US: Band vs DJ: The Eternal Wedding Debate

Forget sweetheart vs halter neck, carnations vs chrysanthemums, or emerald vs square cut: the one true eternal

wedding debate is which entertainment is going to work best for your nuptial event? 

These days it can be as easy as plugging your iPhone into an amp and sharing preferred playlists with your dearly

beloved, but is this a best fit for your individual celebrations? Here we tackle the age-old wedding debate: band vs DJ

­– so you can decide what will best complement the day you say “I do.”

Considerations for Your Ideal Musical Accompaniment

Whatever your own personal preferences, there are limitations with both options – band and DJ –that need to be

factored into your decision making. These include:

      • Personal Musical Preference – just because Metallica hits your musical sweet spot, doesn’t mean it’s

         appropriate for your wedding day. Think about a broad range of music that the majority of your guests can

         enjoy, and flavor it with your own personal style.

      • Budget – music and wedding entertainment can take a huge chunk of your wedding budget. While we’re not

         saying let Aunt Debbie be the wedding singer, your wedding entertainment budget may influence your ultimate


      • Space – just like budget, space may be a factor in determining the entertainment for your big day. Always

         make sure there is enough room to dance; because what’s the point of having killer tunes if you can’t bust a


      • Guest demographics – regardless of whether you choose a band or DJ, be sure they play slow and fast

         songs, as well as old and new tunes to encourage all guests to hit the dance floor.

      • Theme – consider how your entertainment selection fits into your overall wedding theme and the vibe you’re

          trying to create. 

Wedding Bands in Profile

Pros: Nothing creates an infectious mood of excitement for your big day like a live band. Bands have the ability to

read your crowd and choose songs from their sets accordingly. While you should choose a band with a broad range

of crowd- pleasing songs, you can play to your own personal tastes and select a band with a certain feel – soul,

reggae, swing, country and western – whatever musical genre floats your wedding boat.

Cons: Bands are usually the more expensive

musical entertainment option and the more band

members, the higher price you will pay. If your

heart is set on a specific band but they don’t meet

your wedding budget, see if you can score them at

a cheaper rate by holding your celebrations off-

season or outside of popular performance times.

Bands also take up more space. They generally


carry more equipment and will need ample room and time to set up so they can really get your reception rocking. 

And most times you have to feed band members – so remember to include them in your food bill!

Wedding DJs in Profile

Pros: Professional DJs are still generally less expensive than your average wedding band, so if budget is limited,

this may be your best option. While DJs have some equipment, they usually require less space than a band, so if

reception real estate is at a premium, a DJ may also be your preferred choice. 

Cons: Every DJ has their own personal style and flair so make sure they fit the vibe you are trying to create. Make

sure their playlists reflect a broad range of musical tastes, personalized to suit your celebrations and not the

preferences of the individual DJ. Ensure their look and feel also fits with what you’re after. Improvisation can be

difficult with a DJ. While they can change up their song choices, at the end of the day, it’s harder to adjust tempo and

emotion to suit the mood.

Hot Tips

Whichever side of the dice you roll, here are a few hot tips to point

you in the right direction:

      • See Them Live Before the Big Day – whether you opt

          for band or DJ, it pays to see them in action so you can

          gauge their ability, style and how they work the crowd. If

          that's not a possibility, ask for a playlist and look for songs

          you know and love.

      • Ask for Referrals ­– from the last few weddings the band

          or DJ played.

      • Consider Your First-Dance Song a Test if the band

          isn’t keen to learn it, or the DJ isn’t willing to add it, they probably aren’t

          a good fit for your wedding day.

Every detail for a perfect day

Whether you decide on a string quartet or a sultry soloist, find every detail to make your wedding day perfect at

By: Melissa Wilkinson – Melissa is the founder of Personalized Favors. She is commonly sought for comment on all things wedding related and has worked closely with thousands of couples to create invitations, gifts and wedding favors that are truly unique.

Images Sourced from Pinterest and Personalized Favors