Weddings and civil partnerships
A few extra FAQs about wedding or civil partnership receptions. Do also feel free to contact us if you want to discuss anything about planning your evening!
How does a ceilidh normally fit in with the day?
As a guide, if the ceilidh is the main entertainment for the evening, a typical evening will run something like this:
- We arrive at the venue 45 minutes before the scheduled start time of the ceilidh
- We come in to set up as soon as we are able to access the area where the ceilidh will be taking place (often just after the meal has finished)
- If the ceilidh will be taking place in the same room as the meal, we wait until the meal has finished and come in to set up while the staff are clearing the tables. Depending on the venue, the guests might move into a bar or other area while the changeover happens.
- First half of the ceilidh for around 60-90 minutes. If there is an interval buffet, we will play until the food is ready to be served, and then stop for a break.
- Interval (either to leave enough time for eating, or just to give people a bit of a rest)
- Second half of the ceilidh for around 60-90 minutes or until the agreed finish time.
We can be flexible about timings on the day to fit in with whatever else is happening, for example to fit the ceilidh around an interval buffet.
All we need to know is the time you’re aiming for the ceilidh to start, and we’ll make sure everything runs smoothly from there!
What happens after the ceilidh?
Some people choose to have a disco for the last hour or so of the evening, either hiring a DJ or bringing their own speakers and a pre-prepared playlist on an iPod, laptop or mobile phone.
If you would like to use your own playlist, for a small charge we can hire out our PA system for you to use after the ceilidh has finished if you wish. All you need to provide is your iPod/laptop/phone with a playlist ready to go.
Can we book you and a DJ to do half the evening each?
Yes, sometimes we play for the first half of the evening and then a DJ takes over for the second half, either immediately following us or after an interval buffet.
This can be a good compromise though if you can’t decide whether to have a ceilidh or a disco – have both!
We would recommend having the ceilidh first and DJ second, and not trying to alternate between the two – just because in our experience ceilidh first and DJ second makes for the best atmosphere and encourages more people to join in with each type of dancing.
Our venue is only small, can we still have a ceilidh?
As an absolute minimum, we'd say that if there is enough space for a line of four people to stand facing another line of four people, or for four couples to stand in a square set (with each couple being one side of the square), and move about a bit within that space, then there is enough room for some ceilidh dancing. More space than this is better, but this is the minimum we'd need to get one group of dancers up at a time.
At one end of the dancing space, there also needs to be room for four people (the band and caller), and two speakers on stands. We can bring a high-quality compact PA system if space is limited.
What if we want a first dance?
If you'd like to have a first dance there are various options. Some couples do a first dance to recorded music of their choice immediately before the start of the ceilidh. Another option is for the band to play a waltz for the couple to dance to, and if they wish, the caller can invite other guests to join in partway through.
What if we don’t want a first dance?
If you'd rather not have a first dance, and many people don't, you can simply join in the first ceilidh dance along with the guests.