The Slide McBride band would like to congratulate Australia for voting for marriage equality. The members of my band and my family anxiously anticipated the results from the marriage equality plebiscite and then as the bill passed the Upper and finally through the Lower House. It was a wonderful moment to know that the majority of Australians support the LGBTQI community and recognise that everyone has the right to marry the person that they love.
I have had the pleasure, throughout my career, prior to the passing of the marriage equality act, to have the honour of performing at many same-sex commitment ceremonies. It was privilege to witness the courage and commitment of same sex couples to openly commit to each despite the fact that they were being discriminated against by Australian law. It was evident to everyone present how much these people loved each other. It was also obvious how unfair and discriminatory the then marriage act was to the LGBTQI community.
The Slide McBride Band would like to say we support same-sex marriages and are excited to entertain and perform at many in the future. Congratulating to the LBTQI community and congratulations to Australia for supporting same sex marriage and equality.
The Slide McBride Band- Proud supporters of Marriage Equality.
Non discriminatory suppliers of great wedding entertainment
Using and Ipod playlist at your wedding reception seems like such a sensible option. You check out the option of hiring a band, and they all seem so expensive. You look into hiring a DJ. They are so much cheaper, but then how do you know that they will actually play the songs you like? Why not consider doing it yourself? You know the songs you like. You have them all on your computer. Why pay money for someone else to play the songs you already have on you phone or Ipod? You pay $11.99 per month to Spotify, so why not simply make up your playlists on Spotify?
I have played (with my band) at a countless number of wedding receptions. The standard response I get from brides and grooms at the end of each and every wedding is, “Every one of our guests is talking about the band”, or “Wow, you guys really made the wedding so much fun”!
I have heard people who have gone to a wedding make complementary remarks about the DJ, but…
I have NEVEREVER heard anyone say, “The Ipod playlist was amazing”.
I’m still waiting to hear, “The Ipod playlist had everyone up and dancing”.
I don’t ever expect to hear, “Their Ipod playlist made the night”.
This is what I have seen…
I have played at weddings where we (the band) finish playing and then the Ipod gets plugged into a speaker to keep the party going. What I usually see is this. A bossy drunk person decides that they know which songs will keep the party powering along. A few people will dance, but numbers on the dance floor will start dropping off. Then a different bossy drunk person with a different opinion will decide to take over. They will put on something “really cool” (which is generally something totally weird and off-beat). Half a song is played before the next person decides to get involved in the choice of songs. It becomes the battle of the drunk amateur DJ’s. By this stage, I’ve packed up my gear and hastily exit the party.
Contempt For Your Guests
Using an Ipod playlist is cheap and is ultimately the most contemptuous act of indifference to your guests that you can make. If you consider the effort some of your guests have made to get to your wedding, using an Ipod playlist is a disgrace. Typically, some people will have travelled from overseas. Other will have come from interstate. You have asked them to share with you one of the most significant days of your life. The least you can do in return is to give your guests some half-decent entertainment. Think of it as a gift back to the people you love and have asked to share the day with you.
Ask around. If you have (or if you know of someone who has) ever been to a wedding reception or party where the Ipod playlist has been amazing and MADE the party, I want to hear about it. Please post a comment and share your story with me.
What Other Sydney Wedding Band Gets Reviews Like This?
We play at lots of weddings. I commonly get “thanks you” messages, either by email or text message. Occasionally I get hand written thank you letters. My question is, what other Sydney wedding bands gets reviews like this?
Good Evening Slide,
I just want to thank you again for the fabulous job you did entertaining the guests at Katie and Tim’s wedding. I’m so thankful we engaged a band with such a diverse musical repertoire and also has the intelligence to select appropriate music for various points in a function.
We have had great feedback from all the guests particularly the New Zealand contingent. Everyone was so impressed with your musical talent, your energy and how you didn’t break the whole night with one song leading immediately into the next.
Slide we hope that some time in the future we have the opportunity to ask you to another function and we will certainly recommend you to family and friends.
Catherine is the mother of the bride. The bride (Katie) married Tim (the groom).
Katie’s Dad is originally from New Zealand, so there were a certain number of Kiwis who had journeyed from ‘across the ditch’ to attend the wedding.
New Zealanders always love the band. We should tour there. They definitely seem to ‘get’ what we’re about.
Here’s some footage from the night…
The venue was Athol Hall in Mosman. I must have played at this venue about one hundred times over the years.
One of the things about being in Sydney’s best wedding band is that you get to play in all the best venues around town. What we love about Athol Hall is the simplicity. The building has rustic charm and fits in perfectly with our pre-dinner drinks music. Here’s an example…
Do I Really Need Any Speeches At My Wedding Reception?
On the October long-weekend we played at two weddings. The unusual thing with both weddings were the absence of speeches. I’ve played at an abundance of weddings and have seen many variations of what makes a truly memorable reception. It’s rare to see people skip speeches as part of their reception, but having observed this twice in one weekend, I now think it’s an excellent option to consider.
On the Saturday, we played at David and Kelly’s wedding reception.
On Sunday, we played at Gary and Cara’s wedding reception.
Both wedding receptions actually had two things in common. Firstly, neither wedding reception had any speeches. Secondly, they were both held at surf clubs on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
David and Kelly had their ceremony on the balcony of the surf club overlooking Curl Curl Beach. Immediately after they were pronounced ‘man and wife’, they had about twenty minutes of informal speeches. The reception then followed straight after these, inside the surf club.
The reception was a cocktail-style affair with a relaxed ambiance. David and Kelly did their bridal dance to the second song we played. This encouraged their guests to dance which they did throughout our first set. Dinner was served about an hour into the reception, so we pulled back the intensity of the music to allow for eating and dinner conversation. After guests had eaten, the party really got going! Without the interruption of speeches we played solidly, performing five sets over the five hour reception.
Gary and Cara – Narrabeen Surf Club
Gary and Cara’s ceremony was outdoors on the grass area between the club house and the beach. Celebratory drinks were served immediately following the ceremony. During these drinks, we played in our roving acoustic format.
Here is a clip of us playing during this part of the reception
Dinner was then served inside the surf club which was followed by dancing. There were no speeches and there was no bridal dance. Often, guests won’t dance until after the ‘bridal dance’, but this was not the case with Gary and Cara’s guests. Everyone danced with very little encouragement. They were a very receptive crowd. Gary and Cara did actually dance. They simply chose not to do a formal bridal dance.
Planning Your Wedding – Do What You Want
I’ve played at hundreds of weddings. My one word of advice is…
Do what you want and do it your own way.
There are no rules when planning your wedding. If you are not into speeches, don’t have any. If you really don’t want to do a bridal dance, then don’t. If you want something informal, book a surf club. If you don’t want to spend a fortune on flowers or theming, then don’t.
On Sunday, 4th September we flew up to Port Douglas to play at Tim and Rosy’s wedding.
Guests had flown in from all over Australia to attend this tropical wedding. Most turned Tim and Rosy’s “destination wedding” into an opportunity for a short holiday.
We flew up on Sunday morning. Thankfully, everything ran smoothly and exactly to plan.
The venue was Sugarwharf, which had breathtaking views across the water.
We always fly with Virgin, as they offer superior service for musicians and bands.
Also, the staff are always so friendly and accommodating.
Tim (the groom) played a wonderful version of the Hunters and Collectors’ classic, “Throw Your Arms Around Me”.
We were very fortunate to have Mark Williams from Pacific Music in Cairns provide the PA, lighting, amplifiers and drum kit. If you are ever in the need of backline up in Cairns or Port Douglas, Mark Williams is highly recommended. He is a thorough professional. For more information on Pacific Music, please refer to their website – http://www.pacificmusic.com.au/
Mike (the groom) is originally from U.S.A. His mother, father and siblings all flew out from America to attend the wedding. They all loved the band.
The photographer for the wedding was the talented Emma Hampton. She was kind enough to send me through some of her photographs from the ceremony and the reception. For more information on Emma and her work, please refer to her website – https://emmahamptonphotography.com.au/
Andy and Jessica’s Wedding at Balmoral Bathers Pavilion
We had the pleasure of performing at Andy and Jessica’s wedding at The Balmoral Bathers Pavilion on Saturday, 20th August.
This venue is one of my favourite places to play in Sydney. This renowned restaurant has a function room upstairs with an adjoining balcony. This area is superb for pre-dinner drinks, and is also a sublime place to have a wedding ceremony.
Andy and Jessica utilized the balcony for their ceremony. They made their ceremony unique with their wedding vows. These were personally composed by the bride and groom. They were sincere, personal yet humorous, and many tears were shed by friends and family.
We performed at the ceremony as a duo (i.e. me with Blake, my guitarist). I learned a song for Jessica to walk down the aisle to. The song was, “I’ll Be Seeing You”. A rendition of this song by Michael Buble was used in the film, “The Notebook”.
After the ceremony, the rest of the band joined us to play throughout pre-dinner drinks out on the balcony. The balcony has spectacular views that look straight out across the water through Sydney Heads. In between songs, the guests did a trivia quiz with questions about the bride and groom.
Later on, we played throughout dinner, and then for dancing. Immediately prior to dancing was the bridal dance. Andy and Jessica put an original spin on this, by actually performing a song by themselves. Andy (the groom) is originally from Scotland. He dabbles in playing guitar. Jessica (the bride) is Australian and loves to sing. In reference to Andy being from Scotland, they performed the song “500 Miles”, originally recorded by the Scottish band, “The Proclaimers”. After their “un-plugged” rendition of the song, the band performed the song again with full amplification. Dancing then continued until the end of the night.
For this wedding, I wore my kilt. Considering that the groom was originally from Scotland, I anticipated that there would be plenty of men wearing kilts. Alas, I arrived to find that I was the only person wearing one.
Despite what governments try and tell us, it’s difficult to challenge global warming being a genuine issue facing the world. We’ve just had our hottest April on record. This follows the hottest March on record. Meanwhile, glaciers in arctic areas continue to melt away. It sounds daunting, but there is an upside. It’s great news for people planning weddings. Here’s why.
The Competitiveness Of Wedding Planning
Wedding planning is a competitive affair. Many people have the same ideas as to when they want to get married. The most popular season is Spring, followed by Autumn. To put you in perspective, my Saturday nights in October and March usually book out 12 months in advance, so if you don’t get in early for these months, you miss out.
Why Are Spring and Autumn So Popular?
Spring and Autumn are always the most popular months because they are perceived as being neither too hot nor cold. The aspect of weddings that creates this demand is the clothing typically chosen to be worn by the bride and groom. Brides commonly choose to wear shoulder-less or backless gowns which are better suited for warmer months. In contrast, men customarily wear suits which are more conducive to the cooler months. The simple and common compromise is to pick spring or autumn, when temperatures are moderate.
Winter Is The Wedding Off-Season
Wedding bookings drop off markedly in winter. If you are planning a Saturday night wedding and want to get the venue you want, the photographer you want, the celebrant you want, the florist and the band you want, then winter is the time of year to easily do this. Typically, winter is overlooked as being too cold for brides, but global warming opens up a whole new opportunity.
Winter Is The New Spring/Autumn
Forward thinking brides and grooms will recognise the new opportunity granted to them by the phenomenon of global warming. Anyone planning a Sydney wedding can bypass the dog-eat-dog of vying for the same wedding venue and suppliers by simply electing to get married in the newly created, lovely warm winter months.
Get out your phone, tablet or computer, go to Google and search for “Sydney Wedding Bands”. The result will show page upon page of bands spruiking themselves as being “Sydney’s Premier Wedding Band”. The impression it gives is that every musician and singer wants to play in a wedding band, yet it wasn’t that long ago that bands were embarrassed to categorise themselves as a “wedding band”.
Musicians used to view playing in a wedding band as a sign of failure. A classic thing you would hear musicians say was, “Yeah, I’m just playing a few weddings until my original project takes off”. The focus and ambition used to be to play the music you believed in and thought would make you famous. Nowadays, the ambition seems to be playing cover versions of Ed Sherin and Justin Beiber songs, along with a few classic disco songs from the 70’s.
What Happened To The Dream?
The dream used to be sex and drugs and rock and roll. What happened? Now the dream seems to be white dresses, reception venues and wedding cake.
The dream used to be touring the world and smashing up hotel rooms. Now the dream seems to be keeping the wedding planner happy, getting some free drinks and hopefully a bread roll with your ‘crew meal’.
The dream used to be getting laid by one or more groupies after the gig. Now the dream seems to be exchanging business cards with the photographer, catching up with some musicians you haven’t worked with in a while and maybe getting some of the left over flowers to take home to your wife or girlfriend.
My Personal Wedding Story
Being born with the surname “McBride”, it seems like it’s always been my destiny to play at weddings. I don’t know anyone who has played more weddings than I have. Over the years I’ve seen many changes to what is a typical wedding reception. I’ve also seen venues come and go, photography change from analog to digital and photobooths become a “must have” addition to the night. I’ve seen many changes, but I never anticipated how competitive it would become to get couples to hire you to play at their wedding.
The Wedding “Industry”
About fifteen years ago, I first started seeing the term “wedding industry”. I’ve never been fond of the term, but the harsh reality is that the business of weddings is seen as a recession-proof cash-cow. Young couples are happy to blow tens of thousands of dollars on one day. Wedding industry suppliers are all vying for a piece of this.
Wedding Planning By “Google”
Meanwhile, the inexperienced young couples open up their phone or laptop and put their wedding planning in the hands of Google. Whichever businesses have the biggest budget to spend on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will appear on Google’s ‘page one’ and will be front runners for a booking. It’s a sign of the times that Google has such a strong influence on weddings. Consider that I’ve heard hundreds of wedding speeches, and what is very common is hearing, “I wasn’t sure what I should say in my speech, so I went to Google…”. I wouldn’t be surprise if young couples are consulting with Google about consummating their wedding.
The New Dream
The old dream used to be having a top 10 hit with an accompanying video clip. The new dream is about making page one on Google for the search term “Sydney Wedding Band”. My song writing has been replaced by working on and optimising my website.
Yes, I’ve only gotten better at making weddings totally memorable with my band, but without the credibility of Google I have no apparent value.