We are finding that more and more people turn to specialists to create the mood, says Kathryn Baker of WOW Events, award-winning specialists in theme events and talent booking.
Some couples use specialists to create the entire event and some use them to provide specific talent.
Having a theme is a good start, says Kathryn. For example, a bride from Venezuela married an English Canadian groom with a Swedish mother. The bride had spent her teens with a French Canadian family. They wanted an international flavour with a more formal beginning with fun as the night progressed.
We had a violinist playing classical music during the outdoor ceremony, classical Swedish singers during the reception, a Mariachi band during dinner that went from table to table and a DJ playing popular Latin, French and Canadian/American music. The sound and liveliness was built as the party progressed.
To get some idea of the services that are available in your community, check out the yellow pages of the phone book, the manager of the hall, hotel or club, musician’s guilds, embassies, cultural or ethnic organizations and friends and acquaintances.
Costs will vary widely according to what you want and your negotiating skills, but expect to pay 50 percent on booking (non refundable) and 50 percent the day of the performance.
There are specifics to discuss before you make any decisions:
The Service: What kind of music do you want: organ, violin, harp, flute, guitar, an ensemble?
The Reception: Do you want a cocktail party with drinks and conversation or do you want to provide entertainment (because couples can take up to two hours being photographed). You might provide music, a dancer, a wandering magician.
The Dinner: People want to be able to converse, so don’t overwhelm them with loud music. You may introduce a fun element between courses, with people joining together in a sing-along.
After Dinner: Ensure that the DJ has access to the music you want. Give him/her a list of songs and the order in which you prefer to hear them. In deference to older guests, start with mood music or jazz. The choices will expand and become livelier as the party progresses.