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Your Wedding Reception Entertainment

Choose the right entertainment for your wedding reception and enjoy the music!

When planning your wedding reception, remember to include entertainment in the budget. The type of performers and music you choose should reflect your personality and theme as well as be up to the task of entertaining your guests in style.

If you choose to have live entertainment, visit with local booking agencies. They can help you with a range of options from instrumentalists to the latest and hippest group. When you're armed with a list of possibilities, plan to see them in action. You want personality as well as talent. While "interviewing," catch a member between acts, if possible, and find out if they take requests and if a member of the group is willing to act as emcee in addition to musical duties

Entertaining is also about attire; do not hesitate to inquire as to how they would dress; describe your theme if necessary. You'll also want to find out how many hours they would be available and if they are willing to stay longer (paid, of course) should you decide to keep the party going. You'll expect them to take a break (or can they be staggered if more than one entertainer?); find out what they expect with regard to length of sets and number of breaks.

An emcee/DJ is also a good choice. An emcee can guide your reception through its important steps - toasts, bouquet-tossing, cake cutting, etc. - and should be engaging enough to get the guests off their feet and onto the dance floor. Veteran DJs are skilled actors and it is well worth the price to have the extra entertainment factor that goes beyond a canned music selection. A good DJ can elevate a wedding reception to a memorable occasion.

When you visit with potential DJs, ask about their play lists and flexibility for requests from your guests. Again, watch a performance, if possible. Look at lighting and the age of the system. You should feel comfortable with the DJ's style and be convinced he or she will not go over the edge when working a crowd.

Once you have made a decision, don't delay in booking the group or individual. The best ones will be snapped up early, especially during the holiday season. Draw up a contract outlining everything you expect, including breaks. You should reestablish contact one month before the wedding to advise of setup access and parking. One week before the wedding visit with them once again to follow up on the smaller details. Be sure to let them know that they will be paid - and how - at a particular point in the evening and by whom.

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