10 MOST COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT – ANSWERED!
Once you’ve said ‘I Do’, it’s time to party and we all know wedding receptions are even more fun when you’ve got great entertainment. However if your anything like me, you probably have no idea how to choose between a band or DJ? Where do you even go to find one? And how soon should you start looking? That’s why today I’ve invited the experts from Entertainment Nation to answer your top 10 most asked questions. As the leading supplier of of premier bands, performers, and artists for UK and worldwide events, we thought they were just the right people to talk to about how to book wedding day entertainment as easy as, 1, 2, 3.
When it comes to picking your wedding entertainment, there is no right or wrong answer. It is simply down to personal preference!
Personally, we think nothing beats the electrifying atmosphere created by a live band. Wedding bands come in many styles – from pop and rock to soul and Motown, to jazz and swing – but most professional bands will make sure their repertoires are varied enough to please the mix of ages and tastes found at a wedding reception. Expect stunning live sets full of uplifting party favourites to keep you and your guests dancing late into the night. Another great thing about hiring a wedding band is most of them are happy to learn your first dance song, which means you can enjoy a unique and personalised performance of your special song on your big day. With a rich, full, authentic sound and an infectious stage presence, having a live band perform at your wedding reception will create an unforgettable atmosphere.
Another thing to consider is most wedding bands will also provide some type of DJ service for in-between and after their performances, so the dance floor can remain occupied when they aren’t on stage.
A wedding DJ is a great choice for wedding entertainment if you don’t want to hire a full band or have a smaller budget to work with. Wedding DJs know exactly which songs work and which songs don’t work at wedding receptions and can quickly change the style of music to make sure the dance floor stays full. They can cater for all music types and can take requests from you and your guests, giving you more control over the songs played on the night. They are also a good choice if your reception is in a venue that doesn’t have the space for live band or if your venue has a sound limiter.
If you are struggling to pick between the two, why not combine them! A new and upcoming trend is hiring a DJ Live act, where a DJ is supported by live musicians to create an incredible experience like no other. Popular choices are DJ and live sax, DJ and percussion, DJ and electric violin or all of the above!
Book early is our key advice. Key wedding dates (summer weekends) fill up quickly and the most sought after wedding bands can be booked up years in advance! If you leave it to the last minute you could be left disappointed with the lack of bands available for your wedding date.
We suggest you wait till your wedding venue is secured before booking your wedding entertainment, however, as there are important factors such as sound limitations and performance area which need to be taken into consideration when booking your band.
Our overall advice though is definitely to hire your wedding band as soon as possible. Once you have found the right band and you have a quote, go for it! Else you risk the chance of losing them to another couple and then you have to start your search from scratch.
If you are having a smaller, more intimate wedding we have plenty of suggestions for wedding entertainment.
First, if you’ve found a band you love but they’re a little large for your wedding, check whether the band will offer a reduced line-up. Many acts will happily go out with fewer members, allowing them to fit in nicely with your cosy wedding reception.
An acoustic folk band who offer a roaming set would be an excellent choice as the band perform on the dance floor with the guests, moving around the venue and getting everyone involved!
An acoustic duo with a loop pedal has the advantage of sounding like a full band with only two musicians, which is another way to guarantee great entertainment without the space required for a full band.
A solo Rat Pack performer can entertain your guests with a more laid back and chilled jazzy vibe if you aren’t after the party atmosphere, but if you do want to get up and dance a pro DJ could be the perfect choice.
Having a smaller wedding doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the entertainment. Any of these options would work perfectly for a more intimate celebration, still allowing you to dance the night away and enjoy yourself!
When it comes to a wedding playlist, we suggest you trust the judgement of the DJ. They have been doing this for years and know what works well, and what doesn’t! Many DJ’s will let you make requests in advance or on the night to ensure that your favourite songs are played. So, you can still hit the dance floor when your songs come on, without the stress and hassle of organising, planning and creating an entire playlist that caters for all your guests’ different music tastes and styles.
After all, planning a wedding is a big enough task in itself! You don’t want to add to the list if you can help it.
5. We prefer alternative music i.e. Ska / Drum & Bass, how do you suggest we incorporate this but keep older guests happy?
The great thing about wedding bands is they are used to performing for a range of guests of all different ages. Even if they are a very specific type of band, such as ska or drum & bass, they will make sure they have songs in their repertoire that are more inclusive or renditions of songs that everyone will know.
On the flip side of this, your typical pop and rock or soul and Motown wedding band is made up of some seriously talented musicians who can turn their hand to a broad range of musical genres – have a chat with your band to see if there is any way they can work a few niche tunes into their set, and often they’ll be able to oblige.
Either way you won’t have to worry about anyone feeling left out, as a good function band knows how to make their performances enjoyable for everyone!
Your budget for your wedding entertainment should reflect how much entertainment you would like to have on your special day, and the quality you would like to receive. For evening entertainment, £1000 to £2000 can hire you a top band of around 4 or 5 musicians. Generally, the more members in a band, the more the band will cost.
If you’d also like a wedding ceremony performance or someone to play during your drinks reception, you could be looking at anything up to £1000 for a string quartet, acoustic duo or a classical singer. Looking for a good option? Check out this acoustic wedding singer based in Yorkshire. His name is Matthew Stephens and he’s available for weddings and parties of all kinds anywhere in the UK.
Something to think about: lots of bands will offer deals where if you hire them for an evening performance you can receive an acoustic afternoon set for a lower price.
Other considerations when planning your entertainment budget include early arrival times, late finishes, extra sets, travel and accommodation. Most wedding bands provide PA and lighting in their standard fee, but always check first.
You need to research the kind of band and entertainment you would like for your big day to get an idea of the cost – a good place to do just that, and get instant answers to all your questions is a reputable agency like Entertainment Nation.
If you are looking for wedding entertainment that is a little different to your usual band or DJ there are plenty of options to choose from.
For the wedding ceremony itself, a gospel choir is a unique choice that will give your guests goosebumps with their perfect harmonies and dreamy vocals.
Wedding magicians are a great way to keep guests entertained between the key parts of the day, wandering around mingling with guests and thrilling them with close-up illusions.
Add energy and the element of surprise to your wedding breakfast with a singing waiter act. Singing waiters disguise themselves as humble waiting staff, before emerging as the star entertainers!
For the evening reception, a silent disco is a fun way to make your entertainment stand out from the rest and allows your guests to pick the music they love – neatly circumventing any issues with ska or drum & bass!
An act we’re seeing growing demand for is the New-Orleans-style brass band. Transforming songs from all genres into bold and uplifting brass band numbers, these bands will be like nothing you’ve ever seen before at a wedding.
A common question we get at Entertainment Nation is “can we see the band play live?” Unfortunately, our acts are full-time function bands who don’t tend to play many public dates due to having a diary chock-full with weddings and other private events.
However, when you book through an agency like Entertainment Nation you get the peace of mind knowing that the band you book have been vetted and verified by the agency’s industry experts. At Entertainment Nation, we only work with the best musicians in the country, ensuring all of our clients are receiving top quality performances from world-class entertainers. But don’t take our word for it, instead search for reviews on independent third-party platforms like Trustpilot.
To help ensure that the band you are interested in is perfect for you and your wedding reception you should go over all the information that is given to you in detail. Look at their repertoire and check the songs you want to be performed are on there. Check out their promotional videos and see if you can customise the line-up to suit your requirements. Will they learn a first dance song? Will they provide PA and lighting? The answers to these questions will help you decide if the band are right for you and your wedding, and if they offer everything you are looking for.
Trust your own opinion that they are right for your wedding day and trust our opinion that they are great at what they do!
Most bands we work with would prefer a bank transfer prior to their performance. This means the payment is sorted in advance, giving you one less thing to worry about ahead of your wedding day. It also means you won’t have to carry a large amount of cash around with you on your big day or have someone from your wedding party do it for you. You can all relax and enjoy the day, knowing the entertainment is already paid for.
If you would prefer to pay cash, however, you can discuss this with the band directly ahead of the wedding.
Keeping children entertained at a wedding can seem like a bit of a difficult task, especially if they are all different ages. A professional freestyle footballer could be your saving grace, wowing the kids with their impressive skills and even getting them involved to learn a few tricks themselves.
Once again, a magician is an excellent choice that is guaranteed to hold their attention with close up magic, illusions and juggling, making easy entertainment that doesn’t require much space!
And finally, an act that’s guaranteed to have kids of all ages queuing up is a wedding caricaturist. These talented artists provide both an excellent diversion AND keepsakes of your special day that can be enjoyed for years to come.
What type of wedding entertainment are you having at your wedding? We’d love to know?