Should I have a Wedding Band or Wedding DJ?

One of the biggest decisions facing a couple when planning their big day is entertainment. And to be more precise Wedding band, Wedding DJ or both. As a wedding DJ I would like to point out a few tips. I will try to remain unbiased toward my own profession. There are good points for having a live band, or a DJ, and a few things to keep in mind when deciding. Sometimes couples choose to hire both a DJ and Band, and when your budget allows it, that can be a great option. I have worked with bands and live musicians many times. I’d like to offer some tips based on my experience.

Paul Prenderville – Wedding DJ

Wedding Ceremony

If you decide to have an unconventional ceremony, outside the church norm, you will need music. A Wedding DJ is ideally placed to provide the exact songs required. Alternatively, live music at a ceremony is gorgeous. The only advice to offer here, make sure you have heard your musician or singer play live. On getting a “demo”, you can be guaranteed this has been cleaned up to sound the best it possibly can. You need to hear your musician in a live setting.

Evening Entertainment

A band has the look of a classic wedding long before there were DJ’s. Good bands create a great atmosphere and an interactive experience which people take a mental picture of . Bands generally bring a lot of energy to an event, BUT, a Wedding DJ can also have a wow factor. It’s when they run an event flawlessly and can be as interactive as the clients want them to be.

Things to keep in mind:

Bands might have an awesome set list to choose from, but they usually have a limited number of songs and styles they can play. Should you want to change the feel of your music on the fly, this may be impossible for them in most cases. And remember, if the band uses sheet music they may have that “gap of silence” between each song that can be very off putting  for your guests.

A Great Wedding band like a Wedding DJ will have a fixed set of music which they’ve memorized and prepared for and generally there is little to no gap between songs…but those bands cost a lot more money. Great bands memorize their music, it’s just that simple. A good Wedding DJ will usually have gone over music with the clients and have arranged a list of songs that fit the couple’s idea for the feel of the night. This music list can include popular hits everyone can sing and tap their toes to, or favorite bands that the couple love.

The theme can be changed at any moment using a giant library of music already installed in the Wedding DJ’s computer. Professional Wedding DJs will have smooth song transitions with no “gap of silence.”
Also, with a band it may be hard to control the volume levels unless they have a professional sound technician with them. Without a sound technician, a guitarist’s amp may be too loud while a singer or trumpet player is getting louder trying to compensate, this isn’t ideal. Wedding DJ’s control their sound by walking around during a song and checking levels to make sure the music isn’t too loud and is just loud enough…or in some cases, meets the noise requirements set by a Venue.


Wedding Bands are lively, fun, loud, and energetic…the good ones are, anyway. Wedding DJs can be all of those things too. Really great wedding bands cost anywhere from €2500 while really great Wedding DJs can cost a fraction of that price.

These prices are based on location, experience, talent, reputation, number of musicians, and of course, supply and demand. For the dancing portion of your wedding, you have to ask yourself “do I want all styles of music?” and if so, “do I want a band that plays their own rendition of those songs?  

Or “do I want to hear the Actual Original Recorded version of the song itself?” That’s what it really boils down to. Beyond that, keep in mind that DJ’s can act as the MC and provide all of the music across tens of thousands of songs, prearranged or on the fly, while bands may have an MC, to assure that you’re getting a good one, you’ll have to pay for it.

It’s important to interview Wedding DJs and determine how they will look, sound, and feel in front of all of your guests. You can tell if that person has the right personality, experience, and expertise you are looking for to provide the right music and be a great MC for your most special day.  With a Band, you need to interview them to determine their MCing abilities and just how involved they will be with the execution of the timeline and announcements, and you absolutely need to hear them play live so you know exactly what you’re getting ahead of time.

Conclusion Wedding Band or Wedding DJ?

You can see that there are many reasons why you should or should not hire a Wedding band and/or a Wedding DJ. Bands are not our competition and we love to work together with them side by side, sharing the entertainment responsibilities while we usually act as the MC. It’s comparing apples to oranges when you really consider everything you get from both types of entertainment. Your decision should be about what will make your night fun, entertaining, stress-free, and an event that you and your guests will never forget. I hope you found this blog helpful, if you have any queries drop me an email for free advice

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