How do A-listers entertain their guests when they get married? You’d think that with large budgets at their disposal they’d find it easy but in fact, they run into the same concerns as the rest of us.
Look at the photographs of celeb weddings in OK! Magazine and Hello and you’ll see that most of their families look pretty standard – with a sprinkling of grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins who are going about living ordinary lives. (And probably feeling a bit dazzled by some of the guests who’ve shown up at their famous relation’s big day). On the other hand, having more money to play with can make for some amazing wedding entertainment.
Secrets of a top entertainer
We asked Al Mayfield of Great Events, who’s acted as MC and Chief Entertainment Officer at a number of celebrity weddings, for his advice and the low down on what the A-listers are choosing.
“The list is of course endless,” says Al. “A wedding singer is always very popular – when the then Cheryl Tweedy married Ashley Cole in 2006 their choice of top singer and Grammy award-winning John Legend was the best I have seen. A wedding singer works well as a background entertainer between courses of food.
“Footballer Anthony Gardiner (who held his wedding at the wonderful Hampton Court Palace) chose The London Community Gospel Choir – O Happy Day!
“Themed weddings are making a comeback for celebs; they allow guests to enjoy entertainment like a Las Vegas-style wedding. I recently put a Vegas theme wedding together at a top London hotel – I supplied a themed room including backdrops, casino tables, slot machines and Las Vegas high kicking showgirls – there was even an Elvis Presley tribute act.
“Celeb events I organized this summer saw another footballer installing a fairground within the grounds of his large estate, including bumper cars, a ghost train and a waltzer. Great fun for the screaming guests! On a more sedate note, close hand magicians are always popular mingling amongst the tables and are often coupled with singing waiters.
“I find the only limitations are in your mind…or budget. A giant show dome is amazing as it creates pure theatre – a giant dome is displayed and, of course, guests are curious to discover what is concealed, ramping up the suspense. The cover is then removed to reveal an act within of either acrobats or dancers.
“On a more budget-friendly note, fancy dress favours of stick-on moustaches, wigs, silly noses and glasses create great laughs when looking back at photos after the event. In my opinion, photo booths are now a wedding must.
“And your basic – a good DJ and/or band always make a good foundation for entertaining guests.”
Kieran from Rock My Reception, a two-piece guitar band who have played at numerous weddings, says this about entertaining celebs.
“Last year we played at the wedding of the member of a successful 90’s Indie band who had had 15 top 50 singles and four top 20 albums, so we knew we had a lot to live up to!”
“We just applied the same methods that we would to any bride and groom who are passionate about music. The lead singer of the band came on stage with us and did an impromptu duet, which was a real crowd pleaser. Of course there is always going to be that added pressure when playing in front of an audience full of professional musicians but if you are confident and well rehearsed there is no reason to get too worried.”
What did Kate Moss Do?
When it comes to celebrity weddings, we think Kate Moss got her wedding entertainment spot on when she tied the knot with Jamie Hince in 2011. Her wedding singer was none other than rock god Bryan Ferry, who sang for them as they took to the floor for their first dance to ‘If There is Something’.
The party gathered pace and a chest of Venetian masks was brought out for guests to hide behind. Meanwhile acrobats performed in the marquee. Transsexual burlesque artists added a touch of decadence to proceedings and guests were gob smacked when legendary diva Shirley Bassey arrived on stage.
Kate had given some thought to the number of female guests wearing dainty Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahnik shoes and spent thousands on decking so they could avoid the mud. She hired several marquees, each with a different theme. One was a chill out zone for anyone who needed to curl up and sleep – although we’re not sure how much sleeping would have taken place at an A-list party!
Another was modelled on Kate’s home from home the Groucho Club, with dark wood panelling, a bar and leather sofas; there was also a ‘second looks’ tent where guests could change after the ceremony, which was decorated like an old style Hollywood boudoir.
What we like about Kate’s wedding is that she had really considered the needs of her guests – and used her large budget very imaginatively to make sure everybody had a fabulous time.
How are you planning on entertaining your guests on your wedding day? Which of the above ideas do you think you might try? There’s a discussion about wedding DJ’s going on at our Forum right now, why not drop in and see what’s being said?