Top Tips For Planning Your Wedding Entertainment

Hi everyone, and happy Tuesday to you all! I have a helpful feature up my sleeve today – rather than bringing you ideas every day I like to share useful and practical advice to help you plan your day. So let’s talk about wedding entertainment planning. To be honest, I’d never considered there’d be more to it than booking a band, telling them what time to arrive and where, and paying them afterwards. If that’s your approach, then this article is for you…

wedding entertainment

Image credit Alexis Jaworski

Written by experienced and dedicated wedding DJ Richard Porter, today’s blog feature includes advice on pre-wedding meetings, timelines and contracts and the preparations you’ll need to make for truly personal and unique wedding entertainment. I hope you find it really helpful!
Richard Porter’s website is

wedding entertainment

Image credit Paul Underhill Photography

Organizing the biggest event of your life is no easy feat; there are so many different aspects to consider. I am a wedding entertainer and DJ with nearly two decades of experience, along the way I have learnt a lot about entertainment planning and would like to use this opportunity to share some key aspects of the process with you and help you to avoid the common pitfalls.

wedding entertainment first dance photo

Image credit Howling Basset Photography in Kent

Meeting with Your Entertainment Provider

There are some entertainment providers that don’t see the need to meet with clients prior to the event. I personally wonder how they can possibly understand what the bride and groom want just by a quick conversation over the phone.

Many people today have their entire wedding provided by a hotel and while it certainly appears to have its benefits I would just like to urge an edge of caution. The hotel will often offer their in-house DJ, now I am not criticizing the individual DJ’s here, just the process. In these instances you will have no opportunity to meet with the DJ to share your desires and have no control over who is booked

wedding dance floor

Image credit Rik Pennington Photography

The meeting is a chance to brainstorm your wedding dreams with your potential provider. If you are not given this opportunity you will inevitably be given a basic wedding package without any personalised features. It is your chance to get professional advice and guidance over matters you are unsure of and find out what magic is really possible. Effective entertainment planning is impossible without face to face discussions.

The Timeline

When you are face to face with your entertainment provider it is important to organize your timeline. It will be the practical guidance that ensures everyone knows where they should be and what they should be doing at any given time. As a guest, I have attended weddings without an organised timeline and have seen how wrong they can go. On one occasion the groom was in the toilet as the first dance began! It is not enough just to discuss it, you need to make sure it is in black and white and there is no room for misunderstandings. A timeline for an entertainment provider could include the following (select what is appropriate for you);

  • The time when the DJ and/or musicians can set up
  • Arrival times
  • The grand entrance times (and music)
  • Time of food (and music)
  • Cake cutting time
  • Time and order of speeches
  • First dance
  • Music playlist (including any songs or artists to avoid)
  • Last dance song
  • End time
wedding first dance

Image credit Sophie Duckworth Photography

The Contract

A contract is more than just a piece of paper it is an absolute essential item that creates a solid agreement between you and your entertainment provider. I urge you not to give a penny until the contract has been agreed. Try to make sure everything that you have spoken about in your meeting is included in the contract, if it is not in the contract you have no guarantees. It is also worth checking that the contract states the name of the provider who will physically be there on the night. I have known different DJ’s or musicians turn up on a wedding day without the bride and groom being informed of any change. If you have made a careful selection, you want them to arrive on your big day and not a substitute. A contract should include the following;

  • The date
  • Venue
  • Name of DJ or musician(s) providing the service
  • Hours of the event and hours required
  • Fee and breakdown of costs (including deposit and payment date)
  • Special requirements (this could be games, announcements, music preferences), number of guests and notable people.
wedding entertainment

Image credit Love in Focus Photography

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

The entertainment, whether it is a magician, a singer, musician or a DJ (or a combination) will help to create the atmosphere you want and make your day magical. Every single client I have ever worked for, without exception, wants their day to be personal to them and entertainment is a fantastic way to put your unique stamp it.

wedding dance

Image credit David Stubbs Photography

Effective preparation is the only way to ensure the event runs smoothly and seamlessly by following an organised timeline. The most important aspect to remember about entertainment planning is the more preparation you put into it, the better the end result will be. Make sure you find an entertainment provider that also understands the importance of groundwork and is keen to meet with you and plan down your event down to the last second, after all this is the most important day of your life and every second should be special.

* * *

DJ Richard Porter from provides bespoke entertainment in the North West. Richard is driven by his pursuit of excellence, he is dedicated to spending time with his clients prior to each event to ensure that he helps to deliver their dream. He provides a high quality personal service, working as a DJ, host and master of ceremonies. He has superior equipment and also offers additional tools including resources for games and a photo booth.

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.



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