M
Beginner August 2021

Band or dj (or both?)

Megan, on January 4, 2021 at 12:20 PM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 12
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We've always wanted to hire live music and are looking into it, but has anyone had experience with a combination? Or if you hired a live band, how did you play your ceremony music? What about first dances, did you use the live band or have them play the original songs? Our wedding is all outdoors, so any experience with that would be amazing, I have so many questions and can't seem to find a lot of resources on this topic!!

12 Comments

Latest activity by Eri, on January 4, 2021 at 8:13 PM
  • V
    Champion July 2019
    Veronica ·
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    My brother had a combination of both of live music and DJ. The DJ provided the music for the reception and he got married in the church so the pastor's wife played the music for the ceremony. The pastor, his wife and their children also played and sang a song during part of the ceremony, The pastor played the guitar, the wife played the piano and all but the wife sang. It was very beautiful. For our wedding, we only had a DJ. We did have all instrumental music for our ceremony so we could have hired a violinist, pianist, or both to play the songs we wanted, but it was more cost effective to just have the DJ play a recording of the songs.

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  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
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    My cousin had a live band that switched to a DJ partway through the reception but I believe it was all the same company so a package deal. We only had a live band and it was ridiculously expensive, so I can't imagine having a DJ in addition unless it were some kind of package deal. 2 members of our live band played our ceremony music and the full band took care of the rest. We sent a video of us doing our first dance to our band leader prior to the wedding so that the lead singer knew how to pace the song for our first dance.

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  • M
    Beginner August 2021
    Megan ·
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    Thank you! If you did it again, would you still hire the live band, even given the cost? Since you only had a live band, did they also play during your ceremony?

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  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
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    Yes they played instrumental music during our ceremony (and cocktail hour). Many guests to this day still talk about how our live band was one of the best parts of our reception, and I have no regrets despite the cost. But we also had a very formal wedding at a fancy venue that is more used to bands than DJs to begin with. But I love live bands at weddings!

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  • M
    Beginner August 2021
    Megan ·
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    Amazing!! That's super helpful to hear. Did they even play your first dance songs? Did you have any non-live music played (like during band breaks, for example) and if so, did the band handle that?

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  • Hanna
    VIP June 2019
    Hanna ·
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    Yes they played our first dance song. We had a choreographed dance and we sent them a video beforehand of us doing our dance so they knew exactly how to pace the song. The only time they didn't play was during speeches and the main course of dinner (because they had to eat too). I think some background music was played during the entree but I honestly don't remember!

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  • Jamie
    Dedicated July 2021
    Jamie ·
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    I always wanted live music and FH wanted a DJ. So we are opting for a combination. We have a guitarist who will be playing for our ceremony and cocktail hour then switching to DJ for the reception. Our ceremony and cocktail will be outdoors and then we will head inside to the ballroom, so it's actually a perfect transition.
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  • Lauren
    Expert July 2021
    Lauren ·
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    So we hired a DJ that will play music for our ceremony and cocktail hour. Then for the reception we have a drummer that will play along with the DJ. There are other options to like a saxophone player etc. I’ve seen a few weddings with it and it’s a blast. They really add something special to the songs already known.
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
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    There are a ton of posts under the search feature.


    A dj is a given for us because we prefer to hear music from the original artists. However it is common to have live music (instrumentals) during the ceremony, whether a Spanish guitar or string trio or something else.
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  • KYLIE
    Super May 2019
    KYLIE ·
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    We had a violinist for our ceremony and cocktail hour, and then just used a Bluetooth speaker and Spotify playlist for our reception.


    The violinist was one of my favorite parts of the day. I had a very specific piece of music I wanted to walk down the aisle to and then we had a huge variety of music we wanted for cocktail hour. She could play literally any piece of music, from TV show themes to hymns. It sounded so elegant an beautiful.
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  • Melle
    Legend June 2019
    Melle ·
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    I did a dj only. i never really thought of live music.

    i have been to weddings that had both though and i would say that it was memorable but honestly not necessary [it can be really expensive having both] and often times having just one is plenty

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  • Eri
    Super October 2020
    Eri ·
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    I’m team DJ, though we sadly had to cancel ours.


    For the ceremony, we hired a violinist and cellist duo and it was one of the best decisions we made!
    Live bands can be great, I just prefer less of a concert vibe for the reception.
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