The main ‘entertainment’ point of your wedding
When all the formalities are over, the meal is complete and everyone is relaxed, comes the reception party. The original meaning of the wedding reception was where the bride and groom ‘receives’ guests at their wedding but the only formal entertainment was the speeches and the bride and groom’s first dance.
The definition of reception is, ‘the process of receiving something sent or given’. So in the truest sense of the word, you are receiving your guests while at the same time, you are giving to your guests by sharing your day with them.
Today, reception parties are usually very informal, often including a buffet as wedding parties can go on all night! Now, I should point out here that when I say reception party, I mean that part of the evening, after the meal has ended and your guests are expecting to be entertained. It’s that one big party that you really want to get right.
Considerations for Hiring Bands and other Wedding Reception Entertainment?
There are many choices for wedding reception music and entertainment. You can hire bands that play covers of all the favourites throughout the decades, i.e. 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, right up to the latest pop hits. Or perhaps a jazz band, ceilidh band or even a comedian. Often people on a tight budget will opt for a disco which can cover pretty much everything.
The reception or ‘party’ is the main part of the day in terms of choosing music as it will be the longest time you need music. Plus, it’s what many will be focusing on. That part of the day that everyone, including yourself, is really looking forward to. It’s also the longest part of your wedding. A good party can go for a minimum of 4 hours but usually, it’s much longer. It all depends on how long you have hired your reception venue.
So, to plan effectively, you’ll need to know the following before you start looking around at wedding music options.
1. Find out how long you and your guests will be able to use your venue.
When will the venue want everyone out by and when do they need to start clearing up. Make the clearing up time the finish time for your party. That way you’re not causing problems for staff who need to get home and so that the venue is not breaking any licensing laws.
2. Determine the total time that you’ll need entertainment for in the evening.
For example, if your meal ends at 8.00pm and your venue allows you to stay until 11.30pm before they need to start clearing for closing at midnight, then you have a window of 3 and a half hours for your party.
3. Decide how many guests, approximately, you will be having at your reception party.
If you’re inviting more than were at your ceremony, then you’ll need to check with your venue the maximum number of guests allowed. Often, historical venues are used for weddings and these can be particularly fussy on the numbers of guests to safeguard their properties and ensure that ‘old structures’ are not compromised.
With your ‘party time’ worked out you can now start looking at wedding music and wedding entertainment options. Bands tend to play from 2-4 hours. Comedians and entertainers usually perform 2 X 45 minute sets. Other types of entertainment varies.
Note: Remember to inform your guests what time your party is expected to end. If your party is to go on for much longer than 4 hours, then your guests should be given an approximate finish time. It’s often considered rude to leave the party before the bride and groom, so make sure elderly guests and parents of young children know they can leave when they wish without causing offence.
When to hire bands in the UK and Scotland?
The most important point, that I cannot stress enough, is to BOOK EARLY to avoid disappointment. Really good bands tend to get booked up 12-24 months in advance and I’ve heard so many times about couples that leave booking a band until just a few months before and not being able to hire bands at all. If you’re wanting to hire bands, it’s not unreasonable to book well in advance. If you book through an agent then you’ll always have someone there should something go wrong. Most good wedding bands are familiar with the requirements and will be available to chat to every step of the way.
So, the best time to hire bands is at the same time you’re booking your wedding venue. Once you’ve booked your venue, you can gather the necessary information, that I’ve mentioned above, then move onto finding the best music.
The band can make or break your evening entertainment because everyone is focusing on it. If they’re a terrible band and they don’t fit with the whole feel of your wedding, it’s going to make people feel awkward and your guests will soon disappear. You won’t be happy and the day won’t be the perfect wedding day that you want.