We recently surveyed our 2011 brides and grooms to ask them about their weddings. We wanted to know which songs they chose (and which they didn't) and find out more about how we can help you plan your wedding. One of the things we asked was what wedding entertainment regrets they had. Fortunately, most people didn't have ANY regrets (especially about their use of GigMasters for finding entertainment), but here are some of the most common regrets (and some suggestions for how to avoid them).
Regret: I wish people had danced more!
Solution: Talk to your DJ or band leader and make sure he or she knows that's a goal (believe it or not, it's not everyone's goal). Ask for his advice on how to achieve this. I once had a band leader tell me that the biggest mistake people make that leads to no dancing is separating the bar from the band! She explained that people move the bar in to the hall to make room for dancing, but then people have to choose between getting a drink and dancing.
Regret: People left too early.
Solution: Think about the timing. One bride who mentioned this admitted that her wedding was at night on January 1, when most of her friends were already exhausted from New Year's Eve. If you want to make sure you have a party that lasts in to the night, make sure your vendor contracts reflect this, provide plenty of food, and think about timing.
Regret: I wish I had made a "play list" and a last dance choice.
Solution: Make a list!
Regret: The DJ/Band did not pay attention to our Play or Do Not Play list.
Solution: Before hiring a band or DJ, make sure you have a good conversation about this. Ask his/her opinion about Play and Do Not Play lists. Some bands and DJs believe that they are best suited to make those decisions and won't agree to abide by your list. That's a valid opinion, but if you want to be in control of your play list, you'll need a different DJ!
Regret: I wish we'd had a speaker on the beach so that we could hear the ceremony music.
Solution: This is one of the reasons we think planners and experienced musicians are so important for outdoor weddings. There are hundreds of logistical issues when it comes to outdoor weddings.
Regret: The band took half an hour longer than expected for set up, so our whole reception ran late/The DJ was in a hurry to leave.
Solution: Put set up and break down times in your contract, as well as start and end times. If you think you may want extra time, ask if that's available.
Regret: I let my husband's friend DJ for us.
Solution: DON'T! Friends don't let friends ruin their weddings! A better solution would have been to say to your husband's friend "We really want all of our friends to be able to enjoy the wedding. But, we'd love to get some professional pointers from you on how to hire a DJ, or what to look for in a DJ."
What are your top concerns about your wedding entertainment? What mistakes do you see brides and grooms make? Let us know in the comments below!