How to Save Money on Wedding Entertainment

As well as making sure you have all the right music at your wedding, you’ll also need to consider what other entertainment you might want on your big day.

Do you want to start your life as a married couple with a bang by setting off an impressive fireworks display (venue permitting)? Or perhaps you want to wow your guests with a passionate magician or dance group?

If you don’t want to go that big, even a photo booth and kids’ games area are still great ways to entertain your guests – but they all naturally come at a cost.

The average amount spent on wedding entertainment in the UK is £800, which is almost 5% of the overall average cost of a wedding at £20,775. So, if you know you want entertainment at your wedding but don’t want to spend too much, what are your options?

In this post, we’re going to take a look at the many ways you can save money on wedding entertainment while still making sure your guests have a fabulous time.

What are the most expensive types of wedding entertainers?

Photo © The Love Of Dance | See their Bridebook profile

Generally, the more highly-skilled, experienced or technical the entertainment is, the more expensive it’ll be. For example, a fireworks show will cost around £750, which is almost the entire average amount spent on entertainment alone.

Dance troupes and circus acts can also be among the most expensive, as there are a large number of performers and equipment needed. The more members there are in an act, the more expensive it will be. Large dance groups and circus acts have costs starting from around £500.

Also, if an entertainer is well-known or has been featured on TV, like magician Dean Leavy who appeared on Blue Peter and Britain’s Got Talent, they can have higher rates than others.

What’s the cheapest types of wedding entertainment?

Photo © Gedling Bouncy Castle Hire & Entertainments | See their Bridebook profile

There are plenty of options available if you have a limited budget but still want to hire professional entertainment. Some of the most affordable wedding entertainment options include:

  • Bouncy castle – starting at £50
  • Face and glitter artists – starting at £150
  • Children’s entertainer – starting at £180
  • Photobooth – from £200

Check out Bridebook’s wide selection of wedding entertainment options to find a fabulous and affordable entertainer near you.

10 ways to save money on wedding entertainment

Photo © Rustic & Vintage Carts and Props | See their Bridebook profile

If you have your heart set on a certain type of entertainment but aren’t sure it’ll fit within your budget, don’t be disheartened just yet. Below are 10 ways you can save money but still enjoy wonderful entertainment. We also have tips and tricks for saving money on wedding music so you can have the best of both worlds.

1. Have a winter wedding

Photo © Red Hat Magic | See their Bridebook profile

Just like how a winter wedding will lead to lower costs for your venue and catering due to lower demand, so will the cost of your entertainment. Summer is the most popular time to host a wedding, which means entertainers can increase their rates. So, by having a winter wedding you’ll pay far less to hire the same entertainer. Similarly, their rates will also be higher on the weekend than they will be midweek. So, if you plan your wedding for a Tuesday in February, you’ll pay some of the lowest rates available.

2. Hire local entertainers

Photo © Brett Sirrell Magician & Entertainer| See their Bridebook profile

If an entertainer has to travel far to get to your venue, then this will affect how much you pay. Unless you’re really set on one specific entertainer, then try to hire a professional whose catchment area includes your chosen venue. If it doesn’t, they may charge an additional per-mile fee, and if it’s really far they might need to book a hotel, which will be another expense to factor into your budget. 

3. Hire solo entertainers

Photo © Edd Crafer – Your Magical Wedding Host | See their Bridebook profile

Remember how we mentioned above that, generally speaking, the more performers there are in an act, the more expensive it’ll be? For that reason, keep costs down by hiring a solo entertainer. Or, if you want dancers at your wedding, a pair will typically be kinder to your budget than an entire troupe.

4. Choose digital entertainment options

Photo © RCT Entertainment & Events | See their Bridebook profile

Entertainment doesn’t have to rely on a professional doing all the work, and can take so many forms. Karaoke, a quiz or motion-controlled games are both great fun and cost-effective, and a brilliant way to get all your guest involved. 

5. Create a kids’ corner

Photo © The Wedding Crècherz | See their Bridebook profile

If you have a lot of friends and family with kids, then you’re probably conscious that they might get a little bored. Kids’ entertainment, like The Wedding Crècherz and All Events Childcare, are already fantastic affordable professional services, but if you’re on a super tight budget, you could save even more money with a DIY kids’ table. Some colouring books, a box of Lego and some games (which you might already have sitting in the back of a cupboard) could save you hundreds.

6. Put a scavenger hunt together

Photo © Blue Mark Entertainment | See their Bridebook profile

This requires a bit of thought and effort ahead of the wedding (as well as coordination with your chosen venue), but it’s a great way to keep your guests busy throughout the reception as the day goes on, especially as you head off to take photos with your new spouse. A scavenger hunt, where guests have to follow clues to uncover secrets, is an engaging, fun and – importantly, cheap – entertainment idea. You can even offer prizes to the guests who come first.

7. Host a games night

Photo © The Little Red Bus | See their Bridebook profile

We bet you have a few board games and party games gathering dust up in the loft. Why not put them to good use and provide every table with a game they can use to keep themselves busy and interact with each other? There’s nothing quite as funny as watching Nan play Jenga after a couple of glasses of Prosecco.

8. Only hire an entertainer for a limited time

Photo © Chris Priest | See their Bridebook profile

If an entertainer charges a certain day rate, ask them if they’ll charge less if they’re hired for a certain number of hours. If you hire a bouncy castle, you might not want merry adults bouncing on it after a few glasses of fizz anyway – so only hire it for a couple of hours. Or, a magician is a great way to keep guests entertained after the ceremony and during the breakfast, so by the evening they won’t necessarily be needed. By hiring entertainment for a shorter amount of time you’ll pay less but your guests will still have the experience.

9. Do some DIY

Photo © Girl Friday Games | See their Bridebook profile

With a little consideration and creativity, there are plenty of DIY entertainment options. Put a box of props together and fix a digital camera on a tripod for a simple and affordable DIY photo booth. You could build a corn hole set and host a tournament with a winner-takes-all prize. Or buy a face paint kit and encourage your guests to decorate each others’ faces (but after the photographs please). There are plenty of cheap DIY options out there!

10. Ask a friend or family member

Photo © Chris Stewart Close Up Magician | See their Bridebook profile

Do you have a particularly talented friend or relative who could bring out their party trick to impress your guests? Anything from card tricks to juggling or stand-up comedy to acrobatics. Any talent can be good to go when it comes to entertaining your guests. Just make sure they’re up to the task, and don’t rely TOO heavily on them either. After all, they can’t be expected to provide the same level of service and quality as an experienced wedding professional. 

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