7 things to keep in mind when booking entertainment for your wedding

December 13 | Guest post by David Baird
7 things to keep in mind when booking entertainment for your wedding
DJ Monkey Art Print by Down Under Gallery

If you'll be needing entertainment to enhance the atmosphere of your wedding, it can be a challenge. Nothing can bring together both sides of the aisle together like some killer music (whether for dancing all night or background for your tabletop gaming).

Here are some tips for booking entertainment to keep your wedding guests chill and having a blast.

Getting married during peak season? Book early!

Summer and early fall only have so many weekends, so be sure to find and book your entertainment as soon as possible if your wedding will take place between the months of June through October. Also, keep in mind that if you decide to hold your wedding during popular months, the rates for a performance may be a bit higher than those during the rest of the year. If you're looking to save on more than just the entertainment, consider having an off-season Winter Wonderland or springtime wedding.

Know your limits

Before booking a performance, keep your venue in mind and know what your wedding location will allow when it comes to entertainment. Discuss with your site manager any restrictions the location has including a music curfew, noise limits, and the availability of electrical circuits for any required equipment to avoid a last-minute change of plan.

Choose wisely

One of the first decisions you will need to make when planning the entertainment for your wedding is whether you will have a live band or a DJ. While one option may initially seem like a better idea, it is important to understand the pros and cons of both. For instance, live bands do a fantastic job at energizing a crowd and, if chosen correctly, can fit well into a themed party. Additionally, live bands are great for both guests who enjoy dancing and those who would rather watch from the sidelines. However, live bands have a smaller selection of music and tend to have equipment that takes up space. Live music can also be loud and overwhelming in small spaces.

As for DJs, guests can enjoy a wide variety of their favorite songs sung by their original artists for a lower cost than their live-band counterparts. If you choose to go with a DJ for your wedding, be sure to work with one that has a personality that allows for an upbeat mood without being too cheesy. It is also important to keep in mind that a DJ may be boring, or even irritating, for guests who are unable or prefer not to dance.

Know what kind of music you want and when

Whether you choose to have a live band or a DJ (or both), be sure to inform them which era/genre of music you want like to hear at the ceremony, reception, cocktail hour, and during your first dance (if you're following that kind of schedule). This will allow you to find the musician that will best fit your wedding and will help guide the entertainment professionals you choose to work with prepare the setlist for your event.

Be inclusive and age-conscious with your setlist

American couples are in their late 20s on average. While it may be tempting only to choose the songs you want to listen to at your wedding, it is important to consider that many of your wedding guests may be much older or younger than you. Be sure to choose a broad range of music from different eras that everyone can enjoy. A good rule of thumb is to select songs that are representative of the music each guest enjoyed during their teenage years, as well as a mix of current top 40 hits and classic crowd pleasers.

You can also play different music at different times during the event, such as playing heavier or more specialized music towards the end of the night when the crowd is likely to be younger.

Check your references and ask the right questions

Once you begin to narrow down your options for performances, it is crucial to read each performer's references and to gather all the information you will need for your wedding. Collect any promotional materials each performer has and inquire about the names and contact information of three or four prior customers for references. Ask each entertainment professional if they have performed in your venue before or if they are familiar with the location. If you are interviewing a live band, be sure to ask how long each member has been playing music as well as how long the band has played together.

Be flexible

Your dream entertainer may not be the best fit for your venue, budget, or other factors, but always try to keep an open mind. Remember, there are plenty of other artists that could be a great fit.

The best and least stressful way to book entertainment for your wedding is to plan ahead. By being aware of your venue as well as your budget, you are sure to find kick-ass entertainment that complements every moment.

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