Featured on Brides of Austin! Wedding Entertainment 101

Jennifer Mathis

“When it comes to wedding entertainment, there’s one wedding pro we look to – Altared Weddings & Events. While the team specializes in DJs and lighting, we were happily surprised to hear what all Altared has to offer for weddings and events beyond the big day. Read on to get all your wedding entertainment questions answered!

What type of entertainment services does Altared Weddings & Event offer?

We offer comprehensive entertainment. Every couple is different, and we work to create something custom that meets the needs of their families and friends. Most people start with a DJ, and we can build in options that will work for suit you. This could be traditional offerings like photo booths and lawn games, but it could be alternative ideas like dance performance, karaoke, silent discos, trivia or mechanical bulls!

What are the benefits of hiring a DJ vs. using a music playlist?

Even when you spend weeks putting together the perfect playlist, you aren’t planning ahead. DJs have a lot of experience in knowing what is going to get people moving and what won’t. Sometimes the perfect song played at the wrong moment will still clear the dance floor. This means that you either have to have a friend there all night to rearrange your playlist or you risk having an empty reception hall. Putting together your own playlist also limits you. People have the tendency to pick songs they love, but it eliminates the potential for all those songs people forgot they loved to be played. Anyone can play music. That isn’t really why you’re hiring us.

The other big part of our job is to MC your event. While it sounds like anyone can make announcements, it’s a lot harder than it sounds. You have to be aware of what every other vendor is doing to make sure the evening goes according to plan. You don’t want someone to announce your cake cutting if the photographer is across the room. When you make yourself the DJ, you are taking on a full time job at your own event. Who wants to do that?

Do your DJs come with a set list or does the couple provide a list?

Neither, and that’s the way we like it! If we showed up with a list and pressed play, then we aren’t serving your needs. We use your input as a guide that lets us come in with a roadmap of event, and then we find the best route there along the way. How much input they give us is completely up to the bride. We give you some suggestions and together we decide what your priorities are.

What are you suggestions for entertainment for a more intimate wedding?

Intimate doesn’t have to mean low energy. This goes back to the idea that your family and friends are a unique group of people. The first thing we will do is talk to you to make sure we are putting the right DJ on the job (again, everyone usually wants music). The wrong personality at an intimate wedding can stick out in a way that you don’t want. Then, once we know we have the right people on the job, we will build out. For afternoon events, for example, a crazy dance party is frequently foregone for a casual atmosphere that allows guests to mingle. This is where options like yard games and photo booths do really well, because it allows people to interact. It’s always about starting from the ground up when planning your entertainment.

Any tips for choosing entertainment that truly fits the couple? DJ vs. Band? Style? etc.

Talk to us! There really isn’t a one-size fits all approach to planning your entertainment, so be prepared to talk to us. Tell us what your priorities are and know that we are here to make them happen. There are a thousand variable that can come in to play, and we want you to have the benefit of our experience. The only real tip I have is to come to the table honestly. If you hate the thought of dancing, that’s ok! Tell us and we will find the solutions you need to make for a great event.

We imagine you’ve seen some pretty incredible weddings. Any fun stories you’d love to share?

We have seen a lot (and not all of it is good, unfortunately). Some of my favorites were when the bride and groom weren’t afraid to let their unique personality come through. We had a couple come in that loved musical theatre, and in the middle of the reception a flash mob broke out to some Broadway tunes. We also had a bride named Jasmine, and best man rewrote the lyrics to an Aladdin song and serenaded the new couple as the bridal party was carried around on a “magic carpet.” We also had a couple who loved video games, and we superimposed them via green screen into their favorite game. Be true to yourself, that’s when it is memorable.

Looks like you’re leading the way in pre and post-wedding entertainment with your rehearsal dinner and after-party entertainment options. How are brides utilizing Altared Weddings for these events?

Weddings are family affairs, and we like to get people ready for a good time early in the weekend! We started offering rehearsal dinner packages that broke the ice a bit for families wanting to get together. These usually include custom bride/groom trivia games, dance lessons (learn some salsa before your reception!), and competitive karaoke! For after-parties, we can offer a DJ to keep the party going after the exit for your closest friends and family who still have the energy to party. Again, the possibilities are endless, so think outside the box!”