Wedding Band vs. DJ: Which One is Best For You? 

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Music is the heart and soul of any celebration.  It basically sets the tone for your entire wedding.  While every aspect of planning your dream wedding is significant in its own way…the music you choose will support the atmosphere that you want your wedding to portray.  So whether you are going for an intimate affair or you plan on throwing the party of the year…your music choice is key (pun intended!!).  Of course your wedding is all about showing your treasured guests the love and commitment of your coupledom, but you also have the “responsibility” to throw a great party to celebrate that love and show your guests a good time.  To help you on your musical journey…we broke down the pros and cons of a wedding band and a DJ.  

The Wedding Band 

There is nothing like a live wedding band to get a crowd excited and create a sense of sophistication.  A great band will interact with your guests on the dance floor and pay attention to the feeling of the room.  A wedding band brings the pleasure of the performance…so even if you have some guests that left their dancing shoes at home they can still rock out with the band from the comfort of their seats.  

The Pros

Wedding bands are a blast and can really captivate an audience and bring them to life.  Not only are they interactive, but they are unique and memorable.  A band is a great option if your wedding is theme based or you are looking for a specific ambiance.  Live music can really drive a theme or style. If you and your partner want to have an intimate dinner party, a string quartet is the perfect accompaniment to the atmosphere. If your date nights are spent at jazz clubs, having a jazz band provide the entertainment at your wedding, may be music to your ears.  A great band is skilled at gauging a crowd and knowing just when they need to amp it up to get the crowd going.  Bands are entertaining even when they aren’t singing; watching them jam on their instruments can be a real crowd pleaser and can make you feel like you are at a concert.  

The Cons 

First and foremost a band is typically more expensive than a DJ and the better the band the pricier it gets.  There are a lot more people involved in a band so they will require more room for themselves and their equipment, possibly even a stage.  Even though you may love a specific band, your music variety will likely always be limited.  Bands can not cross over musical genres as easily as a DJ can.  That being said this could make it a bit harder for them to be able to take on every musical request thrown at them.  The playlist for the night is usually determined ahead of time when a band is hired for a wedding.  Last but not least, a band will require more substantial breaks than a DJ which is definitely understandable, but you have to remember that musical gaps at your reception are always a bit awkward…make sure your band is willing to provide music when they need to take breaks. 

The DJ 

DJ’s are artists in their own right; offering an eclectic and balanced mix of musical styles for all ages.  DJ’s can provide essentially any song you want to hear and the song you desire will be played exactly as you want to hear it. A charismatic DJ will have an excellent stage presence that can really set the mood for your wedding bash. 

The Pros 

While DJ’s are generally less expensive it does not particularly mean you are taking the cheap, less exciting route.  A really great DJ with incredible emcee skills is trained to read a crowd and keep the party going.  Not only are they super fun but they are great for announcing pertinent events during your wedding timeline, a band may not always offer this service.  Another bonus is that your song list, especially your first dance song, will be performed the way you first heard it, fell in love with it, danced to it and remember it.  No song choice surprises when a DJ is running the show.  The equipment is smaller and takes up less space in your venue and you can add cool lighting and fun party add ons…always a crowd pleaser! If you want a variety of music to please all of your guests from grandparents to flower girls..a DJ is definitely the way to go. The Cons 

If big and dramatic is your thing, a DJ may not be. Hiring a one man show is a bit more understated than a band. If your DJ is less than stellar, you may end up with cheesy music and a boring emcee.  Make sure when hiring a DJ you look for someone that is of paramount quality and comes highly recommended.  A DJ will take up less space which is a bonus, but it can be very “techy” which could result in a lot of wires that can essentially take away from the ambiance and beauty of your venue.  Dare I say, what happens if the equipment crashes…a DJ is at a loss until all issues are resolved whereas a band can take it acapella and dazzle the crowd. 

From a serious ceremony to a fabulous reception, the driving force of your wedding is the entertainment.  When deciding how to entertain your guests, it can be hard to choose since a DJ and band both bring unique elements to your wedding. Although it is a luxury for most, some couples do incorporate both options into their wedding day.  While that may be out of your league, we do promise that after thorough planning and research, whatever you decide will complement your wedding style, bring music to your ears and keep your guests dancing well into the night! 

Follow along for our best tips, tricks, and advice that we've gathered after almost a decade of making wedding magic happen! 



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