Member Focus – Alive Network Entertainment Agency
Today we are delighted to introduce you to Gemma of Alive Network Entertainment Agency one of the UK’s leading wedding entertainment agencies. Over to you Gemma…
How did it all start?
Alive Network is the UK’s biggest wedding entertainment agency, loved by over 200,000 brides and grooms. It all started in 1999 when a pro musician who was sick of seeing tired amateur bands at weddings, decided to bring together cool, world class bands and musicians with music-loving wedding couples. We now work with over 6,500 artists and suppliers (everything from festival bands to ferris wheels) and have over 30,000 five-star reviews from happy clients.
I joined Alive in 2001, and, as Senior Entertainment Coordinator, I really love helping couples shape their perfect day. I know first-hand how great entertainment can really make a wedding – it’s what my wedding guests remember most about my big day!
Do you have a favourite venue?
There are so many great venues out there… it’s impossible to choose! My preference would be for a venue with loads of opportunity for awesome live entertainment, like a castle in the middle of nowhere – somewhere with the space to have as much music and entertainment as you want, and so your party can be as late and as loud as you like! We’ve had clients choose venues like Warwick Castle, a tipi in Yorkshire or a party in a cow shed, so they can really make the most of their entertainment.
The venue you choose can be so fundamental to the entertainment you have, so if you have your heart set on live entertainment, check what’s possible at your shortlisted venues before you sign on the dotted line. Then you can be sure you can have your dream wedding.
How would clients describe you?
I’d like to think I’m friendly, helpful, and – after 17 years in the business – knowledgeable! Mainly, I try to quickly put my clients at ease; the more comfortable they feel discussing their vision and asking questions, the easier it is for me to match the perfect ideas to them.
I’ve helped to organise the entertainment at thousands of weddings across the UK from live wedding bands in the North East to campervan cocktail bars in Cornwall, so I can help couples understand how the day could go and what details might need to be considered to help ensure everything runs smoothly. I want clients to have complete peace of mind that it will all come together so they can simply sit back, relax and enjoy their day!
Wedding planners or suppliers you particularly admire?
I work with so many great planners and suppliers, I could write a huge list!
A few fantastic wedding planners we often work with are Kim Balasubramaniam Wedding Design, Pippa from Nova Wedding Planning and Meghan from Extraordinary Days. All three really know their stuff and create fantastic, memorable events.
We work with lots of amazing wedding suppliers here at Alive, and one of our favourites is Andrew Billington Photography. We love his style and you’ll find a gorgeous sample of his award-winning work brightening up our website.
How do you unwind?
For me, life’s about quality time with family and friends and having fun. I love snowboarding, concerts, and looking confused at the local pub quiz. I enjoy cooking and eating out, and I consider myself a real foodie. And anything that involves gin and/or fizz is fine by me too!
What trends are you seeing for 2018/19?
The trend for Festival style weddings is not going anywhere soon. Mumford and Sons style indie-folk artists, festival bands, and roaming bands are really popular, and also DJs performing with sax and percussion are a growing trend in terms of a live experience. Couples are reliving happy times at festivals, gigs, and their favourite clubs for their wedding entertainment. It’s Glastonbury, with or without wellies, in your wedding finery.
What is your signature dish?
I do a mean crab ravioli with seafood bisque – it’s my go to meal when I fancy something fancy! I also love the fresh flavours of Thai food, especially Thai green curry and Tom Yum soup.
Whose celebrity wedding (dead or alive) would you love to work on?
Definitely music heroes Beyoncé and Jay Z, who had a lavish monochrome winter wonderland style wedding in 2008. They’re both on the cutting edge of modern music, recently released a single, and are touring together as The Carters! With Jay Z having worked on Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby, I’d love to throw them a sophisticated and extravagant roaring twenties wedding with a contemporary twist and a range of retro-modern live entertainment to elevate the occasion. Like all our weddings, it’d have to be meaningful, emotional, fun and totally tailored to them.
What is your vice?
Perhaps the aforementioned gin and fizz…(although not usually at the same time)!