Weddings, hey, who’d want one? Well, around 250’000 happy couples a year, actually. But let’s face it, big, blowout events do come with a reputation; of costs sending the couple into debt and meticulous preparation sending them into an asylum. 

No wonder the reception often seems to come as a relief. While the actual ceremony is perhaps the more significant, meaningful part of the day, it’s often the wedding reception that takes the most time to plan; the fine print here matters so much. In addition to the food, music, and decorations there’s one other extremely important point to bear in mind when planning your wedding – the entertainment!  

When it comes to choosing the right entertainment for your wedding, there are a few key things to consider to make your getting hitched go off without one. With that in mind, here are 7 tips for choosing the best wedding entertainment.

BUDGET 

We realise it’s uncouth to mention money so early on in the planning process, but it’s essential to get the financial side of things sorted before you sign any contracts or make any arrangements. 

Let’s put it bluntly; couples should decide on a budget for their entertainment and stick to it. It’s all too easy to get carried away when it comes to a wedding, and if you’re not careful, you’ll soon find yourself wanting double what you can afford and finding it incredibly stressful trying to decide what (or who) to lose from the line up. Be resolute in the face of finances and stick to your original entertainment budget during negotiations.   

CREATE THE RIGHT MOOD

Without wishing to suggest a ‘mood board’ on your planning, you could do a lot worse than coming up with a few adjectives that you feel suit the style of the wedding you want to throw, to guide you entertainment decision making. 

Here are a few examples from our virtual board we just created, to get you thinking: wild, raucous, dignified, stylish, formal, casual, smart, sleek, elegant, decadent, chic. It’s up to you what you want your party to convey, but once you have defined it, make sure this definition carries through to every single aspect of the big day, from the invitations to the end-of-the-night entertainment. In doing so, guests will be fawning over your grand vision and the synergy you deployed to pull it off. And we all want fawning guests, right? 

CONSIDER THE CROWD

The hard part lies in finding entertainment which appeals to all of the diverse tribes typically attending a wedding. When choosing your wedding entertainment, of course, you want to choose something that you’ll yourself enjoy, but really, it’s just as important to consider the crowd.

For example, if 90% of your wedding party is elderly, you may want to pass on the mechanical bull. Similarly, if the majority of attendees are in their early 20s, having a load of vintage themed entertainment might not work either. The key here is choosing acts that aren’t only appropriate for the setting, but for the audience too. Which brings us to our next point…

SPACE & SETTING 

The other key thing to consider here is the space you have to work with. Some wedding entertainment ideas can take up a lot of room, whereas others require very little, and it’s all about maximising the potential of the space you have available to you, realistically and smartly.

If the venue is smallish, you don’t want to overwhelm the floor with entertainment which saturates the guests, overpowers the space, and provides distraction rather than delight. In tighter venues, a simple dancefloor and DJ is often the most succinct way to get things rocking.  

If you have a band, you need to consider the size and acoustics of the room carefully; it would be a shame for the group and their instruments to take up more space than the dancefloor, or be drowned out by chattering guests because of unsuitable acoustics. These things matter. 

WHEN TO WOW 

Let’s throw some questions at the wall and see if they stick; why do you want wedding entertainment? Are you looking for something to add ambiance or do you want to keep the kids entertained? At which points might you need wedding entertainment? 

In terms of the ‘when?’, a great time to provide wedding entertainment is straight after the ceremony, when there is a bit of a lull and you’re busy getting your photos taken. A jazz band, juggler, magician or dancers, all represent a great conversation starter which guests can continue into the wedding breakfast

Another ideal time for wedding entertainment begins with the first dance and carries on until the lights come up; a band or singer here is the obvious, failsafe choice, but your options shouldn’t be limited to the traditional… 

HOW TO WOW

There are so many options for pleasing your party invitees in unique and unusual ways: 

  • Fairground games: If you’re planning on having an outdoor wedding reception, a few country style fairground games scattered around can bring a lot of laughs, and they’re pretty easy to recreate. A coconut shy is one age old favorite that goes down well at weddings. This is where a wooden ball is thrown at a coconut that’s balanced on a post. Typically, a person gets three chances in which to dislodge it. If successful, they win a prize. Or, why not have a good old-fashioned welly throw for a few giggles? 
  • Magician show: Hiring a magician to entertain your wedding party will create some fantastic memories. And who doesn’t like a bit of magic? Fun for the whole family, this. 
  • Photo booth: These have become incredibly popular over the past few years and are a great way to capture some magical memories from your big day. They’re pretty versatile and come available in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and themes.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Game: Just because you’re marrying someone, doesn’t mean to say you know then inside and out. This is always a good one to play at the wedding reception and is sure to raise a few eyebrows. For added fun, have someone else design the quiz so you have no idea what the questions will be. 
  • Singing waiters: If you really want to surprise your guests, why not hire some singing waiters? These guys will look like normal waiters and serve food as you’d expect. Then, all of a sudden, when cued, they suddenly spring into song. 
  • Bouncy castle: A bouncy castle is always a winner when it comes to entertaining kids, both young and old. You can even get wedding themed ones these days. It’s a good way to tire out the young ones while providing something to keep the older ones occupied.   
  • Casino: Why not glam up and have a Vegas-style reception? Hire in some casino game tables and croupiers and load your guests with fake money. Then, you’ve got your own little Bellagio right there. 
  • Circus performers: There’s always a little air of mystery that surrounds circus performers as they dart around defying death. Why not add some thrills to your reception by throwing in a few hired circus performers. They don’t need to do anything too crazy like tightrope walking or lion taming, but a few fire breathers and sword swallowers never goes amiss.   
  • Edible mist orbs: If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary for your reception, how about adding an edible mist orb experience to the mix? This is where guests get the chance to tickle their taste buds with a variety of flavours, by sucking up a lungful of edible mist. How cool is that?    

REFER TO REFERENCES 

If you haven’t seen the entertainment in the flesh, then it’s hard to know what you’re letting yourself in for. And there’s nothing worse than something massively hyped up which turns out to be a let down.

It’s imperative, then, that you read reviews online of the entertainment you’re considering, to ensure it’s legit, professional and above all else, entertaining. You may also be able to find YouTube videos of the act, and testimonials from previous weddings, to give you an even better idea of what’s on offer.

And with that, might we expect an invite to your big day?