10 Tips for Planning Your Wedding Entertainment

Music can make or break your Wedding day. It’s often one of the things guests talk about afterwards, whether good or bad! Much thought should go into the planning of the Wedding entertainment for your special day. Here are our top 10 tips we have picked up along the way to help you out.

 

1) Don’t snub the idea of a band or DJ before doing some research

This is usually the first place to start and generally it’s whether you want live music with a band or with a DJ or…is it something you are going to try and do yourself. Your Wedding entertainment budget can be a deciding factor but do some research and be sure to ask around for recommendations from friends or your venue. Remember, the cheapest is not always the best option.

 

2) Have some Pre-Ceremony music as guests arrive

It’s a good idea to have some background music playing as people arrive and start to mingle. Aim for around 20-30 minutes otherwise, without music it can seem like quite a long wait. If you’re doing it yourself think of easy listening music with a little bit of tempo. Not sure what to put on your playlist? A DJ can often provide this music for you (as well as the Ceremony and the Reception music), which could save you organising playlists and a sound system. This should be something you need to consider as you start to decide what your Wedding entertainment will consist of.

 

3) Consider a sound check

It’s good to check with the venue if they have any limitations with Wedding entertainment and entertainers…whether that is noise, power, space etc. Ask the venue manager what they feel usually works well at their venue or within the space you’re occupying. Also ask if there are any requirements for the entertainer you may have booked. If your entertainer hasn’t been to the venue before it’s a good idea to suggest they do a walk-through before the day.
 

 

4) Meet your musician/entertainer in person before the date

It’s not always easy to watch a Wedding entertainer before your big day as they’re usually performing at a Wedding! It’s highly unlikely the couple will want random people turning up at their big day to scope out the entertainment. Enquire if they are playing anywhere public which might be an easier option. Otherwise, arrange a pre-Wedding catch up to discuss the day in person (or via Skype if in person isn’t possible). That way you get to see them, discuss elements of the day like music, timing, special requests etc.

 

5) Make a note of the must-play songs

Give your DJ or band a list of your favourite songs when discussing your Wedding entertainment. This includes a list of ‘must-plays’, which may include your favourites as well as songs you know your guests will love, or your parents would really appreciate hearing. If it’s a band, talk to them first before you book as you’ll want to know if they can play the songs or if it’s the style of music they play. If it’s a DJ, be sure they are open to your suggestions. A good DJ should be open to your requests; it’s not a chance for them to play what they want. Some may specialise in a certain style of music so it’s a good thing to ask when doing part of your research. If there’s something they don’t have and struggle to get, they may ask you to supply it and if you have a version of it that’s great!

 

6) Keep an eye on the volume

You don’t want to make it hard for your guests to talk to each other. It’s a good idea to specify times you want softer music and times when you want it to be louder for the dancing and partying. Some entertainers can get carried away with the moment so if it gets too loud don’t be afraid to go over and mention it to them…for the greater enjoyment of the rest of the evening.
 

 

7) Don’t choose a really long first-dance song

A song that goes on can be a bit of a drain for both the guests and yourself. Do you really want to be swaying in front of everyone for longer than you have to?

Do a few run-throughs if planning to do some choreography to the track you’ve chosen and think of things like when you want the bridal party to join you and when you want to invite up the rest of the guests too. If it’s a really long track, work with your DJ who may be able to edit it to make it shorter.

 

8) Thinking about a ‘do-not-play’ list is a really good idea

You and your soon-to-be-spouse should sit down together to decide the list of songs you want your entertainer to perform or play on the day. It’s important you both have a say. Just like picking your ‘must-play’ songs, a ‘do-not-play’ list is also a good idea. Avoid having songs you really dislike for whatever reason played and ruining your day.

 

9) Get guests to RSVP any requests they may have

To really get an idea of what your guests may like when it comes to the music for your Wedding day then consider asking them to suggest one song when they RSVP.  It gives them the chance to hear one of their favourites and, if they have some input then they’ll be more keen to get on the dance floor when their song comes up.
 

 

10) Think of your guests, not just yourselves

You may have some quite eccentric or particular music tastes but remember you’ve invited a number of people to enjoy the day with you so accommodating their music tastes is vitally important to them sharing the day with you and enjoying it. You may love 90’s grunge but your guests may like a range of other genres to get them up dancing and celebrating your big day while your older guests may like to hear some 80’s and 90’s. Perhaps leave some of your more obscure favourites towards the end of the night or just select a couple of ‘must-plays’ that will keep you happy and give you a chance to rock out.

 

Find out more about what Ridler DJ Hire can do for your Wedding entertainment HERE

 

 

Top 20 Wedding First Dance Songs 2015

It’s that time of year again where we look through the requests of songs from Weddings in 2015 to find the top 20 Wedding First Dance Songs 2015. The First Dance is often a dreaded moment of the Wedding for some (especially those with two left feet!) but it’s also an exciting one for others as they share the first moment together in front of loved ones with a dance. The chance to put any moves they’ve been rehearsing into practice and then once it’s done, you can give a great big sigh of relief as the final formal moment of the night is completed and you can now get on with the party!

There’s a few new ones in the list this year and definitely a few that seem to feature on the list every year including Michael Bublé, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Jason Mraz, Lonestar and Jack Johnson. The list this year is also more heavily modern than usual with far more songs from the last couple of years featuring in the list for 2015. The hard part now is choosing which of this great list is a song you would choose to have as your First Dance song if currently planning your Wedding! Check out the top 20 Wedding First Dance Songs 2015 list below.
 

Top 20 Wedding First Dance Songs 2015


 

#1 – Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud


 

#2 – Meghan Trainor & John Legend – Like I’m Gonna Lose You


 

#3 – Michael Bublé – Everything


 

#4 – John Legend – All Of Me


 

#5 – The Lumineers – Ho Hey!


 

#6 – Etta James – At Last


 

#7 – Jason Mraz – I Won’t Give Up


 

#8 – Bruno Mars – Marry You


 

#9 – Christina Perri – A Thousand Years


 

#10 – Ellie Goulding – Your Song


 

#11 – Sam Smith – Lay Me Down


 

#12 – Lonestar – Amazed


 

#13 – Beyonce – XO


 

#14 – Ed Sheeran – Kiss Me


 

#15 – Jason Mraz – I’m Yours


 

#16 – Adele – Make You Feel My Love


 

#17 – Jack Johnson – Better Together


 

#18 – Boyce Avenue – We Found Love (Calvin Harris & Rihanna cover)


 

#19 – Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight


 

#20 – Leon Bridges – Coming Home


 

Photography by Craig Mitchelldyer

10 Ways To Keep Them Dancing

There’s a few things you can do when planning your event/Wedding to ensure everyone gets up and puts on their dancing shoes. Here’s 10 ways to help get them up and keep them dancing all night long!

 
1) Set The Mood Early
The cocktail hour is a good time to get the party going. Consider hiring specialty performers; a mariachi band will energise the crowd following the ceremony and get your guests in the mood to celebrate. Other ideas: a jazz trio, bluegrass group or even a barbershop quartet. The point is, just make sure your guests aren’t noshing in silence.

 
2) Make Sure There’s Enough Space On The Dance Floor
Small dance floors are too cramped and big ones make people too self-conscious. A good rule of thumb: There should be at least three square feet of dance floor space for every two guests. So, if you have 150 guests, you would need a 15′ x 15′ dance floor; 200 guests would be about an 18′ x 18′ area; 400 guests calls for about 25′ x 25′ of space. Ask your reception site about adding on extra flooring if the standard seems too small (you party animal, you).

 
3) Align Your Seating Chart
Seat friends and family who love to dance closest to the dance floor. They’ll be more likely to get up and start grooving early if there’s easy access. And once they’re out there, others will be sure to follow. As for your more elderly guests, do them a favour and keep them away from the speakers. They’ll appreciate it!

 
4) Skip The iPod Idea
You may have the most genius playlist in mind, but there’s a reason why DJs and bands are so common at weddings—they are there to read, interact and adjust to your crowd’s mood throughout the evening and to make sure everyone is dancing and having a good time (so you don’t have to). Besides, do you really want a friend or family member getting up to grab the microphone all night to announce your cake cutting and bouquet toss? Didn’t think so.

 
5) Don’t Limit The Genre
Even if you both truly love indie rock, there’s a good percentage of your guests who probably haven’t heard of Modest Mouse and won’t appreciate it like you will. A playlist made up entirely of ’80s dance music, rap or country is the same story. Don’t get us wrong: Including your favourite genre at your wedding is fine (in fact, you should!) but do so in moderation.

 
Musical Note: Your wedding is a celebration of your relationship—one that probably involves music—but it’s also a time to share with your extended family. Keep them in mind when developing your playlist. Throw grandparents a nod with Frank Sinatra and give your aunts and uncles a chance to dance to a little “We Are Family.” Seeing them enjoy the night will be well worth a little Sister Sledge.

 
6) Make Music Interactive
Let guests in on the fun by allowing them to request songs via the RSVP card. Or set up a poll on your wedding website and ask everyone to vote on your first dance song or the last song of the evening. You’ll have everyone looking forward to the voters’ choice song reveal.

 
7) Create A (Short) Do-Not-Play List
There’s no bigger dance floor turnoff than hearing your least favourite song. (Did someone say “Chicken Dance?”) Put together a short list of please-don’t-play songs for your DJ or band.

 
8) Keep The First Dance Brief
You may have fallen in love listening to “Free Bird,” but imagine how long nine minutes and eight seconds will feel alone on the dance floor. (And if it’s dragging for you, imagine how your guests will feel!) Pay careful attention to your favourite song’s length before committing to it for your first dance. Same goes for those mother-son and father-daughter dances.

 
9) Keep Things Exciting
Give guests a treat they won’t expect by introducing a never-seen-that-before act. Think hip-hop dancers, break dancers or flamenco dancers. Time it right so that they make their entrance just as the toasts are wrapping up to get all your guests back up and moving on the dance floor and out of their food coma.

 
10) Get Out There And Dance!
Set an example for everyone by getting your newly married butts out there as soon as the dance floor opens up for the evening. Your guests will notice and be more likely to join you when they see how much fun you’re having.

 
Source: The Knot Australia
Image Source: Photography by Craig Mitchelldyer
 

Most Requested Wedding First Dance Songs 2012

Picking the one song as your First Dance Song at your Wedding that you dance to as Husband and Wife for the first time can be quite a daunting task. The First Dance is one of the most anticipated moments at any Wedding.

Below is a list of songs that are currently the Top 10 Wedding First Dance Songs of 2012 so far this year. This may help you choose yours…

  1. Marry You – Bruno Mars
  2. Lego House – Ed Sheeran
  3. Lovesong – Adele
  4. Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars
  5. You Got the Love – Florence and the Machine
  6. Love on Top – Beyonce
  7. Everything – Michael Bublé
  8. Dance with Me Tonight – Ollie Murs
  9. I Won’t Let You Go – James Morrison
  10. Nothing’s Real But Love – Rebecca Ferguson