Wedding entertainment is one of the toughest decisions you’ll face when it comes to planning your reception, so we’re sharing our top tips in the battle of live band vs DJ before you say ‘I do’ to either or.
Budget: Generally speaking DJs do cost less, prices also vary depending on the date of your wedding (weekday or weekend) which means some professionals are open to negotiating a final cost. This also means you can check out the competition and get an idea of benchmark price and industry rates in your area.
When it comes to live bands, you don’t really have this luxury. There’s all sorts of styles – jazz, instrumental, solo artists, guitarists – all with different price points which usually grow steeper when moving from four-piece bands to 12-piece bands and beyond as you pay hourly per person.
Flexible set-list: DJs are usually very flexible in their set-list and have a catalogue of songs on hand that can move and flow with the general mood of the reception. If you have a group of Abba fans, you’ll probably be in luck, and the DJs will be open to taking requests.
Live bands on the other hand have rehearsed set songs, and may not be as flexible to change as DJs. There are a lot of hours that go into band rehearsals and singers are often a little uncomfortable to sing something they haven’t practiced at least once before – especially if you throw a rock song at them and they’re jazz-inclined. So don’t put them on the spot too much!
The atmosphere: There’s very little that tops the ambience of a live band. You and your guests will feel like VIPs as your band serenades you, dedicating their songs to you and you alone. It is classic and traditional, adding an air of sophistication to your reception. Not to say that DJs aren’t a lot of fun, they definitely can get people moving on the dancefloor if they have a stellar set-list but are less known for creating crowd interaction.
Catering to genre: As touched on before, if you have a wide range of music tastes within your guest list then a DJ will have something to suit everybody. Live bands do limit you to specific genres of music – but hey! It’s your wedding day, you can listen to what you like!
Some DJs do double as MCs: This can be great for background music during speeches, introductions when the bride and groom enter the room and throughout the night at key segments including cake cutting and as meals are served. They can be very flexible on timing and spontaneous if the mood calls for it as there’s usually just one person on the decks. When theirs a band, theirs multiple people involved so it can be a little harder to coordinate.
Still unsure if a live band or DJ is for you? Reach out to our weddings team for their expert advice.