Yorkshire Entertainment

Wedding Entertainment Agency UK.
Advice on Daytime and Evening Entertainment for Wedding Celebrations.

 

Live wedding entertainment can make the difference between a good celebration and a great one! For most people, arranging live entertainment is an irregular or once in a lifetime event. Here, we aim to pass on a wealth of knowledge that should prove useful to you - even if you don't end up arranging your entertainment through Yorkshire Wedding Entertainment Agency !!!

Please note, we supply top quality entertainment for discerning wedding clients across the whole of the UK……not just around Yorkshire.

  Wedding Entertainers Guide


Why Is Entertainment Important At A Wedding?

Try to remember the last wedding reception or evening party you attended. Was it six months ago? A year? Now try to remember what hors d'ouvres were served. Do you remember the 'favour' you received? Here’s an easy one. Did you have a good time? Did you dance all night? Was the party band or mobile DJ brilliant?

In general, most people remember the live wedding entertainment more than anything at a party. Live entertainment leaves the most indelible memory so it only stands to reason that the guests you invite to your function will have the same impression. Long after the memory of how the flowers looked has faded from their minds, long after they've forgotten about those invitations you sent out, they'll remember what a fabulous time they had, dancing and celebrating to a great party band with the Bride and Groom.

How Early Should You Book Your Entertainment?

As early as possible! This varies based on the time of year and day of the week but 12 -18 months prior to your wedding reception is definitely not too soon. The busiest times for weddings in the uk tends to be between the beginning of May and the end of September and all Bank Holiday weekends. Fridays & Sundays are increasingly popular & Christmas is hugely popular for company parties. Don't forget that the corporate & conference party market fills up the rest of the year. So book your entertainers early. If you find a band that you like, don't let them get away. Fabulous party bands & top DJs are hard to find and they book up seasons in advance. Nothing will disappoint you more than going through the whole process, setting your heart on something and then waiting a week to call and finding out they're now booked on your day for another party. If they aren't available on your reception date, at least you'll have plenty of time to find another band.

How To Find Your Wedding Entertainment.

Although, some entertainers do mix public club events with private events, many of the live party bands or function DJ's that regularly do weddings aren't found playing in clubs. Where do you begin? If you've been to a reception recently, ask the bride how she found her entertainers. To give you the best options for the hire of entertainment & for impartial advice call an agent at Yorkshire Wedding Entertainment Agency.

Why Use a Professional Entertainment Agent?

A professional wedding entertainment agency has all the experience you need. You will save time and money by using a good wedding entertainment agency, and still maintain complete control over your reception. Your party is much too important to worry about whether the party band are a reliable outfit, will be set up on time, know how to introduce the bride and groom correctly, be dressed appropriately, and be cooperative about the volume at the reception, etc. Yorkshire Entertainment Agency has worked with many live party bands & specialist professional entertainers of all types. We know who shows up and who doesn't. Our company knows who'll make your event memorable and who won't. We have access to a great variety of entertainers at various prices, and our agents will fit the entertainers to your needs. For you to go out in the midst of planning a wedding and find an appropriate band, chase down their contact, make a deal, and then hope they show up just doesn't make any sense when an agent at Yorkshire Entertainment Agency will do the work for you and usually at no additional cost. (The agent takes our commissions from the acts). Many party function bands hear the words "wedding reception" and their prices escalate substantially, whereas our agents know the pricing history of the party bands we work with. Live Bands are also generally more accommodating for an agent (from whom they get regular repeat business), than they are for someone using them on a one-time basis.

How do you really know if a live function band has the experience of playing at weddings?

When enlisting the help of an agent at Yorkshire Wedding Entertainment Agency, your options and choices are greatly expanded. We have already done the groundwork. We are able to provide you with a selection of live entertainers available on your date, proven party professionals that fit your needs and budget. Our agents will ask you many questions & listen and understand exactly what it is you desire. This helps our agents to suggest the most appropriate entertainers for you to consider.

When Should We Entertain Our Guests?

It is now common practice in the UK to entertain your guests throughout the reception and onto the evening party. Regardless of whether you are having a church or a civil ceremony, there are several alternatives open to you, which will make your celebration a memorable one for everyone that attends. As you will see from our main website pages, the occasion splits up into 2 main categories.

1. The ceremony, pre-dinner drinks, photographs & meal.
2. The evening celebration party.

First of all you need to establish what you are trying to achieve and what image you wish to portray. You may want the reception to go with a bang, or alternatively you may want something a little more refined or indeed a mixture of the two. Here are just a few ideas or the different times of the day.

Your Car Arrives At The Church / Reception Venue For The Ceremony.

As you get out of the wedding car you could be welcomed by an elegantly dressed Piper in traditional Scottish Regalia. Marching, with the moving sound of the pipes, he will lead you to the area where the ceremony will take place. If required he will also play during the ceremony, signing of the register, as well as piping the bride & groom out of the ceremonial area. This is perfect for either a church ceremony or civil ceremony. He can, of course continue his duties at the reception.

In The Church Or At The Civil Ceremony.

Alternatively, you could have a Harpist, String Quartet, Pianist, or Trumpeter, playing at the ceremony as you and your guests arrive, during the signing of the register and as your guests leave. These instruments lend an air of sophistication and elegance to the ceremony that cannot be achieved with traditional organ music. If you require a more informal ambience, a mobile Jazz Band is an excellent and very popular option for a civil ceremony.

Photographs & Pre-Dinner Drinks At The Reception.

We are regularly told that the photo session at the reception can be somewhat protracted & wedding entertainment at this point can help stimulate relaxed conversation between your guests.

The Meal.

Here family and friends will want to talk whilst enjoying their meal. Any entertainers you supply would need to be background entertainment rather than 'full on'. As well as live music another option would be a close-up table magician. He will visit your guests' tables one by one performing his magical art. Other speciality performers such as a Caricaturist will keep your guests occupied between courses. A caricaturist also gives your family and friends a special present to take home. Engaging the services of a Toastmaster is a very wise move. His job is to make sure that everything runs smoothly at the wedding reception. He will advise you on etiquette and will usually meet with you before the day to discuss your requirements. He will ensure that the reception caterers, entertainers, photographers and videographers etc. all know what to do and when. If you wish, he will announce the arrival of each guest, and introduce the speeches. Most have a great sense of humour and are often a good source of entertainment. Employing the services of a toastmaster allows the parents and the best man to relax and enjoy their day.

The Evening Party.

Most evening parties will last at least four hours, some as long as six. However long, it will be the longest part of the day, and the part that will have the greatest impression on your reception guests, but sadly, it often gets the least attention. This is strange, because not only is it the longest part of the day, but there are usually larger numbers of people present at the evening party.

A Band or a Disco?

When choosing entertainment for your evening party, there is always the age-old question, "Band or DJ?" If you can squeeze it in the budget, you may want to consider both. If budget is an issue for you, you may want to consider hiring a top quality DJ who can play a huge variety of songs and at a lower cost. Whatever you do, don't book a 'cheap' DJ !!

Advantages Of Hiring A Live Party Band.

A good live party band will have an amazing effect on the atmosphere and even the 'stuffiest' of guests will find it hard not to get up and dance. Hiring a party band is a great way to ensure a "lively" reception that will create lasting memories you will cherish for decades. For most of your guests the live music will encourage excited activity and they will spend the majority of their time at the reception on the dance floor. For others, who might have less of a desire to dance, live music provides an equally enjoyable concert or lounge-type atmosphere. The bottom line is that live wedding entertainment at a reception is both a participatory activity and a spectator sport all rolled into one. This is the unequalled 'entertainment value' of live music. It is clearly demonstrated by the millions of people who attend concerts, symphonies, outdoor festivals, jazz clubs and night clubs throughout the uk to hear live entertainers perform each year. There is an inherent power and energy in live wedding entertainment that captivates and appeals to the audience.

What Style Of Band Should I Book?

Generally, there is a wider range of ages and musical tastes at a wedding than at any other type of event. Versatility is a key ingredient to your party's success! Experienced, versatile bands play a selection of well-loved covers hits from a huge repertoire designed to appeal to all of your guests. They are open to song suggestions and, given enough notice, are happy to rehearse your personal favourites and special requests - especially your first dance. Other styles of band like Soul, Jazz, Rock n Roll, and a Tribute band are more specialist and by their very nature can only appeal to a smaller sector. A ceilidh band (pronounced kay-lee) is also popular. However, unless a large proportion of your reception guests are of a Celtic descent we would generally only recommend this type of band to do one long set and to follow this with a disco. Ceilidh bands are fabulous for audience involvement, but as the reception wears on (and the alcohol takes effect), the guests often find it difficult to remember the callers' instructions! This is part of the fun of course, but it can lose its impact the second time around.

If I Book A Band Do I Also Need A Disco?

Probably! It all depends on the timings of your reception (again, here at Yorkshire Wedding Entertainment our experienced wedding agents will ask you all the right questions and offer you some friendly impartial advice). The most important thing to remember is that live bands will usually play 2 sets - lasting between 45 minutes to an hour each. (Any more than this and the music will lose it's dynamic impact and special nature). Once the band stop for a break, the DJ will keep the party going until the band are ready to start their second set. If you don't do this, the drop in atmosphere will make it much harder for the band to get the audience back in the party mood. Depending on when the party band finish, the DJ can keep people dancing till the early hours if you wish, and for far less cost. (You are only paying for 1 person). All of our live function bands can however supply music during their breaks and again this may well be the best option - mainly depending on the timings of your day and the evening reception the atmosphere you wish to create.

Why Should You Book A Band & DJ From The Same Source?

Most DJ's supplied from alternative sources are not used to working alongside the party bands. They will often play some of the party band's material (even though they may say that they will not!) causing antagonism on the event. Our experienced professional DJ's will liaise with the party bands and they can share equipment when space is at a premium. They expertly announce the party band on and off stage and ensure a smooth and continuous flow of music at your reception, removing your worries and helping you to celebrate in style with your family and friends.

Advantages Of Booking A Disco.

If you go for the option of a solo DJ for your evening reception, remember that you are trusting the whole night to just one person - make sure you get the right one !! A mobile disco is the most practical and cost effective form of entertainment available to you. The DJ will perform for longer periods of time and play a wider range of music to suit the ages of your guests. If you have some favourite tracks or particular styles of music you would like played he will be able to accommodate you. DJ's are especially good for small to medium sized weddings. The professional DJ's from Yorkshire Entertainment all carry high quality sound and lighting (which has all the relevant safety certificates). They will play the music you and your guests want to hear and at a volume that is not offensive.

How Much Will The Entertainers Cost?

The costs vary quite considerably, partly due to the location and date of your ceremony & reception and of course to the popularity of the entertainers. Our Yorkshire based acts however are generally less expensive than acts from other areas of the UK, as generally, their overheads and cost of living is lower. Live music provides exceptional value and can be more affordable then you might think. If you complete our on-line questionnaire we can offer you a fully inclusive quote by return with absolutely no obligation on your part.

Where Do Our Acts Perform?

Our entertainers have performed at many functions at prestigious venues outside of Yorkshire including The Royal Albert Hall, The Savoy, Claridges, Waldorf & Grosvenor House Hotels in London, dozens of Town Halls including Manchester, Guildford and Cheltenham, The International Conference Centre in Birmingham, The Roman Pump Rooms in Bath, Scotland's St Andrews Golf Club, The Salle Royal in Marrakech and Le Meridien Hotel in Paris. They have entertained in every conceivable situation including weddings in uk Private Houses, Stately Homes, and Marquees.

Can I See An Act Before Signing A Contract?

Yes. There is usually an event where they are performing at where you can get to see them. However this sometimes proves difficult to arrange as an increasing number of people are based in a different part of the country from their event. The vast majority of our entertainers are aware of this and we have a selection of CD's to send to you. We would recommend caution when listening to most bands' CD's. As a wedding entertainment agency, we receive hundreds of recordings each year from bands wanting to get on our books. We cannot begin to count the number of bands we thought sounded amazing on the CD, only to go and see them 'live' and be hugely disappointed. Many party bands add 'talent boosting' effects and digitally enhanced techniques in the studio to their recordings and they are just not the same in a live situation. Our acts have genuinely not done this. What you hear IS what you get.

Is It Customary To Feed The Band?

In almost all cases, the band is away from home for a substantial period of time (including travelling, set-up, performing, & de-rigging) and it is therefore customary to feed the entertainers. If you are having a very elaborate meal, you do not need to serve the entertainers the same meal you are providing for your guests but a hot meal is usually required. An act performing for the evening party only will be delighted to join in the buffet, if this is easier for you.

Do I Tip The Entertainers?

While it is definitely not required that you tip the reception entertainers, as with any other service provided, if you are very pleased with the service you receive it would obviously be gratefully received!

Should I Pay For The Acts Parking?

At a venue that requires paid parking, it is entirely at the discretion of the party-giver whether to reimburse for parking. However, if you know that the reception venue has particular difficulty with parking arrangements this should be discussed beforehand to ensure the entertainers will have the access needed to unload equipment, to ensure they will be ready to perform on time. Similarly, if you are aware your function room is not on the ground floor, please inform us at the time of booking. (We do, of course 'double-check' all reception venues).

Can I Request A Special Code Of Dress For The Entertainers?

Generally speaking, the wedding entertainers have appropriate attire for the various types of affairs they normally perform at. It should be made clear upfront and stated in the contract what type of attire you would like at your reception or evening party. If your request is not out of the ordinary there will not be any added charge for attire. For example, it is reasonable to request musicians or groups to wear standard black tuxedos for a reception. However, if you request an unusual colour tuxedo or particular colour shirt or accessory to match your colour scheme, you should expect to be charged extra for this request.

Are There Any Special Considerations For Marquee Celebrations?

If possible, we recommend that the marquee company arrange an access flap or doorway, close to, or directly behind the stage area. This allows the wedding entertainers to quickly set up & pack down with the minimum disturbance to the guests.

Is It Essential To Provide A Stage?

Whilst it is not essential to supply a stage at the reception - it does allow the band to be seen when the dance floor is full. If you are able to supply a stage, it must be safe and soundly constructed. A minimum ceiling height above the stage of 6ft 6ins should be allowed. (Please take note of sloping marquee linings where necessary).

What Sort Of Power Supply Is Required?

It is essential that a safe, properly earthed and constant power supply is provided. Venues that regularly stage wedding entertainment should already have the correct supply, but please check with them. The exact requirements depend on the live entertainers you have booked but as a (very) general guide, for an average sized live party band & DJ - 2 separate 13 amp or 1x30 amp 240 volt mains supply is required. This should terminate on stage in 13 amp sockets. These supplies must be totally independent of each other (ie. not drawn from 1x13 amp source via a mains extension). This supply should be for the sole use of the band & DJ and should never be shared with anything else. Where the entertainers have to share the available power with the caterer, it is most advisable that a 3 phase supply is available, with each party having a separate dedicated phase. The alternative is for a high-powered generator to be provided, to accommodate for the heavy demand of heating ovens and other high usage requirements of a catering contractor, together with the band lighting and PA system. An incorrect or unsafe supply will jeopardise your event. (Please ask us or seek the advice of a professional electrician if you are unsure).

Changing Room For The Musicians.

Please provide a warm, clean, well-lit and lockable changing room with clothes rail for the party band, DJ & entertainers. At established venues, you may need to arrange for the use of a hotel bedroom if there isn't a specialist changing room available. Note: Professional artistes should not be asked to change within toilet or kitchen areas - suitable rooms must be made available.

How Big Is The Party Band Performance Area?

This again depends on the size & type of entertainers you have booked. For a live party band an area approximately 12ft deep (front to back) by 20ft wide (left to right) is needed. Additional floor space (approx 4ft square) on the front left and right hand corners should be allocated for band & DJ speaker systems (These usually are not placed on the stage). Please try to ensure guest's tables are not placed directly in front of the speakers.

DJ Requirements.

Additional floor space should be allocated for DJ's speakers and equipment (approximately 5ft either side of the stage for speakers and lighting effects and a minimum area of approximately 6ft square for the DJ and the rest of his equipment). When a DJ is working alongside a live band, it is preferable to place the DJ next to the stage, not on it. (This prevents CD's from `jumping'). For marquee events please provide a solid base and a sturdy table approx 6ft x 3ft with a cloth.

Waiting Area.

For various reasons you may prefer that the wedding entertainers do not circulate in the marquee or function room. It is therefore helpful if a quieter area (possibly the changing area) is utilised for refreshments, meals and resting between spots.

Directions.

We will contact the hotel / reception venue to arrange directions to be sent to us, if we don't already have them on file, but for a wedding reception that is not taking place in an established wedding reception venue, it is very helpful if you can provide written directions or a location map.

Emergency Contact.

We check all of our acts right up to the day of your wedding reception, so you don't have to worry about a thing. However for your peace of mind, if you feel it necessary to contact the artistes on the day of your wedding , we'll give you their mobile contact numbers.

I hope you have found this article helpful. Whilst it is very detailed, it is not a totally exhaustive list and consequently if your questions are not answered here I welcome your e-mails if you have a particular issue that you would like me to cover.

We're very proud of the good reputation we have established, and the many friends we have made over the years. I hope we have the opportunity to provide the music to make your dreams of a special day become a reality. If not, we wish you every success for a truly memorably celebration.

If we have not answered your query here, please feel free to contact us by e.mail (link at the top of the page) or telephone agents at Yorkshire Entertainment Agency and we will happily offer you free, friendly unbiased advice.

Yorkshire Entertainment Ltd
Head Office
25 Chanterlands Avenue
Hull
HU5 3SS
01482 441190 (5 lines)
LO-Call 0845 345 1945
(All calls charged at your local rate)
e.mail duncan@yorkshireentertainment.co.uk
www.yorkshireentertainment.co.uk

This site and all its content and design is copyright of Yorkshire Entertainment Ltd