Today’s awesome guest post comes to us from Kitty Ruskin of Entertainment Nation, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, England! Enjoy:
You’ve probably drifted into a daydream of the perfect wedding day more times than you can count, envisaging delighted guests and spectacular moments to cherish forever. To make this fantasy of a perfect day come true, you need some electrifying live entertainment. You need a band to capture the exact atmosphere you’re looking for – whether that’s the excitement of a rock ‘n’ roll gig, the sophisticated air of a string quartet performance, or the glamorous ambiance of a 1920s speakeasy. Unfortunately, nothing in life comes from free – wedding music included. Luckily, however, we’ve got a few tips here on how to make some major savings when booking entertainment for the big day!
Read the full post after the cut!
1. Book Early
It may sound simple but it’s also crucial – and forgotten all too often. With the million other things you have to sort out in the midst of manic wedding planning (what even IS a chrysanthemum? When did finding a nice white dress become so complicated?) it’s easy to leave some things on the back-burner. Fast-forward a few months, and the colour drains from you and your partner’s faces when you remember that you never did book that wedding band. Suddenly, all of your favourite acts are booked months in advance, and those that are available cost an arm and a leg. Don’t let this happen to you! Book well in advance for your preferred band at a price that won’t make your eyes water.
2. Find a Hidden Gem
People are like sheep, and if a few newlyweds are going crazy for a particular band the lucky musicians might suddenly have bookings years in advance. But straying from the crowd has its advantages – namely, a less ‘in-demand’ band won’t have such a hefty price tag. Being lesser known doesn’t necessarily mean that the band isn’t as good (it might even be better!)
Every performer starts somewhere, including the ones that are enjoying such popularity right now, and (who knows!) you might uncover a diamond in the rough. Imagine the satisfaction when you remember how you had the next big thing at your wedding months ago, but for a fraction of the price they charge now.
3. Be Your Own Entertainment!
Are you a secret diva who’s a maestro with a microphone? Well, then why leave the entertainment to anyone else! You know exactly what you and your partner want on your special day, and as the saying goes if you want a job done properly you should do it yourself. Performances put on by the bride or the groom have never been so popular – just take a look at YouTube or our blog and you’ll see a host of clips from bride and groom dance routines to specially crafted songs. And the performance won’t just be touchingly personal, it’ll also be totally free!
But it doesn’t need to be anything so dramatic as a dance-off or a personally-crafted ballad – you could even consider just taking over the setlist yourself, becoming a self-styled DJ at the push of a button with your own playlist. Guaranteeing a full dance-floor never came so easy!
4. Get Your Bridesmaids and Groomsmen to Put on a Show
But, as it’s your day, surely you should be licensed to sit back and let others do the dazzling. Maybe your maid of honour is a sensational singer, or maybe your groomsmen have always dreamed of forming a travelling dance troupe (potentially a bit of a punt, we know). Whatever the case, it’s an idea to make use of what you’ve got and have your closest friends do the entertaining. At best, it could be a shockingly stunning (free) performance, and at worst it’ll at least make a funny anecdote.
5. Friends in a Band? Get Them Involved
Then again, the bridesmaids and groomsmen will probably have their hands full, too! Isn’t your friend’s band from uni doing quite well now? Utilize their talents and call in a favour – they’d probably be grateful to showcase the band’s star quality to a room full of potential customers!
6. Scale it Down
You might have been bowled over by the sight and sound of a 13-piece band recently, and now you find yourself fantasizing about reproducing this scale of sound and spectacle. But do consider the costliness of such a big band – each member needs to earn their own wage, after all, so it’s worth thinking about paring things back if you want to keep your budget realistic. However, less band members don’t mean less wow factor – there are a range of duos and even solo acts that can bring the charisma and excitement of an act five times their size. And if you’re looking to create an intimate atmosphere, a smaller act might work better for your purposes anyway!
7. Book Through a Trusted Agency
Hiring your performer(s) through a reputable entertainment agency is an absolute must, especially if you need to watch your pennies. Not only will you guarantee high-quality, reliable musicians by booking through an agency, importantly if anything goes awry there’s someone to save your wedding from the brink of disaster. For example, if the band you’ve gone to the ends of the earth to find suddenly cancels, a good agency will make every effort to get you a suitable replacement. This would obviously save you a huge amount of money compared with if you had booked the band off your own back, now facing the prospect of having to find another band much later down the line. Also, by giving the agency an (honest) idea of your budget, their experts can help you find the perfect band for your price range – allowing you to get as much for your money as possible.
8. Find a Combined Act
There’s nothing quite like a mash-up, and if you’re hell-bent on having live music as well as a DJ set, consider cutting the cost of hiring two separate performers and find a combined act. There are a range of groups available, composed of a variety of musicians and offering – for example – DJ slots in addition to saxophone and percussion performances. It’s all included under one roof in one comprehensive package. Not only is this a thriftier alternative to booking a number of different acts, but the mixture of styles and genres can really add a wow factor to your wedding, keeping your guests on their toes as well as on the dance-floor.
In conclusion, weddings are expensive, but we hope that these money-savings ideas have reminded you that you can still have the day of your dreams on a budget! And no matter what the act, there’s nothing quite like live entertainment to make your special day unforgettable.
Kitty Ruskin is a writer based in Stratford-upon-Avon who has helped organize more weddings than she can count. Facilitating every style of wedding you can imagine, her scope of experience means that she knows exactly what works and what doesn’t. She loves a cup of tea, RuPaul’s Drag Race, and all things live music.
For more information about Entertainment Nation, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.