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The New Year is here and if you’re one of the many happy couples celebrating their recent engagement over the festive season, CONGRATULATIONS! You have an extremely exciting start to the year, and now it’s time to get planning your perfect day.

Entertainment plays a big part in that, so whatever theme you’re looking for, here are our top tips for choosing your wedding music and ensuring the ideal ambience throughout the biggest day of your life!

  1. Think about seasonal and off-peak reductions – Top venues and suppliers get booked up well in advance so think about bagging a bargain by looking at less busy times of the week or year to tie the knot. Saturdays in high summer, Christmas and New Year’s Eve are the busiest times of the year. Some will charge a premium for these dates or even offer a mid-week or off-season discount so it is always worth asking the question.
  2. Book well in advance – Most couples start securing the main elements of their Big Day 18 months to two years in advance to ensure they can have their dream wedding. Get ahead and confirm your entertainment early so you can relax safe in the knowledge it’s been taken care of.
  3. Use a reputable agent – Booking the right band can make or break your special day and there are so many acts out there, it is often difficult to decipher who is going to to be worth their salt. Using a reputable agent means they should know and trust the acts, have vetted them and can recommend the best act for your special day and within budget.
  4. Check with your venue for sound limiters – Be sure to match entertainment to your venue. If you’re celebrating in a private barn or venue in a residential area, there may be sound limiters in-place. Many bands are used to working with these however you may need to consider a smaller, acoustic or act with backing tracks to be able to stay within the sound restrictions, and avoid the sound being cut off halfway through your celebration!
  5. Ensure there is enough space for your chosen band – Spacing is also an important factor when matching your entertainment to your venue. Acts will be able to tell you how much room they need to perform in and venues will be able to provide floor plans and measurements. Think about how much room your guests will need and how big a band you can fit in to ensure everyone is comfortable.
  6. Use themed entertainment to fit your day – Whether refined rustic, boho, chic and elegant, wedding trends today are about being relaxed and involving your guests. Consider having entertainment that fits your theme; perhaps a wandering band to interact with your guests during the drinks reception, operatic singing waiters to surprise your guests before dinner, or a Gatsby-inspired trio that can teach guests a short dance class before you take to the floor. Make it fun and make it memorable!
  7. Think about the running order of your day – There is a lot to fit into one day, and it’s important the timing is right to ensure a relaxed, smooth-flowing celebration with just enough activity to keep everyone happy. Depending on your budget, there is opportunity to provide entertainment to create ambience and a conversation piece throughout. Rough ideas of timings are below (please note, it is usual for wedding day timings to run a little late!) :

–          As guests arrive at the ceremony: approximately 30 mins

–          Processional, Signing Register & Recessional:  3-4 songs

–          After the ceremony, drinks reception and as guests mingle: usually 2 x 45 min sets

–          During the meal: usually 2 x 45 min sets

–          After the cake is cut, and directly after (or including) your first dance: music is usually 2 x 60 min sets.

  1. Trust your entertainer’s expertise – When it comes to weddings, this is a once in a lifetime day for you but your band will be used to performing at weddings. Do liaise with your entertainment about your favourite songs and of course any special requests and your first dance, however when it comes to set lists and the order they play the songs in, it is best to trust their knowledge and expertise of what is going to work to keep your guests entertained and the dancefloor filled!
  2. Look after your suppliers – Your entertainers work hard to ensure that the perfect ambience is created throughout your special day. To ensure they can perform to the best of their ability, it is important that your suppliers are fed, watered and given somewhere comfortable to get ready in and retreat to when not performing – they will be grateful for the extra care. Trying to squeeze a 6-piece band into a toilet cubicle is not going to enable them to prepare and give their all on the stage!
  3. Follow-up with your band before the Big Day – On your wedding day, you want to be able to relax and enjoy knowing that everything has been taken care of. Good bands should contact you a few weeks before the event to run through all the final details so it is advisable to make sure that you catch up with your agent or band leader to check they have the final running order and details or your co-ordinator on the day.

Most importantly, your wedding is all about you and your partner. Celebrate your togetherness, feel the love around you and remember to soak in those perfect moments throughout the day – Here’s to you! X

ELLE Entertainment is a small agent with big hearts, passionate about working with clients who are looking for high quality, live acts with the wow factor. If you’re looking for handpicked acts that wow,  search here for function bands, burlesque, cabaret and SO MUCH MORE or contact us to talk in more depth to find out what you’re looking for to make your event extra special.