A wedding is an event at its core, displaying the moment a couple become a family in front of family and friends (and society, if the bond is legal). So, in truth, your getting married will be the veritable entertainment of the day!
However, if you feel like providing your guests (and yourself) with a more complex entertainment experience you have limitless options.
Granted, food and landscape (and art and architecture) will be the centre of attention, beside you, and rightly so. But you might want to accompany it all with music, or to have dancing at some point. Also, if some of your guests have children, you will probably would like them to be taken care professionally, so that your guests can enjoy the reception in full.
As far as music is concerned there are two main issues you have to consider, the first being music rights the second being insurance. In Italy, a state-owned company called SIAE takes care of collecting music rights and distributing them to their rightful owners. Any public performance has to be licensed through SIAE, including wedding receptions, and this has to be done via the local SIAE office by the host of the event. To simplify matters most venues provide the service for a fee. Music rights fees depend on three elements: number of guests, type of music (band or DJ) and whether or not there will be dancing, and venue classification. Since most wedding venues are classified as luxe venues, music right fees are usually pretty steep, often starting at euro 150,00. Once the event has been registered SIAE will issue a ‘borderò’, a document which the performer/s will need to fill in during their performance and which will be returned to the SIAE offices by the host. Make sure the venue can provide the SIAE handling service, otherwise you will need to arrange for it some other way, either via the performer or your planner.
Also, professional performers will need to pay their own national insurance fee for each performance (ENPALS). Make sure you ask whether this is included in the offer they’re submitting (this is often the case when you hire performers through a music agency) or whether you need to consider this on top of their fee. This will make vendor/offer comparison easier.
You might want to draw on folk traditions in Italy for your music entertainment, but if you’re getting married in the Tuscany/Umbria areas make the most of the local jazz bands, training at the best jazz music schools in the Country.
If you’re thinking of hiring some children entertainment or care, the best option is to refer to your venue or your planner. They will have connections to qualified personnel who can speak good English and they will be able to handle the contract on your behalf. As dodgy and somewhat worrying as it may sound, most nannies will be students so they will not be able to invoice you for the service, nor they will be covered by any insurance. Make sure a third party insurance is included in your venue so that if anything happens to them while on duty it’ll be covered by that.
Usually children entertainment is provided by face-painters, balloons artists as well as jugglers and clowns, but a magic act could also be a nice idea.
Interesting entertainment options in Italy are provided by artists doing action painting, acrobatic and regular dancers, buskers (fire eating is spectacular) as well as magicians. Your planner will be able to refer you to a number of different artists, showing you videos and porfolios. Pick no more than one focus entertainment though, you don’t want to overload your guests with too many inputs!
So what kind of entertainment would you ideally be booking? Care to share in the comments below? I would love to read!