Blissfully Engaged: The Entertainment

Happy Wednesday Brides to Be!

it's been a few weeks since I have posted about finding your wedding dream team, but I'm back and will be finishing talking about important vendors in the next few weeks.  So far I've covered the Venue, the Wedding Planner, the Photographer, and the Florist.  This week I'm sharing ideas about booking your wedding day entertainment.  

Your marriage is definitely the most important part of your big day, but your guests will arrive excited a celebration. When I talk to my brides during their initial consultation, I always ask what they are hoping for the most on their big day.  Often times, they say they want their guests to have a lot of fun.   

I love when brides think of entertainment beyond the dance section of their wedding.  If you're planning for your guests to have some downtime between the ceremony and reception while you're taking pictures or celebrating with your wedding party, make sure to consider what your guests will be doing during this time.  Your entertainment options for your big day are almost unlimited. When you're considering your entertainment, think about your wedding theme.  If you can coordinate your theme with your entertainment, that's a great option.  Think if you're having a literary theme in a library, you could have fun Mad Libs at each place for guests to enjoy while they're waiting for dinner. A black tie wedding can have a suave cocktail hour on a gorgeous outdoor balcony.  Or if you're doing a sports theme-you could have some fun outdoor ball toss activity. A rustic theme, you could have someone teach all the guests a line dance when the DJ starts to play.  

After dinner, almost all weddings have a dance and I love this tradition.  Most couples hire a DJ or Band to play throughout the night.  When thinking about your entertainment, here are some things to consider. 

Do you need a sound system for your ceremony? If so, can this be provided by your DJ?
Some venues and most churches provide their own sound system for your ceremony, but it's always important to double check.  If they do provide the system, do they provide someone to run it?  Will there be someone who checks the mics for you?  Will there be someone to play the right music at the right time?  If not, make sure you have someone who is completely comfortable doing so, because let me tell you from experience, it's not easy!

If you're hiring a band, will someone be the MC for the night? If you're hiring a DJ, will he also take over this roll? 
Almost all DJ's will also MC for you throughout the night. Ask if these hours are included in their playing time or if you need to add additional time on for dinner announcements, toasts, and introductions.  If you're having a band instead of a DJ, ask if someone will be making announcements throughout the night or if you need to hire someone else to do so.  

Will your entertainment take requests? 
If your goal is to have your guests dancing the night away (and it probably is), ask if your band or DJ will take requests.  Most will, but make sure they have and will play the types of music that you think your guests will be asking for.

Is setup included in the fee or is additional?
Ask how your band or DJ charges and what's included in your fees.  If you're paying them to be there for 5 hours is that 5 hours of playing time or does that include the 30 minutes it takes to set up and tear down their items.  

How will they help your night run smoothly? How will they make sure that they are providing the kind of entertainment that you want on your wedding day?
This is so important!  If your goal is to have your guests enjoy their time and leave your wedding memorable in their mind, you have to make sure they're having fun.  When you consider who you're hiring as a DJ or Band, ask them how they help plan out your reception.  How do they stay organized to make sure that they're playing the correct song (and version of a song) during your special dances?  How do they announce the wedding party?  How do they entertain a crowd and keep everyone on the dance floor?  Do they meet with you in person so they know what kind of style you're hoping for or do they do the same thing at every wedding no matter what your wedding is like?  Each one of your vendors should be catering their service to you and your wedding. If they're services are one size fits all, they're not the right fit for you.  

Ask for an example where they made the wedding special and fun.   
As entertainers, if they don't have an example they can think of that made an event fun for guests, that's not a good sign.  You want to make sure that they can keep the energy level high throughout the night as guests get tired and some start to leave.  

What questions do you have about entertainment?  I'm happy to jump on twitter and answer your questions!

Cheers! Lindsay