Your Complete Guide to Booking Wedding Entertainment!
Congratulations! You’ve popped the question, it’s a yes, and now it’s all systems go.
Time to start preparing your big day and suddenly there is so much to think about.
The venue, the guest list, the food and, crucially, what entertainment to book. Well, pull up a chair and relax. From your ceremony right through to your last dance, this is your Complete Guide to Booking Entertainment that will make your wedding shimmer and sparkle from start to finish.
Not only that but we've also created the Ultimate Complete Wedding Planning Checklist for you to download. Just click the preview below:
In our Complete Guide below we have included details of the different act types on offer and how to find a performer who’s the perfect fit for your special day, so that each and every one of your guests has memories to cherish forever. Whether your theme is English Country Garden or Vintage Hollywood, we’ve got it covered. If you’re not having a theme at all but just want to throw a really good party, then look no further.
We’ve got the low-down on everything from Wedding Singers and DJs to Limos and Make-up Artists, all set to fire your imagination and take away your wedding worries. You can jump to any of these sections from the links below
What Entertainment Do I Need for each Part of My Wedding Day?
Whether you’re looking for the perfect piece of music to add poignancy to your ceremony, some light-hearted entertainment in the form of speeches, caricature sketches or magic tricks to keep guests happy during photos, a gentle acoustic set for your drinks reception, or a full live band to get your evening party started...there are plenty of entertainment options to choose from for your big day.
With acts to suit all tastes and budgets, you can rely on a professional performer to keep guests involved, entertained and having the time of their lives. To help you choose exactly the right sort of entertainment to make each part of your day sparkle, we've created quick guides to cover the main events below.
CLICK ON THE IMAGES to find out more about the ideal entertainment for your wonderful day.
What Kinds of Entertainment are there, and What Will they be Like?
We have an amazing range of entertainers to help you make your wedding day magical and unique.
There are musicians, singers and bands who cover every style you can think of, as well as magicians, caricaturists, children’s entertainers, speciality acts, comedy acts, dance acts, speakers, surprise singing waiters and lookalikes.
Each can enhance different parts of the day and all will bring something special, keeping friends and family, young and old, enthralled. So, don’t leave your guests sitting around, treat them to an experience they will never forget.
Read on to find out exactly what each kind of entertainer has to offer...
We really believe that one of the best ways to make your wedding day extra special is with live music. It can help warm the atmosphere as guests arrive, serenade you as you walk down the aisle, liven up your wedding breakfast and set the mood at your sit-down dinner or drinks reception. Take a look at the different types of musical entertainment on offer below.
A Singer can provide the ideal musical backdrop from the moment your guests arrive all the way through to the main meal, really setting the tone and creating a joyful atmosphere.
Whether you want to walk down the aisle to an operatic aria, raise your first glass as newlyweds to your favourite Ed Sheeran song, or get in the party mood with a bit of Aretha, there’s a singer to fit the bill.
When it comes to wedding musicians, you can request classical music, traditional pieces, romantic ballads, popular show tunes, inspirational songs, pop, jazz or folk - it’s really up to you.
You might have personal favourites or you may be looking for music to fit a particular theme. For the quieter parts of the day, an unplugged performer such as a harpist, classical guitarist or violinist can provide a relaxed and intimate atmosphere.
Popular classical pieces for wedding ceremonies include Bach’s Air on the G String and Schubert’s Ave Maria. More contemporary choices might be Marry You by Bruno Mars and Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. Whatever you have in mind, your musician will be keen to hear about it! For your evening reception, you’ll want to set a party mood and get people dancing.
A Pianist is versatile enough to play a romantic ballad for your first dance and then kick start the party with some high-energy tunes, filling the dancefloor and delighting guests young and old. Or why not have an electric guitarist or saxophonist busting out some classic party hits.
You can also mix things up a bit, with a combination of musicians, such as a pianist with a saxaphone player or a guitar player with a violinist. See what packages the Musicians on our pages offer, in addition to performing solo. Some Musicians also offer a disco/DJ service for an extra fee, which can work out cheaper than hiring separate acts.
CLICK ON THE IMAGES below to find out more about these types of Musicians or click HERE to search for Musicians Now.
LIVE BANDS & GROUPS
Hiring a speciality Wedding Band is a great way to ensure that you’re getting a well-rehearsed, professional band who are expert at creating a welcoming atmosphere and getting your guests up and on that dance floor. They’ll talk to the audience in between songs and know just how to bring people out of their shells.
If you’re looking for some gentle music for your wedding ceremony, breakfast or drinks reception, most wedding bands can offer an acoustic line-up, or you could consider booking a String Quartet or Acoustic Band to play during the daytime.
Choosing a band for your evening reception really comes down to your own personal taste, but you may also want to consider what will work best for the friends and family you’ve invited. Wedding bands have setlists designed to appeal to all ages, so that each and every one of your guests has a night to remember! Of course, we can’t talk about music for your wedding day without mentioning that all-important first dance. According to Spotify, the most popular first dance songs of 2018 include the 2017 Ed Sheeran hit ‘Perfect’ and the classic Etta James song ‘At Last’.
Whether you prefer old or new, up-beat or low-tempo, let the band know in advance, so they can make sure they’ve got it prepared. As well as specialist Wedding Bands we also have Function & Party Bands, Cover Bands, Soul & Motown Bands and Barn Dance & Ceilidh Bands.
CLICK ON THE IMAGES below to find out more about these types of Bands or click HERE to search for Live Bands Now.
OTHER TYPES OF ENTERTAINMENT
We can be so focused on finding the perfect band for our big day, we sometimes forget how much other entertainers have to offer.
Whether it’s a talented caricaturist creating hilarious sketches of friends and family, a magician wowing guests with mind-blowing tricks, or a lookalike or comedian providing belly laughs galore, these experienced entertainers know just how to break the ice, interact with guests and make memories everyone can treasure.
So, let our professional performers take the strain, they really are expert entertainers.
Just CLICK ON THE IMAGES below to find out more about how these types of entertainment can make your day truly memorable.
What Wedding Event Services Are Available, and How Will They Make My Day Special?
Wedding event services have come along in leaps and bounds in recent years. The advent of smart technology means that a simple photo booth or standing mirror is now a highly interactive tool, allowing guests to get creative and make personalised photos and videos of themselves that can be shared instantly on social media.
A common mistake many couples make is overlooking key event services until late in the day, meaning the provider they want may be unavailable, or out of their price range. Consider booking your photographer, make-up artist and caterer in the early stages of your planning.
Just CLICK ON THE SERVICE IMAGES below to find out more about what each of them can add to your Big Day and start your booking.
Essential Wedding Entertainment Booking Information
We know that there is so much to think about on the run up to that Big Day and we want to make sure you have all the information you could possibly need at your fingertips to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
In this section we cover everythinng from the all important question of how much your entertainment will cost, to tips to help you book with confirdence. Read on for ideas on ways to get a good deal and practical tips on everything from performance times; breaks, how early to book; space requirements for your entertainer and much more...
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
Entertainment and Event Sevices Price Ranges
When it comes to booking entertainment, the cheapest option is not always the best.
Being a live performer takes hard work and putting on great entertainment is not as easy as it might look. Bearing this in mind, we believe that, for your special day, it’s worth paying for a reliable and professional performer who will be a pleasure to deal with, turn up on time and deliver a great show. This can make all the difference to your celebrations and transform your wedding day into something truly magical.
Prices will vary depending on the time of year and day of the week, the location, travel costs, act type, size of venue, show type, show length, level of experience, equipment and props. Below are some fairly typical price ranges for basic packages.
We recommend asking any acts you are interested in for a free, no-obligation quote.
CLICK BELOW FOR PRICE RANGES FOR THESE ACT TYPES
In this section, we cover the nitty gritty of what you need to know when it comes to booking an entertainer or event service for your wedding, including when and how to book to get the best possible deal. It also covers the things you need to bear in mind when booking your venue, what provisions you need to make for your entertainers, what set up requirements there will be, and what happens if things go wrong.
Our essential tips and advice will help you ensure that your bookings go smoothly, and a great time is had by all.
CLICK HERE to find out more about: Ways to Get a Good Deal; Performance Times; Breaks, How Early to Book; Space Requirements; Noise estrictions, Backtage Area; Outside Venues, Parking Areas; Set-Up Times, Lighting and LED Entertainment.
BOOKING WITH CONFIDENCE
This is not just any booking. This is your wedding day and, rightly, you want it to be perfect. In this section we look at how to approach booking entertainment and event services that will be the right match for you personally.
How do you know whether your photographer really understands what kind of atmosphere you want your pictures to capture? How can you be certain that your DJ has the right personality to get on with you and your guests? How can you be sure that the band you hire won’t turn up looking like total scruffbags when your wedding is a stylish affair?
CLICK HERE to find out more about: Finding the Perfect Match, Performance Experience, Audio Clips & Video Showreels; Suitable Venues & Space Requirements, Set Up Time & Requirements, Insurance & Cancellation, Testimonials & the Importance of Meeting Face-to-Face
Booking your wedding entertainment is easy with Entertainers Worldwide. You can search through different acts, view their profiles, watch video showreels and read their all-important reviews, so that you can be confident your special day will shine.
Once you’ve found the act you want to book, simply use the contact form on their profile page. We are not an agency, so you can deal directly with your chosen group, with no extra booking fees or commission to pay.
Search Entertainers Worldwide now to find hundreds of Singers, Live Bands and Groups, Magicians, Musicians, Tribute Acts, Lookalikes and much more!
We hope you find everything you need but do contact us if not. We are always happy to offer advice and assistance and our fantastic entertainers are just waiting to hear from you!
YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO BOOKING WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT
Your wedding ceremony is the most poignant and important part of the day, so you want to get the music just right.
That means choosing pieces that mark the occasion but that also have personal meaning. The main parts of the ceremony that benefit from live music are the Prelude (awaiting the arrival of the bride), the Processional (arrival of the bride), the ceremony itself, signing of the register and the Recessional (departure of the bride and groom).
For the Prelude, we recommend soothing background music, to welcome guests as they arrive and to help settle any last-minute nerves. For your walk down the aisle, something with a nice, steady pace is ideal. You don’t want to be scuttling down the aisle in a mad dash or trudging slowly towards your beloved as if you’re having second thoughts!
During the ceremony, most couples choose something serene and romantic, although many civil ceremonies these days are quite short and don’t require any music until the signing of the register. For your exit, something uplifting is called for. After all, you’re taking your first steps as newlyweds and the party’s just getting started!
Singers, string quartets, pianists and harpists are popular for ceremonies and flexible enough to suit different parts of the day. They can create a beautiful atmosphere with gentle music as your guests arrive, perform your special song as you walk down the aisle, and then play more upbeat music to celebrate as you exit. They can then keep your guests entertained while you have your photos taken and provide the perfect musical backdrop to your drinks reception.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''It may be worth practicing walking down the aisle to your chosen music ahead of the actual day, and timing how long it takes you. This way you’ll know at what point in the piece to set off, and how long it should play for.''
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With the formalities over, it’s time to celebrate, and the perfect way to set the tone is with live music or entertainment.
Drinks receptions often go on for longer than you think, while friends and family mingle and photos are organised. So, take the pressure off and let a professional performer set the mood and keep everyone relaxed and entertained.
An acoustic guitar or piano singer can play gentle background music for your guests to enjoy, or you can opt for something a bit more interactive. This is a great moment to have a caricaturist arrive, while everyone is still looking their best! Friends and family will love being drawn and their portraits will make fantastic take home gifts, giving people a memento of your day they can keep forever.
A close-up magician is another great option, as they can work the room, wowing guests young and old with amazing tricks. Or how about a Lookalike to surprise guests and mingle with the crowd. People love having a ‘celebrity’ in their midst and this is a sure-fire way to break the ice and get the laughter flowing.
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Your wedding breakfast is the time for speeches, so who better to keep things running smoothly and provide some quality entertainment than a professional speaker.
With a set tailored to your wedding, including plenty of amusing anecdotes about the bride, groom, best man and key family members, they will put everyone in the room at ease and raise big belly laughs. To keep the young ones entertained, you can hire a Children’s Magician to put on a highly engaging and interactive show that they will simply adore. To keep the atmosphere of celebration going, a singer or acoustic band will warm the ambience nicely in the lead up to the evening reception evening reception.
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It’s time to kick start the evening and get everyone in the mood for dancing...
Hiring a live band to play all of your special requests plus a selection to appeal to all of your guests, is a guaranteed way to make your party go with a swing and keep that dance floor full all night. For extra entertainment, a close-up magician can work the room, wowing the crowd with tricks, using nothing more than a few simple objects and some crafty sleight of hand.
If you really want to get things moving, you can hire a dance act, to teach guests some basic moves, or perform a choreographed routine. Or for maximum impact you can have a flash mob appear out of nowhere and stun the audience with a high-energy dance. If you want to create a festival vibe, what could be better than a juggler, hula hoop artist or acrobat, performing on stage or in amongst the crowd, delighting guests of all ages with colourful costumes and impromptu routines. Another popular option is to hire a photo booth or magic selfie mirror, providing guests with endless entertainment as they don silly props and take funny photos that they can take home and treasure for years to come.
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Wedding Singers specialise in music for wedding ceremonies and receptions. This includes classical music, religious songs, contemporary hits and popular love songs.
Most cover a variety of genres and will be accustomed to taking requests, so you know you’re getting a versatile vocalist who can deliver your perfect set list, from a moving ballad at your ceremony to a show-stopping first dance number. They can provide the perfect romantic backdrop during the early stages of your day and later on get everyone, from the little ones to the grandparents, up and onto the dancefloor. When it comes to deciding what kind of singer to book for your wedding, the first thing to consider is what kind of music you would like them to perform and at what points in the day.
You may want to book an opera singer for your ceremony and a Motown act for your drinks reception. A budget-friendly option is to find a singer who can perform at different parts of the day, with a flexible tone and repertoire. If you’re setting your wedding around a particular theme, there are singers who specialise in vintage or rock ‘n’ roll, and who come complete with exactly the right look for the era.
Nothing will bring that swell of emotion and romance quite like a trained opera singer performing a beautiful aria as the bride makes her first entrance and walks down the aisle.
Opera singers perform religious, classical, opera and popular romantic songs to bring real depth of emotion to your ceremony. Rigorous training ensures that they can project their voices to the back of even the largest of venues, without the need for amplification. Popular song choices for religious ceremonies include the hymns Amazing Grace and Love Divine, ‘Ave Maria’ by Bach/Gounod, ‘Rejoice Greatly’ by Handel and ‘How Great Thou Art’ by Carl Boberg (sung famously by Elvis Presley and more recently Katherine Jenkins and country music star Carrie Underwood). Classical arias such as ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’ by Puccini and ‘Voi Che Sapete’ by Mozart are popular for secular weddings.
At your drinks reception, opera singers can offer a selection of classical songs, arias, operetta, film music, popular crossover or musical theatre, to lighten the mood and appeal to guests of all musical tastes. Why not create a warm, nostalgic atmosphere with a glorious rendition of ‘Summertime’ by Gershwin, or ‘Fields of Gold’ in the style of Eva Cassidy.
An opera singer will melt your heart, and guests will be impressed by their sheer vocal power. So, for a touch of divine beauty, elegance and timeless romance, ideal for a classical or traditional wedding, enjoy the heavenly, soaring tones of one of our highly talented Opera Singers.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''By law, no religious music may be performed during a civil wedding service. Although the regulations have softened slightly in practice regarding this, song choices should be agreed with your registrar in advance.''
When you think about the huge range of music that can be performed by a Guitar Singer, it’s no surprise that they are always a popular choice for the ultimate romantic occasion.
They can can serenade you as you walk down the aisle, play a romantic ballad at your ceremony, provide gentle background music at your drinks reception or lead a sing-a-long session at your wedding breakfast or evening party. Hugely versatile, and needing minimal space, they can create every type of mood, from warm and romantic to high-energy and even comedy.
They can also cover all genres of music, including pop music from any era, rock, indie, soul, Motown, jazz and country. Popular songs for contemporary ceremonies include 'Sky Full of Stars' by Coldplay, 'Have I Told You Lately That I Love You' by Van Morrison, 'Wonderful Tonight' by Eric Clapton and 'Thinking Out Loud' by Ed Sheeran. To create an uplifting mood for your drinks reception, you can opt for more upbeat contemporary numbers such as ‘Stubborn Love’ by The Lumineers or ‘I Do’ by Colbie Caillat, or go for popular classics like ‘You’re All I Need To Get By’ by Aretha Franklin and ‘Let’s Stay Together’ by Al Green.
If you need a helping hand putting the perfect set list together, just ask our fabulous Guitar Singers. Many of them have wedding experience and will be happy to advise.
Some of the most beautiful and romantic music we know has been written and performed by piano singers. Just think of Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gershwin, and you’re off to a pretty good start. As your guests arrive, a live piano singer can create a warm and calming atmosphere with ‘The Nearness of You’ by Norah Jones, or ‘Remedy’ by Adele. For your walk down the aisle, what could be more perfect than ‘Your Song’ by Elton John, or ‘All of You’ by John Legend.
As you exit together after the signing of the register, you can lift the mood ahead of your drinks reception with something more upbeat such as ‘This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)’ by Natalie Cole, or ‘Greatest Day’ by Take That. When it comes to your drinks reception, you can inject some energy and fun with ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ by Stevie Wonder and ‘All you Need is Love’ by The Beatles, or jazz things up a bit with ‘Hallelujah I Love Her So’ by Ray Charles.
From popular hits and rock’n’roll, to jazz and broadway tunes, out talented Piano Singers are guaranteed to bring warmth and sparkle to your wedding day, and make moments that will last a lifetime.
For a touch of timeless romance, a jazz singer will add the ultimate classic or vintage feel to your wedding, with music that will please every generation.
For your ceremony, a jazz classic such as ‘At Last’ by Etta James or ‘What a Wonderful World’ by Louis Armstrong will leave not a dry eye in the house. The swinging ‘Take the A-Train’ by Duke Ellington will bring a relaxed feel to your wedding breakfast, and ‘Fly Me To the Moon’ by Frank Sinatra will add warmth and romance to your drinks reception. Later on, your jazz singer could be joined by a band, and fill the dancefloor with irresistible swing and jive hits such as ‘When We Dance’ by the Billy Elliot Swing Orchestra and ‘Lovin’ Machine’ by jazz singing sensation Todd Rhodes. Your wedding reception will sure be bopping!
Tribute Acts are a popular choice at weddings, because they give couples the chance to have authentic renditions of their favourite music performed live.
This is a wonderful way to add an extra touch of magic to your special day. Why not add a sprinkling of stardust to proceedings by having an Adele tribute singing Love Song or Sweetest Devotion as you walk down the aisle, or for your first dance? Or imagine hearing piano ballads like ‘Your Song’, or ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ sung live as you tie the knot. Many of our trusted Tribute Acts offer solo sets with backing tracks as well as packages with a piano or guitar accompaniment or full band.
If you need gentler music for the first part of the day and something more energetic, with a bigger sound, for your evening reception, speak to our acts and find out what they can offer.
SINGING SURPRISE WAITERS
Imagine the joy on the faces of friends and family as the waiters serving champagne at your wedding breakfast suddenly burst into song, with a show-stopping performance of a romantic ballad, such as ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Billy Joel or your favourite broadway show or movie tune. Perhaps a rousing rendition of ‘On the Street Where You Live’ from My Fair Lady, or ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ from South Pacific.
This is one way to keep your guests on their toes!
The piano is the largest of all the instruments (apart from the organ) and when it comes to power, dynamics and versatility, no other instrument comes close.
The piano repertoire is vast, ranging from classical composers such as Beethoven and Schubert and jazz greats like Duke Ellington and Count Basie to Little Richard with his rock ‘n’ roll riffs and current piano songwriters, like Diana Krall, Alicia Keys and Elton John. We have Pianists and Keyboardists from around the globe, so wherever you plan to have your wedding, look for a pianist in that area. Some specialise in a particular genre while many offer a complete range of styles.
Playing either solo or with other musicians, a professional Pianist can play high quality music to hit just the right note on your big day, whether it’s a black tie affair or a relaxed rustic wedding. They can play heart-stopping ballads as you walk down the aisle, tinkle away gently as your guests mingle at your drinks reception, and pull out some up-tempo jazz, well-known classics and current hits at your evening party.
If your wedding is traditional in flavour, there are some classical pieces that are particularly popular for the bridal entrance, including ‘Canon in D’ by Pachelbel, ‘Bridal Chorus’ by Richard Wagner (also known as ‘Here Comes the Bride’) and ‘Claire de Lune’ by Debussy. For the recessional, ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ by Mendelssohn is a popular choice, as well as ‘Wedding March’ by Andrew Grossman, Lana Ross and Anna Moor. Another alternative is to choose piano versions of popular show tunes, such as ‘I Have Dreamed’ from ‘The King and I’ by Rodgers & Hammerstein or ‘So in Love’ from ‘Kiss Me Kate’ by Cole Porter. If you’ve got a piano and vocal duo, why not enjoy some chilled-out tunes at your breakfast or drinks reception, such as Anita Baker’s ‘Sweet Love’ or Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘Misty’, or bring things bang up-to-date with the wedding song ‘Is That Alright’ by Lady Gaga, from the movie ‘A Star Is Born’.
A romantic theme can continue at your drinks reception, with mellow piano arrangements of ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ by George Gershwin, ‘What I Did for Love’ from A Chorus Line, jazz favourites including ‘When I Fall in Love’ by Nat King Cole and popular classics such as ‘Have I Told You Lately That I Love You’ by Van Morrison.
If your venue has a decent piano in-situ, why not take advantage and book a Pianist. For smaller venues or those with no piano, there is the option of a digital keyboard. The quality of these has come on in leaps and bounds and many now use real piano samples, so that every note sounds just like it’s being played on a real piano.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''If your chosen music was not written for specifically for the piano, check with your musician that it will still sound fantastic when played on piano.''
Guitarists are hugely versatile and therefore a popular choice at weddings.
They can play unplugged or amplified without taking up much room, so they work well in small and large venues. From ballads at your ceremony and mellow background music at your drinks reception, to rocking electric guitar solos at your evening party, the options are endless.
Classical Guitarists can perform delicate renditions of pieces such as ‘Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring’ by Bach, 'Here Comes the Bride' by Wagner and Pachelbel's ‘Canon in D’, all of which are ideal for sophisticated, traditional ceremony music. Solo Guitarists can offer a huge range of music, including everything from ‘Fields of Gold’ by Sting to the Indiana Jones theme tune!
Whether you prefer older classics such as ‘Moondance’ by Van Morrison, or more recent hits like ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz, a solo guitarist can deliver heartfelt versions that will set a beautiful tone for your wonderful day. As well as arrangements of these famous songs, solo guitarists can play blues, rock, rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, show tunes, film music and pretty much anything you can think of.
So, whether you want a soul sing-a-long, a bit of fiery Flamenco, or a sedate classical performance, our talented Guitarists can fill your venue with heart-lifting music.
For a virtuoso musician with passion and fire in their belly, you can’t beat a Violinist.
They can serenade you with sweeping romantic melodies at your ceremony, and play gentle classical music or jazz favourites at your drinks reception, adding a touch of elegance to the occasion, soothing your guests as they relax and socialise.
Of course, violinists don’t just play classical music, many can also perform bluegrass, country, folk, jazz, world music, show tunes, film music, rock and pop. Alternatively you might like to have classical music played with a modern twist. From Beethoven to Beyoncé, you can find a talented Violinist to play your preferred style of music and to cater for any special requests you have for your big day.
For real wow factor, you can hire an electric violinist. Not only will the sound be amplified with an electric pickup but electric violins are also visually striking, with colourful or transparent bodies and parts that light up. Violinists can perform acoustically or amplify their sound through a PA system. They don’t require as much space as a pianist, classical group or live band, making them suitable for venues large and small.
Nothing will bring the angels to your wedding day better than a Harpist.
They create a magical sound on an instrument that is stunning to look at and which few people often see played live. Guests young and old will be utterly captivated by sweeping, majestic music as it drifts through the room.
Perfect for setting a serene mood, a Harpist is ideal for calming any last minute nerves. They can play well known classical pieces by the world’s most famous composers including Bach, Beethoven, Handel, Mozart, Schubert and Vivaldi and also include harp arrangements of contemporary hits. So, if you fancy a bit of Bruno Mars or Ed Sheeran mixed in with your Schubert, our talented harpists can oblige.
A harpist can play relaxing music to welcome guests as they arrive and perform a beautiful version of Wagner’s ‘Wedding March’ as you glide down the aisle. They can then play enchanting music during the recessional and while photos are taken. Imagine your guests sipping champagne and starting their meal as they bask in the happiness of the day, accompanied by dreamy and heavenly sounds.
The harp is a stand alone instrument that can be set up in different rooms with relative ease, making this a perfect choice of live music to use at various parts of the day. In addition, its soft, angelic tones won’t drown out people’s voices, so guests can enjoy their conversation uninterrupted, as gentle music floats around them. Take a look at our hugely talented Harpists. Most have extensive experience of playing at weddings and will be able to offer packages to suit a variety of tastes and budgets.
LIVE BANDS & GROUPS
Hiring a speciality Wedding Band is a great way to ensure that you’re getting a well-rehearsed, professional band who are expert at creating a welcoming atmosphere and getting your guests up and on that dance floor.
They’ll talk to the audience in between songs and know just how to bring people out of their shells. Choosing a band for your evening reception really comes down to your own personal taste, but you may also want to consider what will work best for the friends and family you’ve invited. Playing a variety of genres, wedding bands have setlists designed to appeal to all ages, so that each and every one of your guests has a night to remember.
Of course, we can’t talk about music for your wedding day without mentioning that all-important first dance. According to Spotify, the most popular first dance songs of 2018 include the 2017 Ed Sheeran hit ‘Perfect’ and the classic Etta James song ‘At Last’. Whether you prefer old or new, up-beat or low-tempo, let the band know in advance, so they can make sure they’ve got it prepared. As well as specialist Wedding Bands, other popular choices for weddings include Function & Party Bands, Cover Bands, Soul & Motown Bands and Barn Dance & Ceilidh Bands.
Bring an extra touch of sparkle to your wedding and transport your guests back to the magical era of the 1940s and 1950s with songs by jazz greats Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Junior, Tony Bennett and more.
As well as Traditional jazz from the 1920s, there are many other styles on offer. Music from the Big Band and Swing era includes the enduring and hopelessly romantic songs of Gershwin and Cole Porter, perfect for a wedding. For dancing, it’s got to be Period Jazz from the Duke Ellington era, or Jump Jive from the late ‘40s and early ‘50s, where jazz crosses over with rhythm and blues. Smooth, modern jazz with a Latin American influence makes ideal background music for a sophisticated breakfast or drinks reception.
Jazz Bands come in all sizes, from duos, trios and four or five-piece bands, to big ensembles, so if you want a smaller line up for your drinks reception followed by a full band in the evening, this can be arranged. For larger venues, options include Big Bands & Orchestras, Rat Pack Shows and Swing Bands. Your guests will be treated to a spectacular show featuring timeless classics such as “Fly Me to the Moon” and “New York, New York”, often with a modern twist, inspired by the likes of Michael Bublé and Jamie Cullum.
You can also expect your musicians to dress in true jazz style, with the men wearing elegant suits and white button up shirts and the women in glamorous vintage dresses and high heels. Not only will your guests find it impossible not to dance to these irresistible tunes, a jazz band is the perfect choice for a vintage-themed wedding. Popular jazz songs for the first dance include ‘Some Enchanted Evening’ from South Pacific and ‘Embraceable You’ by Ella Fitzgerald. What could be more perfect? Check out our sizzling Jazz Bands and dance the night away in style...
The ultimate in sophisticated wedding entertainment has to be the String Quartet.
This classic ensemble consists of two violins, a viola and a cello and the magic that happens when these instruments are played in unison is one reason why there is a huge body of wonderful music written especially for this combination of musicians. Well-known composers of the genre include Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Brahms and Dvorak.
If you like a mixture of old and new, many quartets offer diverse sets including film scores, TV theme tunes, scores from musicals, show tunes and string versions of popular hits, from Adele to Daft Punk. To bring a really modern note to a truly classical form, some of the groups in our directory even offer the option of including electric instruments and rhythm and effects pedals.
As well as the classic string quartet, there are Duos, Trios and Quintets, usually combining strings, piano and strings or woodwind instruments. Whichever format you choose, a Classical Group is ideal for providing elegant and calming background music during your breakfast or drinks reception. Popular pieces for walking down the aisle, played by string quartets include Mozart’s ‘Wedding March’ and ‘Canon & Gigue in D major’ by Johann Pachelbel. Popular religious pieces include Mozart's ‘Allelujah’ from ‘Exultate Jubilate’ and ‘Rejoice Greatly’ by Handle, although these will not be suitable for a civil ceremony.
Browse our collection of wonderful and talented String Quartets, where you can see details of their experience and example set lists, view videos of live performances and read those all-important testimonials.
Tribute Bands are all about fun, delivering high-energy performances with authentic costumes and all the impact of the original artist.
They can compliment the theme and style of your celebrations perfectly, while also appealing to friends and family across the generations, so that everyone feels included. Of course, you’ll want to hear those special songs that are precious to you, but your wedding doesn’t only have to be about romantic moments. It’s also about laughing, reminiscing, singing along and having the time of your life with your best friends, so have some fun with your choice of music.
Just imagine the groom’s face as you glide down the aisle to a live tribute singer performing ‘At Last’ by Etta James or ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys. Or perhaps you like your music a bit more on the rugged side, in which case how about an acoustic cover of Bon Jovi’s ‘Bed of Roses’. Many tribute bands offer an acoustic line up, with guitar or piano and vocals. This is a great way to diffuse the atmosphere and help people to relax as the day gets underway. Nothing is more welcoming at a ceremony, breakfast or drinks reception, than warm background music playing as guests arrive, greet each other and find their seats.
When it comes to your first dance, if your wedding has a vintage theme, you could hire a ‘60s or ‘70s tribute band to perform ‘Be My Baby’ by the Ronettes, or ‘Tiny Dancer’ by Elton John. For something more upbeat, how about ‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees, and for children of the ‘80s, you could be getting down to ‘Celebration’ by Kool & the Gang. These classics have wide appeal, so you’ll be keeping all of your guests happy. A 1960s Tribute Band will cover pop, rock, soul and Motown, paying tribute to the biggest music stars of the decade, including The Who, The Beach Boys, The Animals, The Monkees, The Supremes, Jefferson Airplane and The Beatles. Everyone will be doing the Twist before you know it... For a heady dose of glam, go for a 1970s Tribute Band. Decked in big wigs, flares, platform books, glitter and make-up, the band will bring the fun to your wedding evening with well-loved songs such as ‘Hot Love’, ‘Waterloo’, ‘Ziggy Stardust’, and ‘Night Fever’, all of which are great to dance to.
An Abba tribute act could really light up the evening reception at a wedding. Imagine the looks of glee on the faces of your guests as the curtain rolls up and the band kick off the night with ‘Dancing Queen’. The great thing about Abba, is that we all know and love their lyrics. For something with a bit more attitude, hire a Blues Brothers Tribute Band for your wedding reception and you won’t be disappointed! As the newlyweds are greeting guests, the band will have everyone on their feet with with ‘Expressway to your Heart’ and ‘Gimme Some Lovin’.
The Rolling Stones have always been fantastic at getting a party started, so why not treat your guests to electrifying tracks including ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Let’s Spend the Night Together’, ‘Start Me Up’ and the famous ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’.
Our Tribute Bands can tailor sets to include all of your special favourites, making great memories of your big day, with friends and family dancing arm in arm, singing along and leaving at the end of the night with a spring in their step and and grinning from ear to ear.
A Wedding DJ is the perfect person to help you customise a set list for your ceremony, as well as music for your breakfast and drinks reception.
When it comes to choosing music for your ceremony, whether you prefer classical, vintage or contemporary artists, a professional DJ has the expertise to help you compile the perfect mix of songs. This can include editing popular processional and recessional songs so that they fit with your particular sequence, giving you the freedom to have your own unique selection of music.
Of course, a Wedding DJ is a fantastic option for your evening reception. More affordable than hiring a live band, it’s a great way of ensuring that all your guests are kept happy and entertained. From announcing your first dance, to enticing those first few guests onto the dancefloor, you can rely on a professional DJ to keep the right mix of music flowing all evening, creating that perfect party atmosphere. With digital playlists and streaming services like Spotify at your fingertips, you might be tempted to handle the music for your reception yourself. Many have learnt that this isn’t always such a good idea...
There is a lot more to DJing than plugging in an iPhone and pressing shuffle. High quality equipment is essential to create a decent sound that’s loud enough without being muffled. You also need someone with a large and varied library of music and the professional know-how to read and interact with the audience, get people on the dancefloor, and keep them there. Don’t forget, your guests will be different ages and have varied musical tastes, and you want to cater for all of them. By all means, give your chosen DJ a list of 20 or so favourite tracks but leave the rest up to them. Bear in mind your guests are bound to make a few requests too. Your professional DJ will be an experienced entertainer, so you can relax knowing that you’re in safe hands.
While you don’t necessarily want too much chatting on the mic, a Wedding DJ will be comfortable introducing the first dance and making any other announcements as required throughout the evening. If you want, or don’t want, your DJ speaking in between each song, make sure you make your wishes known before you book. Likewise, if you have a list of requests, mention this ahead of time so they can make sure they have the tracks. If you have a ‘do not play’ list, give this to your DJ and make sure they’ll stick to it, even if songs on the list are requested by guests.
Most wedding DJs can theme their sets and performance style to whatever era or style of music you want for your wedding. Whether your wedding party is Swinging Sixties themed, 70s disco vibe, 80s electro, House music, Northern Soul, Motown or contemporary chart, most DJs can create a great show with lighting to match. As well as customising the music, experienced wedding DJs can also work with you to customise the look of their equipment and light show to match your colour scheme. Although this is likely to be an additional cost option, it's possible to hire colour-coordinated PA speakers and DJ decks, as well as themed lighting gobos, backdrops, projectors, video screens and more.
Importantly, Wedding DJs can often supply professional lighting to suit your event, from warm and stylish mood lighting for your drinks reception and a gentle spotlight on the first dance, to full-on disco lights, laser beams and a smoke machine for the evening party. You can even opt for customised lighting to match your wedding theme, whether it’s vintage or modern. Special backdrops, projectors or video screens can also be included, to really bring your theme to life. Whatever you’re imagining, talk it over with your chosen DJ when you book so they can make it happen! For hilarious fun for wannabe pop stars, there is the option of hiring a Karaoke DJ, complete with sparkly microphones and disco lighting.
Check out our professional and versatile Wedding DJs. On their profiles you will find summaries of experience and services offered, video clips and testimonials. You can also use our free messaging services to make contact and ask any questions you may have.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''Lots of wedding venues offer a disco and DJ service but that doesn’t mean you have to use them. Check out their website to see if they look professional and have good testimonials. And most importantly, is their style right for you? You can always give them a call or meet up to discuss your requirements. .''
OTHER TYPES OF ENTERTAINMENT
Caricaturists are extremely talented artists who can sketch people at high speed, exaggerating features such as the eyes, nose, mouth and hair to great comic effect.
They work fast, completing portraits in a matter of minutes, with some offering a specified number of pictures per hour (although the more time they take, the more detailed the pictures will be). 10-15 caricatures per hour is typical, so look at the number of guests you’ve invited and make sure there’s enough time for everyone to be drawn (bearing in mind that no caricaturist will be able to draw 100 guests without going cross-eyed). Portraits are usually A4 or A3 size and can be in black and white or colour. You can also hire a digital caricaturist who will use the latest generation equipment, allowing pictures to be emailed and shared on social media.
Hiring a Caricaturist is a fantastic way to liven up your wedding breakfast. The artist will draw attention from across the room and there will be plenty of giggles as cartoon portraits of friends and family come to life. Guests will be strangely proud of their pictures, exaggerated features and all, and will love holding on to them as special keepsakes. A Caricaturist can either work around the room, drawing while standing, or be seated in one location. The latter is ideal, as it’s more relaxing for the person being drawn, easier for the artist and allows other guests to watch the portrait taking shape. You can also hire a Caricaturist to create drawings from photographs, for group photos or personalised wedding invitations. This is a great way to avoid the usual format and create a sense of fun ahead of your big day.
Caricaturists each have their own style, with some drawing in a definite comic style and others taking a more flattering approach. You can view samples of their work on their profiles to make sure they’ll be the right fit for you and your guests. A good caricaturist is not only a talented artist, but also a natural entertainer.
Our Caricaturists are friendly, professional entertainers who will put guests at ease and even tell the odd entertaining anecdote as they draw.
Hiring a magician is a popular way to entertain guests and add 'a touch of magic' to make your special day even more memorable.
Guests of all ages will be delighted to see tricks up close, including amazing flourishes and illusions using small objects such as coins, banknotes, keys, cups, balls, ropes and other small objects. Close-up Magicians add a dynamic element to your occasion, moving around the room performing to small groups of guests. This is a fantastic ice-breaker for weddings where guests don’t already know each other. As people hear gasps of amazement from across the room, they will want to come and investigate.
There will be times during the wedding day when the newly-weds are occupied with photos and other formalities. Booking a magician ensures that your guests aren’t left out or unsure of what to do during this time. A magician will mix and mingle with guests and get conversation flowing. Take a look at our dazzling Wedding Magicians.
Let’s be honest, while parents are busy sipping champagne, having their photos taken, listening to speeches and socialising with the bride and groom, children at your wedding may get a tad restless.
This is why many couples make the inspired choice of hiring a Children's Entertainer. We have a wide selection of specialist Children's Entertainers, from Bubble Performers and Balloon Modellers to Clowns and Face Painters. All have highly entertaining shows tailored for children that will have them laughing, joining in and even learning new things. This is sure to add some extra special fun to your drinks reception, as well as keeping the young ones occupied.
If you hire one of our super-talented and professional Children’s Magicians, they can set up a table in the corner of the main hall where the kids will be thrilled with dazzling trickery and mind-blowing illusions, all wrapped up in a crazily fun show! Children’s Magicians can appeal to children of different ages with a mixture of comedy and high-energy, fast-moving entertainment. Not only will children be astonished by mind-blowing magic and end up doubled over with laughter, it’s pretty entertaining for any adults watching too.
How about the thrill of an aerialist or acrobalance act flying through the air? These acts will bring magic and excitement to your wedding breakfast or reception and perform to your choice of music.
Stilt Walkers and Jugglers are particularly suitable for outdoor weddings and provide a colourful, festival vibe, performing tricks and mingling with guests. Children will love these enchanting walkabout entertainers and hiring this kind of act will help to make them feel more involved in the celebrations. Imagine the faces of friends and family light up as evening falls and they are treated to a Fire Poi show, with spinning balls and ropes of fire lighting up the night air.
Or how about Sparkle Poi, creating curtains of lights, fire hoops and even coloured fire that can be tailored to your wedding colour scheme! If you fancy going a bit hi-tech, you can hire an LED Entertainer or Dancer for your drinks reception, bringing you a totally unique show which will elevate your evening entertainment into a night of colourful fun.
An LED performer can set up on stage and perform solo, giving your guests a focal point, or you can have a group of dancers put on a choreographed show to your special choice of music. LED Entertainers can also provide walkabout entertainment, bringing fun and adding a great talking point as they move from group to group. You could even hire an LED Musician to perform along to your chosen set list, adding energy and a sparkling visual as their instrument glows in electrifying blues, glistening purples, intense reds and glittering greens. The performer may even light up themselves
For a dazzling addition to your evening party, you can hire a Mirror Man. They will get their costume ready backstage and then make a dramatic entrance, surprising guests with a classic, funny and artistic act, including plenty of crowd participation. They can act as a human statue, mix and mingle with guests or even perform alongside any musical entertainment you have booked. This is a wonderful ice-breaker and great for photo opportunities, giving your guests a special memento of your big day.
Whatever kind of wedding you have in mind, there are Speciality Acts just waiting to bring your dreams to life and make your perfect day one that your friends and family will never forget.
For fans of Strictly Come Dancing, what could be better than bringing the glitz and glamour of the ballroom to your wedding celebrations.
You could amaze friends and family with a well-rehearsed first dance, courtesy of some pre-wedding lessons with a professional dancer. To get your evening reception off to a swinging start, you can hire a dance company to teach a fun and interactive taster class, where you and your guests learn a simple routine.
Whether you’re into Flamenco or Lindy Hop, there are dancers available to bring pizzazz and sparkle to your special day. Even those with two left feet will feel as if they’re walking on air. For a real ice-breaker, imagine a group of dancers suddenly appearing out of nowhere, running onto the dance floor and busting out show-stopping moves. Flash mobs prepare high-energy routines in any style, from jazz to hip-hop, surprising the crowd with electrifying performances, sure to get your party started.
For entertainment with a difference at your wedding breakfast or drinks reception, what could be more magical and romantic than a highly-trained, professional performer dancing an original routine to your favourite ballad or jazz song. Alternatively, for a classical, elegant addition to your special day, you could hire a ballet dancer to perform well-known set pieces or their own choreography, accompanied by a high-quality backing track of your chosen music, or live musicians. Perhaps your wedding has a glitzy Gatsby theme, in which case how about a troupe of flapper dancers doing the Charleston?
If your budget doesn’t stretch to a group of dancers, solo dancers all offer their own ranges of dance styles and each will make a strong impact at your wedding, whether it’s a timeless ballet, an earthy contemporary performance, a tap routine or an Irish jig. Belly Dancers and Bollywood Dancers are hugely popular at Middle Eastern, European, Indian, Arabic and Asian weddings as well as hen, mehndi, henna and kina parties. With vibrant routines, colourful outfits and sensuous moves, they never fail to liven up proceedings and get everyone dancing.
Find out more about the wonderful possibilities for adding enchantment and romance to your wedding day and take a look at our dazzling Dancers & Dance Acts today.
Hiring a Comedian for your wedding breakfast, drinks reception or evening party can be a brilliant way to break the ice and set a sparkling and festive mood on your special day.
A Clean Stand-Up Comedian can warm up family and friends at your wedding breakfast and entertain guests as they are seated and waiting for the speeches. Or how about hiring a Comedy Impressionist to move from table to table, impersonating different celebrities, to the delight of guests of all ages. Comedy Singers can also provide laughter and music at your drinks reception, while the bride and groom have their photographs taken, or get the atmosphere sizzling at your evening reception, with funny stories and songs before the band comes on.
Why not stir things up a bit at your drinks reception, with a Comedy Waiter swerving in between guests, causing havoc and pandemonium with slapstick routines and plenty of mischief making. They could even help you cut the wedding cake! If you’ve been asked to give a speech and you’re struggling to find the right words, you might consider hiring the services of Stand-Up Comedian. They can take the pressure off you and poke light-hearted fun at the bride, groom, family and friends, or help you to write a killer speech, guaranteed to have them rolling in the aisles. A Stand-Up Comedian can also warm up the crowd before the band or DJ starts the evening celebrations. A professional comic can deliver a tailor-made show complete with with plenty of bridezilla and best man jokes.
Check out our Comedy Acts today and see who tickles your funny bones.
SPEAKERS & TOASTMASTERS
It’s something of a time-honoured tradition to hire an official Speaker or Toastmaster at your wedding and one that remains popular with couples today.
They can play a vital role in the smooth running of the day, so why not take the pressure off and let a professional take care of things? A Speaker or Toastmaster can perform many functions on your big day, including welcoming guests as they arrive, signalling when music should start, announcing speeches and hosting games. If you’re struggling to write your speech, fear not, an experienced Toastmaster will be able to help you, especially if you talk to them ahead of the day so that they can make it personal and heartfelt. For those with incurable stage fright, they will even read your speech for you.
They can also help manage things by overseeing the schedule, advising guests on where they need to go and what to expect from each part of the day, and acting as a useful point of contact between the bride and groom, family members, the photographer, entertainers, staff and guests.
So relax and let one of our friendly, reassuring Speakers & Toastmasters take care of the nitty gritty so that you and your guests can enjoy a seamless and magical wedding day.
For an element of surprise that will delight your guests and create a buzz, you can hire a Lookalike.
Not only will you have a true-to-life ‘celebrity’ at your wedding, they will mix and mingle with guests, provide fantastic photo opportunities and keep guests thoroughly entertained while the bride and groom are busy with photos. They can also be called upon to make speeches and announcements, helping the day to run smoothly.
Imagine the stunned faces as an utterly convincing Gordon Ramsay lookalike appears to serve the head table at your meal, or pour champagne at your drinks reception. Or how about inviting a Del Boy lookalike for a large dose of cockney humour and plenty of good stories for your guests to enjoy.
If you’re looking for a touch of glamour, who better than a James Bond lookalike to charm the ladies over cocktails and delight guests with insider tales of life as a secret agent. Manuel from Fawlty Towers would be the perfect surprise comedy waiter at your wedding breakfast, putting guests at ease with his sweet nature and inability to remember anyone’s name! Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous is sure to add va-va-voom to your party, flirting outrageously with all the men and generally behaving badly. Ricky Gervais will have your guests in stitches with awkward office banter and cheesy dance move. Give your guests a thrill they won’t be expecting and a chance to take selfies galore.
They won’t be able to resist telling all their friends about it and they’ll go home with memories of a fun-filled day that they can treasure forever.
WEDDING EVENT SERVICES
It’s now very popular to hire a photo booth at your wedding. It’s a wonderful way to bring out your guests’ creative side, with a fun and highly interactive experience.
Many booth providers offer free delivery, set up, host and props. Guests can enjoy letting loose, putting on hats, silly glasses and boas and posing with props and then receive instant, high quality photos they can treasure forever.
With expert knowledge of photography and professional equipment, photo booth operators make a point of keeping up with the latest innovative technology, to deliver excellent results. Photo booths can be tailored to suit your wedding theme or colour scheme, with unique graphics, screens, backdrops and props. Discuss your preferences with your chosen service provider ahead of time and they will take care of everything. On the day itself, there will be professional attendants on hand to keep the line moving, suggest props and poses and help make the event fun for all.
Guests can visit the photo booth as many times as they like and most packages include unlimited prints. After your wedding, photos will usually be uploaded to an online gallery for you and your guests to enjoy and share on social media, and you will usually receive a USB drive containing all the pictures. Browsing through all the photos will be a great way to reminisce about all the fun of the day.
MAGIC SELFIE MIRRORS
In these days of endless posting on social media, where you want your wedding to be Instagram-friendly, what could be better than a Magic Selfie Mirror?
This is basically a reflective touch screen, like a mirror but with a hidden camera behind it, to capture fun, high-quality images. It’s also packed with interactive features, for a truly unique experience. Guests can take full-length pictures and then add their own drawings, emojis, GIFs or pre-loaded animations and sounds. It will then produce prints in a matter of seconds, giving guests treasured mementos, or files that can easily be uploaded to share on social media.
Quotes generally include setting up and taking down of the mirror, an attendant on site for the duration of the hire period and unlimited visits and printouts. You can then select your preferred package, which might include customisable prints, where you can add colours or text of your choosing, facial recognition technology, varied print options including colour, black and white and different sizes and layouts, single or multiple shots, video and paint features, touch screen, adjustable LED lighting and props. Quick printing and digital download of images come as standard along with instant access to images on mobile devices.
Add sparkle and fun to your wedding with our Magic Selfie Mirrors. The mirrors don’t take up much floor space, making them suitable for even the smallest venues. Your guests’ Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages will be buzzing with amazing and spontaneous photos from your special day. It’s selfie heaven!
Specialist wedding photographers know just how to put you and your guests at ease, bring out the best in everyone and capture group shots and personal moments from your special day beautifully.
They are also adept at moving around discreetly, without disrupting the flow of the day. They have the creativity to produce a varied and natural selection of shots, making the most of any scenery and backdrops available.
When choosing a photographer, think about what style would suit your wedding. Do you want your photos to reflect a cool, hip vibe, or would something more whimsical and romantic feel more authentic to you. Would you prefer formal posed portraits or a more natural style? Do you want clear, crips pictures, or a dreamy or moody look? Check out a good range of portfolios and consider each photographer’s style of shot and how the photos appear after processing.
When looking at a photographer’s prices, make sure you understand exactly what’s included. For example, some may charge extra for digital files, printed albums, fast turnaround of images or additional hours. Bear in mind, if you find a photographer you really like but can only afford their basic package, it might be worth waiting a while for the images, or paying for prints at a later date. At least you know you’re going to love the photos when they arrive.
When searching through our talented and professional Photographers, you will find examples of their work, details of their experience, testimonials, links and contact information. Take a good look at their range of photos and feel free to use the messaging service to ask questions. They will be more than happy to help.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''The best lighting for photos is daylight, so if you’re getting married in the evening, or in a dark venue, check that your photographer is happy with the light levels and confident that they will still be able to produce wonderful pictures.''
While every couple wants a collection of beautiful wedding photos to treasure, nothing will allow you to relive the atmosphere and excitement of the day quite like a film.
A contemporary Videographer will be a talented camera operator using the very latest HD technology and editing techniques to give you precious memories that you can keep replaying forever. You can have your wedding video on DVD or even streamed online, making it easy to share with friends and family. Not only will your images be crystal clear but you can even choose a production style that fits your special day, from formal and traditional to vintage or rustic.
A professional wedding Videographer will know where to stand and which camera angles to use to capture all the key moments of the day. With expertise in lighting and audio, they will get in amongst the action to film the bride walking down the aisle, vows, readings, exchanging of rings, signing of the register, speeches, guests mingling at the reception, entertainment, cutting of the cake and that all-important first dance, with staggering precision and attention to detail. They can even record personal messages of congratulations from guests. With skillful editing, they will reproduce all of these magical moments in a seamless cut, so that when you watch the footage back, it will be like being there all over again.
Take a look at our accomplished Videographers. On the Entertainers Worldwide directory, you will find profiles of professionals in your area, including experience, example videos and testimonials. You can use our free messaging service to ask any questions you have and to request a free, no-obligation quote.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''As with booking a photographer, find out how long it will take for the editing to be done. This can be one week or several but bear in mind that it’s often worth waiting a bit longer for an end result you’ll be happy with.''
MAKE UP ARTISTS
You might a strong sense of style and a very clear idea about how you want to look for your big day, or perhaps you rarely wear make-up and you would really like some guidance.
Either way, hiring a professional Make-up Artist is the best way to ensure that you step out looking and feeling great. After all, you’re going to be the centre of attention and those cameras will be clicking, so getting your hair and make-up right is key to giving you the confidence to shine.
An experienced Make-up Artist can take their lead from you and also give input where needed. We advise looking through wedding magazines and websites to find examples of what you like and when you meet your stylist a month or two before the wedding, you can take ideas and samples with you and discuss how you want to look on the day. This will need to fit with the dress you’ll be wearing and the overall style or theme of your wedding. Don’t be afraid to spell out what you want. This day is all about you, and you want to be happy. Of course, nerves will be heightened on the day itself and your hair and make-up session can actually provide some welcome pampering. A good Make-up Artist will know just how to put you at ease, so that you can relax and enjoy your makeover ahead of all the excitement of the day, knowing that you’re going to look lovely.
So, now that you’re ready to get inspired, take a look at our talented stylists, check out the different looks showcased in their portfolios and read their testimonials. You can use our free messaging service to get in touch with any questions you have and to request a free, no-obligation quote or arrange a trial session. Our wonderful Make-up Artists are just waiting to make look your absolute glowing-best.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''We recommend making sure that the make-up used is good quality, as you’ll need your look to last all day. If you have a trial makeover done a few weeks before, you’ll be able to test it out.''
Whether you’re looking to add a touch of flair to an outdoor wedding, or you just fancy leaving the selecting and serving of drinks to the experts, hiring a mobile bar can be a fun and cost effective way of providing alcohol, with prices often competing with those at your local pub.
What’s more, you can expect top notch customer service, with friendly and efficient staff who know exactly what’s required to make your guests happy and who will go the extra mile to be helpful on your special day.
You can choose from a wide selection of quality beverages, from specially selected wines and locally brewed beer and cider, to speciality gin and cocktails, as well as the main premium brands. Some offer fun experiences such as cocktail making masterclasses (bound to get everyone feeling merry) while others provide vintage vehicles, perfect for a festival vibe.
So for a complete bar service, fully-stocked with your favourite tipples and a friendly team of staff, take a look at our fantastic Mobile Bars, suitable for indoor and outdoor weddings. They’ll even take care of the glasses for you!
One of the biggest expenses of a wedding is food, with many venues charging as much as £50 per head. Even if you’re not having the world’s biggest wedding, that’s going to add up pretty quickly.
A more affordable option may be to hire your own caterer (as long as your venue allows this). Wedding caterers can provide sit down meals, buffets, or mobile kitchens, serving everything from burritos to burgers. Whether you want waffles and ice-cream, Italian, French, Thai or barbecue, or food with a Middle Eastern or African influence, there will be a caterer to fulfill your needs. Many use fresh, locally and ethically-sourced produce and will be able to incorporate just the type of dishes you would like to offer your guests, whether it’s festival-style street food or gourmet dishes prepared by a top chef.
You can opt for a traditional menu, or get things sizzling with live cooking, so that guests can watch as chefs prepare delicious paella or stir fry in front of their very eyes. Our qualified and experienced caterers can provide specialities, such as hog roast or sushi, or a full course menu including canapés and desert, with options for vegetarians, vegans and those will food allergies, as required.
So, for quality food that your guests will love, served with a smile, take a look at our tantalisingly tasty Caterers, just waiting to help you create your perfect menu. Staffing and equipment will be included in your price and they’ll even take care of plates, cutlery and glassware, so that you and your guests can relax and enjoy the day without worrying about the washing up!
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''As well as your main meal, you are also likely to need food for your evening reception. Guests enjoying dancing and drinking are bound to get peckish. Options for evening nibbles include cheese and charcuterie boards, bowl food and buffet-style snacks. Make sure you discuss evening food when you book your caterer. ''
What could be more tempting and luxurious than a fountain flowing with dark, delicious chocolate?
Elaborate chocolate fountains also create a spectacular and interactive centrepiece and talking point. You can expect professional quality and stunning designs, suitable for large-scale use, with a never-ending supply of chocolate and a trained server on hand to assist.
You can choose from a mouth watering array of treats for dipping, including strawberries, banana, fudge, turkish delight, coconut, marshmallows, flapjacks, profiteroles, mini doughnuts, shortbread, mini meringues, sweets and pretzels. Serviettes, paper plates and skewers will all be included. For packages tailored to suit all tastes and budgets, take a finger licking look at our Chocolate Fountains.
Your guests will never want your wedding to end.
If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, you may well require a marquee. Many marquee providers are also able to take care of fixtures, decor, event furniture, table linen, stage and sound systems, lighting, effects, backdrops, mirror balls, dance floors, walkways and generators, as well as mobile bars and luxury toilet hire. You can choose from a range of shapes and sizes, with options for clear roofs and walls, so that you and your guests can dance under the stars! Take a look at our impressive providers of Marquees and see what they have to offer. You can be sure they have thought of everything to take the worry and hassle out of your special celebrations.
Have you ever dreamed of sitting in a chauffeur-driven pink Porsche, sipping champagne and listening to your favourite songs on a brand new sound system, on your way to the best party of your life?
Well, now’s your chance. By hiring a Limousine from a professional Limo hire company, you will get a luxurious, chauffeur-driven, perfect looking vehicle that will drive you to your event in style. The hired Limousine will come complete with a glass partition which divides you and your Limo guests from the driver, and a lot of the Limo hire companies will offer extras such as glasses of champagne to share out.
Hire a Limousine and a Limo Driver to drive your guests from the house of the bride to the wedding venue, and then from the wedding venue to the drinks reception. Channel your inner diva and choose from a range of colours. As well as the traditional white, you could be pretty in pink, sassy in silver, raunchy in red, or brazen in black. Makes include Porsche, Jeep, Ferrari, vintage models of Rolls Royce, Bentley and Mercedes, or the classic Lincoln.
When it comes to stretch limos, you can expect a fully functional bar, fridge, television, top of the range sound system, disco lighting and more. Capacity varies depending on the model of car, but some can hold as many as 26 people.
Your limo will be parked at your chosen location, with a professional chauffeur ready to drive you and your bridesmaids to the ceremony. Your limo can also transport you and your wedding party to your reception venue and later to wherever you’re staying overnight.
Extras include the chauffeur opening the limo door and helping you out of the car when you arrive, and extra provision of cold drinks or snacks. Hire prices will vary depending on the style and size of the car and the type of package you select.
Here are our glamorous Limousines for hire, just waiting to deliver you with style and panache...
If your evening reception is a black-tie, or Las Vegas-themed affair, why not add a whole new level of interactive fun with a Casino.
Offered by hire companies and guaranteed to be a winner with your guests, Casino and Gambling tables usually come with your very own experienced Croupiers or Dealers to teach your guests how to play the game in a fun and friendly way, so that everyone can participate and enjoy the thrill of a Vegas-style flutter.
There are many types of Casino and Gambling tables available, with Roulette, Poker and Blackjack among the most popular. They offer your guests an authentic, fun and exciting Vegas experience. Using fake money, you could offer prizes for the people who win the most money at the end, or a booby prize for the worst player.
For added intrigue, you could hire a James Bond Lookalike to create a stir among your guests, add a touch of glamour to the occasion and double up as host, handing out prizes at the end of the night. Alternatively, a Michael Bublé, Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin Tribute Act will bring that Las Vegas ambiance.
For entertainment with real wow factor, how about treating your guests to a show-stopping firework demonstration.
What a romantic ending to a perfect day. Even better, technological advances mean that sophisticated firework patterns can be enjoyed for much less than you would imagine. Specialist wedding firework displays can include personalised touches such as glowing red hearts with your initials either side, or fireworks to match your wedding theme colours. Or start married life with a bang and press the button together to start the display.
Check out our colourful and exciting Firework Displays and find a package to suit you. It goes without saying that an outdoor venue is essential and you’ll need to check space requirements when you book. Our highly-trained operators will be able to advise on all aspects of health and safety.
ENTERTAINEMENT & EVENT SERVICES PRICE RANGES
Duo / Trio:
£300 - £500 in the UK ($500 in the U.S. and €600 in Europe)
4 / 5-Piece Party Band:
£1000 - £2000 in the UK ($1000 - $2000 in the U.S. and €1100 - €2200 in Europe)
High Calibre Party Band:
£2000 - £10,000 in the UK ($2000 - $10,000 in the U.S. and €2,200 - €11,000 in Europe)
4-Piece Swing Band:
£600 - £1200+ in the UK ($600 - $1200+ in the U.S. and €670 - €1330+ in Europe)
6 Piece Swing Band:
£900 - £1800+ in the UK ($900 - $1800+ in the U.S. and in €1000 - €2000+ Europe)
12-Piece Swing Band:
£1800 - £3600+ in the UK ($1800 - $£3600+ in the U.S. and €2000 - €4000+ in Europe)
20-Piece Swing Band:
£3000 - £6000+ in the UK($3000 - $6000+ in the U.S. and €3,330 - €6,660+ in Europe)
Solo Singer / Guitar Singer / Keyboard Singer:
£300 - £500 in the UK ($500 in the U.S. and €600 in Europe)
Singer + Guitarist / Keyboardist (Duo):
£400 to £700 ($700 in the U.S. and €800 in Europe)
Singer + 4 or 5 piece band:
£1000 - £2000 in the UK ($1000-$2000 in the U.S. and €600 - €1200 in Europe)
High profile singer with top, highly experienced and in-demand band:
£2000 to £10,000 in the UK ($2000 to $10,000 in the U.S. and 2,200€ to 11,000€ in Europe)
£320 - £450 in the UK ($320 - $450in the U.S. and €350 - €500 in Europe)
£500 - £600 in the UK ($500 - $600in the U.S. and €550 - €670 in Europe)
£600 - £1000 ($600 - $1000 in the U.S. and €665 - €1100 in Europe
£1000+ in the UK ($1000 in the U.S. and €1100 in Europe)
Chamber Orchestra (15-20 musicians):
£2500 - £4000 in the UK ($2500 - $4000 in the U.S. and €2800 - €4400 in Europe)
Guitarist / Flutist / Violinist / Bagpiper:
£150 - £400 ($150 - $400 in the U.S. and €170 - €400 in Europe)
Pianist / Harpist / Electric Violinist / Saxophonist:
£250 - £500 ($250 - $500 in the U.S. and €270 - €560 in Europe)
High-profile: £1000+ in the UK ($1000+ in the U.S. and 1100+ € in Europe)
£450+ in the UK ($450+ in the U.S. and €500+ in Europe)
£550+ in the UK ($550+ in the U.S. and €620+ in Europe)
£5000+ in the UK ($5000 in the U.S. and €5,500+ in Europe)
Standard professional comedians:
£500 - £1000 in the UK ($1000 in the U.S. and €1200 in Europe)
Comedian with TV & radio credits:
£1000 - £5000 in the UK ($5000 in the U.S. and €6000 in Europe)
High profile comedian:
£5000 - £12,000 in the UK ($12,000 in the U.S. and €14,000 in Europe)
£15,000+ in the UK ($15,000 in the U.S. and €17,000 in Europe)
£250 in the UK ($250 in the U.S. and €280 in Europe)
Full Lookalike / Mix & Mingle Act:
£500 - £600 ($500 - $600 in the U.S. and €560 - €670 in Europe)
High Profile Lookalike:
£700 - £1000+ in the UK ($700 - $1000+ in the U.S. and €785 - €1120+ in Europe)
Solo Tribute Act:
£300 - £600 in the UK ($300 - $600+ in the U.S. and €340 - €680+ in Europe)
Duo or Trio Tribute Act:
£400 - £600+ in the UK ($400 - $600+ in the U.S. and €450 - €680+ in Europe)
Four / Five Piece Tribute Band:
£1000 - £2000+ in the UK ($1000-$2000 in the U.S. and €1130 - €2250+ in Europe)
High Profile Tribute Band:
£2000 to £10,000+ in the UK ($2000 to $10,000 in the U.S. and €2,250 - €11,270+ in Europe)
£300 - £600 in the UK ($300 - $600 in the U.S. and €330 - €700 in Europe)
Full-time professionally trained DJ:
£1000+ in the UK ($1000+ in the U.S. and €1100+ in Europe)
High Profile DJ:
£2500+ in the UK ($2500+ in the U.S. and €2770+ in Europe)
£150 - £300+ in the UK ($150 - $300+ in the U.S. and €170 - €340+ in Europe)
£300 - £1500+ in the UK ($300 - $1500 in the U.S. and €340 - €1700+ in Europe)
£450 - £1500+ in the UK ($450 - $1500 in the U.S. and €500 - €1700+ in Europe)
£1000 - £2400+ in the UK ($1000 - $2400+ in the U.S. and €1100 - €2700+ in Europe)
Troupe 6+ Dancers:
£1500 - £2500+ in the UK ($1500 - $2500+ in the U.S. and €1700 - €2800+ in Europe)
£200 to £400 in the UK ($400 in the U.S. and €450 in Europe)
Elaborate / High profile:
£500+ ($500+ in the U.S. and €560+ in Europe)
Acrobalance / Adagio Duo: £1000 - £2000+ in the UK ($1000 - $2000+ in the U.S. and €1140 - €2280+ in Europe)
Aerialist / Acrobat: £500 - £1000+ in the UK ($500 - $1000+ in the U.S. and €570 - €1140+ in Europe)
Caricaturist: £250 - £500+ in the UK ($250 - $500+ in the U.S. and €280 - €570+ in Europe)
Contortionist: £300 - £1000+ in the UK ($300 - $1000+ in the U.S. and €340 - €1140+ in Europe)
Cyr Wheel Act: £350 - £500+ in the UK ($350 - $500+ in the U.S. and €400 - €570+ in Europe)
Cyr Wheel Duo: £1000 - £3000+ in the UK ($1000 - $3000+ in the U.S and €1140 - €3400+ in Europe)
Fire Performer: £300 - £500+ in the UK ($300 - $500+ in the U.S. and €340 - €570+ in Europe)
Hula Hoop Performer: £300 - £500+ in the UK ($300 - $500+ in the U.S. and € 340 - € 570+ in Europe)
Hypnotist: £500 - £2000+ in the UK $500 - $2000+ in the U.S. and €570 - €2280+ in Europe)
Juggler: £300 - £500+ in the UK ($300 - $500+ in the U.S. and €340 - €570+ in Europe)
LED Entertainment: £750 - £1000+ in the UK ($750 - $1000+ in the U.S. and €860 - €1140+ in Europe)
LED Performance Troupe: £1500+ in the UK ($1500 in the U.S. and €1700+ in Europe)
Ventriloquist: £300 - £1000+ in the UK ($300 - $1000+ in the U.S. and €340 - €1140+ in Europe)
Football Freestyler: £300 - £1000+ in the UK ($300 - $1000 in the U.S. and €340 - €1140+ in Europe)
Hand Shadow Act Duo: £800 - £2500 in the UK ($800 - $2500 in the U.S. and €1000 - €3000 in Europe)
Hand Shadow Full Show: £7000 ($7000 in the U.S. and €8000 in Europe)
Human Statue: £330 - £500+ in the UK ($330 - $500+ in the U.S. and €375 - €570+ in Europe)
Mirror Man: £330 - £500+ in the UK ($330 - $500+ in the U.S. and €375 - €570+ in Europe)
Stilt Walker: £330 - £500+ in the UK ($330 - $500+ in the U.S. and €375 - €570+ in Europe)
Sword Swallower: £370 - £1000+ in the UK ($370 - $1000+ in the U.S. and €420 - €1140+ in Europe)
Stunt Show: £370 - £2000+ in the UK ($370 - $2000+ in the U.S. and €420 - €2280+ in Europe)
WAYS TO GET A GOOD DEAL
Have you considered getting married out of season? Perhaps it would be a welcome change for your friends and family to have an autumn or winter wedding to look forward to.
Entertainers tend to be busy during peak wedding months (May to October) and many will be turning down gigs, especially on summer weekends. If you’re willing to have your wedding in November, January or February, or mid-week, you’ll not only find it much easier to book the act you want, but to negotiate a good deal. When things are quiet, most performers would rather take a gig for a discounted fee than no gig at all. Booking off-peak can bring you a significant saving.
The same goes for booking early. Popular wedding entertainers get booked up months and even years in advance. Booking early means you’re more likely to get your first choice and it can also save you money. Prices generally only go up year on year, but your quote will be based on current rates. Another way to save money is to find a local act. Performers based within a few miles of your venue location will be cheaper as their travel costs will be much less. Booking a local entertainer also makes it easier to go and check them out live before deciding, or to meet up to discuss what you’re looking for and to make sure they’re going to be a good fit.
Finally, always shop around and remember, we have lots of wonderful acts registered here at Entertainers Worldwide and, as we’re not an agency, you can deal with them direct, with no fees or commission to pay! Using our online directory, you can easily search for the best acts in your area and message them directly with any questions you have, or to request a free, no-obligation quote.
Entertainers usually require a deposit of around 15-20% of the overall cost, in order to secure the booking. This protects the performer against lost income in the event of cancellation, and also gives you reassurance that you have a confirmed booking.
These will usually be included in the quote you are given, as the performer will need to calculate their travel costs, especially if they are travelling some distance. The standard mileage rate as set by HMRC for cars and vans (up to 10,000 miles) is 45p per mile.
Your chosen performer will be working hard to entertain your guests, and may have travelled some distance to get to your wedding venue.
Bookers should provide soft drinks and tea or coffee as well as a meal, free of charge. Water should be freely available and performers will need to know where to go to get refreshments. If your act is going to be with you through throughout the day, or over several hours, it’s a good idea to ask them what food and drink they’ll be needing. Some performers may choose to bring their own food, others will need it to be provided. Perhaps you can arrange for them to eat the same meal that your guests are having, but somewhere quiet where they can relax.
Later, they may appreciate some of the evening food that’s on offer. If you know you’re going to be too busy socialising and enjoying the day, consider designating someone to look after your entertainers and make sure they have everything they need. As well as proper, nourishing food, an offer of a cup of tea and a slice of wedding cake is often much appreciated.
Set lengths for all act types vary depending on the event, the type of performer you are hiring, the venue and a host of other considerations.
A singer may be booked to sing a single song, or be required to perform on and off throughout the day. A Lookalike may offer mix and mingle entertainment in short bursts of 30 minutes. Always let your performer know how long you need them for and how you want them to fit in with your wedding day schedule. As a general guideline, here are examples of typical set lengths for weddings:
STANDARD SET LENGTHS
Wedding Singer: 2 x 45 minutes or 2 x 60 minutes (if performing throughout the day: 1 x 60 minutes during photo shoots, 1 x 60 minutes during breakfast and 2 x 45 minutes at evening reception)
● Tribute Acts: 2 x 45 minutes or 2 x 60 minutes
Lookalike: short sets throughout the day to fill in the gaps such as pre-dinner drinks, during photo shoots or breaks in between live music.
Solo Musician: 2 x 30-45 minutes or 3 x 30-45 minutes, at least every hour. If you would like a performer to make multiple appearances throughout the day, you can discuss your requirements with your chosen entertainer, who will be happy to accommodate.
Event services such as photographers and videographers can sometimes be in attendance all day but if you only want them there for one part of the day, simply let them know when you book, as this may affect your quote.
Hire services such as photo booths and limousines tend to charge by the hour. Acts may stay as long as two or three hours, and even longer for if they’re performing at your ceremony, breakfast, drinks or evening reception.
Bear in mind that longer performance times will cost more than a standard show.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''Live musicians and bands can often play recorded music through the PA system in between sets. Ask about this if you’re interested and let them know if you have a preferred choice of music. ''
All performers will require a break at some point. A solo musician will typically need a 20 minute break every hour and most entertainers will take breaks in between sets.
You can always ask your band to play recorded music through the PA when they’re taking a break, to keep the party mood going and the dance floor full.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''Letting your entertainers know your wedding day schedule in advance will help them time their breaks at suitable moments, such as during speeches or other activities. ''
BOOKING WITH CONFIDENCE
FINDING THE PERFECT MATCH
This isn’t just any gig, this is your wedding day. You want a wedding entertainer, band or musician that reflects your personalities and fits in with your chosen feel or theme.
Discussing this in advance will ensure that everything from the set list to the outfits are a perfect match, and that your entertainers are also comfortable on the day. Experienced wedding musicians will be happy to help you create the perfect set list, and to learn a limited number of new songs just for you. You should feel comfortable talking to them about what songs you want for key moments such as walking down the aisle or your first dance, as well as how you want them to fit in with your schedule of the day.
Wedding DJs will also be happy to talk this through, so that they are fully prepared. If you’re coming up against reluctance to accommodate your requests, find someone else. At the same time, your band or DJ should have lots of experience of playing at weddings and will know what's going to appeal to your guests across the board. They are likely to recommend a wide selection of soul, pop and rock and will also have suggestions for the best music to play at different points of the day, from something mellow during your drinks reception, to guaranteed dance floor fillers. Musicians and DJs are not all the same. Some are traditional or mainstream, others can mix things up a bit.
Take a good look at their sample set lists and make sure their genre and playing style is right for you. If you have any songs that you really don’t want played, make sure you let them know, to avoid any unpleasant surprises on the day.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''Trust Your Act... An experienced wedding act or band will have performed at lots of weddings and have a good understanding of what will work on the day. By all means, make requests, but then leave the rest to them. They know how to arrange timings and set lists for maximum impact. ''
When choosing your wedding entertainment, you really want to pick performers with experience of weddings.
This experience is key to them understanding how to dress, what music to play, how to approach mix and mingle entertainment with guests of different ages and tastes, and how to tailor their act to bring just the right atmosphere to your special day.
A wedding magician will be used to working the tables at your wedding breakfast, paying special attention to the bride and groom. An experienced wedding band will know how to keep the dance floor full at your evening reception.
Experienced wedding performers understand the particular needs of the occasion and know how to be helpful in the lead up to the day. They will also be professional and reliable, so that they lessen your load rather than adding to it.
AUDIO CLIPS & VIDEO CLIPS
All good performers have footage of their live performances for potential clients to watch.
You will find audio clips and video showreels on most of the artist profiles on Entertainers Worldwide, as well as links to their websites, where you may find more.
Watching an entertainer performing live, ideally at another wedding, will give you a true picture of their style, level of ability and interaction with the audience. Ideally, you want to look at video showreels that were made fairly recently and not from a decade ago. You want to book an act that is performing regularly and is on top form.
We encourage all of our acts to post testimonials on their profiles.
This allows you to see for yourself what previous bookers have to say about them. If you see lots of positive reviews from previous weddings, you know you’re in good hands. A good testimonial will often include comments on how well an entertainer interacted with guests and what they were like to deal with, as well as commenting on the quality of their act.
We all know that planning a wedding, while hugely exciting, can also be stressful...
You’ve got a budget to manage, a lot of big decisions to make, and the pressure of planning the perfect day. Arranging a face-to face meeting with your chosen entertainer, make-up artist or photographer may seem daunting and time-consuming, but this is your wedding and you don’t want to leave too much to chance.
Meeting in person gives you the opportunity to ask questions and make sure that they understand your personality and how you’re hoping to reflect this on the day. Essentially, you want to feel comfortable with them, trust them and be happy at the thought of them playing an important role on your big day. If a physical meeting is not possible, there are other options, such as Skype.
Practicalities, such as facilities, equipment, set up, timings, choice of music etc. are always best discussed in advance. Whatever questions you have, however silly they might seem to you, you can bet they’ve heard them before, and worse! So, don’t be shy.
Good communication is the key to planning a great wedding.
HOW EARLY TO BOOK
Popular singers, bands and DJs get booked up months and even years in advance.
If you have your heart set on the perfect entertainment, consider booking this early on in the planning process, particularly if you’re getting married at a busy time such as a weekend in the summer. Most acts will be happy to hold a provisional date for you initially, as you finalise your date and venue booking. The same goes for event services.
The best photographers, make-up artists and caterers are also likely to be busy with weddings from May to October, so get these bookings in nice and early too. This will not only mean you get your first choice, but you’ll have peace of mind as more tasks are ticked off your big wedding To Do list.
We recommend booking 12 to 18 months ahead of time. If you’re hoping to book a really popular act, you may want to check in with them even earlier.
When choosing your venue, it’s important to consider the type of entertainment you’re booking and how many guests you’re inviting.
A nine-piece wedding band will need a much larger stage area than a solo singer, and guests need enough space to dance but not so much that they feel adrift. For advice on how big your dance floor should be for the number of people at your wedding, you can read this useful article by Advantage Rental.
Even though a musician stays mainly in one spot, they need a certain amount of space in order to be comfortable and put on a good show. String players need plenty of elbow room while pianists and harpists need space to sit on a stool. Most classical singers and musicians will also need room for a music stand. For reasons of safety, to allow the sound to carry and to make the most of the acoustics in the room, a certain amount of space (at least 2 metres) should be kept clear between the musician and the audience. A piano needs a spacious, open room that’s big enough to absorb the sound and a bagpiper is very loud, so no one wants to be standing right next to it.
Whether you have a built stage or a designated area at floor level, we recommend the following minimum performance areas (width x depth):
Bagpiper: 2.5m x 2m
Solo Singer / Musician: 2.5m x 2m
Harpist + electric harp: 2.5m x 1.5m
Harpist + celtic harp: 2.5m x 1.5m
Harpist + concert pedal harp: 3m x 5m ● Pianist + digital keyboard: 2m x 1.5m
Pianist + upright acoustic piano: 2m x 2m
Pianist + baby grand piano: 2m x 3.5m
Pianist + concert grand piano: 2m x 5m
Duo: 3.6m x 2.5m
Trio: 4.8m x 3.6m
String Quartet: 6m x 3.6m
4-5 Piece Band: 6m x 3.6m
5-6 Piece Band: 6m x 4.8m
7-8 Piece Band: 5m x 3m
8-10 Piece Band: 4.8m x 7.3m
10-12 Piece Band: 4.8m x 8.5m
Floor-based acrobat: 2.5m x 2.5m
Aerialist: 2.5m x 2.5m (ceiling height 5-9m)
Mirror Man: 2m x 2m
Hula Hoop Performer: 2m x 2m
Juggler: 2m x 2m (ceiling height 3.5m)
Caricaturists will supply their own easel and drawing supplies and may just need a couple of chairs and possibly a table. They will only require room for two people to sit down, with about a metre in between. The space should be well lit.
Fire shows work best after dark but low-level lighting may still be required so that performers can see and be seen. If performing inside they will require headroom (with no hanging lights or other fittings) of at least 4m. The floor must be clean and uncarpeted, all furniture removed, and the area properly ventilated. The audience should be kept at least 2 metres from the performers and there must be a good supply of water available nearby. You should always get permission from the venue and any stipulations regarding fuel storage, space requirements and safety equipment should be observed.
Stilt Walkers require the ground to be dry or non-slip and reasonably level with a minimum of 4 metres overhead clearance. A dressing room with same level or lift access to performance areas is ideal, and a surface the height of a wheelie bin (or a chair on a table) on which to sit and put on the stilts. Stilt walkers can duck under doorways, travel in lifts and walk short distances in lower clearance areas or up and down slopes, if necessary, to get to and from the performance area.
Photographers and videographers may need space for a tripod and lighting, although some will work without these. The space required will depend on the venue and the number of guests, so you’ll want to discuss this with your chosen photographer.
Mix and mingle entertainers don’t require a stage area as they simply move around the room, entertaining small groups of guests at a time. If they are acting as MC or host, making announcements or speeches or handing out prizes, they will need a raised stage area, PA system, microphone and basic stage lighting. Acts may be able to provide this but you should check this when you book.
Dancers and acrobats require a dry floor and a clear area with no tables and chairs and free from clutter. Minimum required ceiling height is usually 4-5m.
Lookalike acts provide fantastic photo opportunities, so you may want to consider having a designated area for photos, with a plain backdrop.
All performers need the basics of a safe, clean and dry area in which to stand and room to move around.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''Performers may need more space for a PA system, monitors, microphones, lighting stands, loop players, laptops, music stands, lecterns, tables, props or specialist equipment. Always check their space and set up requirements when you book. ''
When booking your venue, check that the kind of entertainment you have in mind will be allowed.
Some venues have noise restrictions, which could be a problem if you’re booking a party band. There are ways to control noise levels, such as with sound limiters, or drum dampeners, but this could affect the quality of the performance. In some cases, the venue will not even allow certain types of music, so it’s always best to check first. Venues that do allow loud bands may still have a noise curfew in place. You may be happy for your band to stop playing at 11pm or at midnight, but it's a good idea to check what curfews are in place, just in case. If it comes to it, you can apply for a late licence ro ask the band to lower the volume after the curfew. Just bear in mind that bands will sometimes chanrge more for playing after a certain time, so if you’re planning to party into the small hours, keep an eye on the budget.
All performers require a private room backstage, in which to get ready, warm up and relax in between sets, ideally with a well-lit mirror, a wash basin and somewhere to hang clothes.
They will need to dress, apply make-up and do their hair without being seen by guests. If there is no designated dressing room, venues such as hotels may have a spare bedroom or meeting room they can put aside. Exhibition halls or restaurants will usually have a lockable room or back office they can make available. This should be organised in advance so that your performer can go straight to their room on arrival.
If you’re having an outdoor wedding and you’ve hired a musician, make sure they are aware of this.
Depending on the instrument and the weather conditions, it may not always be feasible. If you have a band or DJ booked, you will need to provide cover for them. Expensive instruments and equipment need protecting from direct sunlight as well as wind and rain.
If you hire a gazebo, this should have sides as well as a roof, to prevent sheet music blowing away. The ground should be dry and reasonably level and if you’re hiring musicians that need amplification they will need an electricity supply, which means you may need to hire a generator.
Many performers will come in a car or van, so make sure they have a reserved parking space as close to the performance area as possible, so that they can load and unload easily.
For events in busy town centres, performers will appreciate you letting them know where the nearest available parking spaces are or where public car parks are located.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''It’s a good idea to have a designated person to meet hired performers when they arrive, to show them where the dressing room and toilets are, where they can get food and drink and where the stage is. They can also be on-hand to recap on timings and deal with any issues. You’re going to be busy glowing and talking to guests. ''
SET UP REQUIREMENTS
Musicians will bring their own instruments (unless it’s a pianist and the venue has a piano), along with a music stand, stool, PA system and microphones and even basic stage lighting, if required. If you’re not sure whether your act needs a microphone, or any extra equipment, just ask when you book.
DJs will bring their own decks but check with them if you want to borrow wireless mics for speeches or if you need special lighting. Entertainers usually prefer not to share their mics with guests, due to the risk of damage but they can usually bring extra mics for speeches etc. for a small extra charge.
Photographers and videographers will provide their own cameras, tripods, lighting and sound equipment. If you’ve booked a Pianist to play a piano already in-situ at the venue, make sure it is in good playing condition and has recently been tuned by a professional piano tuner.
Pianos go out of tune very easily when they are moved. In terms of size, acoustic pianos vary from uprights to the largest concert piano, measuring around 12 feet. All acoustic pianos are tricky to transport and require careful handling. A more practical option for many events is a digital keyboard.
Whatever the venue, large or small, indoors or outdoors, your Musician will need the basics of a flat, dry and suitably-lit area in which to set up and play and a safe supply of electricity, including at least one 13 amp power socket near the stage area, unless they are playing unplugged.
For reasons of health and safety, check that all electrical equipment being used has been PAT Tested. Most standard PA systems are suitable for up to approximately 150 people. If your wedding is larger than that, you may need to hire a bigger system.
Entertainers Worldwide Top Tip
''If you’re having a disco after the live band has finished playing, you may want to check on whether the band expect to leave as soon as they finish playing. You don’t want them banging and crashing as they lug heavy equipment out of the room while guests are still trying to dance and enjoy themselves. ''
Mood lighting can really enhance the look of a room and accentuate the incredible architecture of some venues.
A lot of venues can supply this but you may find your DJ or band can provide the same lighting for a lower price.
If you’re including up-lighting in your venue decor, you could ask the lighting gurus to create a custom light show too, so that, come evening, your dancing gets a buzzing backdrop of colour.
SET UP TIMES
Musicians need time to unload and set up their instrument, tune and warm up. Entertainers also need time to get changed and prepare. DJs and event services will need to set up their equipment. It’s worth bearing this in mind when booking so that it doesn’t interfere with any key parts of the day.
Set up times will vary depending on the act type, how much equipment is being used, how big the venue is and how many performers there are, but to give you a rough idea, here are some suggestions for the amount of set up time different act types and event services are likely to need:
Solo Singer: 30 minutes
Solo Musician: 40 minutes
Duo or Trio: 40 minutes
String Quartet: 40 minutes
5-6 Piece Wedding Band: 90 minutes
Close-up Magician: 30 minutes
Disco and DJ: 90 minutes
Photo Booth: 60 minutes
We recommend discussing set up requirements for your particular booking with your chosen entertainer or event service provider ahead of time, so that your wedding day runs as smoothly as possible.
WHAT IF THE ACT CANCELS?
Thankfully this rarely happens...
but in the unlikely event that, due to illness, equipment failure or transport breakdown, an entertainer is unable to perform for you as agreed, they will usually be able to send a similar performer in their place, or find alternative equipment or transport, at no extra cost to you.
Established performers have a network of contacts they can call on at such moments, and busy gigging bands will have a roster of artists that work for them. When you book professional entertainment, they will provide a full contract along with terms and conditions. You should check these carefully and pay close attention to cancellation terms and any contingencies they have in place for emergencies. If you are unclear about anything, don’t be afraid to ask your entertainer.
WHAT IF THE WEDDING IS CANCELLED?
Obviously this rarely happens, however, if this does occur you should expect to pay a cancellation fee.
The amount usually increases the closer it is to the day itself. For example, cancelling 90 days before the event might incur 75% of the overall fee, while cancelling less than 30 days prior might mean paying the entire sum. These conditions should be laid out in the contract you receive when booking, so check before signing. If you have any reason to think your event may not go ahead as planned, it would be better to let your act know as soon as possible.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Any wedding caterer or bar service you hire, from chocolate fountain hire to a full sit-down dinner service, should have Public Liability Insurance and appropriate certificates in Food Hygiene.
The minimum legal requirement for anyone preparing, handling or selling food as a professional caterer is a Level 2 Hygiene Certificate in Catering. This should have been completed within the last three years. For more information on food health and safety requirements, you can visit the Nationwide Caterers Association website.
PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE
Ideally, any entertainer you hire will have Public Liability Insurance, covering them, their equipment and you and your guests, should any accidental injury or damage to property occur.
You may also be required by your venue to take out insurance. This is an additional cost but it will give you peace of mind knowing that you are covered if anything happens.
If your act is a member of Equity, a trade union that represent live performers in the entertainment industry in the UK (the American Guild of Variety Artists or the Actors' Equity Association in the U.S. and various unions and societies in Europe), this gives you extra reassurance that they are professional and trustworthy, fully insured and abiding by industry standard contracts.
HOW TO BOOK WEDDING ENTERTAINMENT
Booking your wedding entertainment is easy with Entertainers Worldwide.
You can search through different acts, view their profiles, watch video showreels and read their all-important reviews, so that you can be confident your special day will shine. Once you’ve found the act you want to book, simply use the contact form on their profile page.
We are not an agency, so you can deal directly with your chosen group, with no extra booking fees or commission to pay.
Search Entertainers Worldwide Now to find hundreds of Singers, Live Bands and Groups, Magicians, Musicians, Tribute Acts, Lookalikes and much more!