What to consider when booking your wedding entertainment
Entertainment is such an important aspect of planning for your wedding day. After all, long after your celebration has been and gone, your guests will remember the atmosphere of the day and the way they felt at the time. Music plays a large role in this and can make a huge difference to any party, no matter the size or style.
Couples can often underestimate the thought that needs to go into choosing wedding entertainment. There are so many things to consider. What will your guests enjoy? What style of music do you love? How much do you need to set aside in your wedding budget?
Mayfair Music have a huge amount of experience when it comes to event entertainment and are some of the best in the business, so we wanted their help in deciphering what couples should consider when it comes to booking their wedding entertainment and to share all of what you need to know.
WHAT MAKES WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT AMAZING?
Wedding entertainment is more than just playing your favourite tunes, it’s a huge part of the night and it’s so crucial that the wedding entertainment you choose has the ability to read the crowd.
The right wedding band or DJ will read your guests’ body language, pick up on intricate signs from the crowd of how the music they are playing is being received and easily adapt what they do to suit the guests needs and the flow of proceedings.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BUDGET?
The million dollar question! Though thankfully, you won’t actually need a million dollars to make a great party. When it comes to wedding bands and DJ’s prices vary widely, but the main thing to look out for is value and this comes in multiple ways.
Consider the following:
Experience in the industry – in both performance and understanding the business level of providing entertainment for couples.
Communication – do you feel heard? Are you getting responses to your questions? Lighting fast reply times when you reach out is always handy too.
High quality recommendations – from previous clients, your other wedding day vendors or online reviews and showcases – the proof is in the pudding and nothing speaks louder than a proven history of work and glowing first hand recommendation.
Extensive database – does your entertainer hold numerous talented contacts within the industry? If your entertainment agency has a variety of entertainers to choose from that will suit, you can rest assured that all bases will be covered.
Industry knowledge of technical equipment, so they can adapt and use the correct equipment to suit the space the celebration is being held in.
Attitude and persona that match what they’re putting out there on their website and social media. A team that are invested in your day as much as you are.
When it comes to budgeting for wedding entertainment you can expect the below as an approximate price guide for an average four-hour set;
Solo acoustic musician: $400 – $1000
Acoustic duo: $500 – $1500
Acoustic Trio 4: $600 – $1800
Wedding Band (4+ Musicians): $1,200 – $4,000+
When considering the above, just like the costs of a DJ, florist, celebrant or photographer can vary, so does the cost of musicians for weddings. The wide difference in price is indicative not only of experience, but also style, ability to read a crowd and technical skillset.
HOW LONG DO I NEED TO BOOK ENTERTAINMENT FOR?
While totally dependent on your individual plans and needs, there are a few things to consider here and all go a long way in ensuring the mood is set up correctly so the vibe of the night will flow right into the dance floor.
Ceremony – will you require someone to play music for your ceremony? (Hot tip: it makes a huge difference to atmosphere and seamless transitions!)
Pre-dinner drinks – would you like to start setting the mood with music while guests are enjoying a drink?
Evening reception – do you wish to have a DJ, or a band to set the dance floor alight?
Obviously the longer the timeframe, the more expensive your entertainment will be. However, don’t underestimate the value of having music playing to relax and excite guests for the festivities ahead. Your entertainment choices can ensure that the magic starts from the get go and sets up for an enthusiastic dance floor later.
SHOULD I ADD ON EXTRA PERFORMERS?
Extra performers can make a huge difference to energy of the night. Common add-ons are live saxophonists, additional vocalists or percussionists. It’s these elements that will truly make it a celebration to remember and countless amounts of memories are made that will leave guests talking long after your wedding has been and gone. So often, this added element will ignite even the most conservative wallflower and have them up dancing. If you can make it work for your wedding, take advantage of it, you won’t regret it.
HOW DO I NAVIGATE THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF THINGS WHEN IT COMES TO WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT?
Yes, it’s technical, but shouldn’t be a job for a couple. Ultimately if you enlist the services of a team who are experienced and provide value, they will take care of the technical side of things. When considering your wedding entertainment ensure you talk about the quality of their audio equipment, and have them research your venue so they understand the acoustics of the space, number of guests in attendance along with complying with any sound restrictions and health and safety too.
DOES THE COUPLE HAVE A SAY IN WHAT MUSIC IS PLAYED?
Once you’ve locked in your wedding entertainment, the fun stuff begins. Chat about the music you want played and what kind of mood you want to set for each component of the day. Provide a list of songs you definitely want played, and also list songs you definitely don’t want to be played so everyone is on the same page.
It’s really important to clarify the important songs that you will want for some of the more magical moments. For instance, the first dance, walking down the aisle, reception entrance etc. Should you be completely stuck, ask for help, as most entertainment agencies and performers will be able to provide a list. Don’t be closed off to suggestions either, having experience in performing at weddings means they will have a good idea of what does and doesn’t work.
HOW MUCH SPACE IS REQUIRED?
Space and set up for a DJ is actually quite simple. The DJ just needs a 1830mm wide x 760mm deep x 740mm high trestle table (most of the time supplied by the venue) and some room at the back to be able to comfortably move around and to store and manage the different sound equipment. Some DJs will request something different, but most of the time, this is the case as most venues generally know this and can supply for the DJ.
Space for acoustics musicians varies of course with how many there are on stage.
A solo acoustic act can take up almost less space than a DJ, normally sitting on a stool with a mic on a mic stand and room for a mixer beside them.
Duo/Trios require a little more room, as they need space to comfortably play their instruments without knocking each other out!
Bands (4+ people) can take up a decent size stage a lot of the time. Especially if they have a drummer, this can be quite a big outfit ! Be sure to model the dancefloor in comparison to where the band is situated, to allow the band to perform at their very best with some room to move.
BESIDES A PLAYLIST, WHAT ELSE MIGHT A COUPLE BE EXPECTED TO PROVIDE?
In order for the big day to run as smoothly as possible, it’s a good idea to have a detailed run sheet (that hopefully has all the contacts for both the venue and other key people they might need to be contacted on the day), along with extra details that you might not have spoken with the entertainment provider about or changes that have been made.
Don’t be afraid to send lots of information over! The DJ/Musician (and also agency) feel much more comfortable knowing the ins and outs of the wedding, as they never know what little things might pop up.
Another quite important aspect is to supply the entertainment with food if they will be required to perform over a general meal time. This is common practice and also allows the entertainment to feel well looked after. It has a very positive flow on effect for all involved and is industry standard!
Ready to get your groove on? Mayfair Music are not only extremely professional in their pre-wedding day consultations, but helpful and experienced in co-ordinating all manner of situations and requests. Did we mention they also happen to bring the goods when it comes to music that will leave you with lasting memories, in all the right ways? Contact them here.