This will be entirely personal to what you as a couple consider ‘entertainment’ so I can only advise and suggest some nice ideas that could be different from what is traditional.

My total pet hate is to be at a party where there is bad, unimaginative and boring entertainment. In England it is very traditional to have a DJ at the party after the ceremony and the dinner. Now then, I like a DJ as much as the next person but really, one that talks through every song and sings down the microphone because they have unfulfilled pop star dreams can take a hike. There are also certain songs which they play that are deemed a ‘must’ at a wedding, some require you to sit on the floor and rock back and forward….my nightmare! So that’s a well and truly scrapped idea, I cannot promote such entertainment, it can stay there in the past where it belongs. It makes me shudder to imagine a group of adults doing the dance routine to ‘Saturday night’ by Whigfield but really, this happens A LOT at English weddings.

So, rant over, what other more creative ideas could you have at your wedding to entertain your guests? Well, recently my husband and I attended a 40th birthday party and there was an amazing magician doing some incredible slight of hand tricks at people’s tables. This is a very important thing to get right…you MUST make sure they are incredible and current. Pulling rabbits out of hats, sawing half naked female assistants in half and fortune tellers are out of date. Look for someone that can blow your mind, the magician we saw pushed a wine bottle through the table in front of our eyes!! If i’m honest I would not of considered suggesting a magician at a wedding but after seeing this man i’m converted!

For musical entertainment, if you really want a DJ try asking around in some clubs that play music that you like to see if you can book someone. You don’t need lots of kit – hiring some out works well and is pretty low cost (starting from as little as 200€). You could even ask around your friends if they know someone that does occasional DJing, they might have a better attitude towards it and will play music that is current and won’t want to be in the limelight. If you really want to strip it all back and save some money then you could just have a few iPods with playlists of your favourite music and let it do the hard work for you. Some equipment that you might want to consider hiring or asking for:

Mixer

DJ decks (or now you can use a laptop with the right equipment and setup)

Amplifier

Set of speakers

Microphone – can be used for speeches as well (if you’re having them)

Wires

Lighting – just be basic, use little light as possible you don’t want it to look tacky.

A really lovely idea is to have something quirky like a photo-booth area for your guests to either record their message to you or to take some photos to remind you of the fun they had on the day. You could even have a dressing up box, some props and musical instruments to create some interesting pictures and videos.

Live acts are a bit hit and miss, I would stay well away from a man standing in front of a keyboard singing along to midi-files. You need to have an act or acts that are really talented, that are passionate about what they are doing and that love to perform. You can widen your choices too, from a local teenage band that play a variety of songs to a big brass band that play hits from the past. Whatever it is make sure it fits in with your theme and the atmosphere you are trying to create. It is always worth trying to contact any independent indie type bands that are small scale at the moment that you like, because they might not charge a lot to play and they could have the experience and passion to make an incredible ‘gig’ feel to your wedding!

With the new technologies that we have access to now you could consider having an area in your venue where you have a games console set up to play some group activities such as SingStar or RockBand. You could also consider some outdoor game ideas such as inflatables and old style vintage garden games like croquet or boules. It is also worth finding some companies that supply the media industry with props such as vintage fairground games and rides, they may not be extremely expensive to hire and if you have a budget for it then it’s a good way to keep guests happy and entertained. Or, if you have time you could try to make some yourself.

Whatever you choose to do your guests will be riding along your wonderful happy blissful wave with you. You will be around all the people that are important to you and who love you both so don’t stress about the entertainment too much. Just make sure people have a variety of things to do and see and you will be fine!