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How to Make Music the Feature of Your Cocktail Hour Entertainment

By Kevin McCall on September, 3 2020
Kevin McCall

Highlighting Music During Cocktail Hour At Your Wedding

Your ceremony was beautiful. You both said “I do,” in front of friends and family, but now they have some down time before reception. How do you keep your guests entertained until then? Music during your cocktail hour can help set the mood and maintain excitement throughout the day. 

Continuation Of The Ceremony

It’s common to have a live musician perform during your ceremony. A harpist or string duo serenading you and loved ones down the aisle can set the tone for a very special moment. When considering how your ceremony will flow into your cocktail hour, having these musicians continue to play into cocktail hour will create a thread of continuity. It’s a continuation of light background music played during your ceremony, and would aid in a smooth transition for your guests. 

Check out two Mole Street Artists that are more than capable of handling all ceremony and cocktail hour needs: 

 

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Elizabeth Steiner

Since 2013, Elizabeth Steiner has been the harpist for the luxury hotel, The Rittenhouse, in Philadelphia and has spent her summers performing at the Siena Music Festival in Siena, Italy and the Saratoga Harp Colony in Saratoga Springs, New York. With over ten years of professional freelance experience, Elizabeth has a wide selection of music at her disposal and is comfortable in any setting playing any style of music. By taking your vision of a perfect repertoire and event details, she will ensure a performance of complete satisfaction.

 

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Harvey Strings

Playing together professionally since 1994, cellist Cassia Harvey and violinist/violist Myanna Harvey combine dynamic original arrangements and compositions with traditional classical music to offer a truly unique selection of music. Both Cassia and Myanna actively promote classical music to the younger generation, feeling compelled to create an audience for the musicians of the future. Harvey Strings has been performing for wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours and receptions in the Philadelphia area for over fifteen years. With carefully chosen music, the ensemble will add the beautiful sound of stringed instruments to make your special day truly extraordinary!

Sophisticated Jazz Entertainment For Cocktail Hour

Choosing a jazz group for your cocktail hour entertainment is always a classy move. It’s traditionally low in volume and easy listening while guests sip on their drinks. Seasoned jazz artists are self-contained and can perform acoustically in almost any setting like a garden, veranda or metropolitan rooftop. Mole Street Artists’ roster consists of numerous Philadelphia based jazz musicians like the Vance Camisa Quartet or Luke O’Reilly’s Soul Trio

 

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Vance Camisa Jazz Quartet

The Vance Camisa Jazz Quartet strives for the best in swing and bebop. They draw heavily on the standards of the 1930s and 1940s, recreating the polished sounds and foot-tapping rhythms of the heyday of jazz. The ensemble will transport you to the glory days of New York’s famous 52nd Street clubs, without any hint of sounding dated or self-conscious. The quartet’s fluidity, enthusiasm for their art and ease with their uncompromised playing style prove the timelessness of good, heartfelt jazz. Hearing the Vance Camisa Jazz Quartet helps one understand why America’s only true art form has sustained universal appeal across the generations.

 

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Luke O’Reilly’s Soul Trio 

Colombian native Luke Carlos O’Reilly was born with a passion for music. In 2011, Luke independently released his debut solo album, ‘Living In The Now’. The album featured several of his own compositions, as well as a few arrangements on some popular standards. Playing with Luke on the album are several of Philadelphia and Brazils finest musicians. The album has nearly sold out. Luke's love for jazz and soul has elevated him to be one of the few consistently in demand pianists and keyboard players in the Philadelphia area. Whether performing as a soloist or a trio, Luke brings a soulful vibe to any atmosphere

Segue Into Your Wedding Reception

Music is one of the most natural ways you can nudge your guests to physically move from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception. If you are planning to have a DJ at your reception, have them perform at cocktail hour too. Your DJ can find appropriate music for this setting or you can curate a personalized playlist. We recommend any of your favorite acoustic-based songs that attendees will recognize. Acts like Joao Gilbert, Simon & Garfunkel, John Mayer or any other related artists like this would be a perfect fit. It’s best to have this playlist organized and submitted to your DJ before the big day so they can mix the songs together so the music is on a loop. 

Check out two DJ’s on the Mole Street Artists roster that can soothe the soul during cocktail hour and also provide an energized set during reception: 

 

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DJ Hurricane LaRue

Hurricane LaRue is taking the world by storm. As a Philadelphia native with the heart and soul of an old school vinyl DJ and the creativity of a modern day “controllerist," he couples traditional vinyl use with new electronic forms, blending them as harmoniously as he does in the music he creates. He has displayed musical talents at the Firefly Music Festival and major celebrity events with 50 Cent, Key & Peele, Method Man, and Christina Milian, while also being featured as the Celebrity DJ on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line.

Hurricane LaRue provides entertainment to guests from around the world including corporate clients such as Sephora, Macy's, and H&M. From making waves on cruise ships to turning up weddings, corporate events, grand openings and celebrity affairs, LaRue is a versatile and charismatic professional.

 

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DJ Oluwafemi

When you combine classic rhythms, soul, and funk with world fusions you get the DJ vibe of Femi. As a Nigerian artist and well-known performer on the International club scene, Oluwafemi has created an electric combination that brings high energy excitement to audiences across the US, Africa and Europe. A DJ and visual artist, Oluwafemi's musical influences include Nigerian artists such as Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade and Fela Kuti. Drums, patterns, and the rhythmic evolution of repetition are woven into Oluwafemi's African-inspired musical style and visual explorations.

Placement Is Key

Music plays a vital role in moving your guests through the phases of your wedding. For example, placing a jazz trio in the venue’s garden can act as a liaison to welcome attendees into a new area to shuffle events along naturally. Just be sure you leave enough spare time for musicians to set up their gear if they are set to perform in a separate later on. 

Spice up your venue’s approach to music with these fun alternatives to artist placement: 

  • Set up the DJ booth in the reception area with the doors wide open to invite your guests to move from cocktail hour to reception
  • Surround sound: Talk with the venue about options for piping music into speakers. If this isn’t an option, your artist may be able to bring additional gear with them to ensure the music reaches everyone’s ears.
  • Start the party early: Set up your musicians near an open span of grass or dance floor to get people’s feet moving before the reception even begins.

Curate The Music For Your Big Day

You want to personalize your wedding your way. Talk to your wedding coordinator about how you can implement these significant, little moments to make for an elegant cocktail hour. For more direction for your wedding cocktail hour music, contact Senior Talent Buyer, Sean Timmons today.

 

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