Music

Band or DJ for reception

My FI and I are trying to decide if we should go with a DJ or a band.  My FI really likes the idea of having live music and the band we are thinking about going with plays a good mix of oldies and newer music. We have been told that a DJ is better for a wedding because they can play all types of music. With a band people won't dance as much, etc. My FBIL had a band for their wedding and everyone loved it.

Looking for opinions and experiences that people have had at their own weddings or weddings they have been to, is a band or DJ better.

Re: Band or DJ for reception

  • Knot1 said:

    My FI and I are trying to decide if we should go with a DJ or a band.  My FI really likes the idea of having live music and the band we are thinking about going with plays a good mix of oldies and newer music. We have been told that a DJ is better for a wedding because they can play all types of music. With a band people won't dance as much, etc. My FBIL had a band for their wedding and everyone loved it.

    Looking for opinions and experiences that people have had at their own weddings or weddings they have been to, is a band or DJ better.

    I've been to both types of weddings, and I've always seen people dancing as much with bands as with DJs.

    That said, the two weddings I've been to with bands that had everyone dancing have been at country clubs in Long Island and Westchester, NY, with all the bells and whistles you'd find stereotypical of those affairs (multiple bands for ceremony/cocktail hour/reception; top shelf bar; huge, intricate centerpieces; etc.), and it was clear that they were willing to pay a lot more to have "the best." The other one I've been to was a much more "budget" wedding, and the band wasn't good at covering popular songs, which meant fewer people were dancing.

    IF you get a band, make sure you're ready to pay more than a DJ...each individual member of the band needs to be paid, and the good ones who can get everyone on the dance floor charge a premium for their talent A mediocre DJ or even a Spotify playlist can still pull off a fun night much easier than a mediocre band.

    So if money is at all an object, I'd go with the DJ.
    charlotte989875SP29
  • Only about 20% of the weddings I've attended have had bands, but they've all been terrific.  Ditto PP they were all in NYC or Long Island (I guess I'll say top notch  B)) but the dance floors were super packed.  My sister and BIL had a band- they played Gangnam Style, Blurred Lines (it was 2013)- a great band can play all types of music too.  Whether it's a DJ or a band, a great one will be able to read the crowd.
  • SP29SP29
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    A band definitely has to be able to cover various styles of music.

    I have been to events (not weddings) that have had live bands, and while they may have been good, they stuck to their one style of music which wasn't really conducive to dancing. So that's what you get- people sitting, chatting and listening, but no dancing.

    I agree that a mediocre DJ is better than an OK band.
    STARMOON44charlotte989875
  • downtondivadowntondiva
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    member
    edited March 13
    A lot of this depends on your budget. A band is definitely more expensive than a DJ, and I'd say if you have to cut back on other things in your wedding (especially food/drinks) in order to afford it, it's not really worth it. 

    Another thing to consider is what kinds of music you and your crowd prefer, and whether you can find a band that does that music well. If you would really like to have a band, you'd need to do your research (recommendations, videos of their performances, etc.) to find out whether they can really do the kind of music you want. As far as whether people will dance more with a band or a DJ, that depends on what kind of music is being played (and in the case of a band, played well), whether they read the crowd well, and whether the crowd is just generally into dancing or not. I don't think there's any one answer to that question.


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  • If you have enough in your budget to hire a top notch wedding band, then I would go with the band. However, if you can't get a top talent band, then just go with a good DJ. 

    I went to 2 weddings last summer that had bands. The first wedding had a stereotypical wedding band..they were good but had a very set play list. The bride asked me to go request them to play a fan favorite song (Sweet Home Alabama) and it took the band over an hour to play it. Of course when they finally played it, EVERYONE got on the dance floor and was going crazy it was the best song of the night. They could have had that high energy out there sooner if they had been more flexible with their set list. 

    The second wedding I went to with a band had a great band that played all the wedding hits along with lots of newer pop music. They played a variety of oldies, pop, some hip hop, and country through out the night and it was a huge hit. The dance floor was packed all night. 

    So my point is if you cant afford the top talent, I believe that a DJ is a better choice and value than a mediocre band. 
    charlotte989875
  • Thanks for the all the advice everyone! The consensus it seems is no matter what you go with make sure they are good.
  • If you have enough in your budget to hire a top notch wedding band, then I would go with the band. However, if you can't get a top talent band, then just go with a good DJ. 
    This exactly.
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