Tips On Choosing a Band or DJ For Your Wedding

DJ vs Band Hire

So, you’re getting married.

Venue- tick. 
Menu- tick.
Wedding gown- tick. 
Tuxedo- tick. 
Music-hmm. Band or DJ?

In 2019, approximately 65% of couples booked a DJ, while 35% booked a wedding band. The encouraging thing is, a band or DJ, both offer the diversity to cater to different needs. Music sets the tone for your wedding day, so choosing the right music or musicians, can make your reception a flop or not.


The Four Point Checklist When Choosing Between a Band or DJ, Or the V.B.V.S

1)   Vibe: What music style or genre, best reflects your personalities? What kind of ambiance, do you want to create? Music can say a lot about you as a couple, and your personal preferences can be what helps you choose between a band or DJ.

2)   Budget: DJs generally cost less, but charge for specific equipment requests, and the day of the week they perform. Band prices vary, but will generally be more expensive. Cost is based on the number of musicians, length of their performance, the day of the week, and the time of year the wedding takes place.

3)   Variety: A good mix is key. Fast, slow, romantic, high energy, retro, oldies, current tracks etc. The energy that excellent music choices provide, will carry your guests through the reception.

You want your guests on the dance floor, so look for a good mix of tracks. Look for flexibility from your DJ or band.

4)    Space: Check whether your venue has any restrictions on the number of musicians or equipment. Enquire about the electrical supply, or if there are any noise restrictions.

When considering a band, space will be an important issue. Remember to factor in the amount of members, their instruments, and sound equipment. A DJ will generally need less space, depending on their set up. They will have sound equipment and various formats of music for you to dance to.

They may also have laptops, turntables, CD players, and anything extra you may require. This can include special effects lighting, trussing and smoke machines.

\”I attend a lot of gigs, so I know what I enjoy and expect from live music. I also know what awesome live bands can do for an audience, and I’d want to replicate that experience with a reception band. That’s too difficult, and I’m fussy, so I’d choose a DJ.\”

Caroline, 51






  • Live music delivered dynamically has a positive impact, and can really set the tone.
  • Some music just sounds better when performed by a live band.
  • You and your special guests will enjoy the pleasure of a live performance.
  • The spontaneity of a live performance is exciting and memorable.
  • When a musical ensemble plays live, anything can happen.
  • Seeing a 6-piece band mesh and groove out can be quite a sight to behold.


  • DJ’s have a large selection of music. If you\’re craving to hear a particular track, it’s unlikely to be difficult for the right DJ to locate.
  • The tunes played will sound exactly as you want them to.
  • Disc Jockeys in most cases do not charge as much as bands.
  • A DJ with a charisma, stage presence and MC skills, can really set the mood, and keep the party rocking.
  • Depending on the amount of equipment a DJ brings, they could take up less space, and can be relocated with ease if necessary.

\”I’ve been to some memorable weddings, and some “Is it too early to leave?” weddings. Yes, food is important, as is being seated with fun people, but the thing I enjoy most about weddings, is dancing to great music. Those are the weddings you don’t forget.\”

Ryan, 34.




  • Bands can be more expensive than DJs.
  •  A band cannot have the repertoire of a DJ.
  • If you want to hear a song exactly like the recording, you may not get what you want.


  • If a DJ lacks focus, they may be unable to play a balanced mix of music.
  • A DJ with a lukewarm personality, can be a party killer. If your DJ can’t connect with the crowd, you’re doomed.
  • It may be more difficult for a DJ to improvise.
  • They might play songs of low audio quality.

\”If- like me, you end up on the singles table, cross your fingers that you don’t find yourself wedged between Sad Sack Sally, or Mr I’m Here for the Booze. That’s the great thing about having excellent music at a wedding reception – you can always escape to the dance floor.\”

Lucy, 26



Meeting with your DJ or band, prior to the wedding, is imperative. Prior to meeting with the band or DJ: Prepare some questions.

Here are some examples:

  • Do they take requests?
  • Can they provide a song list?
  • Are you able to see them perform before the big day?
  • Can they also MC the reception?
  • The total cost?
  • How long will they play?
  • Can they give you an outline regarding set times?
  • Do you need to provide a meal for them?
  • Does their website contain any performance footage or client feedback?
  • If we get divorced, can we have a refund? (Just kidding.)

Equally important, is telling the performers what you DON’T want. If hearing the Chicken Dance ad nauseum, is your idea of a slow death, sharing your personal tastes, dislikes, and general concerns regarding music, will help guide your performers.

There are many elements that will make your wedding day special. The music you choose is an opportunity to express your love for one another and can reflect who you are as a couple.

Remember, it’s a big day; an expensive day; your day. Add your personal touches, and make it an occasion that reflects your personalities. The music you choose plays a huge part in making the occasion of your wedding, something entertaining and memorable.

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