Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Charlotte Balbier's wedding diary: now for the entertainment

Gorgeous Charlotte Balbier bride Naiomi in 'Natasha' at her 'sparkler send off'
What makes good wedding entertainment? It's the question that haunts my dreams at the moment, as we still haven't booked it! Teddy and I have spent countless hours trawling the Internet for clips of bands, DJs, you name it, for our special day but we still haven't confirmed anything. I'm starting to think it's because there's too much choice out there.
Over the past few years, attending weddings as a guest and a bridal designer, I've noticed a huge change in wedding entertainment – the traditional local DJ is out it would seem, and the other possibilities seem endless. The opportunities to provide entertainment throughout the course of the wedding day are growing too.
For me, there are two parts of the wedding day excluding the actual evening reception where I think it's great to give guests that extra something; the drinks reception, while the bride, groom and wedding party are off having their official photos taken, and between the end of the wedding breakfast and the beginning of the evening reception, when everyone is letting their food digest and the speeches sink in. For the former (while Teddy and I try to look our best for the cameras), my plan is to keep my guests busy drinking lots of lovely champagne and enjoying yummy canapes, but I want to make sure there's something to grab their attention too - I don't want anyone to be bored on my big day! I love the idea of a magician so I called Dynamo but surprisingly he is out of our budget (shocker!). However, there are so many amazing magic acts out there that I'm sure we can find the next up-and-coming Dynamo. But then I have another worry. If the focus for this part of the wedding is the magician, do we need some background music? And if so, what are my options? Do we go traditional with a beautiful classical singer and acoustic band? Or more modern and have contemporary music played?
Moving on to the time following the wedding breakfast, I want to take this hour to make a few changes to our venue so we're ready for the arrival of our evening guests. It's obviously important that this isn't dead time for the day guests though, so back to my list we go… For those who want to take it easy (don’t forget, there are always older family members to think about) there is the option to retire to the drawing room for tea or coffee and a sit on the sofa. For those hardcore party animals, I'm thinking more along the lines of a mini casino/burlesque show/cocktail bar where they can have a masterclass and make their own cocktails…or do I just leave them to prop the bar up and socialise amongst themselves?
Now to the biggie - the evening reception. I have no doubt I'll find a band and a DJ I love, but it wouldn't be my wedding if I didn't add something extra to make the party all the more memorable. Everyone loves a photo booth and it seems this is a trend that just keeps running; I have to admit I do love them at a wedding or any event for that matter. Add your own personalised props to make it extra fun, like cute and quirky signs or fancy dress items. Another idea I like is fireworks (naturally romantic) but sadly our venue doesn't permit fireworks so an alternative might have to be a ‘sparkler send-off’ (where all the guests gather outside after the dancing ends, making an arch of sparklers as the bride and groom run through and off into the night).
Before I go, one piece of advice – always run your entertainment ideas past your venue. Teddy and I have found a band we love which would fit perfectly with the evening reception, but there's the small (or big?!) problem that the whole shebang, including singers, trombone player, drums, saxophone, guitarist etc. takes up a lot of space, and after consulting our venue we think there's a high possibility they simply won't fit in. With an optimistic attitude we are off to the wedding venue armed with our tape measure to see if we can make it work, but it just shows it's always worth touching base with your venue before you book!
Until next time,
Love Charlotte xx

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