Category Archives: wedding reception entertainment

DJ, Band, or DIY Wedding Music: Pros & Cons of Your Wedding Entertainment Options

bride excited about wedding entertainment choiceThere’s so much on the line when it comes to wedding planning! You want your guests to have a good time and enjoy themselves, all the while juggling the process and the budget. Sometimes it can feel like a vice is squeezing your head; there are so many options for food, venues, and entertainment. For the latter, there are three common main entertainment options: a band, wedding DJ, or do-it-yourself music (along with a million cool ‘other’ entertainment options). Before you despair over which wedding option is right for your big day (and to preempt a panic attack!), we’ve put together the pros and cons to help you make your big decision on wedding entertainment option easier (for more info, send us a message-we can help!) so you can move on to that next big wedding planning decision.

Band

Pros: Perfect fit for vintage weddings (both in song list and attire), uses professional equipment, great live entertainment experience for guests, can emcee during dinner and the dance

Cons: Usually most expensive wedding entertainment option, often doesn’t have ‘plan B’ if emergency comes up (i.e. band member gets sick, equipment breaks, etc.), usually doesn’t offer extras such as lighting, can’t always play all the songs you want

Wedding DJ

Pros: Can provide soft dinner music and emcee reception dinners, DJ can coordinate with venue and vendors for special moments, offers extras (i.e. lighting, trivia, photo booths, etc.), professional expertise to keep people on the dance floor, often more affordable than bands, uses professional equipment, SHOULD have back-up equipment and DJ in case of emergency, personalized play list

Cons: More expensive than DIY music, crappy DJs can put a damper on your big day (signs of a bad DJ here)

DIY Music

Pros: Very affordable, play list can be built specifically to your taste

Cons: No ‘plan B’ if equipment doesn’t work, not played with quality equipment, requires time before and on day to organize and keep music going, no emcee for dinner or special events (i.e. couple entrance, first dance, etc.), takes time away from enjoying wedding if equipment or speakers break or need attention

6 ‘Other’ Ways to Entertain Your Wedding Reception Guests

wedding guests in photo booth with silly hats and funny facesEveryone loves a good wedding dance, but sometimes it takes more than just a rocking wedding reception to keep your guests entertained. Use these ideas to keep everyone enjoying your wedding dance—even the non-dancers.

Table trivia

For those who don’t want to venture out on the dance floor, give them trivia cards customized about the couple or the theme of the reception (i.e. history questions about the 20’s, your city, movies, etc.) Get your DJ in the act with fun trivia music and announcing the winners and their rewards (i.e. the right to head up to the buffet first, door prizes, extra drink, etc.)

Photo booth

Give your guests a chance to have fun AND take home a memento from a great wedding reception. Use these tips for choosing the perfect photo booth, then take your photo booth props to the next level by choosing props that are connected to your wedding reception theme.

Yard games

If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, give your guests a good corn hole toss, lawn bowling, ring toss, or ladder ball game to take on. For a wedding reception with a more indoor designation, bring your yard games inside or add fun options like a foosball or pool table.

Coloring station

Your youngest guests are going to love a coloring station meant just for them—and their parents will thank you too. In addition to coloring pages, add a simple craft that won’t cause too much of a mess (to the kids and their clothes).

Interactive food station

An interactive food station has two major benefits: 1) it’s a major draw and 2) it keeps your guests fueled and ready to head out on the dance floor. Choose a food station that’s tied into your location or theme for the ultimate coordinated entertainment addition.

Caricature artist

A caricature artist can be a novel addition to any wedding reception line-up. Perfect for an outdoor carnival theme, a caricature artist can be a major draw when your guests need a break from the dance floor.

4 Tips for Hiring the Right Wedding Reception Entertainers

bride and guests at wedding reception dancing to reception entertainerWhat do you remember from the last wedding you were at? Was it the favors, wine, or the fun time you had?  Chances are it was the latter, and that’s what your guests are going to remember from your wedding reception.  That’s why hiring wedding reception entertainment should be one of your top wedding planning priorities—and why we’ve put together tips that’ll help you hire the right entertainers for your big day.

Decide what kind of wedding entertainment is right for your big day.

Before you can decide who to contact, start by breaking down the most common wedding entertainment options: band, DJ, and do-it-yourself (we’ve gone into great depth on wedding entertainment options here).  What is your first choice?  Do you have a certain kind of music played by a band or would you rather have a variety of songs and a fun DJ?

Once you’ve decided what kind of entertainer you want, start contacting entertainers to find out what options fit in your wedding budget.  Ask each wedding reception entertainer these questions so you don’t get any unpleasant surprises later.

Don’t (entirely) base your selection on price.

When asking questions, remember there are a ton of amateur DJ’s and bands out there willing to offer their services for close to nothing.  When listening to their sales pitch, remember the old adage “you get what you pay for.”  While price is an important part of your decision, a low-cost wedding entertainer is probably going to deliver low-quality entertainment with subpar equipment (not to mention they probably don’t have a backup in case of emergencies, leaving you without entertainment).

Book early.

As tempting as it may be to procrastinate on hiring a wedding entertainer, the best DJs’ and bands’ fill up fast.  Twelve to eighteen months before your big day is optimal, but the reality of hiring wedding entertainers is the sooner the better.  If you wait too long, you are going to get a crummy wedding entertainer (here’s how to tell if you hired a low-quality DJ) and all your guests are going to remember is a boring ho-hum wedding reception.

Think about what happens ‘just in case.’

Musicians get sick. DJ’s get sidelined because of a family emergency.  Accidents happen, and the best bands and DJ’s have a back-up plan just in case; the amateurs don’t.  Remember when you decide on the high-quality entertainer (band or DJ), you are also paying for a contingency plan that won’t leave you—or your guests—bored.

25 Entertainment Ideas That Your Wedding Guests’ll LOVE

couple in photo booth with silly hats and funny facesNo one wants their wedding to be remembered as the “boring one” with nothing to do—and not all your guests just want to stand around and talk.  To ensure that every wedding guest walks away from your event raving about the good time they had at your wedding, use these ideas to keep your guests entertained from dinner until their exit from the wedding reception:

  1. DJ (use these tips to hire the best!)
  2. Band
  3. Wedding video
  4. Coloring books
  5. Yard games
  6. Trivia cards (about the couple)
  7. Photo booth (with these cool photo booth props!)
  8. Entertainers
  9. Photo stand-ins
  10. Wedding-libs (Mad-libs that fit your wedding theme)
  11. Lanterns
  12. Fireworks
  13. Tic tac toe (yard, chalk board, or paper)
  14. Hangman
  15. Flash mob dance
  16. Bowling (indoor or outdoor)
  17. Sidewalk chalk/chalkboard chalk
  18. Sparklers
  19. Corn hole
  20. Ring toss
  21. Chess (large scale-indoor or outdoor)
  22. Interactive food/sweets table
  23. Pool table
  24. Foosball table
  25. Advice station (where guests can give you advice on cute little cards)