Live Band or DJ for Your Wedding: Here’s How to Decide

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There’s no denying that the right live music can turn your wedding into an unforgettable event, but how do you choose between a live band or DJ for your wedding? The choice is tough, and both have pros and cons, so if you’re feeling lost on what decision to make, we’re here to help. 

Here are some questions to help you chose between a wedding band or DJ:

What’s the Vibe?

Are you aiming for a small romantic party or a high energy bash? Does your guest list love to dance all night, or would they prefer watching a band perform? Will you have a theme or a specific genre you want to stick to? 

The type of music played at your wedding, and the way it’s delivered will have a significant role in the vibe of your wedding. The questions above can help you figure out whether a wedding band or DJ best fit the vibe you’re aiming for. 

For example, a string quartet or jazz band is great for a romantic and elegant dinner party, but a DJ might be the better option for guests who want to dance all night long. On the other hand, if your guest list isn’t full of dancers, a live band might be more entertaining. 

Or if you want to stick to one or two music genres for a themed wedding, a live band is a great option. But, if you want a huge variety, often DJ’s can offer that more than a live band (although DJs can stick to a couple of genres too).

What’s Your Wedding Music Budget?

Wedding band and DJ costs vary. Costs vary based on the number of musicians in a band, how long you want them to play for, experience, day and time of year, and more. With that said, for the most part, wedding DJs usually cost less than live bands. 

If your heart is set on a wedding band, but your budget is tight, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire a DJ instead. You can opt for hiring a live band for just your ceremony, and then a DJ for the reception. Or you can choose a live band that has fewer musicians. 

How Much Space Are You Working With?

Your wedding venue needs enough space to give your guests the freedom to move, but it also needs enough space for your music entertainment too. A DJ is usually a one-person show, so if you’re working with limited space, that might be the way to go. No matter how much you want an eight-piece live band, if you don’t have the room, they won’t be able to perform at their best. 

If you know you want a big live band for your wedding, it’s best to consider that before you choose your venue. Some other wedding music and venue considerations you’ll want to make before booking are power supply, noise limitations, venue acoustics, and more. 

What Pros and Cons Matter Most to You?

As with most things in life, live bands and DJs both have pros and cons, so to decide which way to go, it’s helpful to figure out which pros and cons are your priority. 

Live Band Pros

  • The energy and ambiance created by live music is hard to match 
  • Entertaining even for guests who don’t enjoy dancing
  • Convey more emotion 
  • Better for themes and specialized music 
  • Will ensure that your ceremony and reception music is unique

Live Band Cons

  • Usually more expensive 
  • Takes up more space 
  • Doesn’t match the repertoire of a DJ

DJ Pros

  • Often more cost-effective 
  • Can play any song (without needing notice)
  • Takes up less space 
  • Also trained as an MC to help with reception flow
  • Breaks are less critical/might not be required (no lull in music)

DJ Cons

  • Improvisation is tougher (cutting a song short, speeding it up, etc.)
  • Not as entertaining for guests who don’t want to dance 
  • A cheesy DJ or one without a stellar personality can easily kill the mood 

Whether you want a live band or DJ for your wedding, going with a professional and experienced option can make or break your wedding music. At SPN Events, our live bands and DJs have the passion, professionalism, and talent to turn any wedding into an unforgettable event. Contact us today to find your perfect live band or DJ! 


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