Five minutes with Will Rutter of Ceilidh Tree, Surrey

Five minutes with Will Rutter of Ceilidh Tree, Surrey: Image 1 Will shares his must-know facts for couples of how to avoid a ceilidh mishap!

"Over two thirds of weddings we perform ceilidhs for run behind by at least 30 minutes due to speeches/guests taking longer to eat than planned for," says Will. "We offer a flexible start and finish time for the dancing which can be invaluable on the night. Our ceilidh and disco package works really well for a whole evening of entertainment. Having one supplier manage both these sections allows for flexible timings, saves valuable space in the venue and maximises guests' enjoyment as the caller later becomes DJ and has already built a rapport with guests."

Here's some more great tips:

If you're having a ceilidh at your wedding it's a great idea to sow the seed of this with your guests in advance, encouraging them to partake in the dancing. It's also a good idea to try and join in with at least the first three dances - our caller will do all they can to enthuse guests but this will greatly increase participation on the night.

Our ceilidh and DJ package has become our most requested option for weddings. Start with the ceilidh part and end with the disco as this helps create a great flow / momentum from traditional to the modern. The ceilidh works well brightly lit (so people can see what they're doing!), turn down the house lights and switch on the disco lighting rig for the DJ which creates a great flow between the two sections.

Raised dancefloors can be hazardous for ceilidhs which have a habit of spilling over, especially when combined with high heels so best to leave if you have the option. The ceilidh band don't require a stage, it's good to be on the same level as your guests (the dancers) who are the real stars of the show!

Having a ceilidh first dance is a fantastic photo opportunity and a great chance to get your guests involved in the ceilidh. There's loads of different options including a Virginia Reel where bride and groom are the first couple to gallop down the set (in any way they choose e.g. bride carrying groom etc.) or something more traditional like a Gay Gordons where bride and groom start and everyone else joins in.

Ceilidh dancing works best towards the beginning of the evening entertainment when energy / sobriety levels are high and most of your guests are in attendance. Ceilidhs work perfectly for all ages and therefore it's best to hold the dancing section when the majority of your guests are still in attendance.

Well worth booking a ceilidh band that hosts regular public events so you can meet them in advance, try out dances and practice your moves / first dance. It's always a real bonus for us to have ceilidh'd with the bride and groom in advance of the big day and it can really add to the overall atmosphere on the night to have already made that personal connection.

Don't worry if not all your guests will want to dance or if the space is limited - one of the great things about a ceilidh is that it's really enjoyable to watch others ceilidhing, especially if they've never done it before!


What's hot? Interactive, intergenerational and engaging social experiences for guests - a ceilidh is surely the ultimate example! What's not? Boring, instantly forgettable background music from bands who would rather be elsewhere!

What's hot? Two families coming together on the dance floor in a lighthearted way with the help of the caller. What's not? Lengthy discos where guests leave the dance floor to go to the bar.

What's hot? Lively ceilidh first dance where bride and groom feature but everyone else partakes - no prior practice required, minimal pressure on the couple and immediately gets dance floor filled! What's not? Elaborate stress-filled first dances with customary awkward "come and join us we're dying!" plea about 30 seconds in!

Themed ceilidhs are big for 2019! e.g. Bollywood Ceilidh (caller teaching classic moves from indian cinema), Pirate Ceilidh (for a boat wedding with nautical dances and shanties), Hoedown Ceilidh (hay bales, banjo, square dancing)

Check out www.ceilidhtree.co.uk or call 07946 616 380

 
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