Entertainment for your wedding day is up there on the must-haves now-a-days. Although the POINT to your wedding is to have your loved ones there to witness your commitment to one another, there's this added pressure to keep them smiling and entertained the couple of hours you get to share with them. Below I'll go over my experience with musical entertainment, photobooth, and games!
Before you do anything, you should place a number next to each of your budget items from important to not-as-important. Once you have that listed out, you can then allocate money to your budget and where you'd like to spend a little more money than other items.
BAND vs. DJ vs. iPHONE
Uncle Bob wants a band to play his oldies, while your bridesmaids all want the DJ to play your tunes to dance to, while your pocket is saying to just rent some speakers to hook up your iPhone. Now that you have a budget in mind for your music, go out and compare a range of each of the options and see which fits within your budget. If they all fit, great! You're now able to choose the vibe you want.
- BAND: Bands provide more than just music, they are complete entertainment. If you have quite a bit of non-dancing guests, this might be a viable option for you. Your guests can either dance their tooshies off or enjoy the band playing live in front of them. However, you also have to consider a band will take up much more space, especially if you have a small venue. Additionally, you'll have more mouths to feed, and are dependent on the whole crew showing up.
- DJ: Most weddings have opted for a DJ. It's how most of us receive our music, now-a-days. You are able to have your own playlist of music, fancy lights, and a DJ who will essentially run the entire reception as you enjoy your day. I opted for a DJ and he was amazing! He knew when to play music, what type of music, and kept the flow of the party on cue. But again, there are some other things to consider. You won't have entertainment to look at like you will with a band. If something goes wrong with the equipment, eeks! (Which is why I highly recommend the DJ test his equipment out before the wedding, like a week before)
- iPhone: The cheapest route would be to go for the iPhone. If you're the type of couple who doesn't want dancing or prefers socializing over dancing or you just don't have the budget for neither a band nor DJ, an iPhone plugged into speakers is a wonderful idea. You can set out your playlist and have you handy phone do all the work. And as tempting as this sounds, please also consider the following: if your iPhone rings, oops! Probably best to go with an iPod or something like the such. You'll probably have to assign a friend or family member to stop and play the music. AND you'll want someone to formally be the announcer of the events and keep the flow of the party on point. You'll also have to download all these songs and put them in the order you want (DIY does me DO IT YOURSELF).
As I said earlier, we went with a DJ. For our wedding, it was exactly what we wanted. We literally gave a list to our DJ months in advance and he took care of it all (even a list of DO NOT PLAY songs... nothing worse than hearing your old song with an old fling!) Our DJ knew when to play the right song, when to hype the party, when to settle people down, and kept the flow of the party on time and in the perfect mood. Whatever you choose, make sure it makes your big day that of ease and fun
I'm not sure when this all happened, but photobooths are of the norm. Beautiful backdrops, fun props and personalized printouts are a common part of weddings now-a-days. If it's in your budget to rent a photobooth for a couple of hours, I'd say splurge! It's fun for your guests (people like to see themselves and keep physical memories) and you get to keep all those photos. You can even ask all of your guests to come join you and your new spouse for a fun and silly photobooth photo. It's a way to take the silly photos and create memories.
As I stated earlier, I DIYed almost everything! We went the DIY route, as well on the photobooth. And photobooth wasn't in our budget, so we knew we wanted one, but we knew we didn't have the budget to rent one, so DIY to the rescue! Again, you have to think about the DIY options as time vs. money option. If you have the time to dedicate to it, then by all means. But if you're tight on time, then splurging out the $$$ might be your sanest option. How we approached it was to scout our venue for the perfect photobooth place. We measured the backdrop we needed to cover, measured the space we needed for the camera, and decided we wanted to create a partition to keep the photobooth semi private. We also used an iPad app and printer to execute! This all took time and thorough planning and saved us a lot of dinero!
First off, what type of vibe are you aiming for for your wedding? If you're going for a super romantic and regal wedding, then having whimisical games isn't going to fit in. Or if your venue is a small room, you won't have room for many games, either. Keep in mind what your whole experience should feel like and the logistics of your wedding day/location whether games will create a cohesive feeling or not.
If games are in your budget, in your theme and can nestle within your venue, then consider if your games should be bought, rented or handmade. If you're going to buy these games, make sure you can either resell it, reuse it, or gift them! If renting, go over the details of the contract and whether it's better to rent vs. invest. And if you're DIYing, again, make sure your time is worth it! We actually asked our family to help create our games, and they turned out amazing! Afterwards, some of the games we are keeping for family events, and some we gave to the little munchkins
Entertainment may or may not be a huge part of your budget and vibe of your wedding. Remember to keep your theme, guests, budget, and time in mind when choosing these items. If you have any questions, just shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll gladly help as best as possible.