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Choosing Between a DJ or a Wedding Band

Kimberly, on June 20, 2007 at 7:37 PM Posted in Planning 0 13
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We want to make sure to have the best music and get people up, dancing, and having fun. What is the best way to add some life to the wedding/party? I think there are pros and cons for both a dj or a band. Would love to hear your thoughts.

13 Comments

  • Laura Auer
    January 2020
    Laura Auer ·
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    While bands are high-energy and sometimes interactive, keep in mind they won't be able to accommodate requests as easily as a DJ will and they also require frequent breaks through the evening. Therefore, your party will have to 'take a break' and dance to a CD for a few minutes every hour.

    Also, consider the huge cost difference between the two! Honestly I'd go with a DJ unless a live band is really important to you.

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  • Elviebird
    Dedicated May 2007
    Elviebird ·
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    I've personally enjoyed weddings more where there is a DJ just because there is so much more variety in the type of music played. Plus.. how do you get a band to play the chicken dance song? Just kidding..

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  • Dawn Gunter
    January 2020
    Dawn Gunter ·
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    Unless you're looking for a specific type of music for a live band (such as a swing band) the DJ is usualy more economical and more well rounded choice. There are bands out there than can play an incredible variety of songs from all venues (top 40 bands that do all covers). If you start looking for a band make sure it is a band that has done a few weddings before, and that they are willing to take requests. They may be limited, but if you let them know before the wedding date they may be more likely to accomodate. The good ones will have a list of songs they know at the wedding so that the guests can read through it to make requests... and just about any band that does weddings, knows the chicken dance. I used to do be in these bands, and there was no request I hated more! ehehehe

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  • cary
    Savvy September 2006
    cary ·
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    Im all for a DJ. Bands often time play too loud during the dinner and the music is too static. Ive only seen one good band and a wedding, and Ive been to lots. Smiley tongue

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  • Amy
    Just Said Yes May 2009
    Amy ·
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    I'm an event planner and I recently did a wedding where the couple opted for a DJ and a band. I was a little skeptical going into it but the couple is really into music and that's what they wanted. I can't stress enough how happy I was with the outcome! It was such a great mix of music. The band didn't play the entire night, just two 40 minute sets. The DJ did MC duties and played during dinner, the first dances and in between the band's sets.

    The band was so good that I've booked them for my daughter's sweet 16 next spring. If anyone is interested in a great and reasonably priced rock/pop band in the St. Louis, MO area, let me know and I'll get you their info!

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  • Patti Wang Cross
    Savvy July 2006
    Patti Wang Cross ·
    • Flag

    We went with a wedding band, but it's partially because we're bluegrass fans, and that type of music is best played live, I think. I went around town and listened to a ton of bands before choosing one. It might be a good idea, though, to have an iPod or CDs or something that can be played when the band takes breaks. I think if you're going with a band, you just want to make sure your expectations are very clearly communicated; when should they play "background music," and when should they blast it? When are okay times for breaks, and what should be done when they break? I think live music is fun, and the band was a great reflection of our tastes as a couple. But DJs can probably give your guests more variety, and as far as I know, they don't need breaks! Good luck, and congratulations on your engagement!

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  • Mary Martinez
    January 2020
    Mary Martinez ·
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    DJ's have the ability to cover much more of the musical slate so to speak due to the fact that they are not bound by only what their fingers know. A good DJ carries music for every age and genre in their case despite the fact that they may not use it for that particular event.

    The reason for this is that you never know what is going to happen!

    I worked for a DJ company before I became a wedding planner and in fact still work with them occasionally. In my opinion if you are looking for the best music and your goal is to get people up and dancing a DJ is the way to go. This way you can cover as many genres as possible and allow every guest to enjoy the music instead of just those fans of a particular genre.

    In many cases DJ's also prove less expensive than most bands.

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  • Mitchel Bowen
    January 2020
    Mitchel Bowen ·
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    I guess I go against the grain.

    I am a wedding photographer in St. Louis, and the first thing I do at the reception is make a B-Line for the music presentation.

    This is the person who will be helping coordinate your reception schedule as well as the music.

    As an artist, I love arriving at a reception and finding a saxaphone, guitar, keyboard/synth, microphones, and a band of guys who have been creating art for years.

    ...makes for great photography too.

    they have their equipment set up so that they can turn the volume down for any individual instrument...or the master volume as well.

    The trick is finding a band with your selection of songs.

    I love the bands, on the other hand the DJ has a billion songs and CD's that he can pop into the player.....

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  • P
    Just Said Yes September 2009
    Page ·
    • Flag

    Dash of Class Entertainment. Gives you the bestof both worlds. they are a Dash but you can opt to hirer live music. For example through Dash of Class hirer a violinist or Harpis to play for an hour during cocktail.

    I think its great you have the dj playing all you favorite songs and not sounding horrible like some live bands do and still have the option to hirer live classy musicians for a solo.

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  • T
    Just Said Yes October 2005
    Trinni ·
    • Flag

    I had a DJ for my wedding. Along with a specific list of songs that we gave them to play at particular intervals, we left some time so that our guests could make requests and dedications, both with original songs and with karaoke (which may or may not work, depending on your guests Smiley smile

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  • David Chaump
    January 2020
    David Chaump ·
    • Flag

    I own a band named "Groove Train" and have been playing weddings for years. Please allow me to share some of my opinions regarding "Live Music" and my band in particular:

    1. A professional wedding/private party band should be able to play everything from the 40's to today's Top40.

    2. After dinner hour, our band takes one 15 minute break, and has been known to play straight through. During that break, we DJ music to keep the party going.

    3. A good band will be sensitive to volume concerns and know when to 'turn it up'. Believe me, I have also heard plenty of obnoxiously loud DJ's in my time who don't have a clue about volume control.

    4. The differences in cost are surprisingly not as great as you may think. With Groove Train,you are paying for the services of 5 highly skilled and talented musicians with years invested in honing their craft.

    5. IMHO,the difference in the ambiance generated between a great, live band and a DJ is like night and day. Live Music creates excitement!

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  • Daisuke Takeoka
    January 2020
    Daisuke Takeoka ·
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    If you're a fan of a local band, and had experience dancing to them, and if it is a financially viable choice, I would go with the band.

    A DJ is usually cheaper, more flexible (in terms of requests) and might be more punctual (it's easier to get the DJ and her/his assistant on time than a 5 piece band). If you're picking entertainment out of the yellow pages because you don't have a referral, you're most likely going to get a bigger bang for your buck with a DJ.

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