We believe there are three main things that make a wedding reception memorable: good food, great wine (a lot of it), and excellent music for you and your guests to party the night away. Music helps to set the mood for those special moments. This is, after all your day and night, and you are the gorgeous bride dancing with your handsome husband in your very own romantic movie.

No romantic movie will be complete without a captivating soundtrack that helps convey your beautiful love story. If you want to have a unique playlist that speaks of your unique personalities, you don't have to limit yourself to traditional “wedding songs" and outdated ballads.


Think about the music you grew up listening to, songs your parents loved to play on their record players. These would be hits from the 60’s, 70’s, the the 80’s. We might not have had a clue what those songs were at the time but they definitely helped shape the type of music we love to listen to today. Think about rock n’ roll songs by Jimi Hendrix or a little bit of pop with David Bowie. They could be the right blend of sultry and electric that could make the night of dancing even more magical. If soulful blues is more your thing, try BB King or Ben Harper. Jack Johnson's acoustic folk songs or Bob Marley would sound perfect for a beach wedding. 

When choosing your wedding soundtrack, there are several stages which could be made more magical with the right choice of music. Some main ones to think about are:

1) the ceremony aisle songs;
2) pre-dinner hangout;
3) the newlyweds’ first dance as husband and wife; and
4) the dance party


Think about the mood you want to set – do you want your guests to sway in tune to some floaty tunes or to groove to some rock n’ roll? Either way, your choice of the type of music would tell you if you need a DJ, a band or a solo artist. Try scouting out some local talents by attending their gigs and seeing how they perform. Once you have an idea of who you want, give them a list of the songs you would love to hear and ask them if they feel confident about playing or singing these.

It is often said that music is the language of the soul. Happy hunting! Here is our list of recommended artists: 

-Ben Harper - Jack Johnson - Jimmy Hendrix - BB king - Buddy guy - Neil Young - Harry Manx - Van Morrison - Fleetwood Mac - Dire Straits - Sting

- INXS - Bob Marley - The Eagles - Xavier Rudd - David Bowie - Cat Stevens - Stevie Wonder - Crosby Stills and Nash - John Lennon - Eric Clapton - Brian Adams - Tracey Chapmen - Blondie - The Beach Boys - Talking Heads - Paul Kelly - Janis Joplin.

Have we missed any? If so please add them to the comments below! We would love to hear your feedback on magical music that you dream of for your wedding day. 

A special interview with our favourite wedding musician Dan Clark

 What advice would you give to brides who are trying to find good live music for their weddings?

 Good live music sets the scene for any occasion, the best way to find it is by starting with research – look online, search for musicians near your venue, this will make it more cost effective in regards to travel for the band. Local gig guides and venue entertainment lists (examples) can be a huge help and give you a feel for who is out there. Once you find an artist that interests you, stalk them! Get on their Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and website (which all professional musicians should have) to get a better picture of who they are, and of course what they sound like. Go to see a live band - this is the most reliable way to know exactly what you're getting. You will know by the end of the night if you want to hire them or not.

 Another option are wedding entertainment booking agencies that can make music choices easier. Talk to the agency about the style, sound and budget - they will organise it all for you. Going through an agency will be a little more pricey and less personal than working directly with an artist yourself.
 And finally, ask around - talk to friends and people who have hired bands before. See what they recommend, but ensure you do your own research because everyone’s taste in music is different and you want to hire a band you love. 


Do you have any suggestions for creating the ultimate playlist?

 I use Spotify, its easy and also allows you to save music to your phone - just incase you are in an area without phone reception. I would suggest purchasing Spotify premium (no ads), create three play lists: chilled music, reception music and dance music. In the time leading up to your wedding start building these playlists up with your favourite tunes! Also Spotify gives already made playlist options if you don’t know where to start. 

 Can you play non-traditional songs and particular requested songs?

Yes, I am more then happy to learn any song chosen by the bride and groom. I have a massive song list to choose from already, but a lot of the time there is a special song that people want for their wedding, ceremony, first dance - or just played somewhere throughout the night, I can make that happen.

Will you come with sound amplification? How will sound travel at the venue? What instruments are used?

Yes I provide all sound equipment and stage lighting. This setup can also be used by the M.C, for the music playlist (Spotify) and to do the speeches.
Sound will travel different at every venue. Some of the best sounding gigs I've done have been outside under a marquee because the sound can escape. On the other hand one of the worst sounding gigs I've done was in a big hall with high ceilings - it sounded washy, with way too much natural reverb in the room. 
Some venues have strict sound regulations; this is where the option of a solo or duo gig is perfect. For a solo I play acoustic guitar with stomp box and vocals. A duo adds another dimension - here I am accompanied by an electric guitarist (or whatever the couple like: keys/drums/bass) who sings harmonies. When the couple are keen to really ramp up the entertainment for the night they hire the full band. The full band consists of myself on vocals and guitar, with drums and bass – with additional options of lead guitar and keys available. 

The full band takes the party to the next level – it becomes a memorable celebration where guests are not only entertained, but socialise and get up for a dance. The band carries the night smoothly through dinner and formalities, and then sets the atmosphere to party!

Do you have experience performing in many different wedding venues?

I have performed at many venues over the years, most commonly at function venues like resorts and restaurants. Backyard style weddings are popular, usually on properties with beautiful farm land. Then there are the destination wedding venues in Byron and Gold Coast hinterland, which are absolutely stunning but tend to have more noise restrictions compared to any other venue. Make sure you are clear with your venue manager on their noise levels. This is a topic that somehow gets skipped over by the venues’ management. I have often seen the manager at the venue constantly trying to keep the party quiet - the Bride and Groom simply do not understand because it wasn’t made clear to them at the start. 

What amount of time can we hire for? Will there be one or more players?

 There's no limit, I work with whatever the couple are wanting and quote accordingly. Most gigs are a 5 hour call out, this includes being there an hour before the guests arrive to set up with 3 x 45min sets of live music played at the times of your choice. You can hire a band size that suits you: from myself with an acoustic guitar all the way up to a five-piece band.


 Sick/cancellation policy

On the slight chance I get struck down with a sickness or can't make the gig I certainly don't leave you in the dark. All deposits are reimbursed in full and I will help organise a suitable replacement. There is a great relationship between musicians on the north coast and I have many contacts in the music scene to give you options for a replacement.

What are the fees and packages?

 A 5-hour call out includes: travel, setup time and 3x 50 min live sets:

- Solo: $850 - Duo: $1,250 -Trio: $1,650 - 4 piece band: $2000 - 5 piece band: $2400

Where do you play and where can brides find you?

I play shows on the North Coast of NSW almost every weekend. Mainly in the Byron Bay, Lennox head and Ballina area. Check gig guides for Dan Clark or Dan Clark Band. Find my Facebook page HERE where I announce my shows, and head to my website to find everything you need to know. We are also featured on Byron Bay Weddings as one of their recommended vendors.

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