Booking incredible wedding entertainment is THE perfect way to guarantee your guests will be dancing all night long. For most couples, it’s their first time booking live musicians and entertainers; so knowing where to start can feel like quite the task. This is where an experienced guiding hand can come in to its own...
...Henderson Management is that regular guiding hand for many couples each year - helping them to not only pick the perfect act or live band but also looking after all the booking details so you don't have to. Bookings are made with secure industry approved contracts and we're contactable right up until event date; answering any last minute questions or queries. From enquiry to booking to the big day itself - we'll be here to help.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the process of finding and booking the perfect wedding entertainment a quick and easy one.
There's no hard and fast rule but things to consider would be, the make-up of your audience. Generally speaking at a wedding reception you will have a number of ages and tastes to cater for so from past experience and the feedback we receive from wedding bookers - a great live party band performing a mix of music across the decades is often a good way to go. A good, professional wedding band can provide you with some fantastic music for your guests but also because of the varied mix of music, there should be a little something for everyone to enjoy...
...that's not to say though that you can't have something a little more specialist and niche. It's your once in a lifetime opportunity (hopefully!) to have the entertainment YOU want. With that in mind, tribute acts are an increasingly popular choice and an opportunity to have your favourite star or band perform at your reception (well the next best thing anyway).
Perhaps you don't have the space at your reception to fit in a live band or maybe you want to work on a bit of a tighter budget? With that in mind a great solo vocalist is a lovely addition to your evening's entertainment. It's a compact choice, not as heavy on the purse strings but still some fantastic evening entertainment for your guests.
In addition to the evening reception, there are 'extras' that you might want to add to the afternoon. Such as a string trio or quartet if you're wanting to have some nice background music for drinks or whilst eating. The other end of the spectrum and something a bit livelier is a SINGING WAITERS SHOW. This can be a fantstic ice breaker often at the end of the wedding breakfast leading you into the evening celebrations.
CARICATURISTS - something fun where guests can have a nice keepsake to take away with them.
TABLE MAGICIANS - wow your guests with some stunning table magic to bring your wedding reception to life.
This will depend obviously on the type of entertainment you decide to go for but here's a usual approx. guide:-
We would advise booking as soon as possible. The best wedding entertainers and bands are often booked up a year (or more) in advance...
So if we're talking live bands, tribute acts, solo vocalists etc - they will need a safe performance area with at least 3 or 4 power sockets for bands in close proximity to the stage / performance area. Solo performers could work off potentially less sockets - more 2-3...
Allow ideally 1.5 metres square per person. Allow 2 square metres for a drummer. Remember, space is needed in front and to the sides of the band to accommodate their PA/sound system, speakers and lighting stands.
Minimum band stage size requirements
3 piece band: 3 x 3 metres
4 piece band: 4 metres wide by 3 metres deep
5 and 6 piece band: 5 metres wide by 3 metres deep
7 piece and bigger: 5/6 metres wide by 4 metres deep
The more room the act or band have, the more comfortable they'll be AND the better they'll perform. That said, bands and acts will do their very best to fit within what ever space you have to work with, just don't expect miracles!
They will require food and refreshments (preferably a hot meal as they'll have been on the go for a longtime and will be hungry!). If you can't provide a hot meal, some of the evening buffet will usually be ok. A plate of cold sandwiches isn't really sufficient considering the length of time the band/act are working for, and their inability to get anything better once at your reception. Food is usually provided before or after the act's first set.
You do not need to provide alcohol, though most bands will appreciate a beer or glass of wine. Soft drinks, water, tea and coffee should all be made available at no cost to the band, and you should arrange this with your venue in advance.
A changing room is very much needed as we said prevously above including enough seats for all the band members, and if possible, a mirror.
The act/band will also require parking, and if you can ensure they have easy access at the front of the venue to park and unload - this means they can get in and get set up quickly.
PAT stands for portable appliance testing, making sure that all electrical equipment is safe to use. PAT certificates need to comply with your wedding venue’s insurance policy and they generally need to be no more than 12 months old. Now whilst not neccessarily a legal requirement of acts or bands to carry this - many acts who carry eletrical equipment decide to have PAT testing in place to show that their equipment is being properly maintained. If this is a neccessity for the venue to see this, we would advise prior to booking that you check that your act or band has this in place.
PLI stands for Public Liability Insurance. PLI covers damage to another person or their property during your event – for example, if one of your guests tripped over a band's P.A system speaker, PLI would insure this.
All professional bands should have PLI, and your venue is likely to require it.
For sure! Good, professional wedding bands usually have a wide range of material to draw from in their setlists. If they don’t know your song though, they can often learn it especially for you which may add an additional fee to your booking - well worth the extra expense though to hear your favourite song played just for you! DO CHECK THOUGH WHEN MAKING YOUR ENQUIRIES...