Just like hiring any other professional, such as a videographer or a wedding photographer, you’ll want a good service which suits your style wedding. You also want entertainment that will be remembered for the right reasons, especially entertainment that won’t eclipse your special day, but add and complement it.
First thing to do is set a budget. It seems obvious, but you should have a maximum amount you’re willing to spend. Hired music entertainment can start anywhere from free if it’s a family friend, to thousands of pounds for full bands or an array of entertainment. Then there are celebrity acts such as chart toppers that you can get, if you can get them and if you’re willing to pay the price.
Secondly, make sure the venue will allow entertainment, and whether they have they use a ‘sound limiter’ as sound limiters impede the general sound and atmosphere of some acts and performers. Some venues have to appease the neighbours by setting a maximum level of music. Also, check with the venue that there is easy access to the performance area and that heavy loading equipment can be brought into the venue from a nearby parking area as close to the venue as possible.
Thirdly, you’ll want to do research on what’s out there and get lots of quotes as far in advanced as possible. Acts can be booked, sometimes a year or more in advanced, so a couple of hours on the internet can help you trace acts, and sending a couple dozen emails to your favourite acts will mean you’ll get an immediate response as to who’s available, and you can secure your booking arrangements.
You can do a lot of the research, if not all of the research on the internet. Just a piece of paper, a pen, and Google or any other search engine will help you find the type of entertainment you’re after. You can either look for select acts like typing in, ‘soul singers’ in your area, like ‘soul singer London’ or look for entertainment agencies which can present you with an array of entertainers. Some agencies will do the leg work for you, providing you with a list of suitable candidates available on the day.
If you’re sourcing bands or acts individually, you’ll want to tell them how long you want them to perform for, and whether they can provide music in the intermissions or whether you’ll be needing to hire a DJ as well. Usually, acts will perform for two hours with a break in between, but some bands perform longer or shorter and have different prices for different lengths of performances. You’ll obviously want to tell them where it is located too, and be sure to ask them if they have any insurance. If anything happens or any damages are incurred to you, your guests or the venue because of the performer(s) or their equipment, it will be worth them having insurance. If they don’t have any insurance, and you still want them to perform at your event, request they get themselves covered at least a month before the date of your wedding.
You’ll also want to ascertain more information, such as what songs they do, whether they can perform a live rendition of your first dance (if you so wish) and whether they’ll provide all the equipment, sound, power and lighting. This will help you decide whether the band or act is suitable for your event, and by no means should you feel you have to choose one act only. It may be pertinent to appeal to your guests by having multiple entertainment if your budget allows.
Once you’ve gotten quotes and the act or acts are available on your wedding day, you can make a choice based on price and what they provide. Once you’re ready to hire an act, then for your benefit, sign a mutual contract agreement. You and they will outline requirements for each other, including payment method. They may require access to a changing room. You may require them to set up hours before the guests arrive so that your guests are not bothered during the day.