Top Tips For Booking Entertainment At Your Wedding
When booking entertainment there are a few things you need to take into consideration. Whether you book us or something else the following are the most important things you need to find out before settling on a final choice.
1 - How much experience have they got?
There are a lot of entertainers that have a full time job and just perform weekends to get a little extra cash. Normally these entertainers are less reliable as full time professionals who don't do anything else other than perform.
If you have ever heard the horror stories about entertainment not turning up its normally because they don't perform full time and something more important has come up. For your big day it really is important that you get an act with a lot of experience.
Make sure you ask what experience an act has, whether they are full time and also what experience they have performing in the wedding industry.
2 - Do they have PLI?
PLI stands for Public Liability Insurance and it is vital that any act you book has this. They need to have a minimum of £2 million although these days most acts will have £10 million.
A lot of venues these says will insist on seeing an acts PLI before they even allow them to set foot inside. Any professional act you book should be able to send you a copy of their PLI without problems. If they say they cannot then you really need to consider looking elsewhere.
Magicians especially need PLI when they perform. A lot of magicians do tricks with fire and borrow objects off the spectators. Without PLI if something went wrong any losses or damages could not be claimed for.
For your reference here is my company wedding showreel.
3 - Make sure they have a showreel (or two!)
Anyone can sound good but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Before you make any decision on who to book you should ask to see an acts showreel.
A showreel is a 2 to 3 minute video that showcases who the act are and what they do. It allows you to see how good they are before you book them. If an act does not have a showreel do not book them - simple. Most good magic acts should have more than one showreel.
They should have a close up magic showreel and a stage show showreel as well. Make sure you ask to see both. You can always tell if an act performs a lot in the wedding market as they will have a wedding showreel specifically for weddings. If they have one of these its a good sign that they are experienced in the wedding industry.
When you get the showreel watch it carefully to make sure it was filmed at a live event or in their garage - this will help you decide how professional the act is. We actually have a wedding showreel that explains how magic can work at a wedding.
Click the video below to watch it
4 - What are the reviews like?
Any act that has experience will have lots of reviews that they can send you. Ask to see testimonials from previous clients as this will really help decide how good an act is.
Be wary of written testimonials these can (and frequently are) faked. Most professional acts will have video testimonials which are short 20 second videos with the bride and groom talking about how the act performed at their wedding. If an act does not have a selection of video reviews and testimonials that is normally not a good sign.
If in doubt ask the act for email addresses from previous clients that you can contact for testimonials. Most acts with any experience will be happy to send these to you. We have many clients that have said they are happy for new clients to contact them via email.
Reviews are one of the best ways you have of judging an acts quality so make sure you look into this area carefully.
5 - What is their website like?
Any professional act should have a good quality website. If they do not have a website do not use them under any circumstances. If they cannot spend the money on a website advertising their business how successful do you think they are?
The website is a great way of checking experience, reviews and showreels all in one place. A lot of clients only spend a couple of minutes on an acts website but if you spend time looking around it will give you a better idea of how good they are.
6 - Is their equipment PAT Tested?
This does not apply to a close up magician however for DJ's, Stage Shows and Singers / Bands it is vital.
PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing and it needs to be carried out every year on any portable equipment that needs plugging in. For example speakers, amps, PA's etc.
Most venues will request to see the certificate before the act arrives at the venue. Under no circumstances book an act that needs to plug equipment in that doesn't have a PAT test. They only cost £50 to £100 and there is no reason to not have one if an act is using electrical equipment.
7 - Can you see them perform?
Most acts will have other bookings that you can go and see them at. Even though most acts have mainly private bookings which you wouldn't be allowed to go to there will be a number of public shows you can go and see.
Watching an act live will really help you make your mind up as to how good they are and whether they are suitable for your wedding.
Which entertainment to book at your wedding is an important decision. Most brides upon reflection wish they had spent more money on entertainment at their wedding. With this in mind follow these simple tips and you won't go wrong.
Obviously from my point of view I think you should book me or one of my team to perform magic at your wedding. We perform at well over 100 weddings a year and know the industry inside out and back to front! For more information about how I can make your wedding amazing please visit my website by clicking here
Thanks for reading