Weddings are special events and deserve special treatment. But planning them can be stressful. There are many things to consider, including food, music, decorations, and entertainment.
Oftentimes, entertainment during the meal is overlooked because much of the planning for this part of the wedding day is focused on the type of food to serve. But unless you want your guests to enjoy their meal while listening to the cacophony of utensils, it’s a fantastic idea to have some form of entertainment during lunch or dinner.
Whether you’re a couple who’s trying to figure out how to keep your friends and family entertained as you enjoy your wedding dinner or a wedding planner who’s crafting an experience for guests to remember, here are some wedding entertainment options to keep in mind.
A live band
If you’re hiring a live band to perform music for dancing later in the night (or day) anyway, have them come early enough for the meal as well. The live music helps set the tone for the rest of the reception and can put your guests in the mood to hit the dance floor afterward.
One of the most popular bands to hire for wedding receptions is a cover band. A cover band can belt out your favorites, along with the Top 40 hits and classic ballads as your guests eat and chit chat.
Another option is to hire an African band. For Adama and Keisha’s wedding reception, our African band performed during the meal, weaving in between the tables to entertain the guests. It was also the perfect way to transition everyone to party mode.
If you’re feeling torn between hiring a cover band and a more specialized band like a jazz band or an African band, know that you can hire both! It’s totally possible for you to book one band for one part of the reception and another band for another portion of the night like what Adama and Keisha did.
For this wedding, the live band played music for dancing while the African band did an African dance for cocktail hour, meals, and performed another number during the wedding party to break up the music from the big band.
In case a full band is out of the question either because of budget constraints, schedule conflict, or space issues at the wedding venue, or it’s just not the type of entertainment you’d want during lunch or dinner, then you can opt for a solo musician instead. A saxophonist can provide both soulful and energetic music which is the perfect background for an intimate or black-tie dinner and evening reception in general. It will also be quite a treat for your guests to hear the sax rendition of their favorite tunes! You can start your sax playlist with upbeat songs and wind down to something sweet and romantic to prepare the guests for the couple’s first dance.
Our sax player, Thomas, usually performs on the empty dance floor or stage as guests have their dinner. We also dress up his sax with lights for evening events! Our saxophonist can also perform for the wedding party later along with another musician or with a DJ.
If string music is more your thing, CW Productions also has a violinist, a harpist, and a guitarist who can perform solo during the meal. You can watch Susan, one of our solo violinists, play her wedding reception favorites here.
Entertaining your guests during the meal shouldn’t have to be complicated. A good DJ will know how to put together a great playlist to keep guests happy as they eat. If the DJ you hire is up for it, they can even accept requests from your guests! Moreover, a Dj can also work alongside a solo musician for more dynamic entertainment. If you watch Sarah’s (a CWP solo violinist) clip from a wedding here, you’ll immediately see how well a DJ can perform with a solo musician.
For beach weddings or receptions by the water, you can’t go wrong with a Caribbean steel drummer. The gentle but vibrant melodies that the steel drum produces are the perfect accompaniment to the sound of the waves surrounding the venue.
Don’t get us wrong — steel drummers are not only for beach wedding receptions! If you’re looking to bring the laid-back vibe of the beach to the city, this is one of the ways to do it. The melodic renditions of your favorite songs will make your guests feel like they are on a mini holiday in the tropics!
You can watch CWP’s steel drummer Rick perform at a wedding reception in one of the videos here.
Looking for something more exciting? When most people hear of samba bands, they think of Mardi Gras and street parades. What most people don’t know is that Samba bands and dancers also make fantastic wedding day entertainment!
As the dinner winds down, the CWP Hi-Voltage Band and Samba dancers can make a grand entrance and dance around the tables. What a way to kick off the wedding party!
Imagine a celebrity gracing your wedding day with their presence. That’s something your guest will talk about for years!
A few years back, CWP’s Michael Jackson impersonator wowed the crowd at an NYC wedding with his performance of The Way You Make Me Feel. It was such an incredible moment because for a portion of the night, everybody, including the happy couple, felt like they were in a Michael Jackson concert. It was such a fun experience for the guests!
Planning your wedding entertainment during the meal
Whatever you choose, keep in mind that you’re doing this so everyone has a good time, including you. There are many ways to keep your wedding guests entertained. Moreover, every wedding is unique and you may need a one-of-a-kind entertainment solution. But hey, that’s what we’re here for! So if you have questions about any of our musicians or performers, hit us up and fill out the form below.