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Whether it’s the theme tune to your favorite movie or that advert that makes you cry, music makes the world go round and it’s an essential part of your wedding day. It creates the mood and gets everyone on the dance floor to party their socks off. You want your music to be a perfect reflection of you as a couple and a great medley of tunes for your guests to love and party to all night. While you might have a list of your favorite tunes coming out of your ears, you might be stuck on whether to have a wedding band or DJ? We compiled a list of pros and cons for each, so you can just sit back and enjoy the music while you choose.

WHAT TO CONSIDER

Space

First thing’s first: your space. You’ll want to consider whether the venue you’ve chosen will work in favor of a live band. Some buildings don’t have the best acoustics, so a band may not be worth the investment. Also, depending on the size of your wedding venue, you may be forced to choose a DJ over a band. Remember, a DJ can work with an area about the size of a desk whereas a full band will need a stage-sized space to do their thing. This is something to figure out before putting a down payment on a venue if having live music is a make or break for you.

Budget

In the price war, DJs generally cost less, and prices vary depending on equipment requests and whether it’s a weekday or weekend. A 12-piece band, for example, will generally be more expensive than a DJ, since there are more people to pay. (There are always exceptions; celebrity DJs can be just as expensive as live bands.) Band prices vary by the number of musicians, the amount of time you want them to play for, day of the week and what time of year it is.

Music

Once you’ve sorted out what fits into your budget and space, you can move onto the music. DJs and bands have both have their pros and cons in this area. A DJ can tap into a music library of hundreds of thousands of songs with the click of a few buttons, making it easy to please everyone from your top 40-loving teenage cousin to your grandparents. However, live music has better sound quality. On the downside, bands will typically stick to their genre and have a more limited library of songs to choose from, so you may not be able to please your whole audience.

Theme

The overall theme of your wedding is also something to think about. If you’re hosting a vintage affair, a live band may help set the mood. However, if you’re going the more modern route, a DJ would blend in just fine.

BAND: PROS AND CONS

A live band can provide an undeniably classy element to your reception and may even raise the glamour quotient on your celebration, depending on the music genre or style of the band that you select. Having a great band can provide just the right touch to keep the guests talking about this special occasion for years.

Pros:

  • Bands are epic. A group of people rocking out on their instruments can be fun and dramatic and really gets the party started.

  • Music played by a live band almost always sounds incredible.

  • Any love ballads that you choose are guaranteed to sound more heartfelt and emotional when performed by a live band.

  • A band can improvise and adjust the tempo of the songs, to jazz things up when needed!

  • Even guests that don’t enjoy dancing will have fun watching a live band perform.

Cons:

  • Whilst most bands are more than happy to learn a song for your first dance, the remainder of their repertoire might be quite specific. Just make sure the band you pick plays your kind of music! Going to hear them play (before you book) can help with this.

  • Band members will always need a break between sets, which can create a lull in the music. But you can always have a playlist ready to fill the gap.

DJ: PROS AND CONS

The days of disco fever and flashing lights are gone. Today’s disc jockeys are artists in their own right, offering balanced and eclectic mixes of musical styles for all ages. Plus, the songs played will sound exactly as you remember them, encouraging sing-alongs and improvisation. And, depending on the amount of equipment a DJ brings, they’ll take up less dance floor real estate and can be relocated with relative ease.

Pros:

  • A DJ will have an endless variety of songs instantly available to them, meaning they can adjust to the mood or even do requests. You can also make sure they have your list of favorites before the big day!

  • A DJ can take breaks without having to stop the music.

  • The volume levels are easily adjustable.

  • Reputable DJ companies will always have a stand-by DJ, ready to take over should anything go wrong.

Cons:

  • Pre-recorded music might not evoke the same energy as live music… Unless the songs played are ‘your’ songs.

  • If the DJ doesn’t have a lively personality, they can be a wedding buzz-kill. So best to meet them before to make sure.

  • A DJ can sometimes go into autopilot and the songs you specifically asked him not to play may make an unwelcome appearance through the speakers. Try and speak to people that booked your DJ for their wedding, to confirm he will rock it!

The bottom line is that no matter which option you choose, both live music and disc jockey entertainment bring their own unique brand of excitement and magic to the celebration of marriage. Make the choice that is right for you, and look forward to being able to relax as a guest at your own party and fully enjoy one of the most memorable days of your life.