Cheap Wedding Entertainment Ideas - Music, Sound & Lighting

For Weddings on a very tight budget, you can still get a great Entertainment Experience with Music for every situation required. Sunshine Coast Special!

Cheap Wedding Entertainment Ideas - Music, Sound & Lighting

Wedding's are one of the biggest days in someones life long calendar, and while there are a multitude of elements that bring a great wedding together, the music. experience and dancing are some of the key features that leave people talking about weddings for years.

While we offer professional DJ's and musicians for the big day, we also understand that many people wish to spend their budget on other elements of the wedding. Sometimes the venue hire, catering or decorations take the cake in terms of preference or importance for the wedding.

At the end of the day, its the MUSIC that people enjoy and whether its coming from a $1500 DJ or a good pair of speakers, as long as the music is good, everyone can have a great time.

This article is applicable for couples-to-be all over, however we are based on the Sunshine Coast, servicing areas from south near Brisbane, west out to the gorgeous Sunshine Coast Hinterland, north past Noosa up to the Rainbow Beach region and east to the large areas of Mooloolaba, Caloundra and Maroochydore. If you are located elsewhere, simply reach out to your local speaker hire / party hire / audio visual companies and ask what equipment they have and would recommend for dry hire for a wedding. Simply googling 'wedding av hire near me' can normally lead to several useful results!

Cheap Wedding Entertainment Ideas

Wedding Sound

Hiring out a pair of high quality speakers over a weekend will only cost $75-200 depending on the brand, hire length and amount of people coming to the weekend.

A basic rule of thumb to solve the elusive 'how many speakers do I need for my wedding', or 'which pa system do I get for my wedding' can be found below.

  1. 0-100 Persons - 2 15 Inch Speakers
  2. 100-150 Person - 2 15 Inch Speakers and 1 18 Inch Subwoofers
  3. 150-250 Persons- 2 15 Inch Speakers and 2 18 Inch Subwoofers
  4. 250+ Persons- Chat to your Local AV Hire Supplier.

Understandably some speakers are louder and of higher quality and output than others, and configurations will be different in every situation. Weddings can be inside or outside, with outside wedding spaces normally requiring slightly more speaker firepower for the same amount of attendees as an indoor wedding space, which can help trap the sound inside the space.

The real winner with Wedding Sound to have cheap DIY wedding Entertainment is the ability to hire these powered speakers (built in amps) and simply plug your own audio source in.

We can't stress enough that live music and/or a live DJ will add further atmosphere and value to your wedding however as we mentioned, there isn't always room for these musicians in a budget.

Once you have hired your speakers, you can connect a phone, iPod, laptop, cd player or any other audio source and simply cue up and play your own music at your wedding.

There are many various software programs online that will allow you to create playlists online or offline to order the music to ensure that all the key moments have their key songs.

We have listed some of these key moments and also software programs further down in the article.

15 Inch Speaker Pair for Wedding Hire
0-100 Persons - 2 15 Inch Speakers for Wedding Hire

Wedding AV Equipment Hire Package
100-150 Person - 2 15 Inch Speakers and 1 18 Inch Subwoofers + Recommended Microphone, Lights & PA Mixer.

PA System for Wedding Hire
150-250 Persons- 2 15 Inch Speakers and 2 18 Inch Subwoofers

Serious PA System
250+ Persons- Chat to your Local AV Hire Supplier.

Wedding Lighting

The atmosphere at any wedding is largely contributed to from the lighting!

We categorise wedding lighting into 3 key parts;

  1. Ambience / Mood Lighting
  2. Feature Lighting
  3. Dancefloor Lighting

Ambience or Mood lighting are the fixtures that promote the desired colours of the wedding and make the space look together and complete. Common lighting designs to achieve this include matching colour scheme LED Par cans in corners and up walls to ensure the space is uniform. Slow moving spotlights along walls and roofs can also help to add to this effect. LED Par Cans are extremely cheap to hire and the later models all have a very high output, while also not drawing very much power, a perfect solution for cheap wedding lighting.

Feature lighting includes special effects like low lying fog to feature the couple in their first dance, or a mirror/disco ball over a dance-floor. To maximise feature lighting whilst sticking to a budget, haze or smoke machines can replace the extremely expensive low lying fog machines and dance effect lights can be used to cover an entire dancefloor , from only a few fixtures.

Dancefloor lighting can be achieved from only a few units due to the LED and smart nature of the current lighting units on the market. These lights can run on automatic programs or to the beat of the music, allowing for any lights to look programmed and syncopated, which contributes to a great experience for everyone. Great units include single LED dance effects such as the below Chauvet Radius or Swarm.

Dancefloor Lighting
Chauvet Radius 2.0 Dance Light
Swarm Dance Light Chauvet
Chauvet Swarm Dance Light

We believe the best budget solution for wedding lighting in 2020 to be the Chauvet Gigbar 2.0, an all in one lighting fixture that includes led par cans , strobes, a laser and dance floor moonflower effects.

These units can be hired out locally in most areas for up to $100 and only require one power cable. The lights are all internally linked and all operate to the same patterns - automatically or to the beat of the music.

Our Gigbars have been extremely popular on the Sunshine Coast, being hired our for many weddings throughout the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and surrounds.

gigbar 2.0

To explore our entire lighting range for further ideas, please look here.

Wedding DJ Equipment

A perfect in-between for a budget wedding DJ is to hire a set of DJ Decks or a DJ controller. Most couples have a friend, family member or distant cousin that has learnt how to DJ over the years and this can sometimes be more than enough to pull off the wedding entertainment for the night.

The two easiest options for DJ equipment to dry hire for a wedding would be a DJ controller such as the Traktor Kontrol S5 below or the Pioneer DJ XDJ RX2 all in one controllers, also featured below.

DJ controllers need to be hooked up to a laptop, allowing for easy integration through DJ software such as Traktor, Virtual DJ or Serato.

DJ Controller

Traktor S5 Controller DJ
Traktor Kontrol S5 DJ Controller

All in One DJ Deck

An all in one DJ Deck such as the below XDJ RX2 allows for a DJ / multiple DJs to plug in music via the USB ports. Another stand out feature on units like these is the ability to have an aux cable / 3.5 mil iphone jack plugged in, so if there is a song the DJ doesn't have, it can be plugged via the Auxillary input and played through the DJ unit.

These units have all the bells and whistles, suitable for experienced DJs and beginners alike, with additional microphone inputs that have a great level of control and support. This microphone control is great for speeches throughout the wedding.

Pioneer DJ Decks
Pioneer XDJ RX2 All in One DJ Controller

Wedding Microphone

There are 2 options with Wedding Microphones - wired and wireless microphones.

You should be able to find either for hire at your local audio visual supplier - here on the Sunshine Coast we supply both wired and wireless microphones for the region.

The names give away their features - you are extremely distance limited by wired microphones- only as long as the cable, whereas the wireless microphones allow for freedom and movement around the wedding space

When considering which path to take with microphones, you need to think how many speeches you will be having, the length of these, the size of the space and the character of the speakers. The character of speakers might seem a tad strange, but if your speakers are elderly or not prone to moving around, you might be able to save further money on your wedding entertainment and get a wireless microphone, such as our Shure SM58 which is known as the industry standard workhorse wired microphone.

Shure Sm58 Mic
Shure Sm58 Microphone

On the other hand, the wireless solution is a much safer bet with most quality microphones having a minimum wireless range of 20-30 metres from the microphone receiver (where the signal goes).

Our AKG Wireless Microphones come with 2 Mic units. Having a backup is definitely a priority for any wedding, due to the battery powered element of the units.

The battery life on most units last for many weddings, however it's always great to be safe and prepared for weddings.

AKG Wireless Microphones
AKG Dual Wireless Microphones

Regardless if you choose a wired or wireless microphone for your wedding, a mic is crucial for speeches to be heard at any reception. If you are hiring speakers and microphones for an outdoor ceremony, we highly recommend wireless as no one wants to see cables running everywhere, it really does ruin the photos!

Wedding Music

Some of the key wedding moments that songs should be considered for include:

  • Wedding Party Reception Entrance
  • Entrance of Newly Wed Couple into Reception
  • The First Dance
  • The Dance with Mum
  • The Dance with Dad
  • Bouquet Toss
  • Cake Cutting
  • Bride and Groom send off
  • The Last Song of the Night

As well as these key moments, there are also various 'segments' of the wedding that music needs to be compiled for. These include:

  • As people arrive to the reception
  • Cocktail Hour music
  • Dinner Music
  • The After Party

Simple offline music arrangement programs such as Garageband and Audacity, both of which are free, give the user much more control over the music and timing.

An easier method is using iTunes, however there is only ordering and a quick transition between songs available here, whereas these music arrangement programs listed previously will allow you to cut out parts of songs, start them in certain spots and more.

While these offline methods are great, if there is wifi or a stable mobile signal, Spotify is a great solution due to its playlists and music recognition algorithm. The app and its community have hundreds of playlists pre made for every situation and can be very useful to change up the mood on the night.

Wedding Packages

Wedding Hire packages can normally be found locally. These packages will include a set range of items perfect for various weddings, and should include speakers, lighting, microphones and further items key for any wedding.

Here at Mudcrab Music & Weddings on the Sunshine Coast we look to customise our current Event, Function, Party and other packages to fit perfectly with a clients desires for the big day.

Feel free to check out all of our packages here.

Further Reading.