Entertainment is very often overlooked at Weddings. So much time and care is taken over the finer details (as it rightly should be) but people often forget that whilst your guests are sitting at their tables, all the while enjoying the scatter crystals and tealights that adorn your picture perfect tables and drinking their glass of Prosecco, a little something to keep them smiling will only add to them having the best day with you and your new other/better half!
I know what some of you are thinking: “Our wedding day is to celebrate our love for each other and not to pay for our guests to be entertained” (I’d be curious to know how many of you thinking that will be putting £1,000 behind the bar for your guests to drink themselves happy?!) Entertainment does not have to be in your face or super expensive (although it can certainly go there if you feel particularly particular about putting on a fabulous array of ‘things to do’)!
Alternative entertainment might be something you have to consider if you are having an early wedding and an evening reception. Rather fill your time with some activities instead of extending a drinks reception. One and a half hours is ample time to relax, talk with your guests, have a Pimms or seven and enjoy being the centre of attention for your photographs.
One of my personal entertainment favourites is close-up magic. It’s incredible how a good close-up magician can create laughter, mystery, intrigue and lasting memories among your guests. If you’re feeling wealthy, head to the magic circle for your magician to the stars, David Redfearn – one of my highest recommendations, having performed for Prince Harry, Liam Gallagher and Michael Jackson! http://www.davidredfearn.com/ If you want something a little more modest, Magic Paul Dickinson never fails to amaze me and what he can do with a pair of lemons is quite unbelievable! I’ll say no more…..
2013 saw in the reign of the Photobooth – fun, dynamic and with a complimentary guest book for all of the photos from your guests, it’s an expensive but worth while replacement for disposable cameras. They also come with props and provide unlimited photos for 3-4 hours – perfect for an evening reception when your guests are reacting badly to all the vino! Now in 2014, Photobooth’s are still the No.1 choice for wedding couples looking to invest in something a little extra and if you’ve got the right crowd, prepare for a bloody AMAZING sequence of photos as the night goes on! What will 2015 hold for the Photobooth and will there be anything to top it? That remains to be seen…
Live singers – now, when I say live singer, I don’t necessarily mean an established industry professional who will charge £500 to sing or play the guitar for 1 hour. Of course, there will always be recommendations that are passed on between couples and if you find ‘the one’ that you cannot live without then I say splurge! There are so many different performers out there though, don’t be afraid to enquire with newly established performers. I met the most incredible singer at a Wedding Fair in Surrey who was performing with her partner who played the keyboard and they were very reasonably priced having only begun their business a few months prior! Another alternative (if you’re feeling brave and super ahead of the trend)…you know those buskers you see on the street or in the tube station and they just blow your mind? The ‘acousticy’, ‘trendy’, ‘would-never-fit-in-on-the X Factor’ type? Book’em! Walk straight up to them, take their details, buy a CD and ask them if they want to play at your wedding. A fraction of the cost of an established professional, having a solo artist playing from their soul with nothing but a guitar and their voice (or a saxophone/violin/triangle or whatever takes your breath away) adds something very real and relaxed to your day that is much harder to achieve than someone who has a refined ‘act’. I got this idea from one of my couples weddings who had the most incredible acoustic guitarist at their wedding and so I too chose to go down this route for my reception. We found the amazing Rachel Phox in Kingston who had an ethereal, punk, singer/songwriter vibe and was just perfect during our welcome drinks!
I’m all for pushing the boundaries and I’m still kind of wondering how I’ve never done a wedding with a dance performance OR a dance lesson! If you have a larger than life wedding guest list, why not have various forms of entertainment for your guests to enjoy in different areas of your venue? Have a salsa class going on in on section while your evening buffet is being served by the bar and your chocolate fountain is bubbling away by the seating area. Create an atmosphere of things to do that encompass everything that is special to you! Do you have Turkish, Moroccan or Egyptian heritage? Two words….surprise bellydance! This will not only get your ushers hot under the collar but the women will love getting up and joining in with the professional to learn how to walk like an Egyptian!
‘Let them Eat Cake!’ Having a more relaxed and informal summer affair? How about having a ‘bake sale’ style event that can also save money on that super pricey wedding cake? Ask your female guests to make a cake, cupcakes or fondant fancies that can be displayed and have a prize for the best item! This fits in perfectly for an afternoon tea themed wedding or something more rustic and traditional – it also saves money on the evening buffet and who wouldn’t want to eat fondant fancies all evening? If the answer is you, we can never be friends…
Remember when you were a kid and you would be walking around those boring fêtes not knowing why you were there and all of a sudden you would spot something wonderful. The face painter!!! My alter-ego of choice was always a tiger and to this day, I see nothing wrong with indulging a little ‘face art’. 25 years old or not, I’m squeezing my ass into that tiny chair designed for a 4 year old and becoming an animal! Why not have this available in the evening for all of your guests to enjoy and be silly with, or at the very least the kids! It is perfect for photos and even better if you have one of the aforementioned Photobooths! Allow your guests for one night to remember that feeling of a cold sticky sponge, questionable body paint and a 50 year old paint brush against their skin. Regret will only follow when the photos go live on Facebook!
What ever happened to the 6ft chocolate fountains? I haven’t seen one since 2010?! Am I completely crazy or are they totally not worth £500? 10kg of liquid Belgian chocolate, unlimited trips, 12 items to dip at your heart’s content and someone to assist with the eating and dipping of chocolate!? Hello!!!??? Although perhaps edging close to the border of a non-form of entertainment, this would happily keep me amused for at least 2 hours and is a treat both visually and biologically for your guests (and by that I mean the women)…
Let’s recreate Vegas Baby! Casino tables are hands down one of the best ways to keep large groups of lads happy. There’s no risk of your new husband selling your wedding ring to pay his way out of your evening entertainment – fear not! All fun money and all professionally trained croupiers, get in a fabulous hand-carved, oak Roulette table to thrill your guests with the promise of champagne on the other side! At the end of the day, you can’t force your men to dance if you know they are rhythmically defunct. Let them be happy and hey, you might even be able to part-take in some of those bubbles if he wins!
I hope in reading this you have found some clarity into the effects of what a good form of entertainment can mean for your wedding and also found a little extra space in that wedding budget to create a night to remember!
Love Han x