Without doubt music can make or break your reception and can send your guests home happy and footsore or more than relieved to be on their way. You know that you need to hire either a live band or a DJ but you’re not sure which to choose. Finding one is a matter of asking round amongst your friends, looking on the internet, and shopping around, plus moving quickly, since the talented get booked up well in advance. What style of entertainment suits your tastes, budget, space and guest demographics? These are all things to consider when making your choice.
The type of music generally sets the tone for your wedding and clarifies the theme. It’s usually the thing that guests mostly remember. Think about what sort of music you like and what kind of atmosphere you want to create. Are you looking for funky and groovy or mellow string quartet, disco fever or swanky swing? The way your choice is delivered by either band or DJ can affect the ambience, and the style of music you choose may dictate your decision. Big band, for example, sounds best when played live.
Perhaps you like pop and he likes jazz. Whether you choose a band or a DJ be sure they can play a mixture of slow and fast songs, and old or new tunes to encourage different sets of guests to hit the dance floor.
When it comes to price, DJs tend to cost less depending on equipment requirements and whether you want to book them for a weekend or week day. A 12 piece band will cost more because there are more people to pay. Having said that, there’s always exceptions and a celebrity DJ can cost as much if not more than a live band. The cost of hiring a band varies according to how many musicians are included, how long you want them to play, day of the week and time of the year.
Whatever you do, don’t set your heart on a 12 piece band before checking with the venue whether there are limitations on the number of equipment and musicians allowed and whether there are restrictions on the sound volume and electrical supply. As an example, historical sites may not allow the use of large speakers, so do your homework before searching for bands.
Band or DJ?
There’s nothing better than live music to excite a crowd and get them eager to get into the groove. An experienced band can play a variety of music and a good band leader can play the part of MC, get a feel for the crowd, and choose the music accordingly. On the downside, they may not be able to replicate your favourite song, or the one you both fell in love with. No matter how good they are, they won’t have the huge repertoire of a DJ.
DJs have a huge library of music at their fingertips and quickly switch from upbeat to slow and smoochy. The songs will all sound exactly as everyone remembers them and will encourage improvisations and sing-alongs. A DJ with an excellent personality will also be able to take up the part of MC and get the party going with a swing. Depending on how much equipment they bring along, they’ll also take up less space on the dance floor. The downside is a lack lustre DJ who can kill a party.
Before making up your mind, it’s always a good idea to see and hear them in action, before reaching a decision.