Should You Get a DJ, a Band, or Both for Your Reception?
Should you get a band or a DJ for your wedding? To a large extent, it boils down to personal preference, but this isn’t the only factor you should consider. Break things down a little more and you’ll discover a number of important factors:
This is the preference element. A band brings with it an energy that even the best DJs can’t always replicate, but a band will also need breaks and can’t play as long. A DJ has a much deeper playlist and can evoke different sounds – band are almost always themed along a style or specialty. There are a number of factors to consider. Try breaking down what you want from your band and DJ, and then figuring out what fits best for each of your priorities.
- Versatility and Variety
There aren’t a lot of bands that switch between rock & roll, country, hip-hop, and 80s hits. Correction: there are many bands that do this, but there aren’t many that do it well. Wedding packages help and wedding planners are like secret agents – they may be able to direct you to a band with this versatility. If you’re looking for true variety, a DJ may be a better bet. You can also mix and match – a band can set up for special moments, while the DJ takes over as the reception stretches into the night.
Whether a band or a DJ, if you get a bad feeling when talking to them, don’t ignore this. If the group or person is in charge of something as important as the music at your reception and they aren’t flexible, you don’t want them walking out or otherwise ruining truly special moments. Trust your instincts when interviewing – if someone isn’t flexible enough to adjust to what you’re saying, they won’t be flexible enough to anticipate and improvise at your reception either.
DJs are generally less expensive. This is why hiring a band to open the night and a DJ to do the bulk of the work later on can help you open up the variety while saving on expense. Not all bands will do this, and not all DJs will do this. The most expensive option is a band that plays the entire reception. The least expensive is going with a DJ only. There are advantages to having a DJ over a band, including flexibility and versatility (if the DJ is good), so don’t feel like you’re necessarily losing anything by going with the less expensive choice.
- See Them in Action
Whichever way you go (or if you blend), make sure you see them give a performance or rehearsal. Don’t go crashing anyone else’s special day, but find a way to see them or – if you can’t – at least view a recorded performance of theirs. Most bands and DJs should also be able to give out recent referrals. Don’t skip these – a five minute conversation can convince you that you’re making the right hiring choice, or it can save you a potential headache at your reception.