Specialist organisers of barn dance bands, ceilidh bands and folk/dance/concert groups throughout the UK

© 2018 Jigs 'n' Reels

Jigs 'n' Reels, 'Homeleigh', Claphill Lane, Rushwick, Worcester WR2 5TP

Call or Text brief enquiry to 0788 788 7917

Wedding Ceilidh Venues - Any pitfalls to avoid?

What type of Venue works well for your Wedding Ceilidh?

Venues for Weddings are numerous, ranging from the large Country homes, large hotels, Conference Centres and Complexes to refurbished Tithe Barns, dedicated smaller houses and pubs with function rooms to private marquees to village halls (old and new) to standard working-type barns to even the great outdoors. We're well aware that venues are picked for far more reasons than 'will this place work for my ceilidh?' We'll let others discuss the merits of photo backdrops, standard of dining/meals, general hospitality, accommodation, children's entertainment and so on! Endless list, isn't it? On this page, we are more concerned on how matters may affect the dancing.

Lots of questions are also covered elsewhere in our FAQ’s on this website like numbers of dancers, dance room sizes etc.

We also cover types of flooring elsewhere - however, here's an extended word of caution about a fairly common trend in hotels particularly.....the dreaded interlocking timber squares! Quite a number of hotels use these 'squares' as temporary 'dance floors'. These floors are probably fine for Discos. But most of the time they only cover a limited area (often about 15' x 15' if you're lucky) of around 20 square yards (meaning approx space for 20 dancers in Ceilidh-speak).The choice presented is to stick to the floor area or dance in the space beyond the 'squares – that would be OK if it wasn't for the 'step' in levels all the way round the edge of the flooring. This change in levels can lead to accidents, twisted ankles and the like. and we certainly do not recommend them. It's better to remove them and use the wider space available, even if it does mean dancing on a carpet surface. Of course, the hotel may tell you that their 'squares' system works fine for dancing, even for Ceilidh dancing. That either means that they haven't a clue about Ceilidhs (which makes you wonder, doesn't it?) OR they're fibbing and are more interested in protecting their own carpet!

If your venue has a sound limiter installed, check out its levels – sound limiters are also discussed elsewhere in our FAQ’s.

Drinks and bars can sometimes be worth a bit of fore-thought as well. Meaning – how far away from the dance area is the bar ? We can still picture venues where a room becomes almost deserted because the only bar serving drinks is out through the door, up a corridor and around the corner, about a minute's walk from the dancing area. Might as well be in the next village, then! Men, particularly, are quite happy to prop up the bar. If the bar is in the same room or, at least, immediately adjacent to the dance area you have some hope of persuading them to join in the dancing. Consider this – you've probably paid more to have 'live' music only to find half your guests aren't even in the room most of the night !

Open sided barns, large gazebos covering the band for outdoor events look great in good weather! When the weather is either rain or blowing a gale, that lustre very quickly fades – shivering musicians play far less enthusiastically than usual! Guests head for cover! It doesn't take an enormous amount of imagination to see the money that you've spent hiring a 'live' band going. quite literally, down the drain.

It’s also worth thinking about power supply when considering outside venues like marquees and barns. Band equipment needs to be plugged in to a safe electric power source. Often this involves extension cables – if the cable extends a long way, voltage supply can drop which causes problems. If the venue is well away from a power source, do get qualified advice beforehand and explain that you intend using a ‘live’ band for your event. Most marquee suppliers can advise on these matters. We would also mention that band equipment invariably uses ‘square-pin’ (domestic standard) plugs requiring, of course, square-pin sockets.

Apologies if this all reads a bit negatively. But these are the pitfalls which can be avoided if you are already aware and we think it is sensible to point them out because it's a bit too late to alter matters on your Wedding Day. You want to remember the latter end of the day for all the right reasons.

Thankfully, many venues are ideal for Ceilidhs – decent sized rooms, layouts, safe and sensibly placed electrical points, good cover for guests and performers alike.

And if you are considering organising your own catering arrangements then we would always recommend that you check out some of the more modern village halls. They usually have just about everything you need under one roof and often represent extremely good value for money. Your local district or county Council can usually provide lists/contact details of such halls (especially ask about halls that received Lottery Funding).