Wedding Entertainment – Creating Atmosphere
When a client is looking for wedding entertainment it’s because they’re looking for someone to create the right sort of atmosphere for their guests. Usually they’ll try to contact an agency or individual who specialises in wedding production. Why are clients doing this and is it really worth it? How do you find the right wedding entertainment team? What creates the perfect wedding atmosphere? I felt it was important for couples to get a feel for what goes into their wedding entertainment and production. By understanding just what’s involved it will hopefully help you decide who and what to hire for your wedding day.
It is quite a good idea if you have a wedding band or DJ to raise them on some kind of staging. There are many reasons for this but first and foremost it will help create the party atmosphere. By having the band slightly higher than the guests you’ll get that true performance effect and this will also help map out your dance floor boundaries. Staging is not too expensive but brings a really great dimension for your wedding band.
The staging is usually the first thing that goes in when it comes to music production. Before any lighting or equipment goes up the staging must be laid down. I work with several stage production teams and they’re always the first in and last out. They will design it, build it and pack it down after the wedding, which usually sees them leaving the venue after 2am. Thanks guys.
The lights you use at your wedding can really add to the atmosphere and in my opinion are essential for wedding entertainment. I know from performing at many weddings that having a few up lights and moving heads can make a big difference. So what are the differences and what should you be using at your wedding? Well at a very basic level you should be looking at some up lights. These are small LED lights that can be dotted around the edges of the room or behind the band sending light upwards. They can change colour, or be set to match your colour scheme for the wedding. They are relatively cheap and can have a massive effect on your wedding atmosphere.
You then have moving heads which essentially sit higher up and spin. These spinning lights move at different speeds and directions and can point to the partying guests or at the ceiling. They’re a lot of fun but are more expensive than the LED up lights. The set up and derig for lighting is a relatively quick job and you can throw as much production into it as you want. You can let the lighting team programme your lights for the whole night or have a dedicated person controlling them and syncing them to the music.
The PA system
Another very important piece to the wedding entertainment puzzle is the PA system. Trust me when I say it’s not worth skimping on a cheap PA system when it comes to weddings. Although the shape of the venue and size of the room will effect the sound, a poor PA system can have a hugely detrimental effect on your wedding atmosphere. You’re looking for a system that brings clear sounds – vocals, instruments etc and has a wide range of frequencies from low bass to high pitch. A good mixing desk, wide range of mics for vocals, kits, acoustic etc will make a big difference for your engineer. And that brings me to the wedding sound engineer. If I’m on stage performing and suddenly there’s a load of feedback or the music cuts out – it’s down to the engineer. Our job as musicians is to perform and their job is to make sure the music sounds great. The combination of the two is how we create a great atmosphere at your wedding. So hiring a good sound engineer or team of sound engineers is as important as the wedding band itself. Over the years I’ve manage to find a few dependable PA system and engineer teams that consistently do a great job. Thankfully!
The wedding entertainment would not be complete without the musicians. If you’re looking for a small musical set up or a big production for your wedding having good musicians is hugely important. If you can have versatile musicians that bring smaller and larger set ups for the day you’ll get a really great atmosphere going.
You’re looking for musicians who play regularly at weddings. There is a difference between touring session musicians for recording artists, studio musicians, pub musicians and wedding musicians. The difference really lies in type of repertoire these musicians play and the way they interact with their audience. For me wedding guests are not really audience (like at a gig) but more of an interacting part of the wedding show. So it’s all about making wedding guests feel like they’re part of the band, like they know us and not for us to bring an artistic inflated ego to the stage. The ego based musicians invariably get very bored of wedding entertainment and disappear very quickly. This is why you’ll see a handful of good wedding bands always talked about and the rest just fading into the background.
It’s your wedding
And so you have it – the basics of what goes into your wedding entertainment from a musical perspective. It can take years of performing and networking before us as musicians find the right team of people to bring a client’s wedding to life. Thankfully those years are behind me and at every wedding I can trust the people around me will do a great job. If you’re looking for a musician, band or DJ for your wedding day feel free to get in touch.