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4 Things to consider for your outdoor wedding drinks reception

With the great British weather at its coldest & most of us spending our nights inside trying to stay cosy, we’ve been reminiscing about those amazing summer evenings of 2023, especially those where there’s a wedding involved. It may seem a long way off for now but the possibility of those late night outdoor gatherings starts to creep in around April and we can look forward to BBQs, Pimms and of course outside drinks receptions!

Beers in a bucket
Photo by Magda K Photography

A beautiful lawn is overlooked by a stately home. Wedding guests chat to the bride on the lawn at their outdoor drinks reception
Photo by Magda K Photography

Emma and I have experienced our fair share of drinks receptions and outdoor ones can be so lovely. However, there are a few things to think about if you are considering an outdoor drinks reception with live musicians.


I’m starting with this one because I was on high alert the majority of last year after receiving a sting at the beginning of the summer wedding season. Wasps are drawn to all things weddingy such as sweet drinks, lemon slices, perfume and also shiny saxophones. On a venue visit, it might be worth asking if they have anything in place to help control wasp problems - you just don’t need this on your wedding day and quite frankly, neither do your suppliers!


UK weather is unpredictable and can be extreme in summer. Cover for your outdoor wedding musicians is useful for two reasons; rain & sun. Rain will be covered (excuse the pun) under the next heading but sunshine, as lovely as it is, can be the bane of a musician's life. For example, let’s say you’ve hired a string quartet to perform some upbeat love songs for your drinks reception.

Once positioned, your string quartet will be tethered to the spot and on a hot day this does not want to be in direct sunshine. Not only will it play havoc with their instruments but you’ll be left with a sweaty mess of a violinist who is too hot to concentrate on playing. Many venues have covered patio areas joined to the venue itself, or some even have a pergola in their gardens - these are great for providing that bit of shade for performers.

a sax player performs outside at a drinks reception. A bride and groom laugh in the foreground
Photo by Ayesha photo


Picture the scene: your guests are enjoying a delicious Prosecco, you’re off having photos in the gardens and your singer is entertaining everyone with ‘Stand by Me’. Suddenly a huge grey cloud descends and within 10 minutes the wedding party have made a run for it and are all cosying up by the bar.

Said singer is left with nobody to play to (though hopefully they are under the aforementioned covered area and not wet). Rain can really screw up wedding plans especially when it comes without much warning. Your wedding musician is there to entertain guests so will set up in an area close to where the majority of guests will gather. We will always set up in an area close to a door so that in an emergency downpour situation their speaker can either be turned towards the indoor area, or the whole setup can be carefully repositioned by a metre or two inside. We will always work with the venue and couple to make the best of the soggy situation and keep your day running as smoothly as possible.

(See also our blog on 3 WAYS we make booking wedding music easy where we touch on ideal set ups to prevent the drowned rat musician look.)

A beautiful courtyard
Aswarby Rectory - outdoor space


When it comes to considering your outdoor wedding drinks reception, you will also need to look at power supplies. It’s really simple and due to amazing extension cables, we usually only required one mains socket for outdoor receptions. Let’s look at one of our most popular reception drinks acts, a solo saxophonist and what that setup includes:

  • Speaker

  • Wireless mic system

  • laptop/ipad

This is a total of 4 powered items, which will be powered by one extension from one mains socket. Happy days!

Married to the Music wedding musicians will always come prepared with extensions etc. so all we need is a power supply nearby.

In summary, having an outdoor wedding drinks reception may be the summer wedding dream, but we can’t trust the British weather. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail we say, and by booking your wedding music with us you will have peace of mind that your reception drinks music will not only be great, but also well planned!

Whatever the weather, as long as you have pals, family, great drinks and of course great music, your drinks reception will be the most perfect 2 hours and set you up for the rest of the day!

Check out our YouTube 'Daytime Music' Playlist

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