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Wedding Band or Wedding DJ? 4 Pros & Cons for each!

Mar 14, 2019

wedding band

Band vs. DJ?

Have you and your fiancé started this debate yet? I feel like it’s a big one for a lot of couples – and it’s usually not even between the bride and groom! The couple is usually feeling torn between a band and a DJ together. I know we were!

Music is one of our favorite things both individually and together, so our wedding music was one of the most important decisions we made. But it took us a while to get there!  So, in the hopes of saving you some time, I want to walk you through the pros and cons for both wedding bands and weddings DJ.

wedding reception

Wedding Band Pros

  1. Live Bands are a BLAST. I mean I live for live music. Great bands have a way of captivating the audience and really bringing them to life. Your guests will be singing in a microphone and banging on a tambourine by the end of the night.
  2. They are entertaining even when they aren’t singing. Honestly, with a great band your guests can have a blast just watching them jamming out on their instruments!
  3. Bands can help create a very specific ambiance. You can ask them to simply play a string quartet to create a romantic ambiance or all electric guitars to fill the room with a rocking atmosphere.
  4. A (larger) band can split up into two locations. For instance, if a few band members can be playing strings during the ceremony, while the other half can be setting up for the reception. Or, if your cocktail hour is really spread out, a few members of the band can play some soft tunes in different areas of the venue.

Wedding Band Cons

  1. Your song selection can be limited. The band may not know many songs in your favorite genre or may not play in that genre at all. They may also attempt to play your favorite song, but it might not sound like your favorite song at all.
  2. Good bands are expensive. I mean really expensive – and the better the band, the more money they will ask for.
  3. The band will have to take intermissions and/or breaks. If they do not have a plan in place for their breaks, it could result in awkward gaps.
  4. Bands can have a difficult or oversized set up. Remember, bands usually need some sort of stage or large space to stage their equipment, so make sure your venue has a large enough area!
  5. Bands might not be willing to MC or announce vital events on the wedding timeline.
Wedding Band Wedding DJ

Wedding DJ Pros

  1. They can play any song you’d like. And there will be no question that it will be “performed” correctly. They can also take your song requests and create an ongoing reception track so that there are no gaps between songs. This will pretty much guarantee guests to stay on the dance floor!
  2. DJ’s usually have really cool lighting and fun party additives! My favorite DJ has beautiful uplighting and cool party lights that correspond with the music!
  3. DJ’s are super fun MC’s. A good DJ is trained to read a crowd and keep the party going! They are basically party experts.  
  4. Their equipment is smaller and easier to set up. They also normally have either a wireless microphone or a lavalier the officiant can use during the ceremony.
  5. DJ’s are usually really great at following and announcing timeline events.

Wedding DJ Cons

  1. If you hire a not-so-great DJ, your music could be cheesey or boring. You just have to make sure your DJ is high quality and isn’t going to just plug up his/her iPod.
  2. They are usually a one-man-show. This is a little more understated than a large band.
  3. Their equipment could crash. And unlike a band, they probably can’t just sing/play without a microphone!
  4. Since DJ’s equipment is usually a bit more “techy” it comes with a lot of wires – and sometimes it can look a little messy.
wedding DJ

You’re Ready to Rock & Roll (tee-hee)

Now that you have some solid pros and cons for each, you’re ready to make your wedding music decision! Alex and I ultimately went with a DJ just because we were nervous about a band not being able to play our wide variety of music genres, but if you have the funds for a top-notch band, you won’t have to worry about this. Just remember, your music decision should reflect your love of music together!

Check out our DJ, David Osborne with Insight Productions, here! PS) he was incredible! Our guests never left the dance floor!

Happy Wedding Planning!



Interested in having the Jackson & June Team plan, coordinate, or design your wedding? Find out more info here!

Wedding Band Wedding DJ

Planning Tips

  1. My best friend is trying to decide on the music she wants for her wedding reception. Thank you so expressing how a live band is great for entertainment. I’ll suggest that my friend hire a live band for her wedding.

  2. Thank you for providing a detailed comparison between a wedding band and a DJ. You mentioned that your song selection might be limited when it comes to a live band since the band may not be familiar with the song. But is it possible to let them know about your preferred setlist before the wedding?

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