Band or DJ at my Wedding

Band or DJ at my wedding ?

So you are not sure whether to have a band or a DJ at your wedding evening reception. Now, being a DJ myself I am bound to say “you should choose a DJ over a band”, right?

WRONG – When I got married we had a band and, although not planning to, if I was to get married again I would have a band

BUT – there are many factors to consider if you are choosing a band which sometimes bands overlook or try to entice you with methods which do not entirely work.

So, I am going to look at a few things I get told from couples and explain my reasoning why you should be aware.

 

We are having a band so just need a DJ to fill in.

Hmm, you are holding, say, a 5 hour reception (300 minutes) and a band is playing for – on average – a total of 90 minutes. This leaves you with 3 ½ hours (210 minutes) to ‘fill in’. The MAJORITY of your evening will be this ‘fill in’.

 

The band are going to DJ in between.

Right, taking the comment above into consideration, you are paying a band for 90 minutes, yet they are going to do an extra 3 ½ hours (210 minutes) FOR FREE?

Think about it in the real world. If you work full time, say 40 hours a week, what would you say if your boss says ‘you are doing a great job, but can you work an extra 93 hours a week for free’. I think I know the answer you would give, yet that is what a band is offering if they say they will DJ for free.

A majority of the time the bands ‘DJ’ is simply an iPod plugged into their PA system. This results in your 5 hour wedding reception being 1 ½ hours of entertainment and 3 ½ hours of background music which few people take attention of. The upshot of this often results in many guests making their excuses and leaving early.

There is also the energy factor. The reason most bands play for 90 minutes is, to put it simply, they are exhausted after this if they are to give a great performance. If a band member is then going to DJ, will they have the energy to engage the crown whist DJing and also to perform to the best of their ability whilst playing with the band?

 

The band will play all night for us

REALLY, they must have superhuman powers to be able to do this successfully. As mentioned 90 minutes is the norm for a band, and quite rightly so. A fantastic band will give a great performance for 90 minutes and a performance that is enjoyable and memorable. After this I am afraid it is a bit of a task.

 

A friend of ours is in a band so they are doing everything for us

So, you have a really close friend who is offering himself and the rest of his band for your wedding. Quite often at a reduced rate or even for free.

This friend now cannot join in and enjoy your wedding day because they have to setup, perform and pack away whilst with the band. All the drinks and merriment will have to be missed so they can perform.

DO you really think they are going to give 100% to this, being dragged away from their partners and friends and having to keep a level head all day and night? Why not invite your friends to relax with you and let somebody else do the work?


If you see a band that you like and they give you a quote for 90 minutes, I would say book them immediately as they are obviously going to be very popular and book up quickly. By not trying to throw in freebies they are obviously confident in their abilities as a band and can sell themselves on their terrific performance.

If a band gives you a quote, then offers loads of freebies (including DJ) then I would advise you walk away. By doing this the band are obviously unsure about their abilities so have to try and market themselves by giving things away for free – a GOOD band doesn’t have to do this.

I work alongside many great bands, however one risk you do have is ‘are people going to like what they play’. It is not uncommon to listen to a band who are great, but just not appealing to the audience. If you have a great DJ to play as well as the band your guests will be more at ease, they can listen to the band then when the DJ comes on they are safe in the knowledge that their style of music will be played at some point and can request songs they would like to hear. I have over 25,000 tracks, a band will have a couple of dozen don’t forget and it is hard to please everyone with only 2 dozen songs at your disposal.

The conclusion to this is YES A BAND IS GREAT at a wedding, but you need some other form of entertainment for the bulk of your evening reception – A DJ. Ensure when budgeting you first book someone for the majority of your evening, THEN look for the fill in bits ie the 90 minutes your band will be performing.

Don’t let your 5 hour reception become just 90 minutes of entertainment and 3 1/2 hours hanging around !