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Wedding Saxophonist – Brendan Mills

While I was at The National Wedding Show in London Olympia last month, I met the very talented saxophonist Mr. Brendan Mills founder of BM artists, he was performing one of my favourite songs that also happened to be the song I chose for my first dance (Ed Sheeran- Thinking out loud). As more people  gathered around it was clear to see that Brendan’s talent was a true show stopper, having performed for more than 50,000 people around the world, Brendan’s clients include Sir Richard Branson and Queen Elizabeth herself – A performance that is fit for the queen is most definitely wedding worthy. Brendan is also a DJ, vocalist, guitarist and pianist, possibly one of the most naturally-gifted musicians you’ll ever meet. 

When planning a wedding, it is always best to consider hiring some form of entertainment, although it may not always agree with your budget, it however does help to keep your guests entertained (meaning they would stay longer) and it can also give you (the bride) a change to step away or socialise with your guests. 

I met with Brendan Mills him self to find out more about how brides can book their wedding entertainment  through BM Artists: 

Q1- First and foremost let’s get down to the facts: How long in advance do you need before taking a booking? What’s the procedure? and What services do you provide the client with after a booking is made?

Brendan Mills: In regards to weddings couples tend to book 12 – 18 months in advance. That being said, I do always get the odd panic call at the 11th hour!  Once the booking has been confirmed I give the newly engaged couple some music homework (sorry!) so that they have plenty of time to think about it.  Over the course of the year we look to build a music plan based around any key songs that are required for the day.  These can include
  • Entrance song for Ceremony
  • Singing of the register (Good to have two prepared in case things run over a little!)
  • Exit song (Something upbeat is always good )
In addition to the ceremony there may also be:
  • A song to be played as the newly wed couple are introduced for their wedding breakfast.
  • The obvious one . . .FIRST DANCE.
And finally the not so obvious one:
  • The last song
I have started to recommend a last song as it is a good way to bring the night to an end.  Often in the UK, particularly in London and in towns / built up areas venues can have very strict sound limits imposed on them, so they have to be very rigid with the ‘lights on’ time.  Often (or when I am DJ’ng) towards the end of the night the party will be roaring away and it can be a bit abrupt if the venue then flick the lights on and pull the plug mid rave!  To save this happening I now recommend something more ‘Epic, Emotional and Closing’ that we aim to play five minutes before the lights come on (often getting everyone in a big circle to be with the couple) so that the evening rounds nicely to a close. We found that it works REALLY well.

Finally, I ask people to start to be more aware of songs that they like and want to hear played on their big day. It is really hard to just think on the spot all of the songs you like, therefore give your self plenty of time to really consider our favourites, you can make note of them as the months go by. Equally, I encourage my clients to think about any ‘must not’ have songs!

Q2- The musical world is constantly evolving, what would you say is 2017’s wedding trend in terms of entertainment ?

Brendan Mills: Definitely DJ Live. Music is always evolving and the way the new music is produced is very much computer based.  DJ’s are able to offer a lot more flexibly with regards to what music they can play and able to perform more genuine performances of current chart / dance music.  However, in order to keep the energy and entertainment of live music certain instrumentation mixed in with the DJ gives an unbelievable musical / visual expensive. For a true show stopping experience consider having a DJ with a Saxophone, Percussionist and Vocalist- now that’s a combination no one can beat.

Q3- As a saxophonist what different ways can you incorporate your performance into a wedding rather than the obvious choice of first dance? 
Brendan Mills: The saxophone is such a versatile instrument and it is this that enables me to cover every musical element of a wedding. I actually think going ‘instrumental’ for the ceremony music is a sensible move for three reasons. Firstly, there is nothing worse than having to re start a track as the bride is walking down the aisle! Secondly, by having bespoke arrangements performed live we can adjust the timings so the
the song is played at the right times, and right moments. Thirdly, there is a phenomenon with singers that when they sing everybody looks at them. With instrumentalists this isn’t the case and I think having the saxophone for your ceremony music is the perfect solution to create atmosphere with a touch of class.
Here is a music video I made for Emma & Matt, a couple who’s wedding I performed at last year at Aynhoe Park Oxford. The couple asked me to create a medley of their ceremony music, entrance music and first dance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-vRRkMsuGw&t=189s. The great thing about the saxophone is that it works so well with the DJ.  So once the party does get going you can take to a whole different level!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmwOlDF8Qoo.

Here is also a video showcasing how the saxophone fits into a wedding from start to finish.  This was at One Mayfair last year https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLYBUHxca2U.

Q4-What was 2016’s most requested song? 

Brendan Mills: It’s got to be ‘Ed Sheeran’ Thinking out loud. 




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