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How To Choose Your Wedding Reception Music: DJ vs. Live Band

As important as your wedding day is, there are only a few elements that your guests will take away and remember for years: the food and the music.  As much as we all love a good meal, I think it was Shakespeare who said it best, “If music be the food of love, play on...” It’s the music that truly has the power to make or break the wedding reception so choosing who should play at your wedding is a huge decision to make.

How to choose wedding reception music.

Deciding to have a live band or DJ (disc jockey) play at your wedding is all about your personal preference.  There is really no right or wrong answer to which is better.  It all comes down to what type of entertainment suits your personal taste, budget, space allowances, guest demographics, etc.  The best way to answer these questions is to keep an open mind and dig into your memory to remember what other couples have done at wedding receptions you’ve been to.  If there is a certain DJ or live band that sticks out in your mind, check them out.  The one thing to remember when playing around with your reception music options is to work quickly, as many of them book their events a year or so in advance.

What kind of vibe do you want?

The way the music is delivered at your wedding reception affects the vibe you give at your wedding.  Choosing genres that suit both of your personalities will make the celebration more personal and will help you determine if a live band or DJ is right for you.  Usually big band sounds and universal groove-worthy songs are delivered best by a live band.  However, a wedding DJ can offer a little more of a variety in music genres than a live band may be able to.  This is something to consider when thinking about the demographics of the guests attending your wedding reception.

What can you afford?

Your budget is another thing to consider when deciding between a live band or wedding DJ.  In general, a DJ will cost less on an hourly basis than a live band due to the nature of the act.  A DJ is usually a one person act so you are paying for one person, their talent and the use of their equipment.  With a live band, you are paying for each person in the band, their talent (and equipment), and amount of time you want them to play.  So, the more people/pieces in your act, the higher the price you will pay.

Personality matters.

Entertainment value is another huge aspect to think about.  When you pay for a DJ or a live band, as stated above, you’re not only paying them to play the music but you are paying for their talent, as well.  A good leader will be the master of ceremonies and get your crowd to slip on their dancing shoes.  This is something huge to consider and can be the key to having guests with happy feet or not.  One of the perks of a live band is that they are already considered to be performers and audience interaction should come fairly easily.  However, a DJ can come with a pretty stellar personality, too, so viewing each act in action before booking is necessary.

Ask your venue for suggestions.

Your wedding reception venue may offer added help in the DJ vs. band decision.  Be sure to check with your venue first to determine if they have any restrictions on the number of musicians or pieces of equipment you can bring in.  Also, ask about noise limitations and electrical power supply sources as these may help narrow down your choices.

Have a good time!

Choosing to have a live wedding band or a wedding DJ is truly a matter of personal preference.  One thing is certain though: you do want your guests to have a great evening, so booking an entertaining act is necessary.  No matter what, be the life of your own party.  If you are having a good time, your guests will undoubtedly follow suit. For more information on wedding music and reception music, check out this other blog by My Wedding Chat: Wedding Reception Songs.

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Ava Murphy
May 16, 2019 06:41

It was nice to know that hiring a wedding DJ is more affordable than hiring a wedding band because you can expect to only pay for 1 person. My fiance and I are looking to make sure that our wedding reception is going to be fun. We want to have live music in our wedding reception, so we’re exploring our options. Since our top priority is our budget because of a lot of expenses that we have to consider, we’ll make sure to consider hiring a wedding DJ.

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