4 Ways to Elevate Your Wedding Entertainment

Next Level Wedding Entertainment in the Triangle

What do you want guests to remember about your wedding? 

The wedding ceremony is wrapped, and you’re officially hitched. It’s time to celebrate! Whether you’d prefer an intimate dinner gathering or a full-fledged dance party, you’ll want to include some entertainment to keep your guests engaged. 

When it comes to wedding entertainment, we’re ahead of the curb in the Triangle. Our recommended vendors offer top-notch entertainment that will elevate your upcoming wedding! 

Don’t Stop the Music

Why do most event planners and venue directors rate the DJ or emcee as one of the highest wedding vendor priorities for couples, even though most couples don’t initially prioritize music or entertainment? Let’s look at the math.

  • Wedding DJs are responsible for 75% to 80% of the average reception
  • 92% of couples say that their wedding’s success or failure depended on the DJ
  • Within one week of their wedding, 99% of couples wished they invested more money in entertainment*

So, to put it plainly, nearly 99% of couples wished that 80% of their wedding was different after the fact. How can we put this into perspective?

Research tells us that the average couple in North Carolina spends just under $32,000 on their wedding and somewhere between $1,200 and $2,000 on their DJ. That means local couples spend 3%-5% of their budget on a vendor that heavily impacts the reception and controls the flow of 80% of their wedding. That’s a big deal, right? When you think about it this way, it’s hard to comprehend how anyone would skimp here or consider an “iPhone wedding DJ.”

The entertainment category is much more than just dancing. It can include dramatic lighting, enhanced narration, special performances, games or unique custom entertainment elements. Professional DJs can help with all of these factors.

If the party portion of your event is something you value, then consider what value you give to your DJ or emcee and prioritize them early on in the planning process. Our advice: Don’t wait to choose your entertainment vendor(s) last, when your options and budget are both significantly limited. The impact entertainment will have on your wedding day is immense. We understand that it may be hard to fully appreciate its scope until the day of, but we guarantee, once the big day arrives and the vibe is set, the reception is flowing smoothly and the DJ is effectively reading the crowd to keep folks on the dance floor, you will be happy that this aspect of your wedding day leaves you with zero regrets.

“I really believe that your DJ carries the energy of the reception party,” says Heart of NC Weddings Editorial Shoot Director Becca Taylor. “It’s so important to hire a professional DJ – a professional will work with your prior to the event to establish a timeline for your reception. Professional DJ services also have the capability to provide options for your ceremony, including microphones, music and livestreaming. Most importantly, your DJ really provides the environment for a celebration!”

“Your DJ is the most important vendor you bring in for your wedding,” says Rachel Kendrick, owner and lead designer at The Refinery Consulting & Design.”

– Jason Huggins, managing member of Stylus S.E.

Dress Up Your Wedding Entertainment

The DJ booth is no longer just a side table draped in black linen. Local DJs are professionals with polished displays. From custom white leather booths to slick backdrops or even video screens and light shows that can transform your reception into a dance club. If you book one of our recommended DJs, ask them about including a preferred set-up in your package. Or, if you want your wedding band to have a snazzy stage, you’ll need to work with your rental company to provide the gear. Talk to your booking agency about your band’s basic requirements. 

Be Part of the Band

No, we’re not suggesting a karaoke party for your wedding. Cool local bands that can spice up your after-party are not in short supply, but please spare Grandma and stick to a traditional band or DJ for the wedding. 

Some of the large soul, funk and pop bands that you can book for your wedding will learn songs by request in advance so they can perform it on your wedding day. All they need is enough advance notice to learn it. As you share your first dance with your partner, you’ll feel like it’s the real John Legend crooning “All of Me.” 

If you really want to blow everyone away, put your own talents on display and sing alongside the band! What could be more romantic than a surprise serenade for your new spouse? We’ve also seen wedding party members take the stage to wow the crowd!

Consider Live Wedding Painting  

A custom piece of art will live on as a timeless keepsake. We’re so excited to recommend painter Ashley Triggiano, a local stationery artist and live event artist. Before the wedding you’ll consult with Ashley about the setting you’d like her to bring to life. Imagine a gorgeous portrait of your ceremony, you and your betrothed in front of the wedding venue or even the your first dance. While Ashley paints, she typically sits off to the side at the event, but in a space where guests can watch. And trust us, your guests will watch. In fact, they’ll be in awe, witnessing the magic of color put to canvas. It’s rare and moving to see visual art in action. And it’s even more special to have a custom piece of art created just for you.

Not Your Average Photo Booth 

Photo booths have become a fixture at weddings – with good reason. Nothing is more fun than posing for photos with your loved ones with fabulous props. Plus, getting a take-home snapshot is a great wedding favor. It’s also a creative way to get a high-quality image of your besties in a dark reception space. 

But, we cannot stress this enough: All photo booths are NOT equal. Many photo strips aren’t high-quality and get trashed immediately because they are downright blurry. That’s why we are so passionate about our photo booth recommendation: ZimZoom Photo Booth. This female-owned, open air photo booth business is as professional as it gets.

ZimZoom has an incredible selection of high-quality props, and will customize additional banners and themed items as needed for your event. Your package can include fun takeaway souvenirs like looking-glass keychains! But most importantly, the photo quality can’t be beat. With a background in professional photography, owner Meredith Stern has the proper lighting and photography equipment to make the photos look like legit glamor headshots. The team that works the booth is icing on the cake – they are fun and help guide the guests into getting their best shots. 

Entertainment, essentially, is about creating memories. People remember unique experiences. What do you want people to remember about your wedding? 

* Statistics found in this article come from St. Louis Bride magazine, Brides magazine, USA Today, National Bridal Service, The Knot and Simmons University.

You Might Also Like
Multicultural Duke Chapel wedding Jennifer Bosak Photography ceremony venue

Durham Wedding Venue Guide

Heart of NC Weddings’ Guide to Bull City Weddings Welcome to our Durham wedding venue guide! Venue options in the heart of Durham range from cozy inns to manicured gardens

Read More »