We get asked this question a lot by couples trying to decide their wedding music. While it always comes down to the individual tastes of the bride & groom, here’s some pros and cons to consider in the band vs. DJ debate:
Quality live musicians bring energy, enthusiasm and ambience to any event. Live music at a wedding ceremony (soloists, strings, etc.) offers elegance and romance. A great jazz trio or dance band can also adapt to the situation and adjust their music and energy accordingly.
On the other hand, live music is almost always more expensive. Bands need to take breaks, risking an energy loss while they are offstage. Musicians generally have styles of music they can and cannot play, making them less flexible than a DJ.
DJs can bring thousands of songs to your event, far more than any band or musician can play and the music sounds just like the original recording. A wedding DJ should be extremely flexible, able to play most any song at your request and at an easily controlled volume. DJs generally do not take extended breaks, so there is no dead air or loss of energy and DJs are almost always much more affordable than live music.
On the other hand, while a great DJ can really get a crowd going, they don’t have the ability to alter songs on the fly (lengthening them, adding solos, bringing guests on stage to sing, etc.); DJs have what has been pre-recorded as their only option. Also, many years ago DJs had the stigma of being simply a less expensive alternative to live music and that notion does still linger for some.
Why Not Both?
One request we are seeing more and more often is for a band/DJ combination. With this package, you eliminate any negatives associated with either while enjoying the best of both worlds. A soloist or trio can start off the event, with a DJ onsite to play during breaks and to help with announcements. During dancing, the DJ can play during the band breaks, offering the availability of songs that the band may not know or be able to perform. Many clients then have the DJ play the last hour or so of their event, again offering perhaps newer music that most variety bands don’t play.
We have found that live wedding music/wedding DJ combinations are a very effective way to please all of your guests.