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We’ve all be to weddings with no atmosphere. You know the ones where you’re clock watching. When you can’t wait to make your excuse to leave. Desperately trying not to be rude and being tempted by your more entertaining social media timeline?
Yup. One of those.
I might be slightly biased with a background as a performance artist, but creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere is such an important aspect to hosting. You will be aware of those in your life who make excellent hosts, who get the party started, whose events leave you on a high for days, perhaps you aren’t quite sure why, but you love to attend their events, their hosting is effortless.
Creating a wedding with great atmosphere doesn’t mean throwing every single entertainment option at your day, but making people feel welcome, rather than a spare part. The considered touches. It can really help if you walk through your wedding day in the shoes of one of your guests. Consider, when you’re off having your photo’s taken, what will they be doing? How will they be hosted? How do you like to feel when you enter a room for the first time? When you sit down for dinner? What stands out? What gets you on the dance floor? What entertainment makes you feel good? What eases you into an event?
I’ve invited entertainment agency and Nu Bride sponsors Entertainment Nation. Founded by musicians, they know the fundamentals of what entertainment can work at different stages of your event and more importantly, what doesn’t. Today they are here share some ideas to spice up your wedding day and avoid those unnecessary lulls and leave your guests wanting more.
How can couples create a vibrant atmosphere with wedding entertainment
There’s nothing worse than spending all that time planning your big day, only to realise the entertainment falls short and instead of enjoying themselves, guests are checking their phones and waiting for an excuse to leave. But there’s no reason this ever needs to happen. Whatever the size, theme of budget of a wedding, there’s an entertainment option that’ll transform the occasion into something your guests fondly reminisce about for years to come. The key to creating the atmosphere you desire with your choice of wedding entertainment is to pick an act you truly love. Do your research and don’t just settle for the first band or musician you come across!
The entertainment options you choose should depend on your personal tastes, but these are some of the types of entertainment that work well in our experience:
- Ceremony: for the ceremony, you want something that’ll complement the most romantic moment of your life, a piece of music that you’re happy being the soundtrack to your memories. You can go the traditional route with a beautiful performance from a string quartet, or opt for a more modern approach and hire an acoustic duo to sing a stripped-back version of your favourite ballad. (Nu Bride: If you are having a religious ceremony, use this opportunity to work with your place of worship and find out what music choices are suitable – the same applies to civil ceremonies – songs with religious connotations are not allowed in civil ceremonies, so do ask and share your music choices with those conducting your wedding so they can advise. If you are having a humanist ceremony – then you get full artistic control!)
- Drinks reception: (Nu Bride: I would ALWAYS recommend some of entertainment during the drinks reception, from interactive musicians, background music to magicians. A drinks reception follows a wedding ceremony and is notoriously the moment where you are off having your photos, or guest portraits taken, time will stand still for you, but for guests, this element of the day can be long-winded, so again – think about your guests). The aim at the drinks reception is for mood-setting music that doesn’t overpower the conversations of family, old friends and new acquaintances. If you used a string quartet or acoustic duo during the ceremony, then it’d be a good idea to keep them around for the afternoon reception. Other options include singers, sax players and pianists to name a few.
- During dinner: the focal point is the food, the conversation and the speeches! Something mellow works well here, perhaps a pianist or even your own compilation of favourite slower tracks that you might not get a chance to hear at the wedding reception itself.
- Party: The only thing that matters here is getting absolutely everybody up on the dance floor! Wedding function bands and DJs are both great choices here. Hiring professional wedding performers means hiring talented acts who have the knowledge and experience to keep the party in full flow all night long. Whether you go for live musicians or a DJ, you have plenty of choice when it comes to the genre of music they’ll perform.
Adding your personality to entertainment
The biggest way in which couples can incorporate their personality into their wedding entertainment is in their choice of act. There are bands and performers in pretty much every genre imaginable, so whether you’re into classic soul and Motown or the latest chart hits you can choose a style that suits you.
Another way in which you can add your personality is to choose an act that goes along with your theme, so for example, an acoustic folk band for a rustic barn wedding or a vintage swing act for a 50s themed wedding.
Most wedding reception bands are happy to learn a bespoke version of your special song to perform as you have your first dance together as a married couple.
What 5 things can couples do to look after their entertainment acts on the day?
We’re really pleased you asked this question – and our bands and musicians will be too! We spend a lot of time giving praise to the talent of our acts, but it’s easy to forget that they’re people too, and can only be at their best if they’re well looked after. Here are our 5 top tips:
- Make sure your entertainers are fed and watered. This doesn’t need to be anything extravagant – your act will generally be more than happy to join in with the evening buffet/meal and for a soft drinks tab to be set up for them at the bar. They need the sustenance to put their all into their performance! (Nu Bride: couldn’t agree with this more!)
- Make sure the act has the space and time they need to set up and sound check. This will allow them to set up as quickly as possible and perform to their peak. Professional wedding performers have vast experience of setting up quickly and with minimal fuss, so there’ll be no disruption to the proceedings.
- Linked with the above, ensure your act has access to parking that is close to where they’ll be performing, so they don’t have to spend unnecessary time and effort moving heavy equipment over long distances.
- If possible, provide a quiet area where your act can change into and out of their stage-wear and to generally relax while they’re not on stage.
- We know what it’s like at weddings – the drinks are flowing and everyone is in the party spirit, but if there is a particular guest who’s a little too much in the spirit, try to keep them away from the act’s performance area to protect the performers and their equipment. The equipment supplied by professional wedding performers is of a very high standard and therefore very expensive, and your act relies on it for their livelihood.
When looking for entertainment what should couples consider before booking?
Notice: Our number one tip is to book early! The most popular wedding bands and performers can get booked up to two years in advance during the peak wedding season, so avoid the disappointment of missing out on your favourite act and book them as far in advance as possible.
Hidden costs: Something else to think about is hiring a wedding band or performer who is situated relatively local to your venue – the farther an act has to travel, the more they will cost due to travel expenses.
Venue restrictions Make sure your venue allows live music, and if they do, check whether there are any restrictions on the volume at which live music is permitted to be performed. It’s very important you communicate any restrictions to your act well in advance, so they can work around them.
Thank you so much Entertainment Nation. This advice is spot on!
Much like everything else in the wedding industry there is a LOT of choice when it comes to entertainment. To avoid overwhelm, think about your personal tastes, your favourite style of music, the atmosphere you want to create, your venue and your theme and see if there are any entertainment acts that are in keeping with the above. As I said before, it’s not about throwing every single act at your wedding day, but the considered choices that reflect you and your partner and those that will add the desired atmosphere you want to create. Have fun exploring, research online, check out videos, go to wedding shows, keep an eye on local buskers, live entertainment showcases and as ever, word of mouth is a beauty.
If you would like further information or entertainment advice and ideas, please visit Entertainment Nation