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The Ultimate Dream Wedding Entertainment Schedule
I was absolutely elated this week to hear on the news that apparently the recession is ‘officially declared over’. Fantastic! Of course I’m sure it’s not all going to be rosy straight away, however I thought I’d take inspiration from this and write about the absolute, ultimate entertainment for a wedding. It is after all the biggest day of your life, and although I know a lot of you are still feeling like perhaps you should be holding back the pennies, I thought maybe we could all do with a bit of positive thinking. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of all this recession-inspired ‘cutting the costs’ here, and ‘holding back’ there. When it’s the biggest, most important day of your life, I hate to think of anyone having to compromise. So, I think it’s time for a bit of ‘what if I were a millionaire’ thought (it’s my favourite game to play!). A bit of positive thinking is never a bad thing, and even if you don’t have a huge dream budget perhaps I can inspire you with a few ideas.
Here’s a run-down of what I feel would be an AMAZING entertainment schedule for a super duper, no holds barred, dream wedding.
While Your Guests Are Arriving
I think there’s nothing better than starting as you mean to go on. It’s important to set a nice ambience for the rest of the day, but obviously you don’t want to waste anything with too big an impact for your guests' arrival. I think my ultimate entertainment option here would be a harpist. Live harp is a beautiful option, especially for earlier on in the day.
During the Ceremony
To be honest, I could write a whole article about music and entertainment within the ceremony (and I probably will at a later date) but I won’t go on too much here. But I will say that the best ceremonies I have ever been to or worked at have been the ones that are personal to the bride and groom. You can choose to have as much or as little music in the ceremony as you like, but I think in my ultimate entertainment schedule for the ceremony I’d include something as the guests arrive and are waiting, the all important ‘bridal entrance’ music, perhaps one or two musical interludes, something to cover the signing of the register and of course unforgettable exit music.
I’d hire a string quartet to play as the guests enter the ceremony room, and while they wait for the bride’s arrival. You can find some absolutely fantastic string quartets these days – some of which can play a good mix of the standard classical pieces and also perhaps more interestingly perform their own take on modern pop tunes, which is very popular at the moment. Imagine having your string quartet playing a beautiful rendition of ‘Purple Haze’ by Jimi Hendrix!
For a musical interlude, perhaps in the place of a reading, I love the idea of having a barbershop quartet perform you a song. There are quartets out there who will write, arrange and perform a song written especially for you, featuring funny dittys about you and your other-half, or perhaps selected members of the bridal party, your parents etc. I’ve seen this once before and it was fantastic! They are quite comical, which is a lovely touch to lighten up the ceremony and make it really personal to you – however if you’d rather keep the giggles for the Wedding Breakfast, this could also work well there.
My idea of the perfect entertainment to cover the signing of the register and the exit music would be a gospel choir. There’s nothing more beautiful than the sounds a gospel choir can produce, and nothing more uplifting to do your first walk as ‘Mr & Mrs’ to.
Post Ceremony Drinks
I’d make use of the string quartet again here – perhaps keeping the classical pieces for the ceremony, and bringing out their more querky modern numbers here. If you’re having a summer wedding, a string quartet out on the lawn is just divine, while your guests mill about chatting and drinking champagne – I can’t think of anything more perfect!
The Wedding Breakfast
A jazz or swing band are always fabulous to have over dinner – they set the mood fantastically well, especially to warm your guests up into ‘dancing mode’ for later.
I’d also choose some kind of surprise entertainment for the wedding breakfast, like singing waiters (see my last article). This is an absolute must if you fancy something completely different for your wedding breakfast, and something that will keep your guests raving about it for months or even years afterwards!
The Room Turnaround
A lot of weddings are all based in one room for their wedding breakfast and reception, so there will be a period of time where the venue staff will need to turn the room around and the other entertainment set up. This is quite often a bit of a ‘dead’ time at weddings – the guests get shifted out into another room, they chat and drink, or perhaps go to their room and freshen up...but to me I always think this is a wasted entertainment opportunity. What about hiring a saxophonist to roam around your guests? This can set the mood wonderfully and also looks fabulous!
Again, a big subject that I could write about all day! In most circumstances of course you would book one band that can cover your whole evening, but since I’m being extravagant with this, my ideal line-up for the evening reception would be:
A swing band to start off the evening with an hour set to get everyone up dancing!
An ultimate function band, perhaps as large as a 12-piece, featuring a live brass section and multiple vocalists. A band like this will perform two or three sets, which will keep your guests dancing into the early hours.
A professional DJ to play between and after the band sets is a great finishing touch, makes the transitions between the bands smoother and means you have someone to make announcements and hold everything together throughout the evening.
So there we have it! My ultimate entertainment schedule! I hope this has given you a few ideas, or maybe inspired you to budget that little bit more to make your day extra special!
Love & Hugs,
Article by Wedding Entertainment Specialist Sera Golding
Images Courtesy of –
Harpist – Award Winning Harpist Luisa-Maria Cordell
Saxophonist - Lynn Neal
Band - Tony Wooliscroft
Read more Wedding Entertainment Advice articles
Read other Wedding Advice articles