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How to Choose the Perfect Wedding Entertainment

So you’re in the midst of wedding planning and one big question comes up, DJ or Wedding Band? Some couples just automatically know the kind of musical entertainment that they envision for their wedding day. For others, it's not so easy. While the price difference between the two might be the biggest and most obvious reason to steer in a certain direction, there are quite a few factors to take into consideration.

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Let’s Talk Budget

It should come as no surprise that this is the starting place for this "debate." Typically the cost to hire a band(in our market) can be three to four times more expensive than it is to book a DJ/ MC. There are some exceptions, like hiring a big name, think Steve Aoki, which will obviously cost you a pretty penny. As a comparison, in today’s market on average, a live band can cost anywhere from $3,000-$10,000+, while a DJ averages about $1000-$3500. 

Quick Tip: Remember to account for vendor gratuity in your budget! Click Here to check out our guide for some helpful tips.

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What’s Your Vibe?

One question you need to ask yourself is, what kind of vibe do you want? The type of music you choose during your day can solidify your theme. Think about what kind of genre reflects yours and your partner's personalities. Not only do you want to have the night of your life, but you want your guests to have a ton of fun, too. When thinking about who will be in attendance, consider the age range and preferences of your guests. Live music is fun to watch and is a great option for your non-dancing guests. If you're looking for more of a fun, concert atmosphere, then a live band might be the choice for you. If you're wanting to dance the night away with your favorite people while jamming to top 40 hits, or a mix of T-Swift, George Straight and Fall Out Boy,  then you might be happier with a DJ.

bride groom enjoying music at their wedding

What About Your Venue? 

When you're touring venues (or if you already have your venue selected), it's helpful to ask the venue manager where DJs or live bands have set up for past weddings. Logistically, you'll want to consider electricity limitations, physical space, and noise stipulations. Bands typically will need more space, so make sure that you will have a large enough area for them if that's the route you choose. Where you put your DJ or band is also where your dance floor will be, so consider that when you're envisioning your wedding set-up.

bride and groom enjoying music at their wedding

To break it down for you a bit further, we've whipped up a chart jam-packed with the pros and cons of each to help making the choice between a live band or DJ a breeze!

Wedding Entertainment Pro's & Cons:

Pros and cons of a wedding DJ:



Less expensive than a live wedding band.

Requires guests who like to dance!

Wider variety of songs and genres.

Can't preview before your wedding. You have to rely on their online reviews or recommendations.

Less space needed from venue.

Besides talking into the mic. DJ's can't change up song lyrics to tailor to your wedding.

Can take requests from you and your guests to build a custom playlist.

DJ can double as your MC for the night.

No breaks needed during set/music always playing.

Pros and cons of a live wedding band:



Unique and memorable experiences for you and your guests.

More expensive than a DJ.

Can pair well with a specific wedding theme.

Requires more physical space from a venue.

Great choice for concert-going couples and live music lovers.

Less variety of music.

Can gauge a crowd's energy and adjust their performance (and lyrics!) as needed.

Band members will need breaks.

Fun to watch and perfect entertainment for non-dancing guests.

Can preview them before you wedding.

Let's be real, there's no wrong choice here and both are great options that are sure to make your wedding a day to remember.

Happy planning!


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