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Should You Choose a Band or a DJ for a Wedding? Pros & Cons

By Ferdi Vol
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When it comes to planning weddings, one of the most common dilemmas that people often find themselves in is if they should be hiring a DJ or a band for the event. After all, you definitely want the attendees to have a great time and to feel as entertaining as possible, and one of the best things to ensure this is to get either one of the two choices above. I have years of playing at weddings as a DJ and I have also spoken to countless people about this topic, so I definitely know the answer!

The short answer is that it depends, but that’s what everybody’s going to tell you. The long answer is that if you want to be on the safe side, hire a DJ for your wedding. If you are feeling a little bit more daring, have some well defined musical taste and do not care that much about the preferences of your attendees, go for the band, ideally one playing covers of your favorite songs.

There’s also the money factor: hiring a DJ tends to be the more affordable choice when compared to the band, which might be a few hundred bucks more expensive depends on the band that you are trying to hire.

Picking between a DJ or a band is obviously a very personal choice, and you are going to have to think about several things such as venue size, budget, and the attendees' preferences before deciding on one or the other. If you want to know more about the pros & cons of both wedding DJs and bands, and which one fits your needs, please read below. I hope you find this article useful!

Wedding DJs Are The Safer Choice, But Bands (Can) Provide More Entertainment Overall

So as I was saying above, picking between a wedding DJ and a band is something that will depend a lot on what type of person you are and what your preferences are music-wise. In general, getting a DJ is the better choice in my opinion because of the fact that a DJ is much more versatile than a band. A DJ will play song requests that a band might not be able to concede for obvious reasons. This is why choosing a DJ for your wedding is a safer choice when compared to a traditional band.

If you do not like the music that is being played, you can always ask the DJ to switch it up. You could even give him a pre-established song list to play with, which means that you can have total control of the music being played. This is obviously a luxury that you can’t have if you hire a band to play at your wedding. The musical catalog of a band will obviously be much more limited than with DJs, and if you have some special songs that you want to hear in your wedding, you are probably going to have to ask them to learn them ahead of time, and even then it might not be possible if the piece is too complex for the band to play.

Wedding DJs also have the added benefit of playing a more diverse set of music styles when compared to a band, which might only play a few select genres such as rock, pop, or lounge music. This is especially important if you tend to listen to a lot of electronic dance music or trap songs, or anything that a traditional band doesn’t play. A traditional band won’t be able to play more esoteric musical genres no matter how good they are (at least in a way that resembles the original songs) and so that’s where the appeal of a DJ comes in. 

Another reason why DJs are in my opinion the better choice: price. Hiring a professional will probably be a few hundred bucks cheaper than hiring any decent band. This is because of several reasons. First of all, a band is going to have several members playing instruments. You are going to be paying for 3 or 4 people instead of just 1 in the case of hiring the DJ. They also need to set up things like guitar pedals, amplifiers, and everything at the wedding, move stuff, and all that increases the prices.

But hiring a band for a wedding does have a lot of advantages. First of all, the vibe that a good band can create on a wedding cannot be underestimated. That’s why it’s important to actually get people that are experienced handling these types of events: they can really improve the experience that the guests have and make them have a heck of a time. I personally have heard of many bands doing routines where they call people on stage to sing and things of that nature that will really spice up any event. This is one of the things that definitely distinguishes bands from DJs. 

Also, a live performance from a band is often said to be much more exciting than a DJ playing mixes, especially at a wedding setting. The truth is that unless the DJ is also great at mcing or you are thinking of hiring a designated person for that task, hiring a DJ might make things a little bit boring at your wedding. This is not the case with a live band for obvious reasons, especially if the band plays more fast-paced music or music that fits the ambiance. 

Other types of wedding entertainment

Aside from choosing between a DJ and a band, there are also a few other choices when it comes to wedding entertainment. From hiring magicians to doing the wedding in a different country, there is a myriad of choices that you can look at, so you don’t necessarily have to hire a DJ or a band to make things work entertainment-wise. This is especially true if you are planning the wedding on a strict budget. Some of the other options that you might want to consider include:

Do a pool party

If you are willing to make things a little bit more casual, making your wedding a pool party can be really fun for everybody involved. After all, not everybody enjoys dressing up to the nines and sitting for hours on end waiting for the wedding to actually take place. You can substitute the DJ or band for a preset tracklist and even have other people choose their preferred songs. This will not only reduce costs, but you are going to be less overwhelmed with other things, which means you can focus on what's actually important: getting married.

Do the wedding in a casino

Another awesome idea to think about, especially if you love gambling, is doing the wedding in a casino. While some might dismiss the idea as trashy or unconventional, I personally love the fact that the guests are going to be so entertained with the slot machines and the blackjack and the poker tables. This is a very good idea if you live in areas like Atlantic city or vegas where it’s really easy to find a casino that concedes with your requests.

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About DJ Pro Tips
DJ Pro Tips is a website that has the goal to make you a better DJ by providing useful and accurate information.
About the Author
Ferdi Vol is a DJ for several years and is here to share his passion with you.
About Ferdi Vol
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