Ask the experts: wedding entertainment
What makes your wedding party go with a swing - a live band or a DJ?
Ashley Goodchild, of GC Events, tells us everything you need to know to find the right music maker for your day.
No party is complete without music and if you really want your wedding to end on a high note then you should enlist the help of a professional.
Whether you opt for a DJ or a live entertainer, if you want to send your guests home with happy feet it’s important to choose someone who reflects your style – and that of your guests.
Think about the kind of music that best reflects you as a couple and what kind of atmosphere you want to create?
Are you into groovy disco beats or a subdued swing quartet? Rock and roll, or kick-off-your-shoes party anthems?
In the price war, DJs generally cost less. They will read the crowd for you and build the mood – they usually aim for a big peak and aim to keep the dance floor full.
Wedding DJ
They will act as MC for you and make those all-important announcements. Setting the mood is important, you don’t want excessively loud music when your guests are arriving for example. A DJ should be able to set the scene with an elegant choice of swing, jazz, acoustic or Ibiza-style chill out music during these moments.
With a DJ, brides and grooms can request songs they want to hear – and those they definitely don’t want to hear – beforehand, so there is no danger of coming back from the bar to find your guests doing the Timewarp. Unless you want them to!
Of course live entertainment, usually works out as a more expensive option – but it certainly adds a touch of class and sophistication to any big day.
Make sure you consider the size of your venue – of course at Shottle Hall there is enough room to accommodate a six piece swing band if you wanted one, but not every venue is the same.
Remember that a band or a singer won’t be able to offer the same range of music as a DJ and will pretty much stick to a set list, but they do offer entertainment for those guests who prefer to sit and watch – rather than get up on the dance floor themselves.
One of the latest trends is Sax Over DJ which we are finding is becoming more and more popular and gives couples the best of both worlds – live music and a DJ.
play that sax
Essentially, this is where a saxophonist plays along to the tracks – ranging from 90s old school dance music, Ibiza club classics or current day high energy music. It creates a fantastic sound and atmosphere and is something new and very much en trend.
Of course, for those couples for whom money is no object, a live entertainer AND a DJ is the ideal standard. Live acts usually only perform two 45 minute sets, so a DJ can keep the atmosphere alive during their breaks.
When it comes to choosing your live entertainment, it pays to ask your friends and family for recommendations. Look at reviews of those acts you are considering on social media and ask for an initial meeting – there should never be a charge for this – so you can check you will get along.
Make sure anyone you hire has public liability insurance and ask to see footage of anyone you are considering in action. Although you must never consider gate-crashing someone else’s wedding to take a look!
Finally, we urge all our couples to carefully consider the style of music they are opting for. Both the bride and groom might love thrash metal – but is Granny going to be able to cope with a Monsters of Rock recreation at your big day?
Try and find a middle way, so that whoever you hire is able to offer everyone in the room some toe tapping action.
GC Events are one of our recommended wedding suppliers.

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