Each couple will have a different idea about what is the best when it comes to wedding entertainment. That’s a good thing, because a wedding celebration should be a reflection of the people at the centre of it. However, for many couples this will be the first time they have booked entertainment and the pressure is on to get everything right for the big day. If you hire a wedding planner, like myself, you can simply choose from a range of entertainment presented to you, based on your tastes and vision for your wedding day – the rest is taken care of. But if you want to get more involved here are some things you need to consider:
Yes this is your day, but you want your guests to have a good time too. When choosing entertainment think, wide appeal. If there is anything you don’t like, for examples songs you don’t want to be played, be clear about that with whoever you book, but otherwise consider entertainment that all family members can enjoy, from children to grandparents. Make sure your entertainer is clear on the audience so they can tailor the music to suit.
How does your entertainment fit with the venue?
Where you are holding your wedding will need to be considered when deciding what entertainment you can provide. Couples often find it easy to consider the setting but don’t always think carefully about the space. A room can look deceptively bigger when it is empty. Don’t guess how much room your entertainment might need, ask what space is needed to set up and check with the venue if this will be suitable before you book. Be guided by the venue as to how many guests you can comfortably accommodate and what space is left for entertainment. You need to find out whether the cost of the venue includes amplifiers and lighting. If not, find out if this is something the entertainment company can provide or if you need to hire a separate company? Also, don’t forget the dance floor. A venue may or may not provide this. There are different kinds and sizes of dance floor. Make sure you check what is available and get the right one to suit you.
Live band, DJ, solo singer – how to decide?
When it comes to booking acts there is a wealth of choice open to you. If you’ve got the budget there is almost no barrier to who you can get to play at your wedding. For example, Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, Harry Styles and Gary Barlow are just some of the big names I have booked to perform at private parties. A popular choice is to hire both a band and a DJ. If you’re doing this make sure that you check what time they will each need to set up and if they will need to move their gear out before the end of the night, and what disruption this may cause. I always recommend a great party band for a wedding though. They prove great value as they play all evening rather than just two sets, and good one such as the Swan Band or London Essentials can keep the atmosphere building all night.
Know what you’re getting
You’d be surprised how many times I hear that people have booked a band or DJ for their wedding without seeing them perform. Make sure you know what you’re signing up to. If you can’t see them live ask for video footage you can watch or a live CD. Find out what kind of music they play. Ask if they will introduce your first dance and if they will take requests. If there are particular tunes or songs you specifically don’t want to be played ask how any requests for these tracks will be dealt with.
Everyone hopes this won’t be needed, but sometimes things don’t work out as planned. Ask what will happen if a band member, singer or DJ is sick on the day. Does the entertainment company have a back-up plan if this does happen? Find out what it is and decide if you would be happy with this.
It’s not all about the music
When planning your entertainment think about your guests and any downtime they might have, while you’re busy having photographs taken etc. How might you like to be entertained if that were you? Music is one option, but there are many others like a magician, caricaturist, mixologists, bar flair, photo-booth, and if you have the outdoor space even fairground rides.
End the night with a bang
A firework display can be a magical, fairy tale end to an evening, but this is one area where you definitely can’t cut corners. If this is something you are thinking about, make sure that you have permission from the venue and that you have follow the government’s safety guidelines for firework displays.