The Great Wedding Music Decision: A Band or a DJ?

By Sarah Smith, a small business owner. She is currently learning many thing about weddings and, using the internet. Aside from working on her own business, she likes to use social media, and read travel books.

A wedding with great music is a great wedding. It’s that simple. The reception is where your guests will either cut loose and have a ball or stare awkwardly at each other as they try to step to the beat. So what’s a bride to do when it comes down to hiring a DJ or a band for the big day? The best choice is to sit down and examine the issues at hand.



Of course, most things come down to money in the end. A solid place to start is with your budget. Generally speaking, DJs cost less, but the prices will be different across the board based on the day of your wedding, what types of equipment your requesting and how many people will be necessary to get the job done.


Where is your reception? Keep in mind that many reception locations will have music or energy outlet restrictions. Some landmarks don’t allow huge speakers, for example. Some venues simply can’t handle power supplies that may be necessary for certain equipment that DJs or bands need.


A live wedding band is a living thing. A DJ is living too, that’s true, but generally, the DJ says a few words here and there and mostly has his head down playing tracks. If you want a stoked crowd who is excited to interact with an interesting and engaging band leader, nothing beats a great wedding band, Hiring a band means not just getting music. With a group of live performers and a leader among them, you’re also getting a master of ceremonies.

Music Preference

A reception is not the place to have the DJ or band play a string of your favorite ballads or emo jams. Yes, it’s your wedding, and you deserve to choose the music. But you’re putting on this performance for your guests as well, and in that case, you’ll want to be able to cater to a variety of musical tastes. If you hire a jazz band, keep in mind that they’ll play jazz. They might only play jazz. Rock bands will play rock but may not do swing or big band tracks. Is that okay with you? If so, great! If not, consider getting a DJ who can offer variety of jams.

General Vibe

Last, but not least, consider the setting, decor and general vibe of your day. Is it vintage with pompadours on the groomsmen and pin girls on the bridesmaids? Is it modern with triangular chairs and dangling orbs? Is it old-school romantic with huge bouquets of roses and long and flowing ribbons? You surely already have a general idea, so go with that. Now consider which sort of wedding music suits that feeling while still offering variety and tapping into you and your soon-to-be spouse’s tastes.

Finally, remember that whatever you decision you make about wedding music will be the right one. The goal is to make a choice that is based on all of these criteria and that best suits the wants and needs of you and your partner as a couple. It’s your day, after all. Put in the extra elbow grease, and hunker down to some research. If you can, see a few DJs and bands in action, and in the end, go with the choice you feel most confident about.