Over the past 10 years we’ve played over 500 weddings. We’ve played in every location you can imagine a wedding might happen – castles, hotels, barns, farms, canal boats, stately gardens, churches… and that was just last year!

Here are our Top 5 Venues and why we love playing at them.

Caswell House, Cotswolds, Oxfordshire

Caswell House is a light, bright, rustic but modern open plan barn conversion. There are endless spots for great photos – stone walls, the pond, the bridge, the gardens, even the animal shelters if you’re feeling adventurous, plus the rooms themselves.

The owners live in a house on site, which means it has a cared for, independent feel. Everything is extremely well kept and the entire site looks great.

For us it works so well as we can play in more than one location quite easily. We can play a chilled out acoustic set for your drinks reception by the bar area, or an MK Out And About set if it’s a sunny day and your guests are enjoying the terrace. Then the main barn room creates the ideal frame for the evening, full band set. We’d suggest MK Best Of Both for the evening.

Best for us – there is no sound limiter, the staff are incredibly helpful and friendly, plus it’s an easy load in and load out, so we can be quickly on the road home after a long day’s rockin’.

Grittenham Barn, Tillington, West Sussex

Grittenham Barn has retained more of it’s authentic rusticness than most of the other barn locations we’ve played, whilst also offering everything you need for a modern day wedding.

There are still farm animals on site – donkeys, chickens, pigs, and an extremely nonchalant cat that tends to hang around until things get too noisy.

Again this venue gives plenty of scope to be creative with your entertainment – who wouldn’t want to see acoustic guitar, a double bass and a violin playing all your favourite songs surrounded by real life animals?

Best for us – there is no sound limiter, the staff are great, there are built in lights which make
the evening sets look fantastic, and again the load in/out is extremely easy for us.

Lulworth Castle, East Lulworth, Dorset

Lulworth Castle is a grand setting for a more traditional wedding. Down on the South Coast, with views of the sea, the Castle has a church in the grounds, and at least 2 magnificent rooms for your dinner and dancing as well as an outside courtyard.

Again this gives plenty of options to use your band creatively – work them hard, get them playing all over the place! We’re always up for playing in multiple locations on a wedding day.

We’ve played here on a number of occasions, both inside and outside – we’ve also had family members get married here, which made it an extra special gig! Check out the photos which show off the stone walls and impressively high ceilings.

Best for us – it’s an amazing place to hang out. We’d be fibbing if we said we haven’t spent a good few hours kicking a ball around on the sunny lawn, overlooking the sea – on days like this it’s a bonus when events run late! Most importantly there is NO SOUND LIMITER and it’s super easy access for us to set up (thanks to the Castle staff allowing us to park up close to a rear door).

Beetle and Wedge Boathouse, Moulsford, Oxfordshire

We’ve only played here once but it stuck out as a truly unique place. It’s not fussy – it’s basically a pub by the river and so they can only hold smaller weddings (up to 80), but the staff are really friendly, the pub food is fantastic, and the party had a great vibe. The room we played in (the downstairs room by the bar) is just the right size to create a crazy dance floor filled with your nearest and dearest.

Best for us – In our breaks it was delightful to be out by the Thames on a summer evening.
Great vibe, helpful staff, easy load in – as far as we remember there was a sound limiter, but this did not cause us any problems. Plus there was amazing cake!!

Your Back Garden

We’ve played many a wedding or party in people’s back gardens, and they tend to be my favourite (says Ollie). There are no rules, certainly no sound limiters, and you can be as creative as you like with themes and layouts. Always remember to let us know if there’s a specific theme and we’ll be more than happy to dress for the occasion. Which leads us to the Wilkinson’s house…

We’ve been lucky enough to play for the Wilkinson family three times, for each of their children’s 21st birthday parties. We’re hoping to be invited back for the first of three weddings some time soon…

Each party had a different theme, and the family would decorate the marquee and garden accordingly. There was Alice In Wonderland, which included a rabbit hole entrance tunnel, Wild West with a saloon bar, and Rio Carnival vibe, which definitely brought out the most outrageous costumes from both us and the party guests. Below are some of our cowboy pics!

We’ve always played until late (3-4am) as the family offer us the use of their luxurious pool house to sleep in (thanks guys). As you can imagine, these are fun parties, and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to say thanks, and to share their party inspiration amongst our readers.

Wedding Venue Ideas

If you are booking your wedding and need a hand choosing the best venue for the job in a specific area. We’re happy to recommend places we’ve played in the past that have worked well for live music. Just give us a shout at weddingbandhampshire@gmail.com.

Categories: Venue

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