Tips for choosing a great wedding entertainer

When it comes to planning a wedding, there is a lot to do! Fortunately, choosing an entertainer for your special day doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming.

In this article, we’ve listed tips to help you choose the best entertainer for your wedding.

1. Who is the audience?

One of the main criteria for choosing an entertainer is the audience. Who do you want the performer to entertain? For most forms of entertainment, it can be grouped into three categories:

1. Kids

Most activities at a wedding are tailored for adults. However, if a lot of your guests have kids, it can be a nice touch to book an entertainer for them. For example, a face painter or balloon modeller. In addition to the fun, you’re also guaranteed some very cute pictures.

2. Adults

An entertainer, hired specifically to entertain adults, is extremely memorable for guests. For example, you can book a comedian to perform after dinner for all of your guests.

3. Families (both)

Certain forms of entertainment appeal to children and adults alike. For example, singers or magicians will perform for everyone, regardless of their age. This is ideal if you’ve invited a lot of families.

2. What is the entertainment format?

Ask yourself what type of entertainment you want for your wedding? Is it something that guests can choose to take part in, like a photo booth? Or is it entertainment that will involve everyone?

For weddings, there are three main types of shows. Each will create a different atmosphere:

1. Stage shows

This is a formal show done, on stage, for all your guests to see (for example, a wedding band). These can last anywhere from 30 min to several hours. It all depends on what you want. This is an ideal form of after-dinner entertainment.

2. Walk Around

The entertainer will walk among your guests, entertaining small groups at a time. For example, close-up magicians. This is an ideal format for the reception.

3. An Entertainer Booth or Stand

For this format of entertainment, the entertainer holds a booth or a stand that people come up to. For example, caricaturists often hold a static stand. It’s a more casual form of entertainment. Your guests can choose to take part in it or not.

3. When do you want the entertainer to perform?

During the wedding, when do you want the entertainer to perform? The three most common times are:

1. Reception

The entertainer can perform for your guests during the reception and as they arrive to the venue.

2. Dinner

You can also hire an entertainer to perform during dinner. For example, you can have a band play in the background, or you can have a magician perform at the tables between dishes.

3. After Dinner

The third option is to have the entertainer perform after dinner. Of course, musicians and DJs are often booked to animate the dance floor. But this format doesn’t apply just to music. You can also book a comedian or magician to do a show.

4. What’s the tone of the entertainment?

A jazz band and a rock band will completely change the atmosphere on the dance floor. The same applies to all forms of entertainment. Each entertainer will provide a unique atmosphere for the party. Keep in mind the party atmosphere you want and choose an entertainer accordingly.

5. Does the venue fit the entertainer?

Your wedding venue will impact a lot of your choices. While most forms of entertainment are flexible, it’s important to consider the space you have.

1. Performance Space

Depending on the entertainer and the format of the show, they will need different amounts of space. Some performers might require a stage while others just need a table. Get in contact with the performer or the booking platform as this is specific to each entertainer.

2. Set-Up Time

Before booking an entertainer, consider how their set-up time will fit in with the flow of the evening. Does the entertainer need set-up time? Do they need a dedicated space to set up? If they arrive during the evening, will they be able to set up their act without getting in the way of your guests? If the entertainer arrives earlier, can the venue give them the required set up time? Every venue is different. Don’t be afraid to ask how early the entertainer can arrive.

3. Acoustics

This mostly applies to DJs & musicians. When it comes to acoustics, most modern rooms are fine, but it’s worth checking that the amplifying equipment the entertainer uses is suitable for the room.

In addition, does the venue have any noise restriction limits (such as a sound limiter)? This might influence the band or musician you choose. If you aren’t sure, this is something you should ask the entertainer (and the venue) directly.

4. Electricity Requirements

If the entertainer is bringing equipment that requires electricity; make sure the venue can accommodate the set-up. In most cases, you won’t have any problems but a non-standard set-up can be a fire hazard. Note: if the entertainer only needs an amplifier to speak, they can usually work from battery packs.

5. Specific venue requirements

Some venues have very strict rules about fire, animals and so on. If you’re hiring a variety entertainer, make sure it doesn’t clash with the venue’s policies. (Although, a fire eater that is forced to mime his or her act because of the restrictions might be entertaining…)

6. Quality of entertainment

When hiring an entertainer, you want to make sure he or she is excellent at what they do. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done.

At first, making an informed decision online can seem tricky. However, here are a few tips to help you decide:

1. Try to see them in action

The best-case scenario is to see them perform live before your wedding. That way, you’ll know exactly what they can deliver. However, this isn’t always possible.

The second best option is to look at videos and pictures of them online. Most entertainment websites will have some form of digital gallery that you can look at. If you’re hiring an entertainer through PartyWizz, you’ll find pictures and videos on the profiles of each of the individual entertainers.

2. Check for Third-Party Reviews

Before booking an entertainer, it’s a good idea to check for third-party reviews. If you’re hiring an entertainer through a platform like PartyWizz, you will find reviews on the profiles of each of the individual entertainers.

If PartyWizz isn’t available in your area, check for reviews on social media, Google and review platforms. Unfortunately, always keep in mind that public reviews can be faked. It’s always worth reading the comments and making sure the reviews are authentic.

7. What’s included in the entertainer’s fee?

Before making your reservation, take the time to understand what’s included in the entertainer’s fee. Entertainers, generally offer different show packages that contain different features. Take the time to understand which one suits you best. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • How long will the entertainer be there?
  • What is the show format?
  • How long will the show last?
  • Are travelling costs included?
  • Do they have any special requests? For example, if musicians are hired to play outside, they often require a tent in case of showers.
  • Do you have any special requests for the entertainer?
  • Are there any additional charges?

When making a booking on the PartyWizz website the total price is automatically calculated based on factors such as location and duration so there will be no nasty surprises.

8. Are they available?

It sounds obvious, but don’t let this one slide. Once you’ve made up your mind on an entertainer, make your reservation as soon as possible. Entertainer calendars fill up fast. Especially, if you’re getting married during a busy time of year.

9. Have a contract or agreement

Professional entertainers should provide you with a written contract or agreement. It will outline everything you’ve agreed on. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or overly formal but make sure everything is written down.

At PartyWizz, we provide a general agreement between the booker and the performer. When confirming the booking, both parties agree to these terms and conditions.

10. Get in contact before the show

We always recommend getting in touch with the entertainer a few days before the wedding. In fact, they might be the one to call you.

At that time, you’re probably going to be extremely busy but the call doesn’t need to take long! A casual chat with the entertainer over the phone, making sure you both (still) agree on the details will give a lot of peace of mind on the day.

11. Have a back-up plan

Unfortunately, we’re at the mercy of unforeseeable events. Although you most likely won’t need your backup plan, it’s always better to have one. In particular, if the entertainer is central to the party.

For example, check with the venue if they have a spare amp and be ready to plug in your playlist if the DJ’s car breaks down. Keep it simple and keep the fun going.

When making the reservation, it’s also worth checking with the entertainer if he or she provides a back-up plan. If they can’t make the event, do they offer a full refund? Make sure this is also stated in the contract.

About PartyWizz

At PartyWizz, we help party organisers easily sort key aspects of their party. We have an entire section of the website dedicated specifically to weddings and we pride ourselves in working only with the best entertainers that category. These include wedding magicians, wedding singers, DJs and more… If you’re interested in hiring a wedding entertainer, take a look at our website.