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What are wedding singers?
Wedding singers provide delightful live music for wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions. With bespoke sets, perfect for creating a beautiful atmosphere at your wedding, they are often very flexible offering the option to sing at both the wedding ceremony and drinks reception, for example, as well as the evening reception.
Sophisticated, understated, or show-stopping, there are a wide range of wedding singers from which to choose, depending on the feel you’d like to create for your big day – from Rat Pack and swing singers, and singer-pianists, to soul singers, opera singers, and powerful gospel choirs.
Wedding singers can perform your chosen music throughout your wedding day at key moments like:
- the prelude (before the bride’s arrival)
- the processional (as the bride walks down the aisle)
- throughout the ceremony itself
- during the signing of the register
- the recessional (as the newlyweds make their first charge down the aisle as a married couple)
- the drinks reception
- the wedding breakfast
- the first dance
- and the start of your evening party
What music will a wedding singer play?
Whatever musical style you choose, wedding singers have an extensive list of music and vast experience, able to work with you closely to create the perfect soundtrack to your big day. They can easily adapt their repertoire to suit the mood you’d like to evoke, and some offer the option to learn a special song for you if they feel they can do it justice. You can browse each singer’s repertoire on their online profile page.
Depending on the style of artist you choose, wedding singers will either stick to their ‘genre’ or perform a variety of music from a wide range such as classical, jazz, and contemporary chart songs, to reflect the mood at various points in your wedding day. A typical repertoire might feature artists such as:
When you’re considering the musical vibe you’d like to create on the big day, it’s worth trying to envisage how you think you and your family and friends will be feeling. Before the ceremony, you might like to opt for light, relaxing music to settle those nerves. For the processional, you might opt for something emotional and meaningful, that will give you goosebumps as you walk down the aisle – or something fun to reflect you and your partner’s personalities! After the vows, you could choose light, romantic music for the signing of the register. Once the formalities of the ceremony are completed, you could select something fun, uplifting and joyful for your recessional, as you and your partner walk up the aisle together to the rapturous applause of your friends and loved ones. Now you can breathe – it’s celebration time!
Perhaps you’d like your drinks reception to be fun and light-hearted? Your singer could perform your favourite, pre-selected romantic chart hits in a jazz style, for example. They can also entertain during the wedding breakfast, and you might like to consider something that will work as ambient background music so that your guests can still enjoy each other’s company at the table. You can also opt for your wedding singer to perform your special song for the all-important first dance, when all eyes will be on the happy couple. They can then open up the dance floor to your guests, getting the party well and truly started!
Popular types of wedding singers
1. Rat Pack and swing singers
A Rat Pack and swing singer will cover Rat Pack favourites including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior, and Dean Martin, as well as American classics and modern pop in a swing style. Charismatic performers, they’ll often croon over high-quality backing tracks, making them a relatively inexpensive choice.
2. Vintage singers
Performing a beautiful repertoire of charming classics from bygone eras, as well as modern classics in a retro style, these singers can build the perfect atmosphere for your glamourous vintage-style wedding. Whether you choose the class of the ‘20s, the romance of the ‘40s or the fun of the ‘50s, our vintage singers will wow your wedding guests with a range of popular retro music, and many will even dress in the styles of the era they’re representing, for the complete, full-impact package. You can choose from rock and roll, jazz, close harmony groups and much more!
3. Jazz singers
A jazz singer can be a great option for weddings, offering a wide range of styles – from mellow, sultry and sophisticated, to lively and upbeat love songs. Most Jazz singers will cover contemporary pop songs in a jazz style too. Featuring music from artists like Nina Simone, Louis Armstrong, Jamie Cullum, Michael Bublé, Norah Jones and Madeleine Peyroux.
The warmth of an acoustic guitar coupled with a singer’s soulful voice, can bring a wonderfully tender, unstuffy ambiance to your wedding day. Singer-guitarists are very adaptable, able to perform a wide range of musical styles to keep your guests entertained. You could walk down the aisle to a romantic acoustic refrain and then enjoy your post-ceremony drinks tapping your toes to covers of contemporary chart songs and songs from your favourite musicals, all from just one singer-guitarist!
Singer-pianists can create either a tranquil and intimate mood or a dramatic, formal ambiance. With repertoires covering a range of musical styles and artists, from Debussy to Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein to John Legend, their flexibility in style and tone can provide the perfect music to suit your wedding day.
6. Solo singers
Solo singers will usually perform over high-quality backing tracks. Some will perform in one particular style, with many solo singers offering a variety of musical styles to create the perfect mood for your wedding. You can choose from classical, or vintage sets, relaxed jazz, swing and easy-listening sets, or energetic party sets.
7. Classical/opera singers
If you want something show-stopping at your wedding, the incredible sound and sensation of an operatic singer will amaze! Fantastic for larger wedding venues, classical opera singers have the ability to adapt their voice to any venue. They will perform a range of beautiful songs that most of your guests will recognise, ranging from operatic arias or refrains from classical musicals, and will often perform operatic pop – popular songs in an operatic style. Think Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson and Lesley Garrett.
8. Choirs and gospel choirs
Whether you’re having a church wedding or a civil ceremony, the heartfelt, jubilant sound of a choir or a gospel choir can take your breath away. With spiritual foundations, lush harmonies, and effervescent performances, together with their visual impact, a gospel choir can be striking and stirring. Either performing a capella or accompanied by instruments, they offer a broad repertoire too, covering traditional gospel music and religious hymns, to soul, jazz, swing, and blues, to classical, rock and arrangements of current chart tracks. You can choose your choir’s line-up, in accordance with the space available at your wedding venue and how relaxed or how impressive you want your sound to be!
Please note that if you’re planning a civil ceremony you will need to ensure your choir music has no religious references. Our Entertainment Coordinators can help guide you in this or check out our 'Civil Ceremony Music Ideas' article here
Where in the UK do Alive wedding singers perform?
Always popular, our top wedding singers perform at locations across the UK and internationally. The most common UK-based locations are:
- West Midlands
- North Yorkshire
- Greater Manchester
- East Sussex
Is a wedding singer suitable for my event?
Wedding singers can provide perfectly tailored music for your big day in whatever mood you choose. Whether you want the beautiful, impressive sound of an opera singer or gospel choir, a stylish and romantic vintage performer, or a warm and intimate singer-guitarist – any of these artists can accompany you down the aisle with real charm and character, reflecting your feelings and personality on one of the biggest, most important days of your life. Your singer can help you set the mood for the whole day, and this can change at different points. Calming, emotive, fun, personal, intimate, romantic, upbeat, lively, or sophisticated – your wedding singer can provide a real range of tones.
Before you make the big journey down the aisle, your wedding singer can provide an air of serenity with chilled, calm music to quiet everyone’s nerves. Once the weight of the ceremony is over, you could choose something exultant and uplifting for the recessional, as you walk back up the aisle together, your guests applaud and you can all celebrate your nuptials!
For your wedding drinks reception, you could choose to make a feature of your singer or ask them to perform as background music so your guests can comfortably hold a conversation.
Alternatively, you might be looking to have a singer for the evening reception, to get the party started. In the evening, your wedding singer can perform a special song for your first dance, and then help to build the atmosphere, getting your guests on the dancefloor at the start of the evening party.
Whatever you choose, our wedding singers can help you create a variety of vibes on your special day. They can work with you, offering a set wedding repertoire, or suggestions for music to perfectly personalise your wedding.
Space considerations at your event
The space a wedding singer will take up is dependent on your choice of artist and instruments – whether you opt for a solo singer, a duet, a large group of singers, or an act with a grand piano!
It’s worth considering the space available at your wedding venue before booking an artist so you can be sure they will fit in comfortably alongside your chosen number of guests. If you’re getting married in a large church, it’s likely they will be able to accommodate a full gospel choir, and the sound will resonate beautifully too. But if you’re choosing a small registry office followed by an intimate restaurant, you may prefer to choose a singer-guitarist or a solo vintage singer who can perform over backing tracks with a small PA sound system. All of these options are relatively easy to move from location to location, meaning you can take the party with you!
For approximate requirements, see ‘How much space will a wedding singer need?’, below.
How much does a wedding singer cost?
The cost of a wedding singer will depend on the type of artist, the line-up, and the various options that each artist offers.
This table shows the cost ranges for different types of wedding singers:
|Type of Artist||Cost Range|
|Rat Pack and swing singers||£280 – £820 (solo)
£280 – £1,440 (duo)
|Vintage singers||£300 – £520 (solo)
£480 – £635 (duo)
|Jazz singers||£180 – £670 (solo)
£290 – £1,080 (duo)
|Singer–Guitarists||£100 – £600 (solo)
£145 – £1,065 (duo)
|Singer–Pianists||£130 – £720|
|Solo Singers||£180 – £1,200|
|Classical/Opera Singers||£290 – £3,000+|
|Gospel Choirs||£725 – £3,000+|
You can expect to pay more if you’re adding options (such as instruments and additional singers) to the line-up.
You can reduce costs by removing options, or by booking a wedding singer who lives close to your wedding venue, where their travelling time will be less. The home town of all Alive Network wedding singers are included on their profile pages, and your Entertainment Coordinator can recommend a selection of great musicians near your venue.
Who are the top 10 wedding singers in the UK right now?
Our wedding singers are always in demand. These ten represent those we feel are currently leading the way, based on a combination of fantastic performance, popularity, and originality:
How long will a wedding singer play for?
Wedding singers will usually perform for up to two or three hours at a time. You can choose from a variety of performance options, which are listed on each musician’s profile page. For example, many offer two 60-minute sets or three 40-minute sets, and most will offer greater flexibility to perform in line with elements of your wedding day, see the table below. Your chosen musician could perform for the wedding ceremony only, or for the ceremony and the drinks reception, or drinks reception and the wedding breakfast, for example. This table shows some of the options offered by many wedding singers:
|Civil ceremony||Up to 60 minutes|
|Church ceremony||Up to 90 minutes|
|Drinks reception OR wedding breakfast||2 hours|
|Wedding ceremony AND drinks reception||3 hours|
|Drinks reception AND wedding breakfast||4 hours|
|Wedding ceremony AND wedding breakfast||5 hours|
|Evening wedding reception||Up to 2 ½ hours|
How much space will a wedding singer need?
The table below gives a rough idea of how much performance space different wedding singers require:
|Type of Artist||Typical Performance Space Required|
|Rat Pack and swing singers|| 3 × 2 metres (solo)
3 × 3 metres (duo)
|Vintage singers|| 3 × 2 metres (solo)
3 × 3 metres (duo)
|Jazz singers|| 3 × 2 metres (solo)
3 × 3 metres (duo)
|Singer–Guitarists|| 2 × 2 metres (solo)
3 × 3 metres (duo)
|Singer–Pianists||Digital piano: 1.4 metres wide × 1.5 metres deep
Upright piano: 1.6 metres wide × 1.6 metres deep
Digital piano with grand piano style shell: 1.5 metres wide x 3 metres deep
Baby grand piano: 1.8 metres wide × 3.5 metres deep
Concert grand piano: 2 metres wide × 5 metres deep
|Solo Singers||3 × 2 metres (solo)|
|Classical / Opera Singers||1 × 2 metres (more if a PA is required)|
|Gospel Choirs|| 3 × 2 metres (4 members)
3 × 3 metres (8 members)
4 × 3 metres (16 members)
You can discuss the space requirements for individual singers with your Entertainment Coordinator.
How long will it take for a wedding singer to set up?
Depending on the complexity of the artist’s act, if they can park close to your wedding venue’s performance area, most singers will be unloaded, set-up, sound-checked and warmed-up within 60 – 90 minutes. Many singers will need less time than this – a singer-guitarist, for example, will usually take up to 30 minutes to set-up.
When their performance is over, your wedding singer will then pack away, which can take anywhere between 15 and 60 minutes.
What equipment will a wedding singer need?
To perform to pitch perfection on your wedding day, most wedding singers will need:
If you’ve narrowed down your search, you can check this wish list with your Entertainment Coordinator, who can discuss requirements for individual performers.
Many wedding singers provide their own microphones, and amp or PA sound system.
The size and location of your ceremony is important, as this may impact upon the PA system requirements. If your wedding will include 200+ guests, you may need to hire an additional sound system to cater for the larger space. Your dedicated Entertainment Coordinator can clarify the requirements for individual wedding singers at your chosen venue.