Kitty and Polly

Evening Entertainment and Reception

Posted on | August 24, 2011 | Comments Off

Most wedding couples these days have an evening reception party with music for dancing. In truth, entertainment is 80% or more of the success factor in any event, while it is often amazingly as little as 5% of an allocated wedding budget.

A late ceremony start, a few flower heads missing and even an average meal will hardly raise a complaint by any of your guests and will be more than made up for with experienced entertainment that perfectly celebrates your special day. On the other hand, the most beautiful ceremony, stunning meal, fine wines and fabulous dress can be easily forgotten if your guests’ last memory is of a poor performance at the evening reception party. It’s what guests talk about going home in their taxis, the main discussion over breakfast the next morning, and often creates fantastic memories that are spoken about long after your honeymoon.

So how do you avoid getting it wrong?

Firstly, make sure your venue can accommodate the requirements of the band – Where will they set up? Is there sufficient power and space? Is there a sound limiter in place that will restrict the band’s live performance? Also consider that many bands and musicians are human and will require breaks, food and refreshments. A certain amount of venue support is needed too such as a changing room. Once you have confirmed the venue are willing and able to accommodate the band’s basic requirements – remember that you are looking to provide musical entertainment for all your wedding guests, so be open to different types of musical styles, not just your own personal favorites.

Most musicians’ websites will have audio clips or soundbites. Listen to them and think about your guests in attendance – the music should appeal to their tastes too so perhaps a four piece male rock band wouldn’t be well received by your older relatives who want to celebrate on the dance floor too! Some bands provide a video of a live performance. A promotional video is often a necessity for a completely professional band as they perform exclusively at weddings, for private customers and as corporate entertainment which are not open to public viewing. Although many websites state you MUST see a band live before you book them, this isn’t true. If the band are professional, experienced and have positive reviews and recommendations, they will be more than capable of doing a great job for you and your guests.

Also, beware when ‘shopping around’ . Professional bands perform for private clients, corporate events and special occasions week in, week out. The most inexpensive party band to play live may seem a great bargain or cost effective, but you get what you pay for. Many bands are formed with musicians who just play for fun at pubs and clubs with the occasional private party thrown in. There are also plenty of newly formed student groups who may have excellent musical skills, but will not have the business, performance or customer service experience needed to provide a fully professional service for your event.  This is why some bands are much cheaper than professional outfits, or depending on which way you look at it, professional bands are more expensive – there is a very good reason for this!

In summary, if you are planning to book a band for your evening reception and want everyone to remember them for all the right reasons, allocate at least 10% of your budget and choose a highly recommended professional entertainment – you won’t regret it and your guests will love you for it! Now, don’t get me started on the wedding and reception photographs, that’s another post completely…

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