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How to Choose Entertainment for Your Wedding Reception

Updated on February 25, 2010

Choosing entertainment for your wedding reception is an important task in wedding planning. Your entertainment will set the mood for your reception and encourage interaction among your guests. It will also help take some of the pressure of entertaining all your guests off of you and allow you to relax as well. Here are some tips for planning your wedding entertainment.

Consider your interests

Just like all aspects of your wedding, your reception should reflect your and your future spouse’s interests and personalities. If you love jazz, hire a jazz group to provide music for dancing at your wedding. If you are outdoor enthusiasts, hold your reception in a garden so that your guests can enjoy the flowers and landscaping. If you are movie aficionados, set up a reel of your favorite movie clips as background entertainment. Whatever your passion, incorporate it into your reception.

Consider your guests

Make sure that your reception entertainment is accessible to the guests that you are inviting. For instance, if you are having a mostly family affair and you know that no one in your family dances, provide a short dance lesson before your reception music begins to encourage people to participate. If you are providing entertainment that might necessitate a particular kind of footwear or clothing, make sure to let your guests know that in advance.

Consider your venue

Your venue may determine what kind of entertainment you provide for your guests. If you have an outside wedding, a beautiful location may be entertainment enough in itself. In that situation, having a jazz big band play would require more set-up and coordination than you may wish to deal with. On the other hand, acoustic music might be a great way to go in setting the atmosphere you want. Consider the capabilities of your reception venue, including electrical outlets, seating, visibility, and space.

Consider the reliability of your entertainers

When you book an individual, group, or act for your reception entertainment, make sure that they are reliable. Will they show up on time? Will they be prepared? Will they learn any specific songs you request or make any concessions that you ask that they make? The best way to be certain of these questions is to ask for references, or choose a group that you have witnessed at other events. Get a contract with the performers that clearly outlines when you expect them to show up, what their services will entail, and when they will be paid. With all the worries that can accompany weddings, you don’t want to have to worry about the reliability of your entertainment!  

Image Credit: Kyknoord, Flickr


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    Jennifer 7 years ago

    The best wedding entertainment doesn't always come in the form of a band. Bands have to take breaks and usually play a specific variety of music. Don't overlook the DJ! DJ's are very much in the business of entertaining. Make sure your DJ is comfortable using the microphone to engage you guests and encourage the celebratory atmosphere. You're wasting your money if your DJ doesn't like to party! Your wedding coordinator will have great tips, too, about song lists and party-starting entertainment!