friend or relative, as you can imagine! And at the end of the day your guests will leave not only with happy memories of a great day, but also with a memento they can frame and keep forever as a reminder of your wedding day.

The Wedding Band

The one big thing you cannot afford to get wrong.

Imagine...A wonderful ceremony, beautiful sunny day, luxurious surroundings...And then the band is late (or doesn't turn up?) - plays the wrong music - is too loud - no one dances - guests start leaving...the whole day falls flat.

This could happen, and if there was ever a time to delegate one particular task, this is it.

Our extensive experience in the booking of wedding entertainment has made us fully aware of the traps people fall into when electing to book their own entertainment. So here's our suggested list of do's and don'ts! We don't mean to sound condescending in any way, as many of these points are self-evident. However it is better to be safe than sorry!

In our vast experience of booking wedding entertainment, this is the time when a wedding most needs something happening. Here is the type of entertainment we know works extremely well during this period:

DO book a band that can cater for a broad age group - and if you are getting married in Scotland, book one that can play at least a few Scottish dances. Even if you are not a fan of traditional Scottish music, remember that people often wear kilts at weddings - and consequently WILL want to do a Gay Gordon or a Strip The Willow at some stage during the evening.

DON'T book a band that only plays the style of music you like personally. We recall the sad tale of a couple that booked a jazz band (not through me) to play for the whole evening, as this was their personal taste in music. We'd guess that less than 1% of people in the UK population love jazz enough to listen to it from eight until midnight, and seemingly that evening ended in tears as 99% of the guests were found either propping up the snug bar or had gone home by ten.

DO book a band that has a successful track record playing at weddings. If they can't boast to have regularly played at most of the top wedding venues then they are not good enough to play for one of the biggest days of your life.

DON'T scrimp and save on the band. Time wise the band will take up a third of your wedding day, so arguably they should be paid a third of your total wedding budget! Fortunately this is not the case, but they are the mainstay of the wedding and therefore need to be very good. The average price of a top quality function band is between 900 and 1700, which is less than 10% of the total cost of the average Scottish Highland wedding. Be suspicious of any band offering their services for less - for obvious reasons.

DO make sure that you have the booking contractually confirmed.

DON'T be tempted into using a band that 'your cousin's best friend's auntie knows the drummer of'. There is the chance they may be just what you are looking for. There is a much bigger chance they're not. We have many very good bands on our books from all over Scotland, but only a select few that we consider suitable for a wedding.

DO try to make sure you see the band in a similar scenario - i.e. playing at someone else's wedding or at a function at a quality venue - before you book them. It is generally an accepted practice for newly wed couples to allow prospective couples to subtly 'put their head around the door' for a short while. We always arrange viewing for my clients, and both the band and the couple who are having the wedding are made aware that there will be couples in attendance for a short while at an appropriate time during the evening reception. Make sure you check out our 'Viewing the Wedding Band' page which has all you need to know about doing your homework on your chosen band in advance.

DON'T drag the band's playing time out too long. We recommend a maximum of four hours including a break, usually between 8pm and 12am. If you have a license until 1am, then we suggest using one of our DJ's to complement the band.

DO use a DJ with good PA and lighting. All our DJ's carry high quality sound and lighting equipment, a vast collection of older and more recent music, and liase carefully with the band so their choice of material during the evening does not clash. The DJ's lighting gives the room an extra dimension, whereas any lights that a band uses tend to be spots focused on the band themselves rather than the dance floor. Using a DJ also opens up a wider opportunity for people to have requests for songs played by either the band or the DJ.

DON'T hesitate to use the DJ before the band commences. We suggest the DJ plays some light background music from around 7.30pm, also plays during the band's break (usually when the evening buffet is served) and then plays the last hour for the evening guests and the daytime guests that manage to last the pace. If there are children at the wedding, the DJ is also able to arrange a few popular party games.
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