Expert advice about entertainment

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your South Wales Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yoursouthwales.wedding

 

The Perfect Day

The Perfect Day

Q. Like many couples, our wedding has been postponed due to the pandemic, and we're having to re-book our entertainment. What should we take into consideration before making a decision?

A. June Gould says: - Is your date far enough in advance to avoid additional changes?

- Can you downsize your nuptials if government guidelines allow small weddings to take place? Alternatively, do you want to keep your date and take a gamble and wait to see if restrictions on numbers are lifted?

- Have you considered a socially distant gathering? This seems to go against all our instincts and traditions, but would you like to have people present, if not close?

- Would you consider hosting your event outdoors where the risk of infection is less? If so, would your suppliers be able to adapt to an outdoor space?

- If you were going to have additional entertainment, like a magician, for instance, has he/she adapted their act to allow for social distancing?

- You should also take into consideration how you'll implement social distancing. You could create a hand-washing station in your venue, limit the amount of alcohol consumption and advise people with symptoms not to attend.

June Gould,SGDJ Weddings
www.sgdjweddings.com

 

A class act

A class act

Q. We want to book an amazing band that will keep our guests on the dancefloor, but we're worried about booking someone online that we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Martin Goddard says: We understand your concerns and often get asked if couples can see our bands live ahead of the big day. As full-time professional musicians, their bookings are mostly weddings and private events, so they rarely perform public shows.

If you've found a band that you love, you're much safer basing your decision on the strength of their videos, playlists, biography and previous clients' reviews.

If you have further concerns, choose a band through a reputable professional service. You'll have the peace of mind that comes from booking with a provider such as Music HQ. We offer our services at more than 600 weddings each year and can provide a first-rate, reliable service.

Martin Goddard,Music HQ
www.musichq.co.uk

 

Dance the night away

Dance the night away

Q. My wife-to-be and I want something a bit different at our wedding that will keep our guests talking. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Martin Goddard says: Your guests might not remember the flavour of your cake or the colour of the bridesmaids' dresses, but they will recall the amazing atmosphere from your big day. Live music can take your party to the next level, and we guarantee it's what people will remember more than anything.

Get your guests talking by booking a big, glitzy show band, or if you have theatre lovers in attendance, an act inspired by The Greatest Showman could be the way to go.

Martin Goddard,Music HQ
www.musichq.co.uk

 

Now that's entertainment

Now that's entertainment

Q. We want to book some fun entertainment for our big day, but we're a bit worried about booking someone online that we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?

A. June Gould says: - A professional will make time for you and put your mind at rest. It's good to see an entertainer perform before booking or listen to a recommendation from a friend who you trust. Many of our bookings come this way.

- Do your research. Websites and social media are a good way of seeing feedback from previous clients and finding out what suppliers offer. Business directory listings are an additional source of information for DJs, and YouTube is ideal for those looking for a band, comedian or magician.

- Try and see your chosen supplier in action. Although this might not always be possible, especially with the current pandemic, it's a good way of seeing how they interact with the crowd. I've had potential clients ask it they can come and see me DJ at other events but if the shoe was on the other foot, would you like strangers coming into your wedding to suss out the entertainment that you've booked? Remember you can't judge five hours worth of entertainment in just five minutes. If you can't see them, ask a past client to talk to you and make sure you speak to your potential suppliers on the phone or talk on video chat before booking.

- If you're looking for something fun to entertain your guests, opt for a selfie wizard. It's possible to have the facility all day or just in the evening. The wizard is a special device with a screen and Wi-Fi that uploads photos off your phone that can be viewed by everyone. You will even get to keep a memory stick with all the images on after the big day. Our services includes a member of staff who will show your friends and family how to use the system and take pictures. We also supply props, instructions for every table and selfie challenge cards.

June Gould,SGDJ Weddings
www.sgdjweddings.com

 

It's showtime

It's showtime

Q. We're getting ready to book our entertainment, but we're not sure where to start or what we should be asking suppliers. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Martin Goddard says: With so many options to choose from, it can be a tricky task. Once you've decided on the type of entertainment you want, it's important to stay in touch with your provider in the lead up to the wedding. Make sure you run your plans by them at least once, whether it's to advise them on any intricate ideas you have or just to let them know the basic schedule for the day. Creating fun is an essential part of entertainment etiquette, so if you have anything in mind, just run it by them.

Ask your chosen supplier if your wedding date is available? Is it possible to meet before booking? Have you performed at the venue before? How much do you charge and what's included? How much deposit do you require and do you have a payment plan?

Most professionals will have answered these questions hundreds of times before, so you shouldn't feel bad about getting in touch, even if it's for the simplest thing. They will always be glad to hear from you, especially if it's for something that will make your entertainment better than you could have imagined.

Martin Goddard
www.coverlandband.co.uk

 

Rock n roll

Rock n roll

Q. My partner and I can't decide on a song for our first dance. I love 80s rock while she prefers smooth jazz. Do you have any tips on how we can decide?

A. Martin Goddard says: - Before making a decision, make sure you can dance to the song. It's vital that you feel comfortable enough to move to the music. For instance, some smooth jazz songs have strange beats, and some have none at all, which will make dancing extremely difficult.
- If you feel uncomfortable slow dancing in front of your friends and family, then don't force it. Don't do anything that puts you out of your comfort zone and keep things as real as possible.
- Choose a tune that relates to you both and combines your personalities.

Martin Goddard
www.coverlandband.co.uk

 

Dance the night away

Dance the night away

Q. We want some fun entertainment at our upcoming wedding. Do you have any ideas?

A. June Gould says: Think carefully about the length of your wedding, if you want activities that bring your guests together and what your venue will be able to accommodate before booking.

The important thing to remember is not to over-plan your entertainment. If you're having a long meal, it may be worth booking a magician, singing waiters or a caricaturist to help reduce awkwardness for people who don't know each other very well.

An experienced DJ will choose suitable music to add ambience and suit the mood of the room.

Activities such as the shoe game will allow your guests to learn more about you as a couple.

If you're worried about being the centre of attention for the first dance, then tell your DJ so they can invite everyone to join in to reduce embarrassment.

If your venue needs to be transformed for the wedding breakfast, then I suggest you provide outdoor games such as Jenga or Twister. This is also a good time for people to sit and chat and get to know each other better. Alternatively, you could hire a selfie wizard which your guests can use to take fun photos.

June Gould
www.sgdiscos.com

 

Time to celebrate

Time to celebrate

Q. My wife-to-be and I can't decide between a jazz band or something more modern. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Martin Goddard says: Jazz music is sophisticated, and the performers are usually immaculately dressed. If you're having a stylish and elegant affair, then a fantastic jazz band would set the right precedent for your guests. Remember, the performer only does half the work – it's up to the audience to do the rest. When you picture your big day, are you fingersnapping to cool jazz or dancing uncontrollably to Mr Brightside? Answer that question, and you'll know what type of supplier to book.

Martin Goddard
www.coverlandband.co.uk

 

Vintage romance

Vintage romance

Q. Do you have any suggestions for a fun way to entertain our guests?

A. Marcus Bell says: - Think about the age range attending. You'll want to create a fun, lively atmosphere that appeals to everyone.

- Get creative! Find a source of entertainment that fits your theme and gets people talking.

- Here at The Vale Vintage Booth Co., we provide instant photos from our mirror photo booth and give your nearest and dearest a lovely memento to take home from the big day.

Marcus Bell,Vale Vintage Booth

 

Dance the night away

Dance the night away

Q. We're on a tight budget but still want first-class entertainment. Do you have any ideas on how we can save money?

A. Martin Goddard says: Here at Music HQ, we see many couples making the mistake of booking their entertainment last, but keep in mind that without it your guests may end up bored.

I suggest you save money in other areas and book a supplier that will help create a fun atmosphere that will keep your guests talking long after the big day.

Your friends and family won't recall the lovely chiffon chair covers you picked out, but they will remember dancing all night long.

Martin Goddard
www.coverlandband.co.uk

 

Sing me a love song

Sing me a love song

Q. We're looking for a singer for our upcoming nuptials, but we're worried about booking someone online we've never met. Do you have any advice?

A. Emma Sanders-Burt says: - Before booking any suppliers, make sure they have professional recordings on their website that you can listen to.

- They should have a wealth of experience and an impressive portfolio.

- Make sure they're happy to meet you in person pre-booking.

- Check their deposit policy before hiring them.

Emma Sanders-Burt,emma.sanders@tracktraining.co.uk

 

Love is in the air

Love is in the air

Q. We're looking for some fun entertainment for our reception. Do you have any ideas?

A. Emma Daley says: Wedding entertainment used to be limited to just a DJ and dancefloor, but as weddings have adapted, so has the way we entertain our guests. If you want to make an impression, I suggest you look for something quirky and unusual for your reception, such as a photo booth.

- Hire a booth that complements your theme or colour scheme. Opt for a stylish and classy look that's sure to wow your friends and family.

- If your venue is tight on space, inform your supplier, and they'll help you make room.

- Most businesses will provide fun props to tie in with your theme.

- Choose a company that can instantly print the images for you. It makes a wonderful addition to your guest book or as a gift for your loved ones to take home.

- Customise the photo booth frame with your initials, wedding date or personalised hashtag.

Emma Daley
www.gifboothsouthwales.co.uk

 

Play me a lullaby

Play me a lullaby

Q. My hubby-to-be and I are looking to book a harpist for our big day. We've created a playlist of our favourite songs would you be able to learn them for our upcoming nuptials?

A. Katie Bayliss says: Choosing your music selection is a big decision and it's important you make the right one!

- My repertoire has more than 100 songs so it's likely I can already play your favourite song. If not I take requests free of charge to ensure you have the tunes you love.

- I cover most genres including pop, rock, Disney, Welsh and classical.

- To bring your playlist together and ensure you're happy with your choices I offer a free consultation.

Katie Bayliss
www.facebook.com/harpistkatie

 

Dance the night away

Dance the night away

Q. My hubby-to-be and I are looking to book a band for our big day. We've created a playlist of our favourite songs. Would they be able to learn them for our nuptials?

A. Martin Goddard says: Here are my top tips:

- Look online at suppliers repertoires and music videos to see whether any of them play your favourite tunes.

- Choose an experienced performer who's able to play a large selection of genres.

- Listen to your supplier. They will have lots of experience and will be able to give you feedback and advice on your song selection. Just remember that you might love a single by Napalm Death but that your grandparents are unlikely to boogie to it on the dancefloor!

- No band will expect you to choose their entire set list, but they will always take your favourites into consideration.

- Try to think less about the exact tunes you want to hear and focus on finding a performer who will create a great atmosphere on the night.

Martin Goddard
www.coverlandband.co.uk

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your South Wales Wedding when making any enquiries.

Llancaiach Fawr Manor
Artificial Floral Supplies
Janet White-Ashby & Co
Llancaiach Fawr Manor