Expert advice about entertainment

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Surrey Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yoursurrey.wedding

 

Just wanna dance the night away

Just wanna dance the night away

Q. We want some fun entertainment at our upcoming wedding. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Rohan Carr says: There are so many options out there that it may feel overwhelming. Choose something that suits your personalities but also allows your guests to join in too. Having two different aspects to the day is a great way of keeping everyone engaged and on the dancefloor. Combine a band and DJ or a DJ with a musical accompaniment like a sax or violin to break up the music into different elements throughout the night.

Companies like Geek Chic Events have hand-sourced a variety of acts, meaning we can tailor entertainment packages to suit your big day. As we're a smaller business, we offer an event planner to oversee everything and if needed, they can also attend the wedding to answer any questions and work out timings.

Of course, budget is a big factor in how you choose your entertainment. Several surveys have found that around 80 per cent of guests remember the entertainment over any other aspect of the wedding. I certainly don't recommend spending the majority of your money on it, but it's worth putting factoring it into your budget.

I recommend you choose an awesome band with a DJ if the budget allows. This will fill the gaps in the band's set and keep everyone upbeat.

Look for companies who have computer-controlled lighting, this will enhance the performance and ensure no one has coloured spots all over their dresses in the pictures.

Here at Geek Chic Events, we source the best entertainers from around the UK who fit our style and brand and work with them to help deliver incredible performances.

Rohan Carr,Geek Chic Events
www.geekchic.events

 

It's showtime!

It's showtime!

Q. My wife-to-be and I are getting ready to book our wedding entertainment and were wondering what we should ask our chosen supplier before booking?

A. Paul Holgate says: It's important to establish a time frame for the day. Once you've done so, look for any must-have songs and discuss with the venue how long it will take to set everything up. Assuming you've done the groundwork, seen your chosen supplier live or an unedited video and their references look good then you should be ready to get the final quotation. Good questions to ask are:
- Can they play your most important tunes or suggest any better ones? They will have had lots of requests in the past and can offer up some ideas and alternatives for the bride's entrance or first dance.
- What is their usual length of sets? Try to get the maximum amount of playtime for your money but take advice from the artist as to what will be best for your friends and family.
- How do they engage and interact with guests? In my experience, performers are usually best as backgrounds music during the day and interactive before the speeches. This will transform the mood and get your loved ones up on their feet.
- How long do they need to set up and do they require a noisy soundcheck? Most experienced artists will need to place their equipment, check it's working, tune-up and ideally play a tune or two. For solo or small ensembles this can normally be done quickly and discretely but for a larger group expect there to be noise. If the venue needs to turn around the room, then the issue is usually time. If you plan to stay in your seats from dinner to the first dance, then you'll probably need them to set up before the wedding breakfast.
- Can you have a copy of their Public Liabilities Insurance and PAT testing for their equipment? Your venue will usually ask for this, but it's a good indicator as to their experience as wedding professionals.
- What happens if they're unable to play? This is fortunately very rare, but serious illnesses and accidents do happen, so it's important that the act has a contact at the wedding other than yourselves to liaise with. A professional band would normally be able to replace a player at short notice without you even knowing.
- Do they require food, what do they eat and when do they want it? It may seem like an unnecessary expense, but everyone working on the day needs to eat something substantial to give their best performance. Most artists will include any special dietary requirements in their contract as standard. It's worth talking to your caterers in advance and deciding what you can afford to keep everyone happy.

Paul Holgate
www.sugartown.co.uk

 

Party the night away

Party the night away

Q. We're getting ready to book our big-day entertainment, but we're a bit nervous about booking someone online that we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Paul Holgate says: It can be worrying booking an entertained without meeting them first. To help, I've put together my top tips to help you find the perfect supplier.

- Start looking for local entertainers, either to you or your venue.

- Ask for recommendations from a trusted source.

- Most acts will perform at wedding showcases, so ask where and when you can see them live.

- If your chosen act is too far away, request a live, unedited video call and ask for some past clients that you can contact.

- Look for references to gigs where a certain level of audition would have been required, for example, Warner Leisure Hotels or Butlins.

- It may be worth travelling to see your supplier if entertainment is going to be a key part of your day.

- A good talent agent should also be able to help.

Paul Holgate
www.sugartown.co.uk

 

Time to celebrate

Time to celebrate

Q. We're struggling to find an entertainer that's appropriate for our ceremony. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Nick Levy says: - Look for a supplier who will provide entertainment while the guests are arriving.
- Check their repertoire before booking. We can perform a wide selection of music from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons to film music from the Harry Potter score and more modern tunes such as A-ha. - See if your entertainer can be booked for the whole day. We usually play for the ceremony, drinks reception and meal if needed.
- Enquire and see if they have any additional needs. For example, we don't need electricity and can play anywhere, but others may have specific requirements.
- Your loved ones will want to converse, so make sure the music isn't too loud.

Nick Levy
www.phoenixstringquartet.co.uk

 

Snap away

Snap away

Q. We're looking for some fun entertainment for our reception. Do you have any ideas?

A. Ian Leonard and Debbie Kemp says: When it comes to entertainment, you want something that your guests will talk about long after the wedding is over, so why not invest in a mirror photo booth?

- Your friends and family will be able to see how they look before the photographs are taken, interact with the mirror, add emojis and use hilarious virtual props.

- The unlimited prints mean each guest can take a special memento home.

- We offer a guest book option. We'll ensure that everyone who interacts with the mirror, signs the book and includes a copy of their photograph.

- Personalise the experience with customisable animations and photo surround. These can be made to match your theme or colour scheme.

- Make sure your chosen supplier can stay late in the evening. In our experience, the most entertaining photographs are taken towards the end of the night when everyone gets more animated.

- Your wedding is a magical affair with you at the centre of it, your photographer will capture the beauty of the day, and our job is to ensure everyone lets their hair down and leaves with a smile on their face.

Ian Leonard and Debbie Kemp
www.mirrormyday.co.uk

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