Weddings: Live Bands vs. DJs

Live Bands vs. DJsYour wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime moment where you and your spouse join together in matrimony. Your reception, however, is an incredible opportunity to celebrate this momentous occasion with the people you hold most near and dear.

Music is an important part of the overall feel of a wedding, both during the ceremony and the reception. There is no one-size-fits-all answer because this is your day, and the celebration you and your new spouse are going to experience isn’t meant to be similar to anyone else’s special day. With that said, there are a few things you might want to consider before you settle on a live band or a DJ.

What are the Benefits of a Live Band?

A band can be many people or just one or two people, depending on your own personal preferences. Live acoustic music played during the ceremony can really add something special to weddings, welcoming guests to their seats and inviting the bridal party down the aisle with instrumentals that pull on everyone’s heart strings. Of course, you don’t have to opt for instrumentals; someone with a beautiful voice can really enhance the entire event before the bride makes her big appearance.

It’s important to reach out to potential musicians as early as possible. Most are willing to perform any type of music you’d like, but your choice of music may be something they’ve never heard of, so they’ll need time to do some research and learn how to play or sing the songs you’re requesting.

For the ceremony, you’ll generally want to choose three songs:

  • One song ushers in the bridesmaids.
  • The second is just for the bride.
  • The third song is played when the bride and groom walk away.

Live music during the ceremony adds a personal feel to weddings that so much warmer and more personal than anything a CD or digital device can offer.

Live music during the reception can also be a lot of fun, especially if the band takes requests. Sound quality can differ based on many different variables though, so be sure to do a sound check in the venue before the big day.

Tips for Choosing a Live Band for Your Wedding

You can do some homework upfront to save yourself some time on the back end.

  • Obtain a sample. You’ll definitely want to at least hear an audio recording, but a video would be even better.
  • Talk about price. Know your budget so you know early on if a band will be a good fit for you or not. Bands do tend to be more expensive than DJ’s, but for some couples, it’s a must-have.
  • Talk about timing. How long will the band need to be there? The longer you need them, the more they may invoice, so it’s important to have an idea of this detail before you sign on the dotted line.

What are the Benefits of a DJ?

Although some DJs work for themselves, many wedding DJs are employed by companies that specialize in whole-package entertainment. This means you may be able to get great music, lighting, photography, videography, and other wedding essentials all in one place.

When you choose a DJ, you’ll hear the actual songs you love so much, versus a cover band version, which may sound quite different from what you’re accustomed to.

One thing people don’t often think about when they hire live bands are the breaks the musicians need between sets. A live band might play for 30 or 45 minutes, then require a 15-minute break. DJs require fewer breaks and can keep the playlist running, allowing the party to go on uninterrupted all night long.

DJs tend to be more affordable than live bands, as well. You’re paying one person, as opposed to paying every person in a band. Of course, you’re paying for a live entertainment experience with a band, and that’s well worth it for some brides and grooms, but professional, qualified DJs can also get the excitement up in the room and keep the energy high.

Tips for Choosing a DJ for Your Wedding

No two DJs are the same. It’s not just about the music! For your wedding day, you want to be sure your DJs microphone skills are just as impeccable as their music-playing skills. Otherwise, a fun reception could easily become a flop.

  • Ask how they engage with audiences. You want to know your DJ will be able to gauge your guests’ interests and switch up the sounds if they seem bored or tired.
  • Does your DJ consider him/herself an MC? A master of ceremonies (MC) may be a DJ, too, but a DJ is not necessarily an MC. You need someone who has microphone skills, and some DJs simply have no desire to do anything but spin music. For your wedding, you’re looking for someone who’s an MC and a DJ.

Can You Combine the Best of Both Worlds – A Live Band and a DJ?

Some people can’t decide between a live band and a DJ. Fortunately, it’s your wedding, and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do! These days, it’s becoming increasingly more common for brides and grooms to pair these two options together, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy live music at times while they jam to the sounds of a DJ during other parts of the big day.

If you can’t choose between the two, consider having live music at the ceremony and cocktail reception, and bring the DJ in once the party gets started.

The Essex Room Can Accommodate Both Types of Wedding Music

Are you looking for an elegant wedding venue that can accommodate both DJs and live bands with ease? The Essex Room, located on the north shore of Massachusetts, proudly offers brides and grooms in incredible experience they can’t get anywhere else.

If this sounds like something you’d like to learn more about, we’d love to help you learn how The Essex Room can make your wedding day unforgettable! We invite you to reach out to us today.