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What is good wedding entertainment?

Elwood Wedding Bands Edinburgh v2


There are two questions here; How do you define good wedding entertainment and what are examples of good wedding entertainment?

The first part of this question is fairly easy to answer.  Good wedding entertainment is effective.  Effective at what?  At achieving your goals. Let’s consider why people book wedding entertainment in the first place.

Obviously the main clue is in the word entertainment.  The Dictionary defines entertainment as “The action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment.” Now the clincher here is that one person’s enjoyment can be another person’s torture.

So when considering the entertainment for your wedding you have to decide whose enjoyment is more important, yours or your guests?  Fortunately most people have similar tastes and requirements when it comes to wedding entertainment so clashes are rare.

However if you’re mad keen on heavy metal and decide to hire an Iron Maiden tribute band you’re going to have problems.  Even if you’re never off the dance floor with a hand full of fellow fans head banging away, one look at the depressed faces of any remaining guests will tell you it’s not working for them.  This may seem extreme but in the 30 years we’ve been involved in the industry we’ve seen exactly that.

A more likely scenario though is simply to forget that the most varied audiences in the world are those who attend weddings.  You’ll have everyone from eight to eighty, male and female, gregarious and shy therefore it’s absolutely essential for the success of your big day that as many of your guests are catered for for at least some part of the evening.

Granted, the majority of people are there to support you and would no doubt attend whether or not you were putting on any entertainment. In fact the provision of entertainment at weddings is a relatively new phenomenon, but a wedding is all about celebrating and there’s no better way to celebrate than with fantastic music.  Just ask Kool and the Gang.

So your challenge is to find a wedding band or a DJ prepared to play and be proficient in performing a wide range of music.  The best wedding entertainers develop a knack for “reading” a crowd.  This skill acquired over many many gigs (bookings) not only helps them decide what songs to play, but just as importantly, when to play it.

In Scotland for instance, most weddings end with the playing of Loch Lomond.  Play that tune at any other time in the evening and it will have dramatically less impact. The very best performers will be acutely aware if there are some sections of the audience who seem not to be responding and they’ll actively change what they’re doing to give even the least adventurous party goers an opportunity to get up and dance.  There’s no harm in throwing in a couple of classic ballads to get the grandparents up and then to get back to the business of filling the dance floor with your more energetic guests.

Your wedding day doesn’t even last 24 hours (although by the end it will feel like it has).  Your real objective then is to create a great atmosphere on the day but also to build memories that will last forever.  Get the music right and you and your guests will be talking about your big day for months and years to come.  Get it wrong and it will be something everyone will want to forget.

To make life a wee bit easier we’ve come up with a check list that you should keep in mind when considering your band or DJ;

  • Will your chosen entertainer cater for as many different ages and tastes as possible?

  • Will they perform at a reasonable volume? The number one complaint from older guests is that the band is too loud.  Volume should be at your discretion but be balanced; from a band’s point of view it’s very difficult to create an atmosphere at very low volume.

  • Will the band or DJ be dressed appropriately? This is really subject to your tastes; some people like the band to be suited and booted and some prefer a much more casual look.  It’s important to make the band or DJ aware of any expectations you may have on this front.

  • Will there be pre-recorded music during breaks?  The last thing you want is to have no music at this point in the proceedings; it’s a guaranteed atmosphere breaker.

  • Can and will your band or DJ accommodate requests? This needn’t be a deal breaker and remember a band can only play songs they know.  There’s no point singing a song in the singer’s ear and then expecting the entire band to be able to play it instantly thereafter.

  • Is there an option to have members of the band perform during your meal or even earlier – perhaps while you and the main bridal party are away having photos taken.  An increasingly large number of wedding bands and all good DJ’s will offer this service.

So hopefully that will help you define what makes good wedding entertainment.  We promised to provide you with some great wedding entertainment ideas as well.  So although not exhaustive by any means (it’s your big day and you can have whatever you want) the following list contains obvious and less common options to consider when booking wedding entertainment;


So where do you find the best of these acts?  You can spend hours on Google making a shortlist and then contact each one individually, but be prepared to be patient.  The very best acts are booked well in advance so you may find that a frustratingly large number are already booked.

Also, most wedding entertainers have day jobs and won’t be easily contactable during the day.  Even if you are lucky enough to get through to your favourite act and they are available, you’ve really only got their word for how good they are. A fancy web site is by no means an indicator of a good entertainer.

If you do want to do all the searching yourself you’ll find forums useful, you know the kind of thing – brides will post questions and answers usually on wedding magazine web sites and that kind of thing but beware, many of the posts that look like they’re from brides are actually posted by entertainers masquerading as brides.  They’ll be enthusiastic about their own bands and in some sad cases they’ll try and put people off booking their competition by making false allegations. There’s surprisingly little redress against these malicious posts and many bands have been badly affected by some nasty piece of work from another band or agency actively trying to sabotage their business.

We’d strongly recommend contacting a reputable entertainment agency whose reputation will depend on them providing you with the best advice.  They’ll have already checked out the entertainers on their books so you don’t have to.  They should also be able to arrange for you to see your shortlist of favourites live before you make the decision on which one to book.

They’ll also have reviews from previous clients that have booked the entertainers before so you can find out what people really think.  Last but not least, in the event that something does go wrong at the last minute, the agency will be on hand to help sort out any issues even down to finding replacement entertainers.  Don’t think that emergencies don’t happen – there are a quarter of a million UK weddings every year, the law of averages tells you that at some point problems are inevitable.  Your agent will look after you if they want to remain in business.

So have fun finding the perfect entertainment.  The quality available in the UK is stunning, amongst the finest in the world so there’s absolutely no reason why your big day can’t be the most unforgettable day of your lives for all the right reasons.