The reality is choosing an entertainment provider for your wedding is going to be a huge decision. Think about the last function you went to, do you remember what you ate, the table decorations, or the drinks consumed? Do you remember the cake at the last wedding reception or if they had canape’s before dinner? What you may remember most about the night is the entertainment, because it can make or break your reception or event. The role of the entertainment is to set the mood from the beginning of the night right throughout your reception. You should have a say in all aspects of the night, right from the pre-dinner music to the dancing songs your guests will enjoy.

What should you look for when choosing an entertainer? First thing is to interview the individual or business you’re looking to hire to see if they provide the service you’re looking for. Ask them questions that are important to you. Some examples to ask might be, can we choose specific music for the background music? Can our guests make requests? Can we select songs we don’t want played? How will the DJ dress? Can I meet with my DJ/entertainer before the night? How much experience has the person had? How big is your setup? Do they have a backup DJ available for emergencies?

You probably looked at many photo albums or web galleries before choosing a photographer, I suggest taking care to choose the person who will best represent your style on the night. Do they have the personality and style to suit your event? Are you looking for a more interactive DJ who encourages guest participation or a laid back style that includes minimal microphone use?

If you are also looking to hire an MC you will have different questions for them. Can they create the atmosphere you’re after? Can they suggest ways to enhance your reception? Are they experienced in the formalities and timing of a reception? How will they introduce you into the room? At how many events have they been MC? Different DJs & MCs have unique styles, you want to meet with the person who will MC your event to ensure they are a great match for you. They should be able to suggest how the night will run and how they will ensure it runs smooth and you can relax throughout the reception.

Are you considering a band for your reception? Will they be taking regular breaks? What music will they play during these breaks? Can they make announcements when needed? Can guests make requests? Do I need to provide a meal for each band member? Will their setup work with the chosen location? What styles of music can you cater for? You will have thought of more, but don’t be afraid to ask questions, they should have an answer for you.

I would look for wedding entertainment providers who can provide testimonials from past clients who were satisfied with the service. Speak to friends to see who they used or if they have heard anything great about someone. Do they have video of a past performance? Have they got photos from current events?

Things to consider. Good entertainment is not cheap and cheap entertainment is not good. Are you spending $15000 on your wedding but only wanting to spend $500 on entertainment which can make or break your reception? Will you choose an entertainer based on price or level of experience? I recommend meeting or calling the entertainers you’re considering, to see what they will do to ensure your reception is everything your wanting. Don’t be afraid to ask questions as you should know exactly what you are getting.

Jono Toohey, Owner, DJ and Master of Ceremonies, Albury DJ Entertainment.