Planning a wedding is full of decision-making. Religious or secular ceremony? 50 guests or 150? Sit-down dinner or canapés? Live band or DJ?
And it’s all up to two people who may have never planned an event in their lives.
Several factors will come in to play. For starters, sticking to the wedding budget is generally a primary concern, and even modest weddings come with hefty price tags. Couples also need to accommodate to the tastes of all their guests, from college friends to elderly great aunts. Most importantly, weddings are meant to reflect the bride and groom – it’s important that you like the venue, food, music etc. in the first place. After all, if you don’t have fun at your own wedding, what’s the point?
When it comes to deciding between a live band and a DJ for your wedding entertainment, here are some points that you may want to consider, hopefully making the whole process that little bit easier:
A DJ is undoubtedly cheaper than a band. For a four to six hour-long reception, a DJ will cost between $500 and $1000, depending on experience and equipment. A band however will generally be priced from around $1800 up to $4000, depending on size, quality and experience. If this is out of your price range, but you still want live music, a smaller act (solo to trio) will be more affordable, at around $600 to $1600.
A standard covers band will generally have between 100 and 300 songs under their belts, while a DJ, armed with all the memory of their MacBook, may have in excess of 10,000.
However, is this really a huge advantage? Generally, a DJ will pull out the same ‘party favourites’ that the band will, with the remaining 9,900 songs being obscure tracks that are rarely requested. While the repertoire of a band is more limited, an experienced group should come prepared with a well-balanced selection of popular songs to accommodate all tastes, from Motown standards, to top 40 favourites.
When choosing your entertainment, it’s important you consider your venue. How big is the room your reception is being held in?
DJ’s take up relatively little floor-space, so if your reception venue is on the smaller side, a DJ won’t cramp up the dance-floor. Duos and trios are also very compact, so if you are concerned about space, a smaller band is still an option.
If you are using a large venue for your reception, a full band will look and sound fantastic. Not only will they produce enough sound to fill the entire room, but they will also add a visual element that will suit the larger space.
When it comes down to ‘wow’ factor, nothing beats a great live band. Not only are they visually spectacular, they also come with an infectious energy and emphasis on audience interaction, that is guaranteed to keep your guests entertained and on the dance floor.
A wedding DJ will not be able to pull off the ‘show’ element that comes with a band. As they are playing pre-recorded music, DJ’s aren’t able to generate the excitement that is generated from watching live performance.
The advantage of a DJ lies in their ability to play ‘nightclub’ favourites, which a live band can simply not pull off. Songs that rely heavily on electronic beats and computer-generated effects are generally not convincing when performed by a standard six-piece band.