The first steps
change, rest and get ready. “Think, too, about when you need your reception band or DJ to arrive to sound check. Is the room they’re performing in the same room as the dinner? If so, can they arrive well in advance to sound check before anyone takes their seats? The last thing you want is your meal interrupted by ‘mic check, one, two’!”
$V!ZHOO!DV!ÀQGLQJ!RXW!ZKDW!\RX!FDQ!GR! with the available space, it’s essential to be fully aware of what you can’t do. Rules and regulations vary greatly from venue to YHQXH#!DQG!FRYHU!HYHU\WKLQJ!IURP!ÀQLVKLQJ! time to noise levels. “Some venues have a sound limiter, which cuts off the music automatically if you go over a certain volume,” says Holly. “If so, make sure your band or DJ know about this so they don’t get you in trouble!” If your venue has a list of preferred entertainment suppliers, check whether you’re allowed to use anyone not on that list – and if so, whether there’s an associated extra charge.
Once you’ve chosen your acts, make sure everyone’s clear about what’s expected on both sides before you sign on the dotted line. You should cover the basics – how long they’ll perform for, whether they’re providing their own sound equipment – as well as the more intricate details. “A lot of couples realise only too late that the entertainment they have booked come with requests of their own,” explains Holly. “Bands often have a rider, which is essentially a list of things they need to be able to perform. These range from the simple (water, VQDFNV'!WR!WKH!VSHFLÀF! (hand towels, threecourse hot meals, their own green room). In lots of cases, these are contractual, so always make sure you read the ÀQH!SULQW!DQG!SODQ!DKHDG! if they are non-negotiable.”