wedding entertainment

When it comes to wedding entertainment options for today’s couples, there is much more on offer than just a DJ.  There are some amazing singers and bands as well as some other options like singing waiters and sax players who will team up with your DJ for an Ibiza dancefloor vibe.

I actually spent 10 years working as a wedding DJ myself, but as that was over 15 years ago, things have changed slightly in those years, so I will hand you over to my good friend Dan Nicholson, from Hertfordshire award-winning DJ company, JN Sounds.

Q: So Dan, how does it working booking a DJ to play at a wedding these days?

A: Most modern DJs will meet up with you to discuss your needs, wants and desires, and really get to know you and your musical tastes. That way a more personalised experience can be delivered rather than just your standard ‘wedding DJ set’

wedding entertainment options
Photo credit – JN Sounds

Q: Do you just play music?

A: No, not at all.  JN Sounds truly believe in personalised DJ wedding entertainment options, not just with the music played, but also creating memorable moments, use of lighting, customisable add ons and unique equipment options.

Q: Do you have a one size fits all setup?

A: Many DJs are keen to offer setups to suit different venues these days. A variety of different DJ booth combinations at JN Sounds means there is a bit more to choose from to fit in with your venue, them or decor. Along with a modern DJ booth ( that has a panel for customisable wording), they also offer a handmade wooden rustic booth. Along with the additional option of a neon sign on either.

wedding entertainment options
Photo credit – JN Sounds

Q: What are your most popular add-ons?

A: Mood lighting (or up lighting) is a very popular option these days that a lot of DJs can provide.

wedding entertainment options
Photo credit – JN Sounds

A big thanks to Dan for talking to us about some of what they offer at JN Sounds.  JN Sounds come highly recommended from us at Lee Rushby Photography and we would not hesitate to recommend them to DJ at any occasion.

Alternative Wedding Entertainment Options.

I think a DJ is by far the most popular choice of evening entertainment at the reception, but there are definitely some other options.  Here is a list of some of my favourite entertainment ideas:

1. A Live Band

While having a DJ is pretty convenient, having a live band can bring a real party atmosphere to your event and will certainly make your wedding reception an event to remember!

2. Solo Artist

Sometimes the size of your venue will not accommodate a full band.  If this is the case, you could go for a solo musician/singer who will only have minimal equipment and take up much less space.  You could also mix this with a DJ so that you can have a mix of live and DJ music.

3. String Quartet

During your drinks reception after the wedding, you could have a string quartet playing.  This could either be classical music or classical style covers of more well know, modern songs.  This can be a nice touch and give a little background music while your guests enjoy a drink and canapes while you are having your couples photos taken.

4. Harpist

An alternative to a string quartet is a harpist.  Again, these can play either classical music or classical arrangements of pop music.  Another thing with both a sting quartet and a harpist is that they could play during your ceremony and also during the drinks reception too.

5. Singing Waiters

This can be a fun one.  Profession singers posing as waiters/waitresses mingle among you guests and then spontaneously burst into song to entertain your guests.  This can be great fun and a huge surprise to your guests.  We’ve heard opera, and pop ballads during our time at wedding receptions, but our advice to you is to make sure you hear them in action before booking them as one wedding we went to, all the singers where pff pitch and it sounded awful!

6. Choreographed First Dance

Are you and your partner a bit of a show-off?  Love to be the centre of attention?  Well planning a choreographed first dance to wow your guests could be just the key to having you 5 minutes of YouTube fame after your wedding.  Make sure you plan it properly and rehearse well, you wouldn’t want to go viral for all the wrong reasons.

7. Karaoke

Enjoy a good sing-song?  Fancy yourself as a potential X-Factor winner?  You could have karaoke at your wedding reception and host your own X-Factor grand final..

8. Prosecco Pong

As the name would suggest, this is an upmarket version of the college game beer pong.  Great fun and a way to get friends and family talking and getting a little tipsy.

9. Whisky Bar

Fancy yourself as a connaisseur of whisky?  Hire a whiskey bar to serve you and your guests an amazing selection of whiskies that you love.  You could team this with:…

10. A Cigar Bar

Do you and your guests enjoy a cigar at a special occasion?  Ensure that everyone has the Monticristos in hand to enjoy with their whiskies.

11. Magician

Hire a magician to either walk around during the drinks reception to keep your guests entertained or to do table magic as everyone sits down for the wedding breakfast.

12. Circus Show

Maybe your wedding venue is huge and you have lots of guests to keep entertained.  A live circus act should get everyone gasping with awe and talking about your wedding for years!

Boutique Circus Events from CircusTube on Vimeo.

13. Casino Tables

Want a touch of Las Vegas at your wedding?  Then you could hire blackjack and roulette tables for your guests to have a flutter.  The drinks will be on Uncle Bob when he gets 21!

14. Giant Garden Games

If you are planning a summer wedding at a venue that has a beautiful garden, you could hire giant garden games like Jenga or connect four for your guests to pass the time during the afternoon drinks reception.

15. Prosecco/Pimms Drinks Van

You won’t want your guests to be wandering around on a summers afternoon without a refreshing drink in their hands.  Ensure that you have a ready supply of chilled drinks on hand by renting a drinks van to come and keep those drinks topped up. (Photo from Dotty Mares travelling bar)

wedding entertainment
Photo credit – Dotty Mares

16. Glitter Bar

Want that festival vibe at your wedding or just want to add a bit of sparkle?  Glamavan can cater to all types of parties with eco-friendly glitter for your special occasion.

17. Caricaturist

Keep your guests entertained and give them a keepsake to take away from your wedding with personalised caricatures on your big day.

wedding entertainment

18. Fireworks Display

Finish your wedding reception off with a bang.  A fireworks display never fails to impress and entertain.

19. Sparkler Send-Off

An absolute nightmare to photograph, but the results are worth it.  Exit your wedding reception through an archway of sparklers created by your guests.  If your friends are all likely to be too drunk to not risk setting fire to themselves with sparklers, this one should probably be skipped.

20. Waffle Wands

A nice foodie treat for the last one in this list.  Who doesn’t love waffles covered in caramel or chocolate with sprinkles?  Waffle Wands… Say no more!

wedding entertainment
Photo credit – Waffle Wands

If these wedding entertainment options have got you excited about planning your wedding, then please check out the other posts in this series:

How to find Modern Wedding Venues in Hertfordshire.

Choosing Modern Wedding Themes and Decor.

10 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Planner for a Traditional and Elegant Wedding.

How to get the amazing wedding photos you deserve to have.