How To Choose: Wedding Band vs. DJ

How To Choose: Wedding Band vs. DJ

Choosing the right music for your reception is essential to creating the perfect atmosphere. You want your guests to feel relaxed, included, and ready to celebrate. You also want something that’s special for you and your spouse. Here are some things to consider when choosing entertainment for your wedding:

Wedding Bands: Live music energizes crowds and gets people moving. Every live performance will be different and unique. If you are having a themed wedding, a live band can complete the experience, like musicians playing ukuleles at your beach wedding. Some bands, however, can only play one sound or genre, and that can be limiting. When the band takes a break, the flow of the evening can shift, so consider if that is something that would disrupt the fun or give guests a chance to rest before more dancing.

Consider your budget. Hiring a wedding band is often more expensive, so you will need to decide if this expense is the best use of your budget. If your reception venue is relatively small and indoors, live music may overpower the reception and make it feel crowded. If a band isn’t for you, consider a DJ.

DJs: When you hire a DJ, you will have access to the DJ’s library of songs, so you get to choose your favorites. Pre-recorded music means that the fun that music brings can go on uninterrupted. Meet with any DJ that you are considering and see if they are a good fit. If they are experienced and know your taste in music, a DJ doesn’t need a set playlist and can change up songs depending on how you and your guests are feeling. On the other hand, consider how open your potential DJ is to following a playlist you made. If possible, try to see the DJ at another event before making a final decision.

Once you have made your decision either to go with a band or with a DJ, here are some tips to keep your guests up and moving throughout your celebration:

  1. Know your audience. Insist that your band or DJ play what would most entertain your guests, rather than what has been most popular with the guests of other weddings.

  2. Variety is important. Play enough variety that people are inspired to keep dancing. You want your guest to think that even though this song isn’t one of their favorites, there is a good chance that the next song will be, so why sit down?

  3. Play older music earlier in the reception. This will give older guests, who tend to leave earlier, a chance to enjoy themselves.

  4. Recruit your wedding party to get out on the dance floor early. This sets the vibe and lets other guests know that it’s time to get moving. This also gives reluctant dancers time to ease into the spirit of the celebration and eventually get out of their seats.

  5. Ask for recommendations ahead of time. One way to do that is on your wedding invitation response cards- ask guests to list their favorite dance songs. Not only will guests be more likely to get up and dance when they hear that song played, but they will also feel included in your considerations.

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