Choosing the right venue for your wedding entertainment

Choosing the right venue for your wedding entertainment

Once the ceremony, reception and meal are over, its wedding party time and choosing the venue with the right kind of room to party in is not to be underestimated!

Venue sales managers will give you lots of good reasons as to why you should book their venue from the point of view of location, food, price, service and so on.

However what they very rarely talk about is how practical the venue actually is when it comes to wedding band entertainment. Some venues are better than others in terms of the suitability for your wedding entertainment and this can affect the whole party atmosphere and how the band sound.

Having played at hundreds of venues across the country in the last few years, we get to see how venues operate behind the scenes. So when you are choosing your wedding venue here’s some things to look out for to avoid disappointment.

  • Layout of room for entertainment
    • Is there enough room for the band and the dance floor and will everybody be able to dance close to the band?
      Are there any pillars in the way which block the entertainment?
    • If the room is L shaped, or the bar is in a separate room, this can make it extremely difficult to create a party atmosphere since guests may congregate for the evening in areas far away from the band.
    • Is the evening buffet in a separate room? This will take guests away from where the entertainment is. Much better to have the buffet in the same room.
  • Timings
    • Is the venue rigid on their timings? (E.g. are they thinking of their own Timings for service and food organisation rather than planning your event based around what you want ?) For example, if they insist on serving the meal at 5 o’clock, but the ceremony is at 2 PM and the evening guests arrive at 7:30 PM (and there’s no separate bar area or lobby where dinner and evening guests can be around in in a break) then this can cause problems since guests need to always be taken care of.
    • The venue should confirm how long they take to turn the room round after the meal and before the entertainment, and how they will provide access for the band to set up quickly and efficiently. Otherwise this can throw your carefully planned timings into disarray.
    • Most weddings run a little late, either the photographs might take a little longer than planned, or the venue might be late with the meal service and this can affect things considerably. Remember that all the other suppliers are dependent on the venue being flexible, (e.g. Chocolate Fountain, photo booth etc) otherwise things may not go to plan.
  • Acoustics: The best acoustics depend on a number of factors. Obviously there’s a difference between marquees and function rooms. Sound in general needs to have walls to bounce off; high ceilings are not ideal. Best to have a chat with the bandleader, they will advise on what works best.
  • Noise Limiters
    • If the venue has a noise limiter installed then beware! Sometimes these contraptions can be a source of irritation and spoil your party.
    • If the noise limiter is set up correctly then depending on the type of music (e.g. as long as you’re not booking a heavy rock band or an insensitive DJ) there shouldn’t be a problem. We have worked at many venues with noise limiter’s installed and have had no problem, whereas with others where they are not set up properly the moment you play the first note all the electrics cut out. This has nothing to do with the band, for more information see my article on noise limiters.
    • On the night you must have someone from the venue who is able to disable the sound limiter it if it’s not functioning correctly, otherwise the band/DJ will either be forced to play quietly or the party will keep on getting disrupted. Many venues gloss over this point; do not compromise.
    • Many bands actually refuse to play at venues where there is a noise limiter installed. It’s a bit like having potholes on a racetrack. The whole point of being there is to drive. So if you are a venue with a ropey sound limiter, you should not be advertising yourself as a venue for loud entertainment.
  • PA: Does the venue only allow you to use their PA? Sometimes aht they have installed can be totally unsuitable for all but the simplest forms of musical amplification. This can restrict your choice of band and since some venues have serious noise limits it can be disastrous if you only find out after you’ve booked.
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