Choosing the Right Entertainment
It’s always a good idea to have the right music playing in the right place at the right time. With the right selection, music can help to create the magic and make your day complete. With the wrong selection you might find yourself walking down the aisle to thrash metal violin or shouting over the drum solo during the wedding breakfast.
Perhaps you would prefer something special for your walk down the aisle. Maybe a beautiful song or a soft acoustic instrumental piece would be a nice choice. Either way both the music and the performer should be special to you. When recieving your guests, having drinks and during the wedding breakfast, you might want something that is well balanced so that it fills the silences yet doesn’t spoil the conversation. If you plan to see the evening out in style then decide if your guests are the kind that will will want to dance or would prefer to watch a more cabaret style performance. Either way try to book the correct type of band with a professional sound system (and lighting?) that will cater for your venue.
Get It In Writing
It is very important that you have everything in writing and signed by both parties. This way both hirer and the artist/band should understand what is being agreed. Also make sure that every e-mail is kept and phone call written down so that you can remember how things are developing.
For everybody’s peace of mind put together a clear schedule of timings so that the performer knows when and where you will be needing them to perform. Careful preparation means that everyone is happy knowing what is happening and when, who is in charge, who will be giving cues and what happens if… This is especially at important moments like walking down the aisle or for the first dance!
This stands for Very Important Person of Contact. On your big day, why not let the entertainment deal with a trusted member of the wedding party instead of worrying you! Nothing worse than having to stop getting yourself ready to go and show the performers where to set-up! Discuss everything with your VIPC and give the entertainment their mobile number so that arrangements and communication are problem free on the day.
Your Special Song and Music For You
What kind of songs would you like on your day? Do you love jazz standards or Frank Sinatra perhaps? Do you want medium tempo songs or upbeat swing? Maybe you are happy with the musicians choice, but if there is a playlist you could choose some of your favourites.
For your service or first dance, don’t be afraid to ask for a special song(s) that you might want that isn’t on the playlist. If this is an option, give the musician plenty of time to find the song and learn it. The day before doesn’t win brownie points!
The Performers Fee
Sometimes a quote for entertainment might be higher than expected, but do please remember what goes into preparation and the performance. Musicans will very often rehearse for hours prior to each performance. They will prepare music, equipment, clothes and make-up. Travel can be upto 5 hours each way followed by loading/unloading at each end, often arriving 2 hours before their performance to set-up and soundcheck. Also, they need to cover travel costs, food and drink and a variety of other expenses. Don’t forget to pay them! This is often done on the day but can easily be forgotton, which can be embarrasing for everyone!
Agree the Arrival Time
If you want the musicians to setup and soundcheck before your guests arrive you will need to talk with the venue so that they are aware that people will be arriving early. Whatever you do don’t allow them to turn up 20 minutes before! You will become increadibly stressed out! This is something that is a good idea to discuss on when you book. Perhaps you could ask for the arrival/setup time to be written on the contract.
If the venue has certain sound restrictions then both you and the musicians need to know. The sound level is the big one. It’s almost impossible for a drummer to play heavy rock music quietly. You don’t want the neighbours to moan, the music to cut-out or the delicate 16th century chandeliers to explode! Also, making sure that there is enough 13 Amp AC sockets is useful. If its a big band or has a big PA system make sure that the venues electric system can cope.
The bride looks beautiful, the groom looks handsome and everyone else looks amazing… then in walks the band… in jeans and grubby t-shirts!!! No, no, no! You need to make sure that the entertainment is going to look the part too, so have a discussion with them in advance and ask what they normally wear. If it is jeans then this will give them time to put together something a little nicer! Another thought – you wouldn’t want the singer to up-stage you by wearing the same colour dress would you?
Food for Thought
I know that the Wedding Breakfast is not cheap, but do spare a thought for your musicains. Help them stay on top form and arrange for some food or light snacks and soft drinks and they will be entertaining with a smile.