What Entertainment Should You Choose for Your Wedding?
By Sadie Hawkins
Your wedding is likely to be the biggest 'party' that you will ever have and probably one of the only times your families and close friends will get together. There will be a big mixture of ages and tastes amongst your guests so you will have to work hard to make sure everyone is happy and entertained.
The entertainment is not just about your first dance followed by the disco, it is about the whole day, the whole experience for you and your guests. So let us start with the evening entertainment first as most, if not all of you will be having an evening reception.
It is likely that you will have music and dancing in the evening so we will start with that. It is very traditional to have a disco and with it a DJ but in these times of economic strife many couples are opting for providing their own music. So what are the pros and cons? The pros of providing your own is that you will save money and you can have complete control on the music being played.
The pros of hiring a professional DJ are many. He or she will be experienced and will know which tunes are likely to get most people on to the dance-floor. He can also vary his choice of music as he gets used to your guests and their tastes. He will provide disco lights and other effects that will really create the right atmosphere. He will also talk to your guests, encouraging them on to the dance-floor and take requests for their favourite songs.
Another option is to have a band or a musician for some or all of the evening music. It is something different, something to get people's attention particularly if you have both a band and a disco. Do bear in mind that bands will not normally play 'all' night.
They will normally do one or two sets for a period of time, say 45 minutes each. Pick a band from a recommendation and make sure you see and hear them play. Some solo musicians can offer a really good full contemporary sound even on their own, so do not be put off - go and see them play!
So that is the evening disco sorted, now let us turn our attention to the rest of the day. There will be natural 'gaps' and 'slow' times when your guests will be waiting for the next scheduled things to happen. For example after the speeches and before the evening disco. You could consider hiring a magician or a caricaturist who can mingle amongst your guests.
This will take the pressure off of you! Caricaturists can produce excellent pictures on the spot, for the guests to keep and other guests enjoy watching them create the picture. Magicians have a huge repertoire of tricks to keep everyone guessing.
There could also be times during the day, depending on your plans where you could be absent from your guests for some time. For example when you are having your photographs taken. This time could be used to entertain your guests in line with the theme of your wedding. For example you could have a musician such as a classical guitarist or a harpist or a string quartet.
Another idea is to provide your guests with games or activities. Giant Jenga is fun and not only can you get them to play the game but you can provide art materials and ask everyone to design a block for you to keep. Think about other games too. Examples are giant noughts and crosses, giant connect-4, hoopla, croquet, boules and so on.
For something really different consider providing an activity that everyone can have a go at and learn a new skill. Examples are archery, clay pigeon shooting, dancing lessons, rodeo bull riding and wine tasting.
Why not provide a pi�ata or two for the children but don not forget that most will need to be filled with sweets by you. It is worth considering a separate children's entertainer if you have a lot of children attending. Another good idea is to hire a children's nanny/child-minder.
They can look after the children during the ceremony and at other times, providing toys and activities for them to take part in and if necessary they can supervise their meal or if necessary feed them. They can put the children to bed later on and babysit them until their parents are ready to leave.
If you feel that your guests may need a little more to do in the evening you could consider a 'fun casino'. You do not play with real money but the games and the atmosphere they generate are very real. The black jack, roulette, poker etc are completely authentic and will help your guests while away the hours!
Another activity which will involve guests of all ages is pig racing. Little fluffy toy pigs waddling down a specially constructed race track. Bets can be placed and with a good compare you and your guests will have a lot of fun.
So what else can you do during the evening? A lot of couples now are setting up or paying others to set up either a video or a photo booth. Guests can then leave a message, sing songs, dress up, pose in wacky ways and generally goof around. Ask your photographer or videographer if they provide this service and the cost. Ask your videographer if they can edit some of the footage in to your main DVD.
Whatever you decide to organise, make sure you research it well and where possible pick people from personal experience or recommendations!
Marion Frances is a professional photographer based in Newton Abbot, South Devon. She is able to provide a complete Devon wedding photographer service, lifestyle portraits and event photography.