Wedding Reception Entertainment: Band or DJ?

By Lisa Beth Miller

A wedding reception is meant to create an atmosphere that reflects the personality of the newly married couple. It is their first party and should obviously be memorable. Selecting the entertainment can be a bit tricky, as music is very personal to most members of the wedding party and guests. A song that is meaningful to the best man may not impress Grandma. The decision that most couples spend the most time contemplating is whether to hire a DJ or a live band at the reception.

A DJ can be a great choice for several reasons. In most cases, a DJ will be more affordable than a live band and can work in small spaces without too much equipment. A DJ often appeals to a great variety of guests because they have recognizable versions of most songs available to play. DJs are trained to choreograph the wedding reception, and usually understand the traditions and nuances of that territory. For the most part, a DJ can keep the music going and the party flowing without disruption.

The important thing to look for when hiring a DJ is personality. Be sure to view some actual events and be sure that his or her demeanor is what you desire for your soiree.

Hiring a live band can be the right choice if the couple wants a bit more of a dramatic presentation.  Multiple musicians and vocalists will obviously carry more of a presence than a single DJ. A live band tends to create a bit more energy and is entertaining to watch even for non-dancers.

Cost can sometimes be a bit more when hiring a band, as more manpower is involved in a live show. Guests can usually make some requests to live bands, but clearly a DJ has more options in terms of playing requested songs.


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