Wedding Entertainment Tips
The following wedding entertainment tips have been written and collated by STYLISH DJs, musicians and suppliers to guide you through planning your wedding.
Band vs DJ
A large band in full swing is something to behold - they can generate more energy than a one legged DJ which radiates through the crowd. We love supplying both a band and DJ for a wedding and we recommend this option to our clients if budget or venue space is not a concern. DJ's and bands play for different lengths of time- our DJs will play for five hours without a break whereas, a band generally play 2 x 45 minute sets. Beware of bands that also offer a DJ / disco as they don't have the same experience as one of our DJs who are experts at playing to a crowd. We can advise on the best way of implementing a band and DJ for your evening party to make sure you get the best possible experience.
First dance timing
The first dance is a great way to start the party. We advise to let the DJ warm the crowd up first. It should take place at a time that is right for the party and not be the first track that the DJ plays. As a great device for getting everyone around the dance-floor, if you do it at the right time, your guests will want to dance, but if you perform it to early might lead to an empty dance floor after. It's also a good idea to check that your photographer is flexible and can stay until after the first dance.
When couples come for us to advice on this, we suggest that they should perform a dance that is fun to watch - ear chewing to Lionel Richie's "Endless Love" is so 1980's. Most grooms would rather walk on hot coals than dance in front of their mates. So have some fun with it, rehearse at home with a bottle of wine and a big smile. You always have the option of including everyone in the first dance. Last year, a couple wanted "Donna Summers - I Feel Love" as their first dance. It was a fantastic moment to see everyone coming together for a classic slice of Disco.
Great weddings have a great atmosphere, which should be considered carefully when planning your wedding. Some couples opt for a packed programme of events - we played at one wedding where the couple had issued laminates, our favourite activity was "Skinny Dipping 4am - 6am" the guests were breathless by the time the DJ started. So, it is important to pace your day and view if from your guests perspective. Whilst you might be relishing two hours in front of the photographer’s lens, your guests will be getting bored if no stimulation or entertainment is being offered. Booking entertainment such as our Cocktail Duo or Trio, a roaming band or a magician helps to create a fun atmosphere and keeps everyone happy.
Decide how you want to spend your money. Do you want to save it all up for the end of the day and hire a DJ and band? Or do you want to spend it across the day with musicians & entertainers featuring in the ceremony, drinks reception and wedding breakfast and a DJ for the evenings activities. Research has shown that newlyweds wished that they had spent more money on their wedding entertainment and we know the reason why. Weddings are fretted over for months, every detail of the day is checked and re-checked, arguments occur, tears shed, money spent and eventually you arrive at the big day and all goes well until the DJ arrives looking like a throwback to 1975, and in fact, still playing music from 1975 including 30 minutes of non-stop ABBA hits. Considering the evening party is over a third of your wedding day, do not opt for the cheapest DJ, its money badly spent; we are sure that you won't buy the cheapest dress in the shop!
We actively encourage requests from our brides & grooms as it enables a DJ or band to understand the people they will be playing to. It's equally important to let us know about music you don't like. If RnB makes you mad or Reggae riles you, then tell the DJ. At STYLISH Entertainment, we actively encourage clients to send requests and then incorporate them into our sets. We advise clients against sending out music requests slips with their wedding as this can leave disgruntled guests who sent in a request for the bride and groom not to pass it onto the DJ. They were wise to do it as it was a prog rock track from 1972 that would have cleared the dance-floor. A good DJ knows what tracks to play and when, and will play to the crowd in front of them.
Fireworks, food & lanterns
If you want to create a fantastic atmosphere at the party, consider when and how you offer evening food and entertainment such as fireworks or lanterns. If you are staging a summer wedding and it is a lovely night then people may stay outside, leaving the dance-floor empty inside, the atmosphere flat and the DJ crying into their lemonade!
Inform your entertainers if there are a contingent of family and friends that will want to dance to something unusual. We have played sets of Dutch Pop, Italian Folk, Irish Jigs, Bhangra, Bollywood, Salsa, Russian Cossack and Mongolian music, with different arm & leg movements for each one. It is better to pre-warn your DJ, singer or musicians that a touch of Italian Folk music is on the cards and they should expect the dance-floor to clear so that your family's Mario Lanza can do his turn.
After the wedding
Performers love adulation and acknowledgement (who doesn't?). We know that after you return from your honeymoon it's a hectic time however, if you can spare 5 minutes to send an appraisal of your wedding to the artistes, they are always very grateful and you never know when you might want to use them again, perhaps a christening party!