Guest blog from fabulous Circus Entertainer Kat Collett with great tips for booking wedding entertainment
Deciding on your entertainment
There are many different types of entertainment available for weddings, so start with a bit of research to see what is out there. Nowadays there is so much more to wedding entertainment than a disco! Luckily there are many different wedding websites, listing loads of different ideas. Take a look and see what feels right for your wedding. If after this research you still have no idea, then don't worry! You can always contact an entertainment agency to discuss it with them, enquiring about entertainment to an agency is free. Many entertainers provide family friendly entertainment which is suitable for all ages groups, not just children. Booking family friendly entertainment will ensure that everyone enjoys the entertainment at your wedding. Most importantly you will also need to work out your budget, as this will have a great impact on the type of entertainment you can book. A high quality full time entertainer will reflect that in their fee. And with entertainers you definitely get what you pay for! Once you know what kind of entertainment your looking forThere are two main routes for booking the entertainers, through entertainment agencies and direct through the entertainer.
Booking through agencies
Pro: They have many different entertainers on their books and will be able to advise on many different forms of entertainment. This can be good if your not sure on what you want, or if you are looking for something completely different that you may have never heard of. Or if you don't don't know the name of what your looking for.
Con: This lovely service does cost more money than the other methods of booking, however the agencies do all the leg work, so they do earn it!
Booking directly with the entertainer
Pro: There are no agency fees.
Con: You will have to do all the vetting and leg work yourself. That is where these tips come in to help you along the way!
The vetting process
Here are some questions to ask yourself once you have found an entertainer that you think will suit your wedding.
- Do they have a video so you can see them in action?
- Do they have a description of their performance?
- Do they have testimonials on their website?
- Are they professional when you email or call them?
Once you've found a match
Firstly if you contacted more than one entertainer for your wedding and your not going to book them, let them know. They won't mind, entertainers get enquiries through all the time and not all of them book. Its polite to tell them so they can tell any other people enquiring for the same date that they are free.
When booking your entertainment
Ask your entertainer what they require to perform at your wedding, this will vary for different types of entertainment. Some entertainment may have detailed technical requirements, others may have none. They may send you a document with this information. Do read this! Its very important as it helps the entertainment to go smoothly. In the worst cases missing out a technical requirement may mean that the entertainment can't happen at all . At the very least it may mean that some parts of the performance have to be cut out.
Your entertainer will send you their Public Liability Insurance (PLI) and a contract with their terms and conditions. They may also send you a risk assessment, especially if they are a fire performer. It is very important that you read through these documents to ensure that the entertainment has a suitable space in your wedding venue. Liaise with your wedding venue to ensure they are happy with the entertainment you wish to book. This is particularly required for fire entertainment.
Here are some clauses you may see in entertainment contracts
- Bad Weather (If outdoor event) This is for the safety of both the entertainer and the audience. It gives the entertainer the right to delay or cancel the performance if the weather is too bad for the performance. Most outdoor entertainers will have a back up plan in case of bad weather. Personally I take my glow equipment along to a fire show if the weather is likely to be bad. I always check the weather at the venue three days before and check up on it daily there after in case it changes.
- Health & Safety Entertainers need to take care of themselves and others, therefore anything that an entertainer thinks may endanger themselves or others will need to be dealt with before the performance can start.
- Cancellation Clause Entertainers will often have a cancellation clause in their contracts. This is because once contracted they are holding the date for you and turning down other paid work.
A quick note on fire entertainment
It is possible for fire shows to happen inside a venue. Firstly check with your fire performer that they have performed fire shows inside in the past. Ask them what space is required for their show inside a venue.
Then ask the venue manager to ensure that they are happy with this. The performer and venue manager may want to speak directly so that all parties are happy that it is safe for the show to commence.
A fire show inside is very different to one outside. An inside fire show needs a suitable performance space which is large enough and well ventilated. The fire alarms in the room will also need to be isolated. On the day of the wedding the performer(s) will need to have access to the performance space before guests arrive to prepare the stage by attaching a temporary carpet. This is to protect the surface being performed on and to prevent it becoming slippery. The performer(s) will also need to do a technical run through to ensure their show will be safe in the performance area.
About the Author: Kat Collett is a professional fire and circus performer with over a 13 years worth of experience. She specialises in family friendly entertainment and performs her shows nationwide. Kat performs in her own fire show and a glow show. She also performs physical theatre and balloon modelling.