What is a Ceilidh Band?

September 13, 2017

When it comes to booking wedding entertainment, it often comes down to your music choice in the evening. Are you band couple or a DJ couple? And then there’s the third option that people whisper behind your back… “Maybe they’ll go with a ceilidh.” But what is a ceilidh? Why would you hire a ceilidh band? How do you even pronounce ceilidh? It sounds like you won’t just be hiring a ceilidh band but you’ll need to hire an interpreter as well! Do not worry. Breathe deeply. Grab a cup of tea and we’ll take you all the way from ‘cei’ through to ‘lidh’.

Pronounced kay-lee, a Ceilidh is an Irish or Scottish dance that is hugely popular at weddings for a number of reasons – it gets people dancing, it gets people interacting and most importantly of all, nobody is ever an expert at it, meaning it’s popular with all ages and all dance abilities. Think of it as a little like a barn dance but with a Gaelic twist. It infuses a dash of English and American culture as well, but make no mistake about it, booking a Ceilidh band will deliver Irish and Scottish folk for all to enjoy.

So how does a Ceilidh work? Simply put, they’ll play your first dance – if you so wish – and then proceed through three sets of 45 minutes each or two sets of 60 minutes each, which is standard for a wedding band. The way they differ though is that rather than playing ‘the hits’ or having a singer, they instead have a caller who encourages guests to rise from their seats and get involved, as well as explaining the dance moves to everybody who is set to enjoy the dance. Every dance is different so every dance takes a minute or two to learn. There’ll be clapping, laughing and most of all, fun!

Now you might be thinking, “How on earth can I learn a dance in two minutes?” and if you’re thinking that, then you are not alone. Everybody in the room is thinking the same thing. Where should your right arm go? Do we turn to the left at the end of the first bit? What on earth is a ‘dosey doh’? There will be successes and there will be failings, but the important part is you’re up, dancing and celebrating the wedding day.

In short, a ceilidh is a hilariously brilliant slice of wedding entertainment because it guarantees laughter and it gets people talking and interacting with guests whom they never would have otherwise. They say that it’s possible to meet your future partner at a wedding and between you and me, we think that a ceilidh is a huge part of that. The accordion, guitar, bass and violin – or fiddle – really do bring the room together and you’ll be glad you hired a ceilidh band by the end of the night.

If you’re looking to book a ceilidh band – or perhaps some other form of musical entertainment – then please get in touch and we’ll see how we can help you! 

Photo credit: Splann (available via sister agency, TG Weddings)



Planning an event? Get in touch 

Here at Sternberg Clarke we know how to handle a challenge and we stop at nothing to ensure your event is a night – or day – to remember. Check out our create page and learn more about how we can customise your entertainment to match your needs.

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By Henry Fosdike