You took your vows. The wedding party has its speeches nailed down. You even cut the cake. On this momentous occasion, there is only one thing left to do. You guessed it. It’s time to start the party.
To ensure your wedding day is one for the history books, preparation comes down to it. Simply put, hiring the right entertainer for the event is a top priority. If you do it right, you can be sure that your guests will have a night they will never forget. Get it wrong and 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.
How to choose between a band or a DJ
From the first 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 should you of course 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 important factors that you should think about.
“Your venue is something you should really be considering,” says wedding DJ Tommy Elliott Brides. “If you have a small venue, is a five to seven-member 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 therefore set up in a small space [that] Depending on the venue and location, this may be the more flexible option. ”
Meet the expert
Tommy Elliott is an award-winning wedding DJ from Ireland.
However, the size of your venue isn’t everything. When choosing between a live band and a DJ, you should also consider the cost of these entertainers. Knowing what is on your budget may help you shorten your search and find the perfect option for you.
“What budget you have to spend on entertainment will also be a key factor in your choice between a band or a DJ,” he continues. “When setting your budget, keep in mind that a band has multiple members and obviously costs more than a DJ who is the sole operator.” Needless to say, it is worth getting a selection of quotes from bands and DJs to see which ones fit your personal finances.
If you have a big budget for your wedding, why not have both a DJ and a live band? It’s the ideal combination. You can schedule the band to play the first few tunes at the front desk, then let a DJ take over to spin the figurative discs until 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 your search. To help you 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 types 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, let go of your inner Sherlock Holmes and start digging properly. “Would I recommend booking a band or DJ through their social media only? No, ”says Elliott. “Always do your research and get in touch with potential animators to get a feel for whether they are a match for what you’re looking for.”
Budget for 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. While entertainer costs can vary widely, there is a simple equation that will help you budget this part of your wedding well.
“As with all aspects of your wedding, your overall wedding budget will determine how much you can devote to 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 devoted to entertainment. ”
Knowing how much you can afford to spend on entertainment will give you a clear understanding of the professionals you may hire.
Are you ready to lock your favorite wedding band or DJ? Now that you’re all set, let’s go over some final tips to get things moving. If you want to make sure your reception is the talk of the town, follow these pieces of advice:
Start searching sooner, 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 one that’s right for your day,” explains Elliott. “If they’re popular or in demand, they’ll usually fill up quickly, especially for important dates like holidays or New Year’s Eve. A good guide would be 12 to 18 months away from your date. Don’t leave it later or you risk getting disappointed! ”
Consider your reception mood.
Your entertainment must match the atmosphere. “What kind of mood are you looking for at your reception?” asks Elliott. “Perhaps consider a traditional black-tie for your day with a large marching band or a more modern festival atmosphere with a DJ who plays until the wee hours of the morning!”
Make your music requests early.
Do you have a special melody that gets you moving? Speak before your wedding day comes. “If there are a few songs you’d like to record in the evening, most bands or DJs would be happy to take that request from any couple,” says Elliott. “Likewise, there may be songs that you definitely don’t want to hear during the 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 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 can connect with you and your guests,” says Elliott. “You need to be able to adapt your settings to whatever can happen during the night to ensure a full dance floor with a great party atmosphere.”