How to book your perfect wedding entertainment

29 Jan 2018

Where to start, what to do and how to find the perfect match in wedding entertainment

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It's easy to book any band or performer for your big day, but finding an act that will make your wedding truly special is no mean feat. Here, founders of online artist booking platform Headliner, Stan McLeod and Maria Hayden, share their top tips for guaranteeing the perfect match. 

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Where should a couple start when choosing their wedding entertainment?

SM: Live entertainment is one of the key elements of your big day and should be well planned like every other aspect. Consider your audience, the music you most love and the style of band that fits with your theme.

MH: Recommendations from trusted sources with similar tastes also help.

How far in advance should they start looking?

MH: We find June to September to be the peak months for weddings, so if yours falls in this time, booking a year in advance should secure you the band you’re after.

SM: To secure the band you really want, you should be booking them a year in advance. As there are only a limited number of peak days in peak months, bands get booked up really quickly. We have seen artists being booked up to two years in advance.

What are the key considerations when choosing wedding entertainment?

MH: Finding an act who you love the look/sound of and you think your guests will enjoy just as much.

SM: I would look closely at the style of the band. Do they play the music you and your guests will love? Are they trusted – look for reviews of the band, good quality video content and a transparent fee structure.

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What price range is to be expected?

SM: The price is entirely dependent on the artist. A typical four-piece band will cost between £1,000 - £1,300. Travel is also a major factor, so if you are getting married in a rural location, do take this into consideration.

MH: For real quality acts, a starting point should be around £500 for DJs and £1200 for bands.

How can couples get the most out of their wedding entertainment? 

MH: I would choose an act based on their style and if you like how they look and sound in their promotional material. As far as setlists go, bar the first dance, I would try and leave this to them, they are the experts and know what works well.

SM: I would agree with Maria here. The musicians are very well versed on how to make your day a special one. Try to provide them with as much detail about how you want the day to run and where entertainment fits in to it. A collaborative approach is best.

What are the key trends/styles in wedding entertainment for 2018?

MH: The trend that never goes away are well-rounded, tried and tested acts. This may sound obvious but if they look the part, sound the part and have good reviews, they probably are going to give you exactly what you want on your wedding day.

SM: I’m pretty sure all eyes will be on the choices Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make for their wedding. If you can’t afford A-list musicians, I would always look to a band that can play all the classics as well as contemporary tracks in their own style. There is a great band out there for everyone.