18 May 2018 Admin

Ceilidh Band Wedding Guide

Are you thinking of hiring a Live Ceilidh Band for your Wedding? 

Music for Scotland have put together the ultimate guide explaining everything you need to know when it comes to hiring a Live ceilidh wedding band and we explain the top reasons why you should hire a ceilidh wedding band for your wedding reception. 

What is a Ceilidh? 

Where better to start than to explain to you don't already know what a ceilidh is. 

A Ceilidh is a social event with Scottish or Irish folk music singing and traditional dancing done through storytelling. In this case we are talking about ceilidh weddings of course. 

A cèilidh (pronounced ‘kay-lee’) is a social dance, usually accompanied by a live band – a staple of many Scottish and Irish weddings, but becoming increasingly popular in the rest of the UK as we

A ceilidh is a staple of many Scottish and Irish wedding, however is now becoming more and more popular across the UK as a whole. One of the main reasons for the growth in popularity and why ceilidh's have remained in Scottish weddings for years are that they are so much fun! 

If you are planing the wedding entertainment for your wedding hiring a live ceilidh band for your party could be the best choice you make. 

What is a Ceilidh Band & What do they do?

Okay now that we know what a ceilidh is lets get onto the ceilidh wedding band themselves. 

What is a ceilidh band? 

A Ceilidh wedding band are sure to get people on their feet and dancing to jigs, reels, hornpipes, slides and polkas. ceilidh's are entertaining, super interactive, and great for breaking the ice for all your wedding guests. 

Instead of hiring a DJ or a solo singer a Ceilidh band is the perfect alternative. It is a fun way to get families, friends and colleagues to mix and meet, and all age groups love to get involved, a sure fire way of making tour party a huge success! 

There are types of ceilidh dances for everyone both young and old(er). The faster dances provide quite an energetic work out whilst more relaxed romantic songs provide plenty of scope for slow dances, perfect for your more experienced guests. 

Popular Ceilidh Dances

Your ceilidh band will be able to play all of the most popular ceilidh dances including; 

  • Strip the Willow
  • The Big Set Mixer
  • Bridge of Athlone
  • The Oxo Reel
  • La Rouse
  • The Circassian Circle
  • Rebecca’s Roundabout
  • Cottagers Jig
  • Cumberland Square 8
  • Dashing White Sergeant
  • The Gay Gordons
  • Eightsome Reel
  • St Bernard’s Waltz
  • Canadian Barn Dance
  • Pride of Erin Waltz

Should you have a ceilidh at your wedding?

Deciding if you would like a ceilidh band at your wedding for some people is really straight forward, YES! However for those that are unsure if hiring a live wedding ceilidh band is the best thing for them there are a couple of options. 

Ceilidhs are great fun but they’re not everyone's cup of tea.

Start by asking yourself a few questions...

Do you only want a Ceilidh Band Performing?

There are some amazing ceilidh bands out there that will offer up a full evening of ceilidh dancing for your wedding party. You should consider if this is what you want. These types of ceilidh only evenings can be exhausting, especially for the guests that have been at your wedding for the full day. Ask yourself how much energy you and your guests will have for a full evening of jigs and reels after the rest of your special day has passed. 

Do you want mostly ceilidh music at your party?

Another option is to find a band that does mostly ceilidh with a little bit of cover songs here and there With this option you are likely to get a band that will do a few cover songs but it won’t be their focus. Most likely, their repertoire for cover songs will not be very extensive (though there will be exceptions).

How about half ceilidh music and half cover songs?

If you’d like a 50/50 mix of ceilidh music and covers, your options for hiring a band will likely be more limited. Finding a wedding band that has a large selection of music choices for both covers and ceilidh can be a little more difficult, which is important to bear in mind when planning your wedding entertainment. 

The Perfect Sprinkling of ceilidh music?

In 2018, this is where the majority of wedding bands are these days, a huge selection of all your favourite cover songs but they’ll be able to provide anywhere from 5 - 10 ceilidh dances. Generally those dances include the most well known ceilidh dances such as; The Gay Gordons, Strip The Willow, The Dashing With Sergeant and a Canadian Barn Dance, Perfect! If you are looking for a ceilidh and covers band in Glasgow then we have you well covered. 

Top Questions - What to ask your Ceilidh Band? 

Now that you have decided on hiring a live ceilidh wedding band for your wedding party entertainment, here are a few important questions to ask the wedding band you decide on!

How long do you play ceilidh songs for?

It is Important to ensure the band can play enough ceilidh music to keep your dance floor filled all night long.... and on the ceiling too. 

How many ceilidh dances do you do?

You don’t want the same ceilidh dance over and over again right? Ask how many different dances they know how to preform.

Do you call (teach) the ceilidh dances?

Some of your guests may know the most popular ceilidh dances, the majority probably won’t. Be sure to ask if the ceilidh band can teach your guests the routine or you could have an empty dance floor, oops! 

Are you a "live" ceilidh wedding band?

Maybe not an issue for some but others will want a 100% live ceilidh wedding band. This means everything you hear is being played by a musician, not a backing track. For some, this might not be an issue but be sure to ask the band how they perform their ceilidh music section of the evening. 

Consider your Wedding Venue for a Ceilidh!

Be sure to ask your wedding venue, or check it out for yourself to make sure there’s enough room to have a ceilidh band as your entertainment for the evening. Other things to think about are; 
  1. the shape of the dance floor, does it suit ceilidh dancing? 
  2. where the tables are likely to be located (can these be moved?)
  3. Is there enough room for the whole ceilidh band?
Your wedding venue coordinator should be able to help you with this and make sure to ask them if they’ve held ceilidhs in the past. If there has never been a ceilidh at the venue you’re considering, there is probably a reason for this. 

What time to kick of your wedding ceilidh? 

What time should the ceilidh part of your wedding start at? When it comes to the set list order we’d always advise you leave up to the band but we thought we’d share this golden piece of advice,
We would suggest starting the ceilidh after your first dance. Yip, you read that right, dive straight into the ceilidh dancing early in your evening entertainment. We find that running one or two songs right at the beginning of the night just sets things off on the right direction and puts everyone in the a really good mood, as well as that it makes all of your guests interact with each other setting a perfect tone for the rest of the night. 
Wedding Ceilidhs are the perfect way to start your night of wedding entertainment. 

Ceilidh Band Wedding Guide 

We hope you have enjoyed our Ceilidh Band Wedding Guide for 2018 . We have answered some of the most important questions and considerations for “should you have a ceilidh at your wedding?”
As always this is your special day and the most important thing to remember here is that the decision is yours, we can only offer or industry know how! 
If you need anymore advice when it comes to wedding ceilidh bands then get in touch with Music for Scotland today and we will do our best to help you make the decision that is right for your wedding entertainment!