Firstly, congratulations on your engagement! The chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably looking to choose your perfect wedding band or live entertainment – and what an excellent choice live music is!
As a recently engaged couple, who are also wedding party band members, it’s been a real eye-opener looking for and booking the entertainment for our wedding. Being ‘in the trade’ obviously has its advantages, but we’ve found it a really time-consuming and challenging (but fun!) decision to make. Of course, you want your day to be special and to your own taste, but you also want to keep your guests happy (from kid cousins to Granny), as well as having the usual ‘are they reliable/how will they sound/will they play the songs I want?’ worries!
So, with that in mind, here’s our guide to choosing the right entertainment for your special day, whether that be DJ, live band, acoustic duo or string quartet!
Firstly, think about what it is you really want from your evening entertainment; do you want a band that will blow your guests’ socks off? Or would you rather something a bit more low-key? How much are you prepared to spend on entertainment? All these things will help you to narrow-down your choices once you’ve obtained quotes.
Do judge a book by its cover; if the entertainment company/band/DJ have put a lot into their website, it’s likely that they take pride in what they do, and are keen to show-off what a great service they have to offer. Check-out their audio and video samples; do they appear professional and organised? How do they look on stage?
Ask around; can your friends/family recommend any bands or DJ’s that they’ve seen at other weddings? Ask your venue if they’ve had bands/musicians/DJ’s perform there before and, if so, who they’d recommend. Word of mouth is the best way to really get to hear the truth about an act.
Get quotes from as many acts as possible, and compare what each have to offer. If one is more expensive than the other, consider why that is – and remember, the cheapest will not always be the best value for money! It’s your special day, and perhaps spending a little extra will mean you receive a more personal and professional service.
Make sure your chosen wedding entertainment company corresponds and communicates well with you; if you’re having to chase them for information regarding their quote, or they’re not getting back to you when asking them questions at the point of booking, consider that they may not be as professional as they first appear….
Don’t be afraid to book someone without hearing them; if their audio and visual are good on their website, you’ve heard good things about them and you feel that they could be the perfect act for your wedding, why not ask them if they have a practice you can attend? If not, have a look at the instruments they play – are there less than you can actually hear in the recordings? If so, ask them whether they are using backing tracks – this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it will help you determine what they will sound like on the night.
Don’t shy away from taking advice; entertainers have often played hundreds of weddings, and they really have seen it all! Listen to what they have to say, and don’t be afraid to follow their advice (but don’t feel that you have to adhere to their suggestions either!).
Ask questions! It’s your day, and you deserve to have the act you want. Ask your wedding band or DJ to confirm or explain any queries you have, or if there’s a special request you’d like, try asking them. You’ve got nothing to lose!
And last but not least…. Don’t try to please everyone. Not all of your guests will share your taste in music and so you really do just have to go with your instinct and gut-feeling.
Live entertainment at a wedding is sometimes an element of the big day that gets over-looked – after-all, you’ve got so much to think about, and so much to spend your hard-earned cash on! Personally, we think you just can’t beat the enjoyment and atmosphere of live entertainment…. But then again, I suppose we may be a little biased! : )
Good luck from all at Session in finding the right act for your special day – and if there’s anything you’d like to ask us, or any advice you need concerning your evening entertainment, please feel free to get in touch. We’re always happy to help!