DJ or Band

Having the right music at your reception is essential to setting the mood, and making sure people have fun. But how do you know whether to hire a wedding band or DJ? Here are the pros and cons of each.

Wedding Band Pros

  • There truly is nothing like live music, which can energize the crowd, and get people more excited for dancing
  • Odds are, the sound quality will be better than with a DJ
  • A specific type of band can truly complete a wedding theme. (For example, a 1930s-themed wedding and a swing band, an Irish wedding and a Celtic band, or fairytale wedding with an orchestra)

Wedding Band Cons

  • For many, the cost of hiring a wedding band is prohibitive. At a cost of between $3000 and $20,000 (and up!), you’ll want to know that you’ve found the most ideal group for your wedding ever
  • Some wedding bands can really only play one sound, and have a hard time switching genres or styles. You might find yourself with one that is either too classical, too jazzy, or just plain too wedding-band-like. And, if you’ve got a favorite song, they may not be able to play it well
  • Some bands have only one volume: loud. If you’ve got a small reception venue, a wedding band might overpower it
  • Those musicians are going to need to take breaks; when the music stops, most will turn on a CD for you, and it usually lacks the same type of energy.

DJ Pros

  • The price is right. The average price for a DJ in Chicago is $1250.
  • Your first dance song can be sung by the artist that made you fall in love, rather than a pale imitation
  • Most DJs have libraries of thousands of songs. That means they’ll have music that your friends will like, as well as songs for every generation
  • Songs can quickly segue from great dance numbers to the perfect “cutting the cake song” or background music as someone makes a toast
  • DJs do not take breaks

DJ Cons

  • Beware of the bored/cheesy DJ or worse, the one on autopilot. Because many wedding DJs have their routines down pat, they can get bored. You do not want a cookie cutter wedding. No terrible jokes or try to ham it up between songs. I’ve seen an autopilot DJ play songs from the “do not play list”, ask for the bride’s father to make a toast even though he wasn’t there, and announce a couple as Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirstname Hislastname even though the bride didn’t change her name and they specifically asked to be announced in a different way! Make sure you meet with the person who will actually be performing your wedding. See if you’ve got a vibe that meshes, and if he/she makes you feel comfortable.

Above all, do your homework. Your DJ or band will make or break your event.

source: Nina Callaway

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  1. […] for the DJ to spin, or use the opportunity to incorporate live music with a jazz trio or acoustic band. Whatever the selection, keep the melodies low so guests can easily talk and […]

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