For most weddings, the ceremony holds the most meaning, and guests do enjoy the experience. But let’s face it – people look forward to everything that comes after those twenty minutes. Whether it’s during the cocktail hour or the after-dinner party, you’ll want to choose wedding entertainment that suits your style and keeps guests engaged.
So what’s the best kind of entertainment and how do you know what to include on your big day? Keep reading for some top tips on how to choose wedding entertainment that rocks.
Know Your Budget
A big part of wedding planning comes down to budget. If you don’t know how much you can allot to each item (photography, entertainment, decor, etc.), then you won’t know where to start with choosing your wedding entertainment.
There are all kinds of activities and performers you can choose from, so having a clear picture of how much you can spend on entertainment will help you narrow down the choices.
A five-piece band will probably cost more than a DJ, and there are other smaller acts (like live painters and dancers) who you might consider hiring alongside a band or DJ. Figure out the numbers when you first start wedding planning and everything else will fall into place more smoothly.
Wedding Mood and Theme
Do you have a certain mood you’re going for or a wedding theme? Ask yourself what is the overall vibe or “feel” of your wedding. Thinking about these elements can help you choose wedding entertainment that fits the scene.
A black-tie wedding may require more refined entertainment, whereas a casual celebration on the beach calls for more light-hearted activities and performances.
As a guide, pick out words that convey your wedding style: rustic, charming, stylish, chic, laid-back, etc. Then, think about what kinds of entertainment help convey the mood. An acoustic act or a string quartet? Magicians and games? Interactive tables? Of course, you can also include entertainment that everyone loves, like photo booths and live performers.
Play to the Crowd
When choosing wedding entertainment, it’s important to think about your guest list. You’ll want to answer these questions to get a feel for what kinds of entertainment will appeal to the people on your list.
How many people are invited? A guest list of 100 versus 1000 makes a difference in the amount of equipment needed. Plus, entertaining a small guest list is different than entertaining a large group.
What’s the general age group? Choosing entertainment that’s suitable for all ages is a sure win. Bands that can play to the crowd are always preferred, as well. Aside from musical entertainment, think about other activities or performances that your guests would enjoy.
What are their tastes? Do you need to consider more conservative options or does anything go? Again, entertainment with a wide appeal, like interactive food tables and photo booths, are great ideas.
Consider the Venue
Your wedding venue’s space, amenities, and rules will factor into what kind of entertainment you choose. A small, confined room won’t work for a big band, but a ballroom or outdoor area is perfect. For small spaces, think a simple dance floor and DJ. Bigger areas can accommodate larger entertainment acts without overwhelming the space or distracting from the venue.
You also need to consider what rules your venue may have in place. These might include noise ordinances or what kinds of entertainment is/isn’t allowed.
Understand What You’re Getting
Just because you love a certain band, doesn’t mean they’ll be a good fit for your wedding. Before you sign on the dotted line, do your research. Seeing the entertainment live is ideal, but you can also get a sense of how the people perform by watching online videos, reading testimonials, and asking questions.
Let’s say you’re having a New York wedding and want to book a photo booth rental in Buffalo. Check out their website, read the reviews, search for videos on YouTube, and ask your potential hires whatever questions you may have regarding providing entertainment for your style wedding.
- Fill in the Timeline
Most weddings have several “acts,” if you will. Each act needs some kind of entertainment to keep guests engaged. Here are some ideas:
- Act I: Guests Arrive
It’s nice to have some light background music while guests wait for the ceremony to begin. Consider a solo performer, string ensemble, or a playlist to welcome guests.
- Act II: Ceremony
You may wish to have the same performers who played during the welcome hour play throughout the ceremony. Or you could have a piano player, string quartet, acoustic act, or simple pre-recorded music to play as the wedding party takes their places.
- Act III: Cocktail Hour
Cocktail hours and photo-taking times are perfect opportunities to entertain guests. Background music, photo booths, interactive tables, live painters, magicians, and fairground games are all suitable for any age.
- Act IV: Reception
The reception includes dinner and post-dinner entertainment. Depending on what kind of dinner you’re having (sit down, buffet, etc.), you may consider a jazz band, dancers, circus acts, and other live performers that wow. The after party usually consists of lots of dancing and mingling, so you’ll want to choose entertainment that keeps people going. Live bands, DJs, and even options like food trucks and photo booths can entertain the masses throughout the night.
Keep these tips in mind and you’re sure to have wedding entertainment you and your guests will love.