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5 Ways to Get Affordable Entertainment at Your Wedding

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

When it comes to planning your wedding, there’s a lot to consider. From choosing the right venue to finding the perfect wedding dress at a brick-and-mortar store or online with a company like Azazie and figuring out seating configurations at the reception, there are so many decisions to make. On top of all that, you’ve also got costs to worry about—after all, if you’re going to spending so much money already on catering and decorations, there are other areas where you’re going to have to save.

This is why you’ve decided to save when it comes to the entertainment at your wedding. So if you don’t want to spend your entire budget on your favorite Beatles cover band performing, here are some great ways to get affordable entertainment:

1 Spotify

It’s an easy solution, and best of all, it’s free (though, if you want to pay the minimum monthly fee, you’ll be able to avoid the awkwardness of ads coming on in the middle of the father-daughter dance). There are some great playlists already available for any wedding, from romantic songs to killer dance songs, too.

The best part? You and your friends can design your own playlist, and take turns switching it around. Anyone with a phone can connect their Spotify account and get the party started. As of January, Spotify had 70 million paying subscribers worldwide--which means that you’ll have an endless amount of playlists you can listen to.

2 Make your own photo booth

Considering that the average cost of a wedding in the US is $35,329, you don’t want to spend a ton on photo booth services. But at the same time, it’s just not fair that every time someone you know gets married, there are cute selfies with fake mustaches and giant sunglasses. And blow-up flamingos and Harry Potter-themed accessories.

Luckily, there’s no need to spend a fortune on a photo booth service, however fancy they claim to be. Instead, make your own DIY-style! Get inspired by this article from A Practical Wedding to create your own fool-proof DIY photo booth--and don’t forget to pick a theme you love!

3 Don’t spend too much on kids’ entertainment

If there are kids attending your wedding, that doesn’t mean you have to hire an entertainer or go all out with a petting zoo or pony rides. You don’t want to go too much in the other direction, either, though, by simply allowing them to play on their parents’ phones or tablets--after all, the average American is already spending over four hours a day on their phones a day, and it’s best not to let our kids follow that example.

Instead, just make sure there are crayons on the kids’ table, and provide them with activities such as coloring books and board games. Even hula hoops outside are enough to keep kids entertained for a while. Don’t forget at the end of the night to show a movie--kids movies are a great choice, but if there are teens, you might consider showing something more appropriate for their age, like People You May Know or The Social Network.

4 Use the registry to pay

If you’re committed to providing great, live music at your wedding, with average rates for DJs going at $525-$1,400 for a night of entertainment, another choice is to put the bill on your credit card, and then have your friends pay for it through the wedding registry. If you use a funding site like IndieGoGo, you can have guests directly put their money there.

It’s likely, considering that your guests are going to be benefitting from the fun entertainment, too, that they’ll be quite generous with their gifts. It’s fun, after all: one of the easiest causes to spend money on.

5 Make the food fun

There’s a reason the food truck industry was worth 1.2 billion in 2015, and that’s because like lots of other popular trends these days--from Juul e-cigarettes to Snapchat to froyo shops--there’s something fun and playful about them. A little truck, selling specialized food you love, is a super-cute set-up that’s also totally fancy, too.

So why not go for something similar with your wedding? If you can’t afford food trucks, consider a froyo or gelateria stand, where guests get to design their own desserts. Just a couple toppings, maybe a couple of goofy wedding-themed ones like heart-shaped sprinkles, are entertaining for any guest, no matter what age. And if you want a fun cocktail bar, consider holding a competition for most creative cocktail.

As you can see, there’s no reason why entertainment has to cost an arm and a leg if you want to have fun at your wedding. It’s all about finding the right creative solutions so that you and your guests can have a beautiful, fun time during this celebration of love!

What affordable entertainment ideas would you recommend to other couples getting married?

Additional resource: 'use a wedding hashtag generator'

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