Today we thought we’d talk you through a wedding we had at the amazing venue at Colshaw Hall Country Estate, in Cheshire, just outside of Peover. We had the pleasure of playing for Kristina and Chris, who booked us after coming to see us at the Nantwich Jazz and Blues festival. It’s one of our favourite festivals to play as it’s usually a bit chaotic, but in a good way - it means everyone is up for some live music, and it’s a good way of judging how everyone will be at a wedding! Colshaw Hall is such a great venue for any Wedding band in Cheshire to play as it's got a stage too!
We arrived around 12 midday in gorgeous blazing sunshine as Kristina and Chris had booked us to play acoustically during the daytime too. As it was so sunny, we spoke with the venue and decided it was best for us to set up outside as people would want to enjoy the rays! I was suffering with ‘quite bad’ hayfever (I was probably over-exaggerating for the camera!) but it felt nice to be able to play outside!
As we had left plenty of time to set up and soundcheck, we decided to record a quick cover of ‘American Boy’ by Estelle and Kanye West. We managed to find some shade just near the doors, but we decided to keep our sunglasses on, being the cool kids we are! It seemed to take a few takes, as our guitars took a couple of minutes to stay in tune - guitars do not like bright sunshine and heat! We learned to leave a bit of extra time to let them settle in to hot conditions after this gig.
After a successful take of the song, we had a quick preview of the main room where the wedding breakfast was. It looked absolutely stunning with the decor, and was a welcome relief from the heat of the sun outside! There were some stunning flowers on every table that really set the tables off, and there were wedding favours for each guest which looked awesome.
We had a quick look at where we’d be setting up for the evening whilst we were in the room as well. Colshaw Hall has a stage for bands and DJs, and we’re always excited to have a stage as it kind of releases our inner rockstars haha. We found a mysterious speaker lying by the side of the stage, which raises Tony to ask the question ‘Is there a DJ tonight too?’ as nothing had been mentioned to us previously - we’ll come back to this mystery later on!
Shortly after, guests began to arrive from the ceremony area, so we got into place and began our acoustic sets. We always like to start with mellower songs for the drinks reception and ‘build up’ as we go on. This gives people a chance to chat without us being intrusively loud, and helps set the atmosphere for the rest of the day. A classic start to our set is ‘Easy’ by The Commodores followed by ‘Sunday Morning’ by Maroon 5 - we add in some live lounge style guitar solos to give these songs our own twist, too.
It was amazing to see guests out enjoying the sunshine on the lawn, and it was one of those moments where we took a moment in between songs to appreciate what we do. Seeing people smiling, enjoying the music and the sunshine (and maybe a few alcoholic summer drinks) really makes us feel lucky and privileged to do what we do! Towards the end of our acoustic set, we livenend things up a little as this matched the atmosphere of the guests as we could see people singing along (rather quietly at this point though, compared to later on!)
Quite often, we like to try out jazzy, live lounge style versions of our songs in our main set during the daytime to see how they might be received later on in the evening. For example, we played the classic ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ by Van Morrison with this laid back jazzy style, and it went down really well, so we knew to play it later on in the evening, as it will only get better when it’s the full band!
We had a quick break after around an hour or so as we were going to play some songs for the wedding breakfast, too. After some much needed water and shade, we moved our acoustic setup indoors and decided to set things up near the stage as we’d be closer to where we’d need to be later on!
It was at this point that we discovered the secrets of the mystery speaker from earlier - it turned out to be someone from The Undercover Waiters limited! We quickly liaised with them about when they would be starting to make sure that we wouldn’t clash with their sets, and then began our final acoustic set as everyone came into the cool main room. Luckily the venue had made the decision to keep the curtains closed most of the day before the guests came which kept the room nice and cool!
We carried on our sets after we’d been called in with some more chilled out versions of songs to play later on during the day. We started off with ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ by Justin Timberlake, which again went down really well so was added into the sets for the evening! We quickly paused as the bride and groom were announced into the room - the cheers were deafening and it was great to see them have such an amazing reception! Tony also decided to go a bit crazy too haha.
Tony played a couple more songs whilst I did some filming round the room, as we thought the room was too good not to share! We then departed, as The Undercover Waiters were due to start not too long after we finished, and we didn’t want to spoil the surprise. Unfortunately I don’t think we managed to get any footage of these guys, but it went down a treat, and got everyone in the party mood for later on in the evening!
We found the green room after our final acoustic set, which was helpfully labelled! We had a real rock and roll experience - we made cups of tea, and ITV2 was showing The Lord of the Rings Return of the King so we kicked back for a moment to watch that! Such a great film!
Shortly after, our drummer Jon arrived to set up for the evening. It was quite a quick room turnaround, but luckily we’re experienced with these things! We did a lightning quick setup as the load in was really close, and soundcheck was really easy, even though it’s quite a big room at Colshaw Hall! Our speakers coped really well and we really appreciated the fact that we invested the time and research to find a really good quality PA.
Krystina and Chris had also booked a toastmaster for the day which was awesome. A toastmaster can be unbelievably helpful in helping everything run smoothly for your day, and we would definitely recommend booking one if you have the budget. A good toastmaster will make sure everything runs to time, as well as being an excellent way of communicating and coordinating your suppliers throughout the day. They will help start off speeches, greet your guests and make them feel welcome, and also take care of any important announcements throughout the day, such as welcoming you into the ceremony room, cutting the cake, and introducing you for your first dance.
‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King was Krystina and Chris’s first dance choice. Their toastmaster welcomed them onto the dance floor and we began the song with everyone gathered round. Krystina and Chris had mentioned they were a little nervous about doing their first dance (which is not uncommon!) However, on our phone call prior to the wedding we reassured them that we wouldn’t leave them on the dance floor on their own for too long! After the first chorus, we asked friends and family to join them on the dance floor, and it was soon packed with people dancing away with their loved ones.
After the first dance finished, we could just tell everyone was ready for a party! We kicked off the set with Valerie by Amy Winehouse, which got all ages dancing along, and it was non-stop from there on! We continued the first set with the full versions of songs we’d played during the daytime and it worked really well, as we know these are songs that are guaranteed to get people dancing and singing away!
Krystina and Chris had opted for our 3 x 40 minute set option on the phone call as they wanted the best spread of music throughout the night. Splitting our sets this way allows us to play a set after the first dance to get everyone warmed up and ready to go, with 2 sets for later on in the night still to go! This gives everyone a chance to have some more drinks, socialise and catch up with each other, as well as leaving time for food.
Our playlist in between sets kept everyone dancing whilst we had a quick break while the food was brought out. We always recommend not having a set at the same time as food - as hungry guests will leave the dancefloor! We also try to consider people digesting their food, which sounds silly but most people don’t want to get up and dance after they’ve just eaten! We usually recommend having our later sets an hour after food is brought out.
Our second set went even better than the first, and we bust out some more awesome songs that Krystina and Chris had enjoyed at our Nantwich Jazz and Blues gig! We had a very quick break after our second set to catch our breath before the last set - with some Spice Girls on the playlist which went down a treat!
Soon it was time for our third and final set, and we went all out for this one! We bust out the indie rock tunes like Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand, classic party tunes like Shut Up and Dance and our ‘Get Lucky medley’ which includes some Eminem, as well as ‘Faithless’ by Insomnia! The dance floor was packed all the way up until our final song, which was ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ by Oasis - this is such a great finishing tune for your wedding, and the crowd had a huge sing along moment during the last chorus which we loved!
The lights came on as we finished, and as much as we loved playing loads of encores, we knew the venue wanted us to finish! After a quick breather, we began the packdown process, which is usually around 30 minutes to get everything gathered up and ready to go home! We took a moment after we finished to appreciate how lucky we were to play for this amazing celebration for the lovely Krystina and Chris at Colshaw Hall!