It’s been said that wedding entertainment is the thing guests remember the most about a wedding. We get so many great questions before couples book us followed by more great questions as the wedding approaches. After all, the entertainment you book controls the vibe of the wedding and — the microphone! You have every reason to want to trust the individual or company that is hired to make your guests shake a leg.

In our humble opinion, these are a few things you should consider while choosing your wedding entertainment:

What was their response time after your inquiry?

This is going to be your first impression of what a company is like to work with. If it takes them 2 days to respond, that very well may be an indication of what’s to come. Only take seriously vendors that communicate promptly and succinctly.

Are they asking YOU the right questions?

The “right” questions are the ones you might not be thinking about but realize are very important at the time they are asked. Any trustworthy vendor will return the questions you ask them with questions of their own. This means they are taking the time to understand your exact needs upfront.

Now, people plan weddings months, sometimes years in advance. So you might not have super specific details in the early stages of planning but you at least want to get a feeling that any vendor on your shortlist is ON POINT and thinking of the things you might not be thinking of.

What is included in their wedding entertainment services?

No two companies were created the same. Just because that one vendor you talked to provides microphones for your ceremony, a cocktail hour duo, and stage lighting doesn’t mean they all do. So, you get the warm and fuzzies from a particular vendor and want to see them through… Find out exactly what is offered.

Does the band charge extra to learn new songs?

Do the DJ have your first dance in his catalogue?

Do they charge more to MC?

If you know nothing, ask everything. A true pro will make sure you have a thorough understanding of their services so you can make an informed decision.

How much customization is allowed?

Some customers want us to literally run the show – select their first dance song, play anything danceable, etc. Others have very specific guidelines for us to follow. In any event, it’s worth knowing the level of customization a vendor offers. We outline the areas of creative liberty our customers have, as well as the areas we need to call the shots, before they book us. That area where vendors need to call the shots can be very grey. Know what is yours to decide and what theirs is to own.

Do they have a positive reputation?

DUH! If this wasn’t part of your vetting out process, make sure to add it. Luckily, the internet has many options for you to see the public’s perception of a business. Get referrals from friends, follow them on social media, etc.

Are they flexible on pricing?

You asked for pricing. They shared it. You like them but they are more expensive than you budgeted for. What now? Can they make exceptions? Do they have an alternative option? For better or worse, expect to get what you pay for, but make sure to at least ask if there is an option at a lower price point. Some hold true to their packages while others will work with you.

What qualifications do they set for their entertainers?

When you book your DJ, how do you know they didn’t buy turntables last week, make a mix, and somehow caught your attention short of many important prerequisites? We only book entertainers with documented wedding entertainment experience and formal training, so customers are assured they are booking professionals.

If you don’t know how a company formed the band you booked through them, you should be curious about their recruitment process.

What is required to book them?

Don’t be surprised by hidden contract clauses or expensive deposits. Make sure you know what you agreeing to when you book them. You may even want to ask for a sample contract upfront so you can review the small print. Most vendors will accept a deposit at the time you book them with a payment plan in place leading up to the wedding.

There is no industry standard so make sure the requirements to book a vendor align with your expectations.

What happens if your wedding entertainment suddenly becomes unavailable?

Sorry… I didn’t want to put the thought in your head. It won’t rain and every vendor will show up hours early bright-eyed and bushy tailed 🙂 Buuuut, vendors are only human too. We don’t have the crystal ball to ensure some unforeseen circumstance won’t somehow take a guitarist out of commission the day of.

Any company that puts together a Plan A should have a rock solid Plan B, they key word being “should”. Do you know what your vendors will do if Plan A is in question?

We hope these questions help you set aside some important questions and ultimately find the right entertainment vendor for your wedding. Congratulations on your engagement and best of luck with planning!

Jon Ardito
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