Your wedding is the biggest day of your life, and you will create special memories that you will cherish forever. However, with this comes enormous pressure for everything to be perfect, and that includes the music. The music played at a wedding has the power to make or break the whole day. It’s common knowledge that the two main things guests will take away from your wedding are the food and the music. So, (food aside) choose your music right and your wedding day will go down in history. If you’re unsure whether to hire a live band or a DJ for your big day, we’ve dissected each option in terms of occasion, versatility, vibe and cost to help your decision making.
Live Music: occasion, versatility, vibe and cost
Live music can bring any wedding to life, but it depends on the style and theme of your wedding and the demographics of your guests. For example, if your wedding is an intimate affair, a 3-piece band or a string quartet could be the perfect fit in terms of space and volume.
Live music isn’t and shouldn’t be reserved for older generations, or be thought of as old-fashioned. In fact, many wedding music bands veer away from classical or jazz music and have a versatile and contemporary repertoire.
Most live bands will allow you to request your favorite pop songs by popular artists like Drake, Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber. There isn’t much that a top quality live band can’t deliver, and they will surely get everyone, of all ages, onto the dance floor.
There is nothing quite like live music to get the party started and bring people together. It’s exciting, infectious and joyous, and compared to a DJ there really isn’t much comparison, especially when a live band takes on a big and iconic number.
Hiring a live band for your wedding may be a little costlier, but the feel is worth it! They generally charge higher than the DJs, due to a band being made up of multiple (talented) individuals who all must transport large instruments and equipment. Therefore, the bigger the band, the more you will pay.
It also should be noted that it isn’t cheaper to hire a live band for just an hour or two because it often means they aren’t available for other work that same day. To get your money’s worth, consider hiring a band for a large portion of the wedding reception. You should also take the time of year into consideration, as it will have a big effect on the overall price.
If you really want to get it right with music, it’s worth budgeting a bit more for top quality professionals.
DJ: occasion, versatility, vibe and cost
A DJ may be a suitable option for your wedding if it is more casual and lowkey, or if you have a smaller budget. A DJ may also be better logistically if you’re having a destination wedding, or you are limited on space.
It’s important to consider your own taste and that of your guests. If you want your wedding reception to be a big party that goes on until the small hours, and you want everyone to request whatever songs they like, hiring a DJ may be easier.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of hiring a DJ is their versatility. DJs often have vast catalogues of music with thousands of songs from an array of genres available, so it won’t be often that a song you request isn’t in their repertoire.
With a DJ you and your guests can enjoy an eclectic mix of music, from pop and R&B to dance and classic rock.
A good DJ can add a lot to a wedding day. If they are charismatic, can get a crowd going and are good at improvisation (i.e. able to handle the influx of song requests), your guests will have the time of their lives and the energy won’t drop.
On the other hand, a DJ without enough personality can ruin the whole evening and the energy can fall flat. It is therefore recommended to do your research before you book a DJ to properly gauge whether they are the right fit for your big day.
A DJ is generally cheaper than a live band, due to the act being one person as opposed to a group of people. However, this greatly depends on the equipment you request, the time of year, the time of the week and the set duration. Also, if the DJ is well-known or highly esteemed, you will pay more for their time.