You have made your vows. Your wedding party nailed their speeches. You even cut the cake. Well, on this most significant occasion, there is only one thing left to do. You guessed it. It’s time to get the party started.
To ensure your wedding day goes down in the history books, it all depends on preparation. Simply put, hiring the right entertainer for the event is a top priority. Get it right and you can be sure that your guests will have a night they will never forget. Get it wrong and, well, we don’t have to think about it. If you’re not sure where to start, let’s take a look at how to find your band or DJ for your wedding day.
So choose between a band or a DJ
From the moment you start planning your wedding, you have to make some pretty tough decisions. Who will your bridesmaids be? Which dress will you wear What about flower arrangements? And of course should you hire a DJ or a live band? It is enough to amaze you. If you have no idea what type of entertainment will fit your big day, there are a few key factors to think about.
“Your location is something you should really consider,” wedding DJ Tommy Elliott told Brides. “If you have a small venue, is a five to seven piece band really a good choice for entertainment? Perhaps a smaller band, a two-by-three piece, would suit your venue if space is tight. A DJ can set up in a small space, like this [that] may be the more flexible option depending on the venue and location. ”
Meet the expert
Tommy Elliott is an award-winning wedding DJ from Ireland.
However, the size of your venue isn’t everything. When deciding between a live band and a DJ, you should also consider the cost of those entertainers. Knowing what’s within your budget can shorten your search and find the perfect option for you.
“The budget you have to spend on entertainment will also be a big factor in your choice between a band or a DJ,” he continues. “When setting your budget, keep in mind that a band is made up of multiple members and obviously costs more than a DJ who operates alone.” Needless to say, it’s worth getting a selection of quotes from bands and DJs if you are Have looked at wedding entertainers once to see what fits your personal finances.
If you have a big budget for your wedding, why not get both a DJ and a live band? It’s the ideal combination. You can set the band to play the first tunes at reception and then take on a DJ who turns the figurative discs into the wee hours of the morning.
How to find a band or a DJ
Now that you have a clear idea of what you want, it’s time to start looking. To make the right decision, speak to your wedding planner. “Connect with the wedding coordinator at your venue or your wedding planner,” advises Elliott. “They will have a list of trusted suppliers that they have worked with in the past and this can be a good starting point to find the right option.”
If you’re flying alone and planning the event yourself, you can ask family and friends for recommendations or do a quick Google search. Alternatively, you can also dive into your social feeds. “Using social media can be a useful way to browse different styles of bands or DJs. You can search for hashtags like #weddingband, #weddingdj, or #weddingentertainment to find options that might suit you, ”says Elliott.
Before hiring your chosen entertainers, unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes and start digging properly. “Would I recommend booking a band or a DJ just because of their social media? No, ”says Elliott. “Always do your research and get in touch with potential entertainers to get a feel for whether they are right for what you are looking for.”
How to budget a band or a DJ
Now comes the hard part. How much should you spend on wedding entertainers? Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this burning question. Although entertainer costs can vary widely, there is a simple equation that will help you keep a good budget on this part of your wedding.
“As with all areas of your wedding, your overall wedding budget will determine how much you can set aside for the entertainment part of your day,” says Elliott. “Of course it’s a personal choice. As a rough guide, 10 to 15 percent of your total budget should be spent on entertainment. ”
Knowing how much you can afford to spend on entertainment will give you a clear understanding of the professionals who may be able to hire you.
Are you ready to lock your favorite wedding band or DJ? Now that you all have a clue, let’s go over a few final tips to get things started. If you want to make sure everyone is talking about your reception, follow these pieces of advice:
Start searching earlier, not later.
“I know it’s a cliché, but it’s never too early to book your band or DJ when you’ve found the right one for your day,” explains Elliott. “If they are popular or in high demand, they are usually sold out quickly, especially on important dates like public holidays or New Year’s Eve. A good guide would be 12 to 18 months after your date. Don’t leave it later or you risk being disappointed! ”
Consider your reception mood.
It is vital that your entertainment matches the atmosphere. “What mood are you looking for at your reception?” Asks Elliott. “Perhaps you are considering a traditional evening wear for your day with a large marching band, or a more modern festival atmosphere with a DJ playing until the wee hours of the morning!”
Set your music preferences in good time.
Do you have a special melody that gets you moving? Speak up before your wedding day. “If there are a few songs you’d like to record into the night, most bands or DJs would be happy to accommodate that request of any couple,” says Elliott. “Likewise, there may be songs that you definitely don’t want to hear at night, and it’s important to make your band or DJ aware of them beforehand.”
Make sure their personality works for you.
Great entertainers do more than just play music – they curate an atmosphere. “One thing I would recommend whether you choose a band or a DJ is to make sure they have the right personality and are able to connect with you and your guests,” says Elliott. “You have to be able to adapt your set to whatever can happen during the night to ensure a full dance floor with a great party atmosphere.”