What 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).
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.