Hiring a Band vs. DJ

Whether you choose to go with a band or DJ for your wedding reception, one thing is for sure: music is a key element to every wedding and it controls the flow and feel of the entire event. You and your guests might not realize that the flowers on your cake aren't exactly the color you wanted, but you will notice if your guests aren't enjoying the music and aren't filling the dance floor, and trust us they will be talking about it after the fact. Choosing a band or DJ can be a tough decision though, and both have their positive and negative aspects. Here a few things to consider as you make your decision.
Kyle and Olin's Wedding
Photo courtesy of Philip Gabriel Photography
Guest List
Is your wedding guest list mostly made up of family members, some that might be older, or do you have a younger wedding guest list, mostly made up of your friends? If it's an older crowd, they may appreciate the sound and classic feel of a band, while a younger crowd may prefer to hear their favorite songs played by a DJ, just like they sound on the radio. 

Because of noise or space constrictions, some venues actually have restrictions on bands being in their space. Your first step is to speak with the venue manager to see if both bands and DJs are allowed and can be accommodated in their space before you make any decisions. 

Music Variety
Most bands can play anything from Motown to Jazz and R&B to Top 40, but the one thing to consider is that a band still has a limited number of songs they can perform while a DJ has an endless list of songs you can choose from. If you want to control every last song that plays during your wedding and you are already creating a playlist in your head, you might want to go with a DJ. If you aren't a music fanatic a band's list of hundreds of songs they can perform will be plenty for you to choose from. 
Beverly and Charles' Wedding
Photo courtesy of Lindsay Docherty Photography
It's true, bands cost more than DJs, but you have to consider what is most important to you during your wedding day. If music is your thing and is an important factor to you, we can assure you that you won't regret spending the extra money on a band. If however, you are looking to cut costs in your budget, choosing a DJ over a band will definitely save you some pennies. Be careful though, if you cut costs too much and go with a DJ that is charging you a low cost that seems almost too good to be true, you may get what you pay for. 

Vendor Meals
If you hire a DJ, they usually come with 1-2 people, but a band can be comprised of anywhere from 3-15 members. One thing to remember is that you have to provide vendor meals for each vendor, so if cost is an issue, hiring a 15 person band can really add an additional cost onto your catering bill that you might not have planned for. 

Expected vs. Unexpected
If you hire a DJ, you are traditionally going to hear the album versions of all of your favorite songs, besides mixing the songs, the actual sound of each song is well, exactly how you would expect it. The benefit here is that they guests will join in and sing along to almost every song. When hiring a band, they way each individual band performs a song can be completely varied. The sound, the voice, the instruments, all are unexpected and don't sound exactly how the song is usually heard. This can be a good thing to offer variety, but if you don't choose a talented band, it can also leave guests disappointed that their favorite song isn't living up to their standard. 

Live vs. Not Live 
A band is of course live music and who doesn't love a live concert? Seeing a band perform right in front of you, seeing their emotion, and hearing the music come out of an instrument is something that a DJ simply can't replicate. What a DJ does have though is personality. A DJ with a great personality can really get the crowd going, while one without a great personality can quickly clear the dance floor. 

See Them Live
Most talent companies who manage bands will have showcases at different points throughout the year, even monthly. This is a great way for you to see several different bands perform live and choose the right one for you. When it comes to choosing a DJ, it mostly comes from word of mouth from friends and family or maybe even ratings online. There are a few DJs that you have the opportunity to hear before booking them, but not all DJ companies offer this option.

If you're thinking of asking us if we like a band or DJ better, our answer would be- we LOVE both! It really does come down to the right fit for each wedding and each couple. So the choice is yours!


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