Your wedding entertainment is very important to the success of your reception. It’s very important that you hire professionals who have experience specific to weddings. The best entertainers need advance notice, sometimes you have to book them months ahead of time.
The first consideration to make when researching your wedding entertainment is whether you want a DJ or a live band. DJ’s are less expensive with fees running between $350 and $3,500 for a typical four to five hour time frame. Bands can vary in size, which should be a consideration depending upon the size of your reception; the fees will run between $1,600 and $10,000. The most typical sized band consists of 5-members and the average cost for a 4-hour performance is $2,750, with charges running $400-$700 per musician. The average for hiring a smaller band of 4 performers is $2,200. Larger bands which contain from 6 to 10 members, averages $3,850 .
People often like to hire live bands for their wedding receptions because they are more interactive and add their own flair to the music. DJ’s recycle music you hear on the radio or CD’s, but they can still be interactive with your guests, in a different way.
Make sure to be realistic about the amount of time for which you need to hire your entertainers. Rates for overtime performances are very expensive, often including an overtime penalty in addition to the hourly rate.
The DJ or the bandleader can emcee the reception, and provide a microphone and at least one loudspeaker. A professional entertainment group will generally include equipment in their fee.
Communicate your needs to the DJ or bandleader. If you want them to introduce the wedding party and the events during the reception, let them know ahead of time. Write all important information down, such as the names of the bride and groom.
Discuss your choice of music and any special songs you require. DJ’s should be able to give you a list of songs from which to choose. Some bands have a sample of songs on their websites, or you can request a sample CD. Take into account the average age of your guests and choose the music accordingly. Let the entertainers know what music you would like for your first couple’s dance and any other special dances throughout the event. Also choose or discuss what type of dinner music you would like to hear.
Some bands take 5-10 minute breaks about once per hour. Be prepared by playing your own music compilation via iPod or CD.
Visit How to Interview and Questions to Ask a Wedding DJ before hiring your DJ.
Consider hiring an agent to find your wedding entertainment. The work the agents do can quite often be worth their fee. They have worked with entertainers and can recommend one based on your needs because they know their reputations, experience levels, and most importantly, their reliability. A local agent knows the popular venues and the size of band it will accommodate, what time they can come in to set up, and whether there are noise restrictions after a certain time. You can often hire the entertainers less expensively, since they generally want more work through that agent. In addition, if the band you have booked is involved in an accident which prevents them from performing, then the agent will use his extensive contacts to try and find you a replacement band at short notice.
Ask your friends and family who have recently been through the process for their recommendations and referrals; then do your own homework. Ensure yourself of the best quality, professional wedding entertainment by booking well in advance of your wedding and have an enjoyable experience for your most memorable occasion, one that your guests will not soon forget.