Should I have a ceilidh at my wedding?

In a word, yes! Yes you should have a ceilidh at your wedding, and here’s why…

So, you have set the date for your wedding and now you are looking into whether you should have a band, or perhaps a DJ, or maybe you’ are considering both? Your friend mentions to you that they recently went to a wedding which featured a ceilidh, and they had an amazing time.

Everyone was dancing. How many weddings have you been to where you’re desperate to get everyone involved, yet there’s a sense of reluctance amongst one or other of the different generations? When you have a ceilidh, everyone gets involved! There’s not one age group it’s best suited for. I’ve played at and taken part in ceilidhs at weddings where children as young as four and adults as old as eighty (and everything else in between) have gotten involved.

Ceilidh bands come with their own sound system. What does this mean? It means that when the ceilidh is finished you can play your own playlist of tunes nice and loudly from your ipod so that you get the same feeling of an end of the night disco/classical concert/rock concert (or whatever you want – it’s your playlist of music, so you get to chose!)

Ceilidh bands have volume control. This means that if you want the band to be loud, they can be; but it also means if you want them to be quiet, they can be too. Unlike most wedding bands, ceilidh bands are very well versed in performing acoustically which means they can play extremely quietly. Unlike many modern wedding bands, who have to cater for loud, aggressive drummers or screeching guitar solos.

Ceilidh bands help you burn off the six slices of cake you just ate. People are often surprised because they had no idea how many calories they had burnt after a few dances. A few dances can help you justify eating that extra portion of desert, or the second hog roast you helped yourself to.

No more DJ Derrick and his cheesy hits from ’91. As previously mentioned, ceilidh bands often provide their own sound system. So, if you want to have a disco before, in between, or at the end of the ceilidh, all you have to do is make your own playlist on your computer or phone and plug it into the band’s sound system. Keep it simple, there’s no need for the additional hassle of booking a DJ, or paying for one. A good ceilidh band will also provide lights too, helping to create the right atmosphere for your wedding.

There are so many other reasons to have a ceilidh band, but we will leave it there for now and end on this note: having a ceilidh band at your wedding will be great fun for everyone. So make the right choice.

Interested in booking us? Contact us here, or email us at

Dorset Ceilidh Band Live Featuring Sam from Morrigan Dagda

So aside from being busy with our own gigs throughout the summer of 2012 Sam, drummer for Morrigan Dagda, has been busy performing with Dorset Ceilidh across the South at weddings, festivals and functions. Here’s a short video montage of clips taken from a selection of performances over the Summer. Enjoy!

Folk By The Oak 2011

At the end of July 2011 Morrigan Dagda took a day out of their busy schedule to attend Folk By The Oak 2011.

The morning was spent battling traffic around the M25 but eventually we arrived at the festival just in time to catch the end of Adrian Edmondson & the Bad Shepherds’ set. They had whipped the crowd into a dancing frenzy with fans dancing around and singing along to the songs they knew.

After a short break Bella Hardy took to the stage to perform a more emotionally connecting set. A different, but more relaxed performance.

Show Of Hands
Show Of Hands

After a few glasses of wine we managed to scramble to the front of the stage to watch Show Of Hands sound check. Even without the power of the huge sound system behind them the crowd were cheering and clapping after a short burst of perfectly pitched harmonies.

They took to the stage and again the crowd erupted into a frenzy of applause. Combining some of their slower tunes with a selection of their more upbeat sets. A truly fantastic performance.

We took a short break at this point to grab a bite to eat, so we made our way to one of the food stands and dug into our portions of hog roast with apple sauce.

As the sun started to set, the stage came alive with techies and stage hands setting up the kit for the headline act for Folk By The Oak 2011 – Seth Lakeman.

Seth Lakeman
Seth Lakeman

By the time the compare got the ‘thumbs up’ from Seth Lakeman manager and the sound/lighting engineers the crowd had quadrupled in size. Everyone was on their feet eagerly awaiting Seth Lakeman’s appearance on stage.

As soon as Seth Lakeman stood on stage the crowd roared with excitement and the band broke into their first set. The sound was a little scratchy to start with but the sound engineers were on it and by the end of the first tune things were sounding fantastic.

Seth Lakeman and his fantastic band really did put on a brilliant show. Musically great, brilliant stage presence and to top it off the fireworks display was ‘the icing on the cake’.

Here is a short video montage taken From Folk By The Oak 2011 of Show Of Hands & Seth Lakeman.

Dorchester Street Party | Dorchester | 2011

As many of you are aware, the ceilidh band Morrigan Dagda was formed after Sam Lifton moved to Oxford away from his home town of Dorset where he played for the fantastic Folk Skit-Ska band Brementown. From time to time Brementown call upon Sam to play for ceilidhs and events around Dorset – and this event was no exception.

In 2010 Brementown were asked to play the same Street Party in Dorchester. After putting on such a fantastic show that year they were asked to play once again in 2011. Sam from Morrigan Dagda returned from Oxford to play drums and was accompanied by his talented flutist Charlotte Sivier.

The ceilidh band went down even better than last year, with people of all ages enjoying the music, dancing around and singing along whenever and wherever they could.

So here are a few photos and a short video of the evening kindly taken by Lizzie Parker, Budding photographer and ceilidh band enthusiast!

The Yetties | Somerset | 2011

Well I must say, July must have been the busiest month this year for Morrigan Dagda. Saying that, we thought we would take a night off to enjoy the delights of some of the most accomplished folk musicians to grace the folk scene in decades.

In the small village of Charlton Horethorn, Somerset Brementown members Andy Helson & Dan Lifton partnered up with Pete & Mac; former members of the fantastic ceilidh band – The Yetties to play for an eager and hugely enthusiastic crowd.

Here are a few photos taken from the show. Although the band officially parted over a year ago – the demand for a great ceilidh band was to strong for them to hang up their instruments and beer mugs forever, so I think they’ll be back making appearances here and there for a few years to come! We’ll keep you informed if we hear of any shows they’ll be playing at.

Ceilidh: Brementown Featuring Pete Shutler Friday 24th June

Brementown & Morrigan Dagda featuring special guest musician Mr Pete Shutler will be hosting a Ceilidh at Charlton Hawthorne Village Hall Friday 24th June 7:30pm.

The Dorset based contemporary Ceilidh band, much in demand following their appearance at Trowbridge Festival in 2010, are joined on stage buy one of Dorset’s most renouned accordionists. An evening of music and dance thats not to be missed!

Caller: Andy Helson

Tickets: £8

For tickets and info please phone Jenny on 07985 063 267

Dorset Ceildh Band Play Shaftesbury

Dorset Ceilidh Band & Sam Lifton from Morrigan Dagda will be performing at the Ceilidh Dance at the Heritage Suite (next to the library), Shaftesbury on the 25th March from 8:30pm.

Tickets £5

Bar available

The Event is open to all so bring your children, your parents, even your grand parents!


Latest News

There is so much going on at the moment with Morrigan Dagda we haven’t had a chance to keep you updated with what’s going on. But in short we are already taking bookings ready for the Summer, so our festival gigs will be posted shortly!

Watch the space.