How Do You Vet Your Entertainment?

Couple on computer

Whether you have a live band or a DJ, your wedding entertainment is something that can make or break the entire reception. Bands that looked and sounded great online can be dull and boring in person. DJs that seemed to come alive in their handouts can play some strange songs and fall flat when talking to the crowd. We have a few ways to ensure your wedding entertainment leaves people smiling and dancing throughout the night.

Do Your Research

An entertainment website can basically say whatever you want it to say. You can get friends to fill your Facebook and Yelp with good reviews, but the truth will always come from your clients. Dig through the comments on entertainment websites and social media. Ask on forums if anyone has heard of the band or DJ, and what they think of using them. Know that not every comment has to be positive for the entertainment to still be worthwhile. A band and/or DJ simply cannot please everyone, but make sure the overall consensus is a positive experience.

Check Out the Entertainment’s On and Offstage Presence

DJs and band members need to have a positive presence both on and off the stage. They must interact with the crowd, so you need to know they aren’t going to leave the audience staring blankly at them. They do introductions to the big dances, often play games with guests, and even respond to fun song requests. Their professional attitude along with their audience interaction shows a lot about their stage presence. Make sure your DJ and/or band members are both professional and personal so everyone has a great time.

Couple meeting someone in a cafe

Meet with The Entertainment

Don’t hire entertainment without talking to them in person. Set up a meeting where you can talk about expectations and requirements of the event. Talk about their favorite music to play and your favorite music to hear. Make sure you have the same style of music in mind. You can even give them a list of songs that you must have at the reception. They can talk to you about what is needed for them to perform. You need to know what the venue provides for entertainment regarding lighting and sound systems. Talking to the entertainment in person will help you both have peace of mind.

Ask About Various Packages

Many packages offer extra amenities so it’s up to you whether you need or want them. Some entertainment offer video screens and crazy lighting. Some couples like to play slideshows during their first dance while others love lighting effects that make the reception feel more like a wild night at a club. Make sure you know what is included in your package and don’t purchase the extras if they don’t fit your needs.

Don’t Go Cheap

Most DJs and live bands don’t work for free. Remember you usually get what you pay for. Not every inexpensive type of entertainment is bad, but make sure you know what you’re getting into before booking them. Many new DJs or bands that want to get their music out there for the wedding world to hear might cut you a great deal and still put on an amazing show. Always talk about the cost as it is usually directly related to the quality of the overall entertainment, the equipment, and their experience as a DJ or band.

DJ mixer with couples dancing in background

Ask About Their Equipment

If you are on the hunt for a DJ, it’s important to know they have adequate equipment. A DJ with an iPod and speakers just isn’t going to cut it. Many DJs not only provide their own sound system, but even bring turntables that allow them to easily manipulate the speed and sound of the music. A DJ should know how to connect a system for the best sound. Music should be loud enough for the dance floor, but quiet enough that guests can still enjoy talking to one another at the tables. It’s also essential for a DJ to have another set of equipment in case something happens with theirs. They need to be prepared for anything because they are the main entertainment and should know the show must go on.

Make Sure They Offer a Contract

One of the most important things when booking any vendor is the contract. If your entertainment doesn’t offer a contract, run. Contracts simply protect the couple and the professional. A basic contract will state the services they will be provide, ensuring they meet all expectations of the bride and groom. The wedding entertainment vendor can list times, requirements like electrical outlets, and anything the venue provides as well as the price. This way no one can say they didn’t get something that was promised.

Ask About Their Entertainment Experience

Ask about the band or DJ’s experience at different types of venues. If your live band is usually booked for Bar Mitzvahs and 50th birthday parties, they might not be the best music for a lavish wedding. If a DJ has entertained crowds at business conferences with thousands of attendants, they’ll probably easily be able to keep 200 wedding guests entertained. Your entertainment vendor might’ve played at hundreds of weddings making them tenured professionals. Remember, even if their experience isn’t extensive, it doesn’t mean they don’t provide great entertainment. That’s why it’s still important to do your research and check reviews.

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