Band or DJ?
The age-old question - Band or DJ? There are pros and cons to both. Some reception venues will have rules regarding music cans and can not's or space limitations that will make this decision easy. If your venue is restriction free, ask yourselves a few questions to help narrow it down. Keep in mind: flowers, food, and favors make a reception more memorable but music decisions will quickly make or break your event.
What Does Your Budget Allow?
Typically a band will cost more than hiring a DJ. If your budget does not allow for a band, your decision is made.
Love Live Music?
After determining what your budget will allow, one of the easiest and most straight forward questions to ask yourselves is how important is live music? If you both love live music and frequently attend live performances, you will probably prefer to have a band at your reception. If not and you actually love going out to nightclubs to groove to the latest popular music, a DJ is for you.
How Much Variety To Expect?
Bands are great but one thing a DJ can offer that most bands cannot, is an unlimited repertoire of music. Many wedding bands will be able to play a pretty large range of music genres but they will be limited at some point. If having all of the most up-to-date sounds combined with all of the classics is most important to you, a DJ might be your answer. If you can handle a slightly more narrow selection, consider a band.
Do They Have a Good Presence?
Before you sign a contract with a band or DJ, ask to see them play an event. The music is not the only factor in this selection that will influence your reception. Personality goes a long way! and if the band or DJ have little personality or tend to lean toward the obnoxious side, your guests will avoid the dance floor.
What Music Do You Want to Hear When?
Whether you pick a band or DJ, you have to let them know what music you expect to hear when. Make a few lists to go over with them:
- Special Songs: If you have special songs you want played at certain times during your event, you'll need to provide a list for the entertainment. (Examples: your entrance, first dance, Father and Bride dance, Mother and Groom dance) Making this list may help you decide between a band and DJ. If your list contains several songs most bands you have met with don't/won't play, a DJ may be a better answer for you.
- Must Play: Make a list of all other songs you definitely want to hear.
- Do Not Play. Almost more importantly, come up with your "DO NOT PLAY" list. A firm list of, "no matter how badly my guests beg, you must not play these songs."