Planning your dream wedding is the opportunity of a lifetime. Yet, it’s no secret that it can also be more than a little overwhelming! Between the cake, the colors, and the guest list, your attention is likely pulled in a million different directions. Then, there’s the entertainment factor. While you can certainly hook up your device and blast your favorite playlist at the venue, nothing beats the allure and appeal of live wedding entertainment.

However, with so many local options to consider, how can you make this decision the right way?

Today, we’re sharing five important things to consider as you plan this part of your event. Keep these in mind as you get started, and you’ll find a live act that’s guaranteed to make your big day special.

1. Start With Your Budget

Before you start contacting potential bands and performers, it’s important to understand exactly how much you want to spend on the entertainment portion of your wedding.

As you crunch the numbers, keep in mind that there are a few different considerations that will affect your bottom-line price. These include:

  • The location of your wedding
  • The number of performers you hire
  • The length of the performance
  • The number of attendees
  • The level of customization you request

There isn’t a golden number to aim for, as each couple will have their own parameters around what they can afford. Make sure you’re comfortable with the amount you’ve set, and you can start researching your options from there!

2. Consider the Vibe

Once you’ve nailed down how much you want to spend, it’s time for the fun part: weighing your options!

To help make this step a little easier, consider the overall vibe you want your wedding to project. Will it be funky and laidback or upscale and formal? Are you going for a 1950s Hollywood aesthetic, or are you uber-modern, all the way?

The answers you choose can help determine the right kind of live entertainment that will be the best fit.

For instance, brides who lean toward a style that’s more traditional and elegant may favor harpists and string quartets at their wedding receptions. These live musicians will be well-versed in gorgeous classical standards, and you may even hire one with excellent vocal abilities! Similarly, an intimate evening wedding can benefit from a pianist or small jazz band. 

On the other hand, if you’re going for a lively, dance party jam, then a DJ is ideal! We can also connect you with rocking party bands that play all of the time-honored favorites, as well as original tunes of their own. If your musical preferences are pretty wide-ranging, these bands are a great fit, as they can accommodate a host of tastes.

3. Get It On the Books

Musicians might have a reputation for being artsy and free-spirited, but the reality is that professional entertainers are meticulous planners. This is especially the case if they’re popular in your area!

As soon as you know which local entertainment you want to hire, go ahead and make contact with them. Some experts recommend reaching out at least nine to 12 months before your wedding date!

While that may seem premature, consider that most musicians begin planning their year far in advance. This way, they can rehearse, create setlists, and make travel plans accordingly. The quicker you ask about availability, the greater the odds are that your date will be open!

4. Set Performance Times

As you’re browsing your options, decide whether the entertainment you hire will perform at your reception only, or also at your ceremony. 

Usually, couples have live entertainment playing while guests find their seats, the bridal party enters, and the bride makes her grand debut. This can be the same band or musician that will later play at your wedding, though it doesn’t have to be. 

When does it make sense? If you’re planning a smaller-scale, outdoor wedding, you may hire a guitarist and singer to serenade everyone during the ceremony. Then, if you’re turning that same field into a reception space later, the same entertainer can simply pick back up where they started.

In this example, your guest list is small and the vibe is equally relaxed.

However, you may consider booking two acts if your guest list is large or your reception space is oversized. The same equipment used in a silent, small ceremony space might not be adequate enough to keep the party going once vows are exchanged. In this case, a soloist or pianist will work for the ceremony, but a larger party band or DJ might be preferable for the after-party.

5. Check Out Past Performances

One last thing to think about as you browse the best live wedding entertainment ideas? Once you have your short list of contenders, look them up online! Check to see what others are saying about them, and look for videos of past live performances.

This is a great way to see firsthand what kind of act you can expect. Plus, when you read reviews and testimonials, you can hear from couples who have been in your shoes before. What trends do you notice in the feedback? Look for key themes such as:

  • Timeliness
  • Talent
  • Professionalism
  • Communication skills

Research shows that 84% of people trust online reviews from friends and family members as much as personal advice from loved ones. Use these insider insights to your advantage to help you make your list even shorter. 

Book Your Live Wedding Entertainment With Us

We understand that planning your wedding can be both thrilling and perplexing. We’re here to make one decision easier than ever.

When you book your live wedding entertainment through us, you have access to a large number of prolific, professional performers. Our reach covers not only Atlanta but the entire southeastern region of the U.S.!

When you’re ready to set the stage for the event of your lifetime, get in touch with our team to request a quote. From harpists and string quartets to dance bands and DJs, we can put you in touch with some of the top talent around. Now, you can check this item off your to-do list and enjoy this special season of planning!