Can’t decide between hiring a wedding band or DJ? There are several pros and cons to hiring entertainment when it comes to choosing between a wedding band vs DJ, but for most couples it comes down to preference and price. There’s no doubt that music is the heartbeat of your reception. Choosing the right type of entertainment ultimately comes down to what is most important to you: budget, space, personal taste and guest experience. We’ve curated a list of pros and cons that will help you hire the right service for your big day.
7 Things to consider when choosing between hiring a Wedding Band or Professional DJ
Typically, bands have a higher price tag than a DJ service. A good wedding band can range between $4000-$30,000, where as a professional wedding DJ will start around $800. Both vendors will typically require a meal as an added cost (HEADS UP: you will most likely need to provide a meal for all of the band members). With a band, there is also the added cost of staging and lighting. And then lastly, typically you are required to provide a green room for the band.
A band will take up more space within your venue, especially if they require a stage and additional power. DJs typically need a basic power source and about a 10×10 section of the venue close to the dance floor. Take into consideration your venue size and layout options. If a large dance floor area is a priority or the guest count is high, a DJ will save on floor space. It is a good idea to check with your venue to review band power requirements and learn how the floorplan might change with a band versus DJ option.
3. Emcee Duties
Do NOT overlook this – it is equally as important as good music. The decision may fall on which option offers the best emcee services. You need your evening to flow and your planner needs a great voice to keep the party going. A quality emcee will know how to release tables for dinner, announce the cake cutting, introduce the wedding party, and ensure you and your guests are enjoying the reception to the fullest.
4. Guest Experience
With a band, there is an additional sense of entertainment where guests will enjoy the live music aspect of your evening, even if they might not dance. However, a DJ can provide a vast music database to engage the crowd with just the right song. A band can also add to the overall style of the wedding. Country bands, 80s style bands, or Big Bands can all contribute to the vibe of the night.
5. Song Repertoire
In some cases, the band will not have the same range of music for your event. This is commonly known, but something to remember. If you want particular songs played or not played, always let the band or DJ know ahead of time. Besides pricing, this may be the most significant reason couples choose to go with a DJ service.
6. Additional Services
Outside of the reception dancing, there are other aspects of the wedding day where music entertainment is needed. Speak with both bands and DJs that you are interviewing about what they can provide concerning pre-ceremony music, ceremony music, and cocktail hour entertainment. It is also an option to hire both a DJ and a band for different aspects of your day.
7. DIY Your Own Mix Tape as a Substitute
We strongly suggest that you just don’t. Having your cousin plug into a system with his iPad and playlist sounds cheap and easy in theory, but the execution is always poor. Share your favorite songs with a DJ, but please do yourselves and your guests a favor and find someone (preferably a pro!) with the right equipment and discernment of song selection.
PHOTOGRAPHY CREDIT: Beatbox Portraits