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O Entertainment
the entire reception – from the introduc- tions, to the first dance, to the last song as guests go home. A good DJ or band will pace your event so the reception will have a good flow to it. If the itinerary is flawed, guests may get bored and leave early.
5. What’s the price?
It’s natural for you to ask “how much is this going to cost?” By some accounts, brides and grooms spend half of their wedding budget on their reception. Aside from food and drink, one of the biggest reception costs is entertainment. Prices vary depending on how long your recep- tion lasts, if your vendor is providing lighting as well as sound or if you’re planning a wedding on an off-day, like a Sunday or a weekday. Shop around for a good value but don’t sacrifice experience and talent for price.
6. Ask about insurance
Do they carry liability insurance in case of an accident? Experts agree that most reputable DJs and bands will have insurance as well as a business license. Having both is a sign of a professional.
Theft insurance only protects the DJ’s or band’s interests; liability insurance covers accidents and protects guests and the venue. If a guest at the reception gets ram- bunctious and breaks a speaker it should be covered under their liability policy.
7. Find out if you can pick your playlist
Some couples have certain tunes in mind that they want played at their recep- tion. Other couples prefer to let the pro- fessionals take care of the music. The musical determination depends on your preference since it’s your day. Ask ahead of time how they prefer to run a reception and give them your thoughts on which songs are off limits – maybe you abso- lutely don’t want the Chicken Dance or the Electric Slide at your reception. Ask if they’ll honor guests’ requests and how they will handle a guest requesting one of your do-not-play songs.
8. Ask about a backup plan
In case of an emergency or a mix-up, what provisions does the vendor have? Things can go wrong like equipment malfunctions or a singer getting sick. Find out what the booking agency, band leader
ortheDJwilldointheeventofanyof these mishaps.
9. Book in advance
Like all other elements of wedding planning, it’s not a good idea to wait until the last minute to book the entertainment for your reception. Bands and DJs are in hot demand, so the sooner you lock in a vendor the better. A good time to book your entertainment is six to nine months before the big day.
10. Get a contract
Experts agree that it’s essential to have a contract to protect yourself. The contract serves as a mutual agreement between the couple and the booking agency, band or DJ and it outlines each party’s expecta- tions of what will happen.
Whether you hire a DJ or a band, whether you book direct or through an agency, be sure to review your vendor’s credentials. Make sure they share your vision for the reception, work out the details, get it in writing, and once the wed- ding day arrives, kick back and enjoy the music. As you dance, you’ll feenl satisfied knowing that you chose the right enter-
tainment for your special day. AC W
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