EXPERT ADVICE

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

Band Together

Band Together

Q We're feeling overwhelmed searching for a cover band – what dos and don'ts should we look for?
A Matt Burrows says: First, talk to your partner about what you both have in mind and what you think will work best for your guests. Next, ask for recommendations from friends and family who may have attended a wedding recently. Ideally, you want a band that's professional and gives you the peace of mind you need so that everything runs smoothly on your day. Any band should be as good at communicating as they are at performing, and they should also have a website containing information, videos and reviews. Be aware that some bands' super-slick videos may have been recorded and produced in a studio, which might not necessarily be a reflection of how they sound live. We like to include real live footage in our videos, so potential clients can see what we're really like and what a typical performance includes

Matt Burrows, The Crazy Knights

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

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