It’s been a little while since we did any form of serious wedding planning. Being thrown into yet another lockdown, and dealing with what’s been quite honestly a terrible start to 2021 for a few personal reasons, making plans for the happiest day of your life suddenly seems like a bit of a challenge.
Will our wedding even go ahead as planned? Is there any point in making further plans? So many weddings have been cancelled or postponed, it’s sometimes hard to feel positive about it all knowing ours is now just a matter of months away.
That said, it’s so important to have something to look forward to! And to be honest spending the last couple of weeks thinking about happy things has been a welcome distraction from reality.
So, we’ve made some more plans. We have finally ticked off the overwhelming decision that is the wedding entertainment!
Here’s a little breakdown about what we’ve booked and how we went about it.
Where to start with wedding entertainment
Booking something that is such a big part of the day – and a big part of the budget – is quite overwhelming at the beginning.
Darryl and I spent so long discussing different options and both of us kept saying “I don’t know what I want”. Which admittedly doesn’t get you very far, but also opens you up to limitless options.
After talking about what you both want, the first step to take is online research.
I spent a lot of time reading through wedding Facebook groups and running social polls to see what sort of entertainment people enjoyed the most at weddings. The main poll I ran was wedding band vs wedding DJ, which surprisingly ended up being almost a 50/50 split.
Whilst it didn’t make us decide there and then, we definitely had a better idea of what we wanted by that point.
Deciding on a budget for your wedding entertainment
This is obviously the second most important part in the process, once you know what you both want.
Hitched said that in 2019, the average couple spent £1,005 on wedding entertainment. Others will spend more whilst others will spend less, it really is all about what you can afford and what you’re happy to spend.
You might choose to spend less on another aspect of the day if your wedding entertainment is more important to you.
The different types of wedding entertainment
Your wedding day can range from having a simple music playlist, to a different ‘act’ for every part of the day.
Whether you want a chilled music vibe, or a full-blown cirque du soleil style performance, there is honestly so much choice out there.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the different points in the day which you might want entertainment for:
- Arrival of guests
- Drinks reception
- Wedding breakfast
- First dance and cake cutting
- Evening reception
*This is based on a typical UK wedding, there may be many other parts of the day depending on tradition and religion.
For our wedding we decided we’d love a musician for the ceremony and reception, a DIY playlist during the wedding breakfast and something a bit more lively in the evening (whether that was a band or a DJ).
Getting your entertainment locked in
The next stage was to get a bunch of costs (ouch), read a ton of reviews and ask around for recommendations before making a decision.
I’ll hold my hands up and say I am the worst at decisions, and Darryl has been very relaxed about the whole thing, so we definitely took our time in actually booking our entertainment.
Back in November we booked our ceremony and reception entertainment, which I’ll keep to myself for now. It’s not something I ever envisaged us having, but we’re both excited for what we’ve booked.
Then this week, we finally secured our evening entertainment. We decided to go for a band which I’ll talk more about later in the post.
So now all the important and expensive decisions have been made, we can relax again for a while!
Thoughts or concerns about booking your wedding entertainment
It’s completely normal to be worried about this part of your day, and if you’re anything like me you’ll worry about pleasing everyone.
Put simply, it’s very unlikely that every single person at your wedding will love what you’ve chosen. But it’s all about you and your partner, so as long as you like it, that’s all that matters.
The next concern I had was that Darryl and I have a) a small entertainment budget and b) completely different music tastes. We definitely had to compromise, but I believe we’ve found a good balance and both of us are really happy with our decisions.
Our experience of booking wedding entertainment
Personally, I found booking our day ceremony and reception entertainment super easy, as it was via an individual. They responded to emails quickly and can tell you everything you want to know. Piece of cake.
Booking entertainment via an agency (which we did for our band) was a whole other experience.
Firstly, there are tons of agency sites that quite honestly are a bit of a shambles. After much digging and countless emails, we discovered that bands often use a different name. In fact we found that several bands were with three or more agencies, and have a different name for each one. Weird, right?
Next, we noticed there was a bit of false advertising going on with a few of them. We were super close to booking a band and then found out it was £100 extra to request a first dance song. We also saw four entirely different set lists for this band depending on who we asked.
The next band we were about to book, with a different agency, included videos of a five-piece band only. When I read the description it was only a three-piece band, unless you paid more for the other two. Fair enough, but they have absolutely no examples of work from the three-piece band. I called them out on it and they said they hadn’t been able to film videos because of the pandemic. That maybe true but there are other ways you can show people what they’re getting.
We eventually booked with Tailored Entertainment who have exceptional reviews, and we found the process to be much more straight-forward and clear cut.
Just keep your wits about you, and if in doubt ask someone who has some knowledge of this kind of booking.
On the whole I’m honestly relieved to have this part of the to do list checked off! Now onto more of the fun stuff, like decor and bridesmaid outfits as soon as lockdown is lifted.
Drop me a comment below or a message on social media if you have any questions about this post, I’m more than happy to help a fellow bride/groom-to-be!