Our friends over at AliveNetwork.com reveal when to start planning your wedding entertainment and how to book the perfect act for your big day.
As soon as you get engaged
- Start to think about which parts of your day you want to enhance with live entertainment.
- The most popular elements to feature live entertainment are: the ceremony, the drinks reception, during your wedding breakfast and the evening reception.
- Draw up an entertainment budget. Visit AliveNetwork.com for an idea of prices.
12-18 months before the wedding
- It might sound early, but making your enquiries 12-18 months before the big day will ensure that you have first pick when it comes to the best wedding entertainment. Popular artists are often booked up for the key summer and winter dates at least a year in advance.
- Create lists of the acts you are interested in by bookmarking them online.
- Get quotes from the entertainers you are interested in and start to whittle down the list if you have multiple ideas for each entertainment type.
- Made your decision? Get the booking secured ASAP so you don’t miss out! This will usually involve signing a contract and paying a deposit.
In the run up to your wedding
- Record any changes made to your wedding that may affect the entertainment such as arrival times, meal times, other entertainment booked etc. Relay any major changes to your entertainment immediately.
- Keep in touch with your entertainers. If the artist has a website or Facebook page, follow them there to stay updated on their latest news, any additional options they may add and to borrow ideas for your own event.
- Booking musical entertainment? Start to put together a preferred playlist by viewing the artist’s repertoire and selecting your favourites. Most artists appreciate your thoughts on anything you definitely DO or DON’T want from their playlist, rather than a hard and fast list, so that they feel free to adapt to the mood on the day.
- Confirm preferred dress code. If required, specify to your entertainers what attire will be most fitting for them to wear at your wedding.
- Double check artist payment method. Usually, having paid your deposit to secure the booking, the remaining balance will be due to the artist on the day. However, most will also accept payment in advance if you’d prefer not to have to deal with money on your wedding day.
On your wedding day
- Ensure that a member of the venue staff, or a designated person from your wedding party (often the best man or an usher) is available to greet the entertainment and show them to their performance area and changing room.
- The venue should already be aware of the performance area and size that the entertainers will require, but it’s always worth double checking on the day.
- Venue staff should be prepped on any equipment requirements that your entertainment may require, such as a table for a bands mixing desk or trolleys for equipment if the load-in includes stairs.
- Make sure that a changing room is made available to your entertainers.
- Make sure that the entertainment’s rider (food and drink) has been arranged with the venue or caterer and will be available when the band expect it. This way artists can both plan their schedule and avoid awkward conversations with bar staff unaware of the rider. No one wants to haggle over a Coke!
- Double check that a suitable electricity supply is available for the entertainment if needed.
- Appoint one senior member of staff to liaise with entertainers at set up/ sound check time to ensure agreeable volume levels and to discuss use of any smoke machines, strobe lighting etc
Introduce yourselves to your artists – Making the effort to give your artists a friendly welcome on your big day goes a long way! A quick hello can help to put you and your entertainers at ease and fosters a much more personal vibe and performance.
Keep your entertainers updated - especially if your wedding runs behind schedule. Most artists are very flexible with changes to start times. Being kept in the loop means that artists can make changes and even help you stay on time by tweaking their performance.
Don’t let overzealous revellers ruin the party! - No one wants their party to be interrupted as the band deal with over enthusiastic uncles or broken equipment knocked over by out of control party animals!
Appoint a party spokesperson - vital if there are any issues with volume or minor complaints. Should a problem arise, please ensure that a sober, level headed person be appointed to raise any issues discreetly with your artists. If your party revolves around a rock and pop band or similar artist, it’s probably better to entrust this role to a reliable sister, brother or friend, rather than an older relative that may prefer a quiet night of Vera Lynn!
Payment to the band - usually made in cash at the end of the night. Again, this is one for yourselves or a trusted and reliable member of your wedding party! Arrangements for payment should ideally be confirmed between you and your artists before the event, followed up by your representative or events manager speaking with the band on arrival to confirm who will be paying on the day.
And that's it you're good to go! Your guests are guaranteed a wedding to remember and plenty of stories to tell. Need more help? Here's how to make sure your wedding dance floor is never empty and the coolest new entertainment trends for 2016
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