Choosing wedding entertainment is a tricky business, especially for the inexperienced party planner. Entertainment can bring your night to life, making it a memorable event for you and your guests, while a lack of entertainment or a style of entertainment that isn't fitting with the event can leave you and your guests feeling flat and even awkward - that moment when the dance floor suddenly empties? Yeah we've all seen that happen! We spoke with live wedding entertainment extraordinaire Evan Powis, of Evan Powis Entertainment, to find out a little more about live wedding entertainment, what you need to know, how it works, what's available and why it's such a hit!
P.S This guy really knows his stuff - providing live entertainment (a saxophonist!) on his advice at our 60th Diamond Edition launch party was one of the best things we did!
Why choose live entertainment?
Entertainment creates the mood, it awakens emotion in people - it's an extremely powerful tool in any event, more so at a wedding which will already be an emotionally charged event to start with. Events can be planned down to every last detail, but you'll never know how your guests will be feeling on the day. Live entertainment ensures that there is someone on the ground reading the crowd, feeling their energy and interacting with them to create a fantastic experience - the human element is so crucial to the dynamic nature of your event. We can see when people are touched by the atmosphere or when people clear the dance floor - it's our role to keep our finger on the pulse. You would never have a celebrant perform the ceremony over Skype so why would you leave such a critical part of your special day up to an iPod or juke box?
"¨What should brides and grooms consider when organising live music entertainment and entertainment in general?"¨
Your two big influences are your surroundings and your guests. Your surroundings will often dictate the size of the entertainment and the kind of supporting electrical equipment needed to ensure that the entertainment is making the most out of the acoustics. Your surroundings also include your theming - if you're going to have a religious reception for example, your entertainment choice should complement that theme. Just as a beach wedding would also be best for mobile entertainers and a small space best for a compact group.
Your guests will also have a vibe and a personality of their own and you want to give them a party to remember. You know your guests and are in the best position to know how they'll react to entertainment - a younger guest list might best be suited to a rock band whereas an older crowd may mean you look into novelty bands, swing bands or even themed bands (ie Gatsby).
"¨What live entertainment options are available? From your experience what is the most popular/successful at a wedding?
To have successful live entertainment at a wedding, you need artists with personality and talent. During the ceremony, strings are always a favourite - especially in churches and religious buildings - and we have also had instances where we've shipped in a grand piano for some background vocals and piano.
For the reception, a band is always a big seller and a definite way to get the guests on their feet and keep them there. Another, more affordable option is something that we specialise in - we offer a DJ as a basic option, but the unique part is that you can add additional live elements... Have a saxophonist wander the dance floor playing to the tunes, or a percussionist with their range of drums and shakers (guests love to get involved) or even include a singer which can ramp up the love songs or the dance floor encouragement.
The imagination is the limit when it comes to entertainment and we've seen it in full form at some recent weddings where we've had anything from bugles to trumpets, harpsichords and bagpipes - anything is possible."¨ "¨
Are there any necessary preparations if a couple chooses live entertainment?
"¨The best preparation is to know how much involvement you want to have and a list of key songs you want played throughout the day. Some couples want to be involved every step of the way with the wedding entertainment already planned to a T and others are quite happy to leave all entertainment preparations to us with no clear requirements - both are completely fine arrangements. For most couples we provide a guidance list of the places during the day where music is recommended and required - from guest arrival to ceremony to bridal couple departure. We look at where we fit in and where they can handle the music or entertainment themselves.
"¨What kind of services does Evan Powis Entertainment offer?
"¨Our services run from solo artists to string quartets and from DJs to big bands. It's not limited to music either - magicians, MCs, comedians and even the 'left of field' entertainment like an aerial dancer and a ukulele band are all part of our services.
All our artists are transferrable too so we love to mix and match - adding live percussion to a DJ as we mentioned before or perhaps adding horns or wind section to a rock band give a unique entertainment experience.
Essentially, we are all about translating needs into reality. When it comes to your wedding day, more often than not the couple will already have a vibe in mind before they come to us. We listen to the atmosphere they are trying to create and then we brainstorm and translate that into artists, energy and song choice. We are all musicians and entertainers with thousands of weddings, functions and private parties under our belt so you know that the advice we're providing comes from years of experience.
Head to www.evanpowis.com for more on live performance and event solutions!
Wishing you a very entertaining wedding! MW x