After the wedding dress, your wedding entertainment is the next thing your guests will remember about your wedding, so make sure their memories are good ones! A recent survey claimed that over 70% of couples wished they had spent a little more on their wedding entertainment…which brings us to the number one tip:1: Don’t go cheap! Professional entertainment is like any other service…you get what you pay for.
Booking a band or DJ just because they give you the cheapest quote, very rarely has a happy ending. I receive a call a week from a bride or groom who has been let down by their entertainment supplier, often this is less than a week before the big day. You don’t want that worry for the sake of sometimes only a couple of hundred pounds.2: Make sure you have a CONTRACT, which clearly states what their price includes. This contract should clearly state: arrival, start, performance and finish times and if you are booking a musical act, make sure you know if they will be supplying the speakers and lights and any other necessary equipment for the performance.3: Insurance! Anyone you book (even a non musical act) should have public liability insurance. If they don’t, you run the risk of the venue not allowing them to perform. Check with your venue how much cover they will need, most venues will ask for cover between 2 & 5 million pounds, some larger more prestigious venues will ask for cover up to 10 million pounds.
IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT! IMPORTANT!
Members of The Musicians Union are not automatically covered whilst performing in a group, only the named person on the certificate is covered.4: Find out what system they have in place if a member of the act is unable to perform. We all get ill from time-to-time and are unable to do our job. Most professional acts have ‘dep’ performers in place (similar to understudies in the theatre) who can step in at short notice to replace the missing performer.5: Don’t book with acts who inflate their prices for Weddings, in my opinion there is no justification for this and you are simply being ripped off. As a professional party & wedding singer my quote will always be the same whether I am being booked for a corporate party, birthday, wedding or any other event.6: If you are booking a band, choose one that will try and suit everybody’s musical tastes. You may be the biggest fan of heavy metal and plan to mosh on the dance floor all night long, but the chances of your Grandma wanting to listening to this is slim! By just choosing a band according to your own tastes, you may end up with a very quiet dance floor. Instead you may want to consider choosing an act who can play some of the music you love but also a mixture of classic floor fillers. I like to call these bands ‘Versatile Function Bands’.7: Do look after your act to enable them to put on a better show. For an evening performance a band will typically arrive at around 5.30pm to set up and are not usually on the road again until after 1.00am. That’s a minimum of 7 and a half hours at your venue, not to mention the time it took them to get there and the time it will take them to get home. A basic hot meal, soft drinks and a room to get changed in and chill-out in when they are not performing can make the world of difference to any hard working performer. No one can work to their full potential on an empty stomach or look their best by getting changed in their car. If you want to get the best out of your entertainers, treat them (almost) like they are a guest.
8: Check the minimum stage size that the act needs to perform. Stage areas that are the wrong size can cause problems for many acts and can sometime mean they cannot perform to their full potential.9: Always ask to speak to some of their past clients or view past testimonials and references. The act should be happy to supply you with a very long list of happy clients. If they are not happy to, ask yourself and them, why not.10: Consider booking with an entertainment agency or event company. Booking direct with an act is not always cheaper and going through a reputable agency will save you time and money as they take care of everything for you. Most professional acts will give their agents a cheaper price than they would quote you direct, so you are actually getting someone else to do all the hard work at no extra cost.