bride and groom dancing with guests after wedding

Should I Have a Band or DJ for My Wedding?

Jul 11, 2018
By Wedding Spot

It’s no secret that having amazing music is an essential part of throwing a fun wedding reception. After all, who doesn’t want to see their closest friends and family dance the night away? However, it can be difficult to decide whether you should have a live band or DJ lead the festivities on your big day. Here are a few factors you can consider when deciding on your wedding music.

Choose a live band if …

You have a sizable budget

With all of the equipment, time, effort, and talent that goes into a wedding band production, it’s little wonder that live bands cost significantly more than a DJ. If you’re on a tight budget, a wedding band definitely won’t be the most cost-effective option.

Your guests aren’t dancers

If a lot of your guests don’t like to hit the dance floor, then a DJ might just bore them to tears. Live bands offer the best of both worlds, allowing your dance-adverse guests to enjoy an incredible show while still keeping dance-loving guests movin’ and groovin’.

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You want to impress

Live bands are an impressive sight with their costumes, instruments, and charismatic presence. Their sound quality is golden as well. After all, what’s better than hearing music played right next to you? Overall, if you’re hoping to host an impressive occasion, a live band is a great way to top off an elegant evening.

You want to get emotional

Almost everyone agrees: There’s just something about live music that can transform an otherwise “okay” song into an incredible tear-jerker. If you’re hoping to see your closest friends and loved ones get a tad sentimental on the big day, then booking a band might be for you.


Choose a DJ if …

You have limited space

Live bands often take up a great deal of room and aren’t ideal for smaller venues. Even the most elaborate DJ setup takes up very little space compared to a band. If you don’t have a lot of room to go around, opting for a DJ may be the less claustrophobic option.

You want non-stop wedding music

While bands will need to stop for breaks, a good DJ will transition from song to song all night long without any lulls. If you have a high-energy group who loves to keep it moving on the dance floor, then a DJ might be the best option for you.

You’re looking for variety

Even the most skilled band will have a limited repertoire of songs they can play. If you want to play songs from a wide variety of genres and eras, then a DJ might be best for providing the versatility that you crave.

You need an emcee

Bands are known for playing amazing music, but usually aren’t as skilled in making announcements and keeping the event “flowing” properly. A good wedding DJ will know how to take music requests, craft spectacular playlists, and emcee your reception like a champ.  

UP NEXT: How — and when — to create your wedding playlist!

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.