Entertainment for a wedding is quite different than entertainment for a casual party. There are so many moving parts at a wedding reception and the goal of the entertainer is to create a smooth and seamless event along with a fun and memorable atmosphere. As a result the role of an entertainer has definitely evolved in the last decade or two.
Over a decade ago a client would hire a DJ/Band for their wedding reception, a contract would go out, there might be one brief phone call to discuss music and some announcements and that would be the extent of it until the entertainer arrived to the event. In those days, entertainers were hired mostly to play at the reception and the party would be all of about four hours in length.
The trend these days are couples deciding to have their ceremony and reception at one venue. These particular sites are set up with one area for ceremony, another area for the cocktail hour and then the main area for the reception with sound provided in all three locations by the entertainer.
The DJ/band has a greater responsibility these days because they are now in charge of music/sound equipment for the whole day and creating that all important flow from beginning to end. These types of events are averaging about 7 hours of playing time.
Most professional’s who have been hired for the whole event will prepare and provide a timeline for the couple, discuss all the important sequence events and review a list of guests who will be participating too. They will also go over in detail the kind of music the couple would like played during the pre-ceremony, ceremony, cocktails, dinner and dancing.
Another important role for the entertainer is to be the timekeeper for all the sequence of events by warning vendors and important guests at least 5 minutes ahead of time so they are present when being announced for 1st dance, toasts, Father/Daughter and Mother/son, cake cutting etc.
As you can see there is a huge difference in tasks between a simple celebration and a wedding reception. The basic foundation for the entertainer(s) is to be a highly skilled at reading a crowd and knowing what your guests will react to. What makes a professional entertainer is understanding there is an art to running an event and knowing how to do so in every aspect of the day.
By Lisa Capitanelli Kasberg