10 steps for selecting wedding entertainment
Epic wedding day entertainment is high on the planning priority list of most couples.
From soloists, acoustics, DJ’s and the booking process in general – we thought a handy how-to guide to booking your wedding entertainment might be helpful.
Thanks to our friends at Hey Jack, we have uncovered the 10 top steps to finding, locking in and totally nailing your wedding day entertainment.
Settle in and get ready to create magic musical memories and the dance floor of your dreams
STEP ONE: READ REVIEWS
Most of us rely on recommendations from our nearest and dearest for purchases as small as a long-wearing foundation or red lippie, so of course you want to nail something as important as your wedding entertainment.
The best place to start is right in front of you. Kicking off with Google reviews and trusted wedding directory recommendations (umm, us!). From there you can begin to compile a shortlist ensuring you aim for mostly 5-star providers. Don’t forget to actually skim some reviews – it should be pretty obvious if they are genuine wedding party reviews or not.
STEP TWO: CUSTOMER SERVICE
It’s pretty safe to say if you’ve put on your wedding detective hat and found solid 5-star reviews, this means the customer service is going to be top-notch. Still, it doesn’t hurt to give a few of your options a call and get a feel for the people on the other end of the phone before you commit. Test how they handle your questions and requests and most importantly, that you get a good vibe. Your intuition knows best, baby!
Once you’ve picked an entertainment company for your big day, the majority of the time you will have a dedicated Event Manager to guide you through the process from start to finish. Let them get in contact with the wedding venue and work out all the nitty-gritty details. Your experienced event manager will be your go-to guy or gal, with impressive organisational skills so you can focus on other wedding planning matters.
STEP THREE: END TO END ENTERTAINMENT
The best entertainment companies will be specialists in more than just one area. We know some amazing local wedding entertainment companies who have a plethora of talented performers and who wear more than one musical hat, and wear it well!
Acoustic acts can be formed as a soloist, duo or even trio depending on the set-up and style you prefer at your wedding. Be covered end to end from the ceremony to canapé hour, right through to your reception. You can take advantage of the option to add a DJ if you want more upbeat music to keep you dancing all night long.
Another option is to create ‘your own’ band, in a sense, if the entertainment can provide an array of strings and brass instruments for a party atmosphere.
Keeping all your entertainment with one supplier who knows exactly what you want and when you want it during your special day is worth its weight in gold. The really good entertainment providers even have MC’s available and can help with reception lighting (BIG plus). You’ll thank us later, promise!
STEP FOUR: $$$
Even if you are having big ‘treat yourself vibes’ for your wedding and the sky is the limit ‘cos it’s your BIG day, there is probably still a little part of you that knows the more you can save in one area means the more you can splurge in another.
Well-established entertainment companies will offer bundles that deliver greater value for money. For example, a 7-hour all day package will likely be a more attractive deal and better cost than paying by the hour and having to add everything on.
STEP FIVE: THE UNKNOWNS
It’s a totally reasonable assumption for you to make that all the equipment and transport for the musicians are included, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. We don’t want you getting hit with extra organising fees or unknown added costs, so definitely double-check this and the below before booking!
Key considerations to take into account include clarifying if wireless microphones, battery powered PA and quality sound systems are included in the costs. Check that ‘All Day Entertainment’ really means all day, so you don’t have moments full of awkward silences instead of magical musical ambience. Finally, if your ceremony and reception are being held at separate venues, find out if this is covered in your package or if there is a relocation cost.
STEP SIX: MAKING A SELECTION
Once you’ve narrowed your list down to one or two entertainment suppliers, it’s time to investigate the actual musicians, their performance style and kind of atmosphere and ambience their music creates.
The best place to start is to check if the entertainment company has live or promotional videos available on their social media or website – if they are well established and experienced they will do!
You can also meet your act and the event manager of your chosen company prior to booking in most cases. If you’re really lucky you might even be able to see your act live at a public venue before the big day.
This will not only give you a sense of the of the vibe they can create, but also other little things like the dress code of the performers and if that fits in with your overall vision (generally this is a safe bet, as wedding performers are seasoned professionals who definitely dress the part)!
STEP SEVEN: SPECIAL REQUESTS
Make sure you review the setlist of your entertainment choice before booking, just in case they have (or don’t have, if that’s how you roll) Rednex ‘Cotton Eye Joe’. Reputable acts will also be able to learn at least three or more songs that have a special meaning to you and your significant other, friends and/or fam. This can make a big difference to how you feel during your special walk down the aisle, big entrance to reception as an officially married couple and emotional first dance.
If you have any cultural requests, don’t be afraid to ask so you can ensure you get your dream wedding entertainment the way you envisage it with musicians who are the right fit for you and your partner, family and friends.
STEP EIGHT: THE COMBO
Keep in mind you have options and you’re the captain of this wedding ship! Pick an entertainment company who are flexible in letting you have choice and customise certain options. Ideally, you should be able to curate your music and entertainment to match the vibe of your wedding. Do you only want to have live music for a few hours or do you want it all day long? Your call!
What kind of mix is the perfect music match for you? A sophisticated affair might call for classical instruments throughout the different memorable moments of the day. On the other hand, if you’re after more of a relaxed feel to suit for example a beachside wedding, and want slow dance options at your reception with smooth upbeat vocals later, opting for an acoustic soloist or duo accompanied by guitar may be your winning choice.
If you know you and your guests will love a party reception that delivers hit after hit you can dance up a storm to, opting for a DJ is probs going to be your best bet! Suppose you’re a fan of the boob (Michael Bublé, that is) and other big band style jazz tunes – in that case, your musicians can create a brass arrangement that covers past classics and current showstoppers.
STEP NINE: EXTRAS
Fun optional extras can help elevate and take any wedding entertainment to the next level.
This can mean extending your music time if you want to party into the wee hours of the morning or perhaps adding some more interactive elements to your reception.
Picture a saxophonist or trumpet player weaving in and out of the crowd as they dance. We even know of some WOW weddings that added a bongo player and had their guests creating a conga line as the bride and groom said their final goodbyes for the night.
STEP TEN: DECISION TIME
Even if you only follow a few of these steps, you’ll be in good stead for a stellar wedding to remember…and if you follow all of them? We think you’ll look years younger from saving all that time and money!
When it comes to wedding entertainment (and photography and film, for that matter) Melbourne’s own Hey Jack are high on our list of favourites. With hundreds of weddings and events under the belt, they’re the gurus, and continuously receive 5-star reviews from real life couples for good reason.