DJ’s, bands, lighting, video screens and all things technical ; that is my profession and passion. I am Olly Smith from Saturn Entertainments, a company that has serviced the entertainment industry for 25 years. From humble beginnings playing music for school discos and youth clubs through to present day where we deliver sound, lighting and video to weddings, festivals and some of the world’s largest companies, I personally have performed at over 2000 weddings alone playing music to suit diverse crowds inc. Indian, French and Cuban themed events.
Band or DJ?
Booking entertainment for your wedding or event is a daunting prospect if you don’t know of a DJ or band already. If this is the case, ask your friends or venue for recommendations. Usually they will know someone they trust to deliver a good evening of entertainment as well as being reliable. Professional entertainers will be able to offer Public Liability insurance and PAT test certificates for their equipment – I would avoid anyone who can’t.
Bands are great if you know what you want. They can create an energy that’s difficult to produce with a DJ alone however they usually have a set list of songs whereas a DJ can move between genres to find something the crowd will stay on the dance floor for. Try to avoid giving the DJ a ‘must have’ playlist of all your favourite songs as this will stop them from being able to manipulate the music to suit the crowd. We find around 20 requests is plenty to tell us the sort of music you like and still lets us keep everyone else happy.
If possible have the entertainment in line of sight of the bar. This helps entertainers engage with the crowd. It’s very difficult to get people up and dancing when the bar is in another room. The more compact everything is the more likely it is people will get on the dance floor.
This is subliminal experience generated by all of your senses and is usually the measure of whether you enjoy an evening or not. We can use special lighting effects, smoke machines, high quality stereo sound systems etc. to bring atmosphere to your evening. It’s a fine balance as you want people to feel in the party mood without offending guests that might not like loud music or flashing lights. This comes with experience, a good DJ or band will be able to deliver a quality sound and lighting package without being over the top. If you find it is a bit much on the night just ask and most professionals will happily tone it down to suit.
Effects like coloured up-lighters or a large mirror ball can be a great addition to an event and have the ability to help the transition from a formal daytime or formal meal to the time for everyone to enjoy some dancing and relaxation. Video screens can work well to show family pictures, table plans or even the wedding photos themselves if the photographer is able to facilitate this. Don’t forget you might need a microphone for speeches. We would recommend this if you have over 50 guests. It’s no good preparing a great speech if no one can hear it. Usually 1 or 2 quality hand held radio mics and an active speaker is all it takes. We use white speakers to blend in with marquees. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with speaking with a microphone either; there is a knack to it and a practise really will make things perfect on the day.
The first dance.
Some couples don’t look forward to the first dance and feel nervous, some cannot wait to get out there and show off their dancefloor skills– either way, being the centre of attention for those few minutes is the experience of a lifetime.
If you feel nervous, speak to your DJ or band along with the ushers and ask them to get everyone around the dance floor before your first dance. This way, after a minute or so (enough time for the photographers to get a few snaps) the rest of the guests can be asked onto the floor so you are not left there alone for the full rendition of whatever song you have chosen. Once everyone else is on the dancefloor , you can relax as that’s usually it for the formalities.
Ultimately – you are planning one of the most important days of your life! You should feel comfortable with the choices you make and should have an open collaboration with whoever is providing your entertainment.
Feel free to visit our website for pricing or more information on the services we supply for weddings and events. www.saturnentertainments.com