FAQs and expert advice about entertainment

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your North East Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yournortheast.wedding


You can dance

You can dance

Q. Our guests range from tots to family members in their late Seventies. How do we get everyone on the dance floor?

A. Chris Dye says: This is actually a very simple question to answer – but it may not be the answer you expect. The music isn't important; and neither is the venue, ambience or DJ (yes, I did say the DJ!). The one person to get everyone dancing at a wedding is you! You will find at a wedding people follow what the newlyweds do, so to get everyone on the dancefloor, no matter what age, go for a boogie yourself. Just wait – within seconds everyone will follow.

OK, so I did tell a little white lie when I said the music is unimportant – as you will want music you as a couple like to dance along to. This is no problem for us, as we have a bespoke online portal to help you choose those all-important song requests – and also songs you don't like – to have everyone boogying on the dancefloor all night long.

Chris Dye, The Ultimate Wedding DJ


Sound of music

Sound of music

Q. We're having a wedding with guests of all ages. What music would you suggest to please everyone?

A. Mark Harrison says: There's no right or wrong answer, as it's down to what you as a couple prefer. However, from our experience, having a wide range of up tempo material, ideally spanning a number of decades and genres, works best – a 'something for everyone' approach, if you like.

Borderland plays pop, rock, soul, disco, funk, dance, indie and even reggae, covering artists as diverse as Sam Fender and Bob Marley to Dua Lipa and The Proclaimers! Just make sure you never shy away from playing 'obvious' songs. It might be fun having your favourite Pink Floyd album track played, but there's no way your guests will enjoy it as much as being able to belt out Sweet Caroline! Remember: every band should have a little bit of 'cheese in their set!

Mark Harrison, Borderland


All that jazz

All that jazz

Q. I want to surprise my husband with a jazz singer at our wedding, but I'm a bit clueless myself! What should I be looking out for to make sure I'm booking the right person for the job?

A. Paul Skerritt says: With there being so many styles and variations of jazz music, I would probably broaden the search criteria by looking for a singer that does swing as well as jazz. Why? These two styles go hand in hand perfectly, and open up many more options when it comes to choosing a singer. You also need to decide if you want to go with a solo singer with backing tracks – this is the more budget friendly option – or stretch to having an accompanist, such as a piano player, to add extra ambience.

I'd then start with a good old Google search, gathering a shortlist of three or four singers who you like the sound of. Watch their showreels and listen to any recorded music they have. Don't forget, professional singers will travel, so don't be afraid to enquire about a singer who lives elsewhere in the UK! Their fee may be a bit more, but if you like the sound of them, it'll be 100% worth it.

Paul Skerritt, Paul Skerritt Music


Now that's entertainment

Now that's entertainment

Q. We're looking at booking a wedding entertainer, but we're worried about booking someone online that we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Nicola Sim says: Some businesses on Facebook allow clients to leave reviews and have testimonials on their website from past couples, which are both important to read.

Most entertainers have videos or recordings of their performances prepared as examples of their work. I have a YouTube channel I link prospective clients to, which I've found very helpful to them. Some companies also do in-person meetings, which is worth checking if you're worried about booking someone online.

Many entertainers also do shows and have residentials in venues; check to see if they have any shows around your local area as this is an excellent opportunity to get see them live.

Another thing to put your mind at ease is if another business has recommended the company, which often means they're worth booking.

Nicola Sim, Nicola Sim Pianist


That's entertainment

That's entertainment

Q. We're planning our wedding entertainment, but we're a bit worried about booking someone online that we've never met. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Ray Snowden says: Picking your wedding entertainment should be a fun and enjoyable experience. Try to give yourselves a few months before the special day to work out the type of entertainment you want, meet suppliers and make that final decision.

It's great to meet people in person, but the last few months have highlighted the benefits of virtual catch-ups. It's often hard to have a decent chat at a busy wedding fair, so it's always good to catch up on FaceTime, WhatsApp or over Zoom. Here you can ask all the questions you want and get to know the team more. Listen to the advice from the professionals because many entertainers have performed at different venues and have lots of experience. They'll happily share what might or might not work for your day.

Make sure to ask newlyweds for their recommendations. The entertainment world is ruled by word of mouth and if someone comes highly recommended, they'll most probably be good! Ask friends, people you know, your venue, other nearlyweds, wedding professionals and of course, use the internet.

Think about whether the company's appropriate for your setting, audience and the atmosphere you're after. You might have guests in nappies to their nineties on the day, but the evening may be different.  

There are many entertainment options such as music in all forms, magicians, caricaturists, jugglers, balloon artists, children's entertainers, photo booths and more. 

Top Tip... Make sure the company you pick has Public Liability Insurance and any electrical equipment is PAT tested.

Ray Snowden, Ray's Piano