Wedding Entertainment Planning Tips
We love to get advice from the top experts in the industry so today we bring you some top tips from Alive Network to help you plan the entertainment for your wedding day. Alive Network are the go-to guys to find your wedding entertainment. With almost 20 years in the industry and hundreds of artists to hook you up with, they're fab at what they do. So have a lovely start to the week, bookmark this page, we guarantee it will be one you need when the time comes to booking your wedding entertainment.
Over to the pros...
You know you want live music and entertainment on your wedding day, but what are your options? When faced with all the choices on offer, it can feel like you’re a kid in a sweet shop: excited but ultimately overwhelmed!
We’ve put together our top wedding hacks to help you plan your wedding entertainment like a pro and get the right touches that will perfectly suit your day… without having a huge sugar hangover at the end of it.
Where to Feature Your Entertainment
The days are gone when wedding entertainment was just about the end of your night. Now couples are starting the day in style with amazing touches throughout the day, from live music at your ceremony, or flair bartenders at the drinks reception, to surprise singing waiters at the wedding breakfast, or a retro jukebox for your post-party party!
Of course, your day is going to be totally unique to you, and there’s no need for you to stick with convention in terms of timings and styles – by all means go bespoke and create a day that’s totally you.
But by taking a look at a general wedding day running order, you can get a good feel for where you might like entertainment to feature on your day. To help, we’ve deconstructed it below, and provided best-loved artists inspiration for each part of your day.
Drinks Reception and Wedding Breakfast
Background music: Two 45-minute sets or one 60-minute set
Ice-breaking mix and mingle entertainers, like magicians and caricaturists, can perform during the reception and into your wedding breakfast. They can also provide a fantastic distraction to keep the fun flowing while you slip away to have your newlywed photographs taken during the drinks reception.
Plan for the natural lulls in proceedings – surprise your guests with something extra, like close-up magic, singing waiters, or pop-up cocktail bars.
A piper can mark your entrance to your awaiting breakfast guests and pipe you to your table in traditional, hand-clapping, foot-stomping style.
Best-loved drinks reception entertainers:
- Jazz bands
- Acoustic bands
- Roaming bands
- Pop up cocktail bars
- Artisan ice-cream carts
- Circus and fire performers
- Caricaturists and silhouette artists
- Lawn games
Best-loved wedding breakfast entertainers:
Music needed for:
- First Dance: 1–2 songs
- The Party!: Your live party band and DJ can take it in turns filling the dancefloor, each performing two interspersed sets of 45 or 60 minutes – with a break for your evening buffet – until close.
Best-loved evening reception entertainers:
Top Wedding Entertainment Hacks
Now you’ve got an idea of the shape you might like your day to take, let’s make it happen. Here are our top five hacks for getting the best wedding entertainment:
Sooooo many newlyweds tell us how their live entertainment really made their day, raising it to a whole new level. As soon as you start your planning, set out a chunk of wedding budget for the entertainment that’s going to make such a big impression on your big day. For an idea of costs, do a little research into the types of artists you’re interested in, for example:
- Soloists £200 – £400
- DJs £300 – £550
- Four-piece+ band £1,000 – £3,000
Building in the budget from the start means you’re more likely to get exactly what you want.
2. Listen to your heart
Pick a style of entertainment that reflects you as a couple – your personalities, tastes and experiences – and that celebrates the things you both love in life. Look for artists that fit you both, and that seem like the type of people you’d actually want at your wedding. ‘Audition’ your potentials by exploring their online videos and sample tracks to get a good feel for their style, and read through recent customer reviews to get the insider scoop on what they could be like on your day. Whatever you choose, your entertainment should make your hearts sing!
3. Book early… or late!
Are you the kind of person who wants to know everything’s sorted well in advance, or do you like to wait for a last-minute bargain? Both have their draws: as most popular artists will be booked 12–18 months ahead, booking early means more likelihood of securing your fave artists at today’s prices; BUT if you’ve got the nerve to wait until the eleventh hour, your artist may be willing to negotiate their fee – particularly if you’re tying the knot outside the traditional wedding season, ie. Mondays to Thursdays in Jan, Feb, Oct and Nov.
4. Think Logistics
Choose a venue that’s entertainment-friendly. If you’ve already booked your venue and you’re planning a lively ten-piece jazz band, for example, check out if they can accommodate. Factors like performance area, volume restrictions or curfews will impact the type of entertainment you can have. If in doubt, our handy venue checklist provides a list of logistical Qs for you to ask, plus your expert Entertainment Coordinator can advise with information and solutions for your specific venue.
5. Trust, Flex & Relax!
Trust in your professional artists and remember they’re there to give you the best day ever. They’re experts at reacting to your crowd, performing tricks or songs that they know will keep the atmosphere alive. Flexibility is key to a stress-free day too, since most weddings don’t run to time. Allowing yourself plenty of leeway will mean you can stay calm and just go with it. And relax… your wedding is one of those days in your life you’ll remember forever, so take it all in, enjoy it, and make the most of every moment!