So you’re planning your wedding reception and you need to figure out the entertainment.

What’s the better choice—a DJ, or a wedding band? Great entertainment is the key to any successful event, and deciding who to hire for your wedding reception is an important task.

Here are some things you’ll want to think about when deciding whether a wedding band or a DJ is a better fit for your event.

How big is your budget?

First and foremost, the size of your entertainment budget will immediately rule out whether you can afford to hire a wedding band. A wedding band can cost significantly more than a DJ.

However, live music is certainly worth the price if you hire a great band—it will make for an amazing and memorable time for everyone. A live band is great at getting the crowd to dance and be involved.

There are a wide variety of wedding bands out there, playing everything from punk to country to traditional wedding songs. A wedding band can cost you anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 and higher, whereas a professional DJ usually costs from $100-$300 per hour.

What kind of music do you want to have at your wedding?

Your decision to hire a band vs. a DJ will also depend on your musical preferences. A DJ will be able to play unlimited different types of music and virtually any song that you request. Wedding bands are available in virtually any genre of music that you could want, but they will each have their own unique signature sound.

How big is the reception hall?

The size of the reception hall is another factor that you must take into consideration. You aren’t going to want to cram the wedding band into a tiny corner—you will need room for several people as well as their instruments and amplifiers.

A band will need more room to set up than a DJ, especially if they have a lot of members. A DJ will only need room for a table, PA speakers and lighting setup.

Benefits of Hiring a Band

A live wedding band creates a different kind of energy that will truly make your event unforgettable and unique. Live music sets the mood, it energizes the crowd and gets them dancing.

The band can also act as the emcee of your reception, interacting with the crowd and getting everyone involved. A band brings a great deal of charisma and onstage chemistry that you won’t get with a DJ.

Drawbacks of Hiring a Band

Drawbacks to hiring a band might be that the band is really only good at playing one sound and might not be good at alternating between playing different types of music. The band is the life of the party, so you should be sure to get one that comes highly-recommended.

One thing to think about is that bands will need to take breaks throughout the night. DJs won’t need to take as many.

If you want to hire a band, you’re going to have to do a bit more planning. Ask if you can see them perform before you decide to hire them.

Make sure to hire a reputable band, otherwise you could end up with a group of amateurs or no-shows!

Benefits of Hiring a DJ

A good DJ should be able to play any song that you or your guests request. A good DJ will have a music library of thousands upon thousands of songs to choose from, and it’s easy for them to buy a song that they might not already have in their collection.

It might be a lot more time-consuming for an entire band to learn a new song that you want them to play if they don’t already have it in their repertoire.

A DJ will cost less to hire and will be about to play through the entire 4-4.5 hours or your receptions without really having to take breaks.

They also act as the emcee for the event, making announcements throughout the night.

You should interview DJs in advance and make sure that they agree that this is part of what they will be doing.

Drawbacks of Hiring a DJ

Some DJs can be boring because they are used to playing the same old songs at every wedding. Hiring a DJ will allow you to choose whatever you want for your playlist, but it will never compare to the energy of great live wedding band.

Be sure to interview several DJs before you make your decision, or you could end up with someone who is unprofessional or inexperienced.

Remember, great entertainment is the key to a successful and memorable event. No matter who you decide to go with, skimping on the entertainment is never a good idea.

Whether it’s a band or a DJ that suits your needs best, make sure you do your research and hire someone of quality for your wedding.