Choosing your wedding entertainment is an important decision. It’s almost on par with selecting a venue, cake and transport. Good wedding entertainment can finish off your day perfectly and leave everyone happy and tired. Poor entertainment can leave everyone a little flat. We know which we would prefer!
With that in mind, let’s go over choosing the wedding entertainment.
First thing’s first. What kind of entertainment are you looking for? Do you want a live band? Wedding singer? DJ? Magician? Or something a little different? Planning the entertainment should be part of the overall planning of the day and preferably be something agreed nice and early. There are literally hundreds of wedding entertainers, so it pays to know what you’re looking for before you spend time researching.
Entertainment can be theme agnostic as there are all kinds of bands, singers, DJs and entertainers to fit almost any theme. There are swing bands for vintage themes, specialist wedding singers for traditional themes and wedding DJs for family-oriented weddings. The list goes on, which is why you should decide what kind of wedding and entertainment you’re after nice and early.
Once you have an idea of what you would like, begin researching those in your area. Check the internet, Yellow Pages, wedding shops, word of mouth, local pubs that feature live music and anywhere else you can think of.
Not all bands advertise that they perform at weddings, but would do so if asked, so don’t be afraid to go and see some. It’s all in the name of research after all!
The advantage of the internet is that many entertainers will have videos of themselves performing on their websites or on YouTube. You can also check Twitter and Facebook to see what’s said about them and see what kind of feedback they get from people. It all helps to build up a picture of the entertainer and the quality of work they do.
Make a shortlist of a few acts and follow them up to see if they are what you’re looking for. Don’t rule any out until it’s time to book as availability can be a thorny issue, especially during the summer wedding season. Keep the shortlist, even after making a booking. You never know when you might need it.
The thing with wedding entertainment is that you don’t really know what you’re going to get until the time. You can see them live, you can watch them in action, but it’s still never 100%. The performance may be great, but are they reliable? Will they turn up on time? Will they turn up at all?
If they perform at open events, go and see them. If they host videos of their performances online, watch those. If it’s a band or singer you’re looking for, chances are, weddings isn’t all they do. See where they perform, stand in the crowd and experience them as your guests will experience them.
Wedding DJs and specialist performers may be harder to track down and see in action, but if you can, do it.
Meet, Quote and Book
Once you have found the wedding entertainment you’re happy with, arrange a meeting with them to assess them in person. The internet is a wonderful thing but it’s one dimensional and doesn’t give you the whole picture.
Discuss your needs, playlists, availability, feedback and get as much information out of them as possible. If your gut says they are the right entertainers for your wedding, get a quote there and then.
You will want to know how long they will perform for, their playlist, what time they will turn up, what their requirements are for space, sound and light and any special needs they may have. If you’re happy with the answers, check their availability and book them if they are free.
Most wedding entertainers will require some kind of deposit to secure any particular date. It isn’t unusual to request up to 50% of the fee in advance, which is fine. You also need a contract or written agreement listing what they will do, the cost, the date, the location and what’s expected of them. Do not book anyone without a contract!
Don’t forget to pass on their needs to the venue well in advance to ensure there aren’t any problems. Chances are, they have worked with the entertainer before, so will know all about it, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure.
Once your wedding entertainment is dealt with, it’s time to move on to other things. However, it’s wise to check with the entertainer a couple of weeks before your wedding to ensure they are still okay and will be turning up on the day. There’s nothing worse than a cancellation at the 11th hour to ruin a well-planned wedding!
Planning your wedding entertainment is like any other aspect of your big day. You need to do your research, check it’s the right product for you and for your guests and make sure it’s right. Do it right and it’s one less thing to worry about on your wedding day!