How to choose amazing wedding entertainment
You’ve got the groom, the rings, the venue and your dream dress. All you need now is to inject a little fun into the proceedings with the perfect wedding entertainment. Here’s how to add that final elusive ingredient and, most importantly, get it right…
Let’s get the party started
Wedding entertainment has come on in leaps and bounds from the days when everyone danced to a homemade mixtape followed by a DJ playing cheesy hits on repeat. These days anything goes, from dancing waiters and opera singers to jazz bands, gospel choirs and fairground rides. Our recent WED2B survey found that 16% of you will be hiring a magician, for example. And, when it comes to music, 57% of brides will book a DJ while 38% will go for a live band. Before you sign on the dotted line though, read on for our top wedding entertainment tips to ensure your party goes with a swing!
Consider the logistics
Whatever your dreams are for your wedding entertainment, they need to work with your venue. So, before you set your heart on aerial acrobatics or a 12-piece orchestra, check what restrictions your venue may have. Take into account the space available, lighting, power points and even the acoustics. Also, are there any restrictions on the sound that might impact on the type of band you’d like to book? If your heart is set on your favourite heavy metal band to make sure your venue can accommodate them - and their noise!
Work with your theme
Your entertainment needs to work well with both your setting and your theme. For example, a 1920s’ style jazz band might go brilliantly with a vintage theme while a string quartet is best suited to a more classic celebration. Alternatively, if you’re having a festival-themed wedding, circus performers would certainly add wow factor!
Think beyond the music
Music is obviously a must-have for after-dinner entertainment but there are also plenty of other ways to keep your guests amused. The post-ceremony drinks reception is often a great time for a little something extra, such as a magician, comedian or caricaturist. It’s also a great way to inject some fun into that awkward stage when you’re off having photos.
Do your research
Check out online reviews and references and ask your venue for recommendations. When you’ve narrowed down your options, ask for a written quotation and find out how you can see your act perform. For example, most entertainers and bands now have videos of their performances online.
You’re more likely to get your first choice and bag a bargain if you book early, possibly 12 to 18 months in advance. If you’re planning to marry outside the busy summer months or on a weekday you’re also more like to get a cheaper rate. You can save time and effort by using an agency too. There are many reputable agencies who represent a wide number of acts, so you can coordinate all your entertainment through them. Finally, when you go ahead and book, make sure you check any terms and conditions, the cancellation policy and any contingencies the act has in place for emergencies.
Keep the kids happy
If you’re inviting children, think about their entertainment too. Their parents will thank you! A children’s area with games, crafts, music and movies is a great idea. If you can arrange a babysitter or specialist wedding creche to oversee everything it also means mums and dads can relax and hit the dance floor. If that will blow the budget, help out with party bags full of fun toys, crayons and games instead.
Trust your act or band
Finally, if you’re booking professionals, then they are likely to have performed at hundreds of weddings. So, while you’ll certainly want your band to include a few of your favourite songs, they should have a good idea of what tunes will get everyone from your grandad to your mates up and dancing.
Types of wedding entertainment
There’s a wealth of choice so, to help you decide, we’ve picked a few of our favourite styles of entertainment below…
A professional DJ will be an expert at getting the party going, playing hits that will keep all ages happy and creating a real party atmosphere.
Take a look at… DJ Mark Green
Mark Green's DJ provides a personalised level of service to brides and grooms all over the country with 15 years of national and international experience. Mark is passionate about mixing live and flooding dance floors with energy which means that you get to know exactly who will be spending your day with you and making it extra special.
A musician or group of musicians is the perfect sophisticated touch for any big day, whether that’s a saxophonist, pianist, harpist or full string quartet. They can play moving music for your ceremony before providing beautiful background tunes for both your drinks reception and wedding breakfast.
Take a look at… Thesaxwalker
Based in Ipswich, Suffolk, David Walker currently performs across the whole of the UK and beyond. He’s a professional solo saxophonist who plays a number of different music genres and is available for weddings, restaurants, bars, parties or corporate functions.
Take a look at… 2 of Harps
2 of Harps are an internationally acclaimed, award-winning harp and vocal duo. They play a variety of music, including traditional, classical, Scottish, modern, contemporary and jazz. They also offer piano, Scottish fiddle and flute within their repertoire.
Take a look at… Janine Kinnear Piano
Janine is classically trained from the Ulster College of Music and has 20 years’ experience. She’s available to play background instrumental music for your special day, during the wedding ceremony, pre-dinner drinks or the wedding breakfast.
Take a look at… Niche London String Quartet
Every year Niche London String Quartet thrill and entertain thousands of wedding guests with their brilliant performances, playing everything from classical to the latest pop music. Niche musicians are available as a string quartet, trio or duo for weddings and events.
Our recent WED2B survey found that 57% of brides hire a photo booth, and we can see why! It’s a super fun evening activity that works well for both young and old. You can include loads of silly props, they can match your wedding theme and you end up with lots of brilliant photos. What’s not to love!
Take a look at… Betty's Bakes and Booth Hire
Betty’s Bakes and Booth Hire offers a completely different photo booth experience. Its charming vintage caravan houses a fully functioning photo booth, including on-the-spot printing, personalised backdrops and plenty of props!
There’s a lot to be said for classic wedding entertainment. It’s tried and tested and is guaranteed to go down well. But, if you want your wedding to really stand out from the crowd, why not book something a little out of the ordinary? There are bubbleologists, acrobats, fortune tellers, ballet dancers, vintage carousels and much more, all available for weddings. So, for something truly memorable, get creative and think outside the box.
Take a look at… Secret Singers UK
Hiring a ‘singing waiter’ is an emerging trend that is taking the wedding and event industry by storm. Secret Singers UK creates a ‘scenario’ that leads to an incredible show with stunning vocals and a party where everyone is up, dancing and having a great time.
Special Offer: Quote WED2B when you book to receive 15% off services.
Take a look at… Big Day Bounce
Big Day Bounce is a new business in Milton Keynes offering the only white bouncy castle hire in Buckinghamshire. Perfect for weddings, christenings and more. The newest, trendiest wedding craze out there! The castle can also be operated indoors.
Take a look at… Chase Lane Fireworks
A professional firework display company serving the county of Gloucestershire and nationwide since 2007. Using electronic firing systems, it’s able to create beautiful displays with the very best effects sourced from suppliers around the globe.
Special Offer: Quote ‘chaselane16’ when you book to receive 15% off Services
Take a look at… Magic by Alfie
Add a touch of magic to your day! A unique, bespoke and personalised entertainment service based around you and your guests. Alfie has a wealth of professional experience and has been grateful to perform at hundreds of weddings across the country.
Special Offer: Quote WED2B when you book to receive 5% off all packages.
Click here for more wedding entertainment inspiration or visit our Wedding Suppliers page to find the very best wedding suppliers in your area. Finally, for more big day inspiration and to find your dream dress, head over to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter