The perfect wedding reception deserves the perfect wedding music. The problem is that there is no one universal “perfect wedding music.” Maybe you have a Renaissance themed wedding, so your favorite 80s power ballad might be a little out of place. Maybe you and your spouse don’t actually care for traditional love songs. The biggest question when considering wedding music is whether to hire a live band or a DJ? The answer varies from wedding to wedding, and it depends on a few different factors.
The cost depends on who you hire. In most situations, hiring a DJ is cheaper than hiring a band and preferable if the couple is on a tight budget. However, a popular DJ may charge considerably more for a gig than most other DJs, and a band still trying to gain local recognition might charge less than a well-established band. If you have family or friends that have a band, you can ask them to play for your wedding for a discount, in which case a live band might be more affordable than a DJ.
The space available in the reception venue should also come into your choice. A musical duo might not need much space, but a full eight piece band will need plenty of room for their instruments and equipment. A DJ will need room for their tables as well as hookups to the power in the room. What is your venue equipped to host? Hire your DJ or band accordingly.
It’s hard to beat the energy of a live show, and a live wedding band is something that your guests will be able to enjoy as much as you do. On the other hand, bands tend to have a very specific sound which limits the range of the music they can provide for your wedding. DJs, rather than being musicians themselves, are music curators. They have a wider selection of music to appeal to all of your guests–from your standards loving grandma to your party animal friends.
Whether to choose a band or a DJ also depends on the theme of your wedding. If you have a roaring 20s themed wedding, a jazz band will help the theme to feel more authentic than tracks coming from a set of turntables ever will. A live band might look more natural than a DJ in a rustic, outdoorsy reception. On the other hand, a disco themed wedding requires a flashy set of turntables more than it does a live band. And if you can’t find a jazz band in your area or within your budget, a DJ can find the perfect songs and even incorporate playlist suggestions of your own for the wedding.
On the whole, a live band is appealing to many newlyweds simply for the authenticity of a live performance. However, a DJ may be able to offer more variety for less money. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal tastes and what you have available to you.
What are you planning for your wedding reception music? Let us know in the comments below!