Newsletter: Curate The Soundtrack To Your Wedding

Curate The Soundtrack To Your Wedding With USO

USO have developed the best tools for planners and couples alike to help curate the perfect wedding music.
Please see a link here to our brand new video captured from a recent wedding at The Dorchester Hotel.
The video is narrated by celebrity vocalist and lead singer for the USO Little Swing Band Stefan Booth who explains how wedding music can work throughout the day and how we can compliment each part with our variety of ensembles.

Video by Filmatography.

Bespoke First Dance Repertoire

The USO repertoire is regularly updated, and has previously been expanded to include a larger variety of songs for the perfect first dance, these now include:

  • Your Song – Elton John
  • Can’t Take My Eyes Off You – Jersey Boys
  • Stand By Me – Ben E King
  • At Last – Etta James
  • You’re My First, My Last – Barry White
  • Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love – Barry White
  • Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  • How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding
  • Iris – Goo Goo Dolls

You can also commission pieces especially for you. If you have a particular song in mind for this very special occasion the USO Musical Director can discuss your choice with you and create a bespoke arrangement which would be unique to your celebration.

Photo Below: First Dance at The Savoy.

Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Urban Soul Orchestra (USO) have performed at a number of weddings at the V&A but there are two that stand out as particular highlights.

During the first one, the Chill Out Set entertained guests during the drinks reception in the John Madjeski Garden, whilst the Little Big Band delighted the entire wedding party on the dance floor after dinner in the Dome. Alongside the entertainment on the day, USO also worked closely with the couple in the lead up; organising first dance lessons with professional choreographers, commissioning a new song for their first dance as well as providing vocal coaching for songs performed by friends and family during dinner.

The second event featured a USO Solo Cellist performing in the Garden for the ceremony, he then joined the 4 piece Chill Out Set for a performance in the Michael Hintze Sculpture Gallery during the drinks reception. To finish the night in style our live Show Band kept the crowd on their feet until the early hours of the morning.


I wanted to thank you so much. The band were fantastic on Saturday night. Our first dance was really beautifully sung and everyone was up on the dance floor the whole night. So many people complimented the band and asked about you!

Bride, September 2014 V&A Museum

The Savoy Hotel, London

USO have performed at The Savoy on a number of occasions with an appearance in the stunning Lancaster Ballroom seeing the Chill Out Set and Little Big Band entertain throughout the event, whilst a harpist provided exquisite music for the drinks reception in the nearby River Room at the start of the evening.

For the couple’s first dance, the USO string quartet and female vocalist performed a bespoke version of Des’ree’s Kissing You which segued into Etta James’ At Last, creating a very special and romantic atmosphere as the couple took to the dance floor for the first time.

For the evening entertainment the Little Big Band featured 4 vocalists, 2 of which have appeared on The Voice, for an extra-special performance for guests on the dance floor in the Lancaster Ballroom.

The Dorchester Hotel, London

As part of a stunning vintage themed wedding at the Dorchester Hotel previously, Urban Soul Orchestra provided a complete soundtrack to the couple’s special day.Our fantastic female vocalist Roo sang as part of their ceremony, which was followed by the 4 Piece Chill Out Set performing during the drinks reception.For dinner in the Ballroom, the USO 6 Piece Acoustic Ensemble played elegant background music. Once plates were cleared and the dance floor ready, the 1920’s Gatsby style Little Swing Band, featuring celebrity vocalist Stefan Booth, had guests jiving the night away. The USO Little Big Band finished the evening by bringing the room back to the modern day in an unforgettable celebration for the couple.

Hengrave Hall, Bury St. Edmunds

In December 2014 USO provided the complete musical package for a very special couple at their dream venue, Hengrave Hall.

In order to meet the client brief USO put together a bespoke ensemble which consisted of Violin, Cello, Percussion/DJ and Vocalist.

The 4 Piece performed a Classical Duo for the ceremony, Chill Out Duo for the drinks reception, 3 Piece Little Big Band and DJ/Percussionist for the evening entertainment.This unique format is not only suitable in the UK but also makes USO the leader in providing musical entertainment for International Weddings across the globe.


We cannot say thank you enough to all of USO for making our day such a special day… Everyone was totally blown away by all of your amazing performances (from the church, to the drinks reception and finally to the little big band and DJ in the evening), a very big thank you from us both (and all of our guests!).

Bride & Groom, December 2014.

Beldi Country Club, Marrakech

Urban Soul Orchestra are regularly booked to perform at International Weddings in Morocco due to their unique format in which they are able to accompany each part of the day with the perfect musical backdrop. The most notable visit in 2014 was in April, when USO flew out to be a part of a very special wedding, held at the Beldi Country Club in Marrakech. Our musicians disguised themselves as guests before delighting them with a surprise performance at the signing of the register in true Love Actually style. Our Chill Out Set then played during the drinks reception in this picturesque location.

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Newsletter: USO Weddings Website Launches

We have been working on our fantastic new website, which we are now excited to share with you.

The new site has been redesigned in response to our clients’ feedback and is much easier for you to navigate. We can now better showcase the wonderful events, venues and clients we have worked with, as well as all of our unique ensembles.

We now have a dedicated Weddings Page and Weddings Photo & Video Gallery to give you an insight into how we can provide the perfect entertainment for you.

We would love to know what you think so please send us an email, leave a comment on our Facebook page or Tweet us.

chill out set selman marrakesh october 2013.JPG

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USO & Quintessentially Weddings – Gwion & Esyllt North Wales Wedding

Posted by Lianne Crosby – February 6, 2015 – Blog, Photography, Planning, Q Weddings
An intimate winter wedding taking 30 of the Bride and Groom’s closest friends and family to the couple’s favourite Michelin star restaurant in rural North Wales.
Quintessentially Weddings created a pocket of London chic in a lavishly draped marquee structure, with hanging floristry installations, an ethereal tree with a 4m canopy of silk blossoms draping over the bar, and a 6 piece Little Big Band accompanying some incredible food and wines.
 A snippet from the Groom’s speech says it all ~
 “Quintessentially Weddings should be truly proud, they make people’s dreams a reality”.
Photography by the fabulous Lucy Tanner Photography who were an absolute joy to work with.

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Newsletter: Ideal Wedding Venues, Inspiration & Special Offers

Urban Soul Orchestra have performed at some amazing venues across the UK and abroad this year; below are some of our most memorable from 2013.

Featured imageSelman Palace Hotel in Marrakech provided the dramatically elegant backdrop to our Chill Out Set which we performed at dusk during the wedding reception, prior to our Little Big Band set which concluded the evening celebrations. Earlier in the day we provided a Jack Johnson style vocalist and guitar duo for the equally beautiful ceremony.

USO Chill Out in Marrakech

Vocalists at Ibiza wedding

As the Autumnal chill started to hit, Urban Soul Orchestra were invited to perform at a wedding reception in Ibiza during the closing party weekend in October. Our DJ Set, featuring The Voice vocalist Sean Rumsey, entertained guests during the wedding breakfast.

Stephen Hussey at Ibiza wedding Ibiza

The following day, USO Musical Director Stephen Hussey performed a Solo Chill Out Set at the stunning El Chringuito Beach House as guests continued the festivities.

Ibiza venue

August saw the glamorous debut of our Little Swing Band at the Savoy Ballroom, on the invitation of the wonderful Wedding Planner Bruce Russell.

Our 10 piece Little Swing Band is now available for weddings next year. It is fronted by Stefan Booth who was recently the male lead in West End’s Chicago the Musical. Stefan’s performance is beautifully complemented by our musicians’ renditions of swing classics, old and new.

Little Swing Band Savoy

Cliveden House, one of the world’s finest luxury hotels, was one of the most picturesque venues USO have performed at this year. We provided entertainment for the entire wedding, with a classical string quartet for the ceremony, a Chill Out Set for the drinks reception and finishing the celebrations with our Little Big Band. Thanks to the lovely Penny at Tigerlily Weddings for such a great experience.

Cliveden House

Somerset’s Babington House was an idyllic location to perform the USO Chill Out Set with white instruments for the wedding party during their drinks reception. Our beautiful musicians also performed at the ceremony earlier in the day.

Babington House

Babington House performance

Also in Somerset is the stunning Orchardleigh House, set in the grounds of a magnificent estate. At the couple’s request, USO performed a bespoke instrumental line-up of our Chill Out Set, to include saxophone and percussion. As part of this drinks reception entertainment, the couple also commissioned a special arrangement of the hit of the summer, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky.

Orchardleigh House

Orchardleigh House Wedding

During the summer USO also performed for a wedding reception at Michel Roux’s famous restaurant, The Waterside Inn in Bray. Our Acoustic Ensemble played a range of pieces from our varied repertoire as guests soaked up the sun-blushed atmosphere in this picturesque location. The bride and groom allowed us to take this intimate photograph which sums up why we love being such an important part of a couples’ special day.

Wedding Waterside Bray

Other iconic venues USO have performed at during this year have included L’Andana Hotel in Tuscany, Kensington Palace, Kew Gardens, The Mayfair Hotel, One Mayfair and The Science Museum.

By providing a bespoke service, Urban Soul Orchestra are the perfect choice for your wedding entertainment. We can provide music for the ceremony, drinks reception and evening reception featuring a broad range of genres. Our ensemble sizes can be flexible to meet both your needs and the requirements of each individual venue.


For weddings in 2014 and beyond we are happy to introduce dancers who can help with the choreography of the first dance. We will also be producing bespoke CDs of songs performed at the wedding which can be used as wedding favours, or as a bespoke memento of the day.

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USO perform at Spring Wedding at Kensington Palace and Kew Gardens

“The wedding ceremony itself took place at the prestigious Kensington Palace before the bride, groom, and congregation made their way to the South-West London beauty spot for the reception in the evening.


Located in the heart of Kew Botanical Gardens, The Orangery was transformed into a fairytale forest that took influence from the famous wedding scene from the popular film ‘Twilight’.


The Sound By Design team took control of mixing the audio for the wonderful 16 piece ‘Urban Soul Orchestra’ who entertained the wedding guests with their mix of smooth jazz and swing band ensembles.


For this event, Sound By Design took charge of supplying and facilitating the sound for the ‘Urban Soul Orchestra’ which encompassed a string quartet, horn section, rhythm section and two vocalists.


The orchestra performed a variety of pieces, from smooth jazz numbers to popular hits, including a rousing rendition of the big band classic ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, charmingly sung by husband and wife vocal duo Steve Brookstein and Eileen Hunter.


The impressive orchestra added a further layer to the marvellous evening, greeting guests with smooth jazz rhythms as they soaked up the atmosphere”.

Sound By Design

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USO featured in the English Wedding Blog

A Classic and Contemporary London Wedding at Syon Park, Richmond:

“We would describe our wed­ding style as clas­sic but with a con­tem­po­rary twist – we were keen to cre­ate a beau­ti­ful, styl­ish and ele­gant day but with­out over­do­ing any ele­ment. Before plan­ning, we ranked each big ticket item as to how impor­tant it was to us (eg flow­ers, music, food, venue). What we dis­cov­ered was that our top rank­ing items were food and drink and music… all key ele­ments which we remem­bered the most from other wed­dings. Anthony’s aunt sings with the Royal Phil­har­monic Orches­tra and sang a cho­sen piece with our string quar­tet whilst we signed the register. Music was one of our key areas for our day as we always remem­ber amaz­ing wed­dings for their fab­u­lous music and bands! We had a fan­tas­tic string quar­tet called Urban Soul who did a clas­sic set for the cer­e­mony then jazzed it up with every­thing from Damien Rice to Oasis for the drinks reception”. Annabel and Anthony

Read more below:




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The Perfect Proposal…Valentines Day With Urban Soul Orchestra


Kevin Slaughter contacted us with the idea that he would love a solo violinist to perform whilst he proposed to his unsuspecting girlfriend. USO MD Stephen Hussey performed for the happy couple and returned a year later for their wedding.

Their Story:

“Within about 3 months of being a couple I think we both knew that we would be together forever. I have always thought that music can make a moment truly memorable and romantic which led me to the thought of a violinist. I stumbled across Stephen online and was blown away by his experience and the people he had worked with.

I wanted to propose outside but in private with just the two of us and Stephen. I was extremely lucky that I was allowed to propose at Prior Park Landscape Garden after hours, so it was closed to the public. I took a day off work, collected the ring and bought a picnic for us to eat after the proposal. When I arrived I met Stephen and he immediately helped me relax. As I went to collect Sarah-Jayne and heard him start to practice it was hard to not have a tear in my eye.

One of the most important things was to keep the engagement a surprise so I told Sarah-Jayne that we were going for a meal in Bath. I collected her from the station and told her there was a shortcut through the park. We walked up to the palladium bridge (one of only 4 in the world) and I had a dozen roses waiting on the steps. I took her hand on the bridge and as I went down on one knee Stephen appeared from behind one of the pillars and started to play One Day Like This by Elbow. She said yes and we both immediately burst in to tears.

It took a little while for Sarah-Jayne to take it all in and stop crying, but when she finally did we opened the champagne and started enjoying the picnic. During this Stephen played a list of songs that had a special meaning to us and also some he thought would be appropriate. Particular highlights were Seal’s Kiss from a Rose and a spectacular version of Superstition. His playing was breathtaking and we both immediately felt relaxed around him. He had a glass of champagne with us and told us some wonderful stories from his career.

Stephen kindly offered to take some photos and came up with some great ideas such as recreating the moment I proposed. He didn’t watch the clock at all and we both really felt he was enjoying our special moment with us. We finished our picnic and said goodbye to Stephen. Sarah-Jayne thought we were going home but I had arranged a stay at a lovely spa hotel in Bath. I decorated the room with roses and candles, and we enjoyed a lovely meal as well as using the spa facilities.

It was a magical weekend that wouldn’t have been the same without Stephen. His talent and passion for music is immediately obvious and he is such a warm, funny and sincere person. I would undoubtedly recommend Stephen to anyone.

Best Wishes,

Kevin and Sarah-Jayne”

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USO Featured in the Sunday Times Style Magazine 21st Jan 2013

USO Featured in the Sunday Times Style Magazine 21st Jan 2013

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February 4, 2013 · 5:07 pm

USO Featured in the Secret Quintessentially Weddings Guide

USO Featured in the Secret Quintessentially Weddings Guide

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February 4, 2013 · 5:05 pm

Newsletter: Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours…

All You Need Is Love

Photo: Jessica Beveridge

The USO team has been very busy creating and playing music to make people’s special day at a number of exclusive weddings. This year we have performed at some of the most luxurious venues in the UK including Botley’s Mansion, Babington House, The Four Seasons Hotel (London), The Royal Exchange, Ellenborough Park Hotel, Cowdray Park and Syon Park to name a few.

USO have opened the stage for other high profile acts including Brian Ferry, Michael Bolton and The Gypsy Queen’s.

“Just wanted to drop you a note to say thank you so much for the music at our wedding. It was brilliant and I’ve had so many comments from guests on how amazing our band were. Everyone had such a good time and the music created such a great atmosphere. So many people said it was the best music they’d ever heard at a wedding. They took on board all our ideas and endless changes and gave an amazing performance on the night….to the bride that was umming and erring she should definitely book you!” Andrea Carter, Wedding at Cowdray Park, September 2012.

Photo: Arnaud Delalande

One of the reasons USO are so popular is because we offer a versatile, bespoke wedding music service from the first moment of the wedding ceremony to the last dance of the wedding reception.
Our unique interchangeable band formats can be individually tailored to provide a full package of wedding entertainment, as clients have the advantage of booking one band for the entire event, with a unique look and style for each part.
You can choose from our innovative range of ensembles, including the USO Big Band and Little Big Band for a classy alternative to a typical function band, USO DJ set with live string quartet and top London DJ’s and the USO Chill Out or Acoustic Ensemble for background music during drinks receptions and the wedding breakfast. Several or all can be combined to provide bespoke entertainment for the entire day.

This quality means that we are in high demand for international wedding destinations which this year have included Nice, Biarritz, Florence and Zermatt, performing at exclusive venues such as the exquisite Villa San Michele and the stunning Hotel Cap Estel.

White Wedding

We have recently launched our new luxury white package incorporating white instruments and white PA. These are ideal to accompany the Chill Out Set with the string quartet (mixed gender, male or female) dressed in white.

 Perfect Day


Set the romantic tone for your wedding ceremony with our classical string quartet. Performed by some of London’s best classically trained musicians this acoustic set will accompany the service with elegant strings. For a traditional English ceremony, throughout the gathering we are able to play light classical music. Following this, for the ceremony we can play during the processional (entrance of the bride) signing, and recessional (exit of the bride).
Our repertoire for this set embraces classical crossover pieces and incorporates other more contemporary pieces, including Chi Mai and Gabriel’s Oboe by one of our favourite composers Ennio Morricone. If you have a song that you would like us to arrange for you we are able to do this on special request.

Drinks Reception

The USO Chill Out set is a unique blend of live strings with a professionally produced soundtrack, creating a lusciously rich soundscape of chill-out music for a relaxed vibe during wedding drinks receptions or to entertain guests during the photographs.
The repertoire list for this set includes songs that we originally arranged the strings for by major artists such as Nitin Sawhney, Nightmares on Wax and Groove Armada.

Watch the Chill Out Set here.

Wedding Breakfast

During the wedding breakfast, let your guests relax to the USO Acoustic Ensemble adding a groovy twist to the traditional string quartet by incorporating percussion and bass to create a beautiful, organic sound, perfect as instrumental background music for a wedding breakfast.
We have over 3 hours of repertoire to choose from, including classical music, chart hits, jazz standards, soul classics and even some reggae favourites and is continually being updated to remain current and accessible to all ages.

Watch the Acoustic Ensemble here.

Photo: Keith Appleby


As the light fades and the stars come out, so do the USO Big Band. For more intimate venues and boutique weddings with select guest lists, we offer the 7 piece USO Little Big Band. This ensemble performs with 2-3 vocalists with string quartet and backing tracks, an electric party band that interacts with the audience. This set can also be accompanied by 2 (female, identical twin) dancers, saxophonist and percussion.

Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke

Featuring chart hits from artists including Amy Winehouse, Black Eyed Peas and Rhianna, but not forgetting classic hits from Michael Jackson, Gloria Gaynor and Tom Jones.
Our amazing dancers can also be hired for private wedding dance lessons in your own home so you can practice your first dance song.
For entertainment between sets and beyond midnight, our selection of top London DJs, include Ben Bridgewater, Dan Lywood, Dan Savidge, Goldirocks and Jose Carretas (Gorillaz).

Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke

Watch the USO Little Big Band here.

Watch the USO Big Band here.

Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke

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February 4, 2013 · 4:56 pm