There’s so much to get right – and wrong – when planning a wedding. It’s easily the biggest day of your life, and because almost all of the planning falls on your shoulders, the pressure is on.
However, there’s one element of your big day that will live long in the memory for most guests. The ceremony and exchanging of the rings are a given, of course, but the evening’s entertainment is often the thing that elevates a wedding to legendary status.
Think about the last wedding you really, really enjoyed – it’s almost certain the entertainment played a significant role in those memories.
So, you definitely need to get this bit right, and without further ado – here’s the most important dos and don’ts when picking wedding entertainment.
… find the right mix
You may just want a piano player during the wedding breakfast and a band for the evening – and that’s cool, but whatever mix you decide to have, make sure it suits the day.
If you go more elaborate, try not to stuff too much into one day. While it might feel like a great idea to have a juggler during the meal, close-hand magic before the speeches, and a candy store, string quartet and fireworks before the main band take to the stage, are you really going to fit that all in, and will it simply be too exhausting for everyone?
… remember that you’re in charge
You’ll need to relinquish a certain amount of control to the entertainment you book, but it’s important to remember that you’re the one in charge.
They will have valuable input on timings and may have specific requests that enable them to perform, but the day is yours. As soon as you start letting them dictate how the day runs, you’ve lost control and it’ll become more about them than you.
… keep in mind the guest demographics
This is an important one. Although you both love your Drum ’n’ Bass, choosing to have a DJ from that world fill the entire evening’s entertainment probably isn’t going to go down particularly well with the older generation.
Most people expect weddings to be pretty eclectic, music-wise, but it’s important there’s something for everyone, so before you settle on a DJ, band or other form of entertainment, consider whether or not they can fulfil the dancing needs of everyone in the room.
… devote a decent portion of your budget
Wedding entertainment isn’t cheap – so, let’s get that disappointment out of the way immediately.
You could, of course ‘go cheap’, but that won’t result in a particularly memorable night, so make sure you reserve a decent portion of your budget to the entertainment – it’s some of the best money you’ll spend.
… meet the entertainment face-to-face beforehand
A brilliant band you’ve heard of might be an absolute nightmare to work with, and if they’re not your kind of people that could leave a bit of a dark cloud hanging over your big day.
Make sure you meet any entertainment face-to-face before you book them, firstly to ensure you’ll get along but also to discuss the finer details of the day.
… go and listen to the band or DJ before you book
Have you heard the band you’re planning to book, or have you just heard on the grapevine that they can rock the house?
If possible, always go and listen to the band you want to book before you do so. The same goes for DJs – they all approach the craft differently, and experiencing it first hand is really important to get a feel for how they could impact your big day.
… share the day’s schedule with all entertainment
An easy one, this – make sure all the entertainment you’ve booked has the day’s schedule to hand and knows when they’re needed.
… focus solely on the stuff you like
Remember your love of Drum ’n’ Bass? Indulge in it a little for the day, of course (make it your first dance, if that floats your boat), but don’t make it all about you as a couple. As daft as that might sound, the day is about celebrating with the people you love, and entertainment will play a key role in enabling that to happen.
… think your playlist will cut the mustard
If it’s tempting to cut this particular budgetary corner and opt for a couple of your own speakers, an iPod and your Spotify playlist – don’t.
Firstly, you probably haven’t got the kit to fill a room adequately with music, and secondly, your playlist really won’t cut it. You’ll also be DJ for the night, and that will quickly become a burden.
… tell the DJ or band exactly what to play
There’s nothing wrong with giving the DJ or band a list of some of your favourite songs, but it’s always best to caveat it by reminding them they don’t have to play those songs.
If you go one step further and demand they play an exact list of songs in a particular order, you’ll probably lose the booking or inadvertently create a night of music that simply doesn’t work. They’re pros – let them get on with it.
… leave the booking until the last minute
Wedding entertainment gets booked up super-fast, so make sure you shove this particular to-do to the top of the list. You might even need twelve months to source the best bands.
… expect everything to work perfectly to the clock
Having a wedding schedule is entirely normal and a great idea, but it’s important to remember that days like this rarely run to time.
With that in mind, and as important as it is to share the schedule with the entertainment, build in plenty of flexibility and don’t worry on the day if the first dance is an hour late – it really doesn’t matter.
… forget to ask your closest family and friends what they want
So many soon-to-be-weds forget to do this. Why not ask those closest to you what they’d like to be entertained by on the night?
By doing this, you’ll alleviate some of the pressure from you both but also ensure you create a night that is uniquely tuned to the desires of the people who matter the most in your lives.
This should be one of the most enjoyable parts of planning your wedding, and with our tips above, it’ll be just that. Go and find the entertainment that will turn your big day into the most memorable event of your lives!