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Top Tips for Finding and Booking Your Wedding Entertainment

Feature post by Entertainment Nation; header image by York Place Studios


You’re getting married – congratulations! You’re probably already knee-deep in wedding planning, checking out venues, tasting cakes and more. It can be a lot of fun, but with so many things to consider, it can also feel quite overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of our top tips for finding and booking fantastic wedding entertainment. Find out everything from budgeting to booking the best bands in our handy blog below.

Talk to Your Venue

Your venue is one of the first things you’ll book for your wedding. We always recommend talking to your wedding venue about live entertainment before your start your search.

Knowing your venue’s requirements for entertainment will keep you from booking unsuitable acts and can save you a lot of stress. Potential restrictions could be anything from band size to sound limiters to timings and more, but as long as you know in advance, you’ll still be able to find some excellent entertainment.

Decide and Stick to Your Budget

Before you start booking anything, you first need to budget for your big day. What’s the most you can spend on live music? Knowing your budget means you can search for bands more easily. The Entertainment Nation website allows you to look for acts based on how much you can spend, with our useful budget filter.

If you’re on a really strict budget, we advise booking live music during the off-peak season.
Running from November to April (with a burst of busy-ness for Christmas parties in December), the off-peak season offers more room for negotiation.

But don’t worry if you have your heart set on a summer wedding – by choosing a weekday wedding over a weekend you can still save a good amount on your live music.

Something else to consider if you have your heart set on an act who are above what you’ve budgeted – ask if they’d be willing to play with a reduced line-up. By trimming a 5-piece to a 3-piece, you’ll bring the price down and still get a great show.

Do Your Research

We can’t stress enough how important research is. A great place to start is Google. Find out everything you can about booking wedding entertainment (from blogs like this) and head to sites like Trustpilot to read authentic reviews.

At Entertainment Nation, all of our musicians have dedicated pages, where you can read reviews, watch videos, check out setlists and more. You can search based on your budget and the style of act you’re after too, making the process even easier.

If you’re still stuck after searching our site, you can reach out to our trusted team, who can help you find your perfect match.

Book Well in Advance

If you have your heart set on a certain band, make sure you book them well in advance. Wedding bands typically get booked up one to two years in advance, so if you want to avoid the heartache of missing out on your favourite band, book them as soon as you can.

If your first choice is booked, don’t worry – a good entertainment agency will be able to offer you a range of alternative acts similar in style. You might even find a band you love more than your initial favourite!

Alternatively, if you have nerves of steel, you can put off booking your wedding band till the very last minute. By doing this, you could potentially save a good chunk of money – it’s a big risk, but it can pay off!

Playing Times

Live music for your wedding doesn’t just mean the evening reception. You can have music as your guests arrive, during your drinks reception, dinner and more. Of course, having a number of acts can quickly add up. If you’re booking on a budget, it’s worth selecting a single amazing act (trust us, there are tons of them to choose from!).

Typically, bands will arrive from 5pm or later for set up, with a midnight finish time. The standard performance times are 2×60 minute sets or 3×40 minute sets. Asking your act to arrive early and play for longer, will result in you paying a higher fee. By sticking within the 5pm to midnight timeframe, you can keep costs down.

Tie in With Your Theme

Throwing a festival wedding? Barn wedding? Or keeping it traditional? Whatever your theme is, having live music that perfectly complements it can take your wedding from sensational to spectacular.

Imagine a string quartet playing Shawn Mendes’ “In My Blood” as you and your partner whirl around the dance floor – nothing could be more Bridgerton. Or a Mumford & Sons-inspired band belting out “Little Lion Man” as you and your guests dance among hay bales – nothing says barn wedding more! Whatever theme you’re aiming for, having live music that ties in well can make your big day even more memorable.

Consider Booking Extras

You’ve got the venue, food and live music for your wedding sorted, but have you thought about adding some extra entertainment? It’s always a great idea to hire some additional performers on your big day, especially if you’re throwing a festival-themed wedding or you know a lot of children will be attending.

Magicians, comedians, dancers and more, will really bring your event to life and keep your guests entertained for hours.

Book Through a Trusted Company

Finally, if you want to book fantastic live music for your wedding without spending hours searching the web, use a trusted company like Entertainment Nation.

We’re passionate about helping you discover the perfect act for your event. Whatever style you’re after and whatever your budget, we’ll provide live music that you and your guests will love (and talk about for years to come!).

Our friendly team are available seven days a week to answer any questions you have, give advice and offer expert recommendations.

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 www.byMoonandTide.com. 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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