Whether you are planning a traditional wedding reception with a full sit down meal, a buffet, or a cocktail party, sooner or later the guests are going to push the tables back and want to dance. Booking entertainment for your wedding reception is one of the most important decisions you will have to make when planning your wedding. But booking entertainment can be a daunting prospect for most newlyweds. Few people have much experience hiring music acts, and it’s easy for a couple to get misled in their search for suitable entertainment. But with a few helpful hints, couples can avoid any possible pitfalls and be assured that they have found the best entertainment they can provide for their wedding guests.

What Type of Entertainers to Choose?

The first question couples need to ask is, “what type of entertainment do we want to have at our wedding?”. Every subsequent decision you make about the entertainment at your wedding reception will be predicated on the type of entertainer you choose. Many couples like to book a DJ. DJ’s offer greater flexibility than a live band, and can accommodate most musical tastes. A good disc jockey should be able to cover all of the musical bases, and should be prepared to field any requests from the wedding party and the attending guests. That includes Grandfather’s favorite standard, as well as the latest hit from the bride’s niece’s favorite heart throb. DJ’s are often less expensive than live entertainers, but that should not be the deciding factor in a your final decision. This is your wedding day, after all, and it is not a time to pinch pennies.

Live bands offer an added excitement factor to a wedding reception. They can be more expensive, but they bring a vitality to the proceedings that a wedding DJ lacks. The choice of live entertainment also brings its own level of flexibility. If you are planning an elegant cocktail reception following your wedding, you might opt for a string quartet to provide the musical accompaniment. While the quartet may not be ideal for dancing, you can always have a DJ waiting in the wings for when the party begins to really get going.

Regardless of whether you choose a DJ or a live band, you will only want to consider those entertainers who can supply you with an audition tape, and with up to date references from previous clients. They should also be able to tell you what styles of music they can, and can not supply, so you will have all the information needed to make your decision. If the entertainer you are considering can’t meet these requirements, strike them off of your list of hopefuls.

How To Find Prospective Entertainers for Your Wedding

Since most couples will have had little, or no, experiencing hiring entertainers, it can be difficult for to know where to begin. While the internet and the yellow pages offer some information, you can never be quite sure what you’re getting into. Look to your event planner, and to the management at the venue you have booked for your reception. They have years of experience handling weddings and wedding receptions, and they have likely seen it all. More often than not they can make helpful suggestions concerning entertainers who have experienced backgrounds performing for weddings and receptions. Let your event planner’s experience be your guide, and ask them to point you in the right direction.

While you are discussing entertainment possibilities with your event planner, take the time to assure yourself that the venue you have chosen can supply everything your entertainers will need. The entertainer you book should have their own sound system and equipment, but the venue should be able to supply adequate electrical outlets that can handle both sound and lighting equipment. You may also want to check that the venue can provide a link to in-house speakers to better accommodate the entertainer’s sound output, and so better provide a smooth and professional performance.

Booking entertainment for a wedding reception is typically out of the comfort zone of most couples. But by allowing some time for research and auditions, and by relying on the expertise of your event planner and venue staff, you can make the decision much easier, and ensure that your guests have a delightful and memorable evening.

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