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A tale as old as time: should you get a wedding DJ or a wedding band for your big day? The answers can cause debates amongst wedding parties, but it’s not an unsolvable question. Key to this discussion are other wedding factors such as wedding venue wedding theme, wedding budget, and more.
No matter where you are in the world—if you’re scouting wedding venues Singapore options, hiring event planners from Dubai, or planning an open bar from your favorite speakeasy in New York—this question remains relevant. Today, we attempt to help you answer it, so read on!
Is it cheaper to have a DJ or a band at a wedding?
While prices will vary, it is generally cheaper to have a DJ at your wedding. Bands often require equipment and extra set-up, plus the fact that there are simply more people in bands. (More people = Higher price)
Still, just because you’re on a budget does not mean you shouldn’t get a wedding band for your big day. There will be premium DJs more expensive than a live band, not just the other way around. We suggest you weigh your options before you make any rash decisions on the “Wedding vs Band” debacle.
Can You Have Both a Wedding Band and a DJ?
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Yes, you can. While this may not be the most cost-effective choice, there’s nothing stopping you from making it. If your love story is heavy on the experience of music, then getting both can make your wedding more immersive and relatable!
A piece of advice, however: if you and your partner plan to get both, give both ample time in the spotlight. Bands will make the music feel real and will be more interactive. DJs, on the other hand, know how to start a party—so maybe have them play for your after-wedding special.
Generally, however, weddings are on a budget. Thus, we suggest you make a choice between the two—the money you save by not getting both can be allocated elsewhere like the food, the venue, and your wedding reception host.
Wedding DJ vs Band: Considerations in Choosing Between the Two
1. Wedding Playlist
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What songs are you playing on your special day? Do the songs fit a more clubbing atmosphere? Or are your songs best experienced as live music?
Answering these questions will lead you to the eventual answer of whether you want a DJ or a band at your wedding. Again, if your playlist is full of high-energy electronic songs, then a DJ will do it justice. (This has become more prominent as many first dances have been modernized into street-style dances.)
On the other hand, if you like karaoke/singing more than you like clubbing/dancing, then a live band will be a lot of fun for you and your wedding party. Do remember, however, that wedding bands have limits to the songs that they can play.
2. Wedding Theme
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Your wedding theme dictates a lot about your wedding—the decoration, the venue, the food, and the reception. The DJ vs bands discussion is not exempt from this.
It’s easy—if your wedding theme leans to a more classic and rustic theme, then a wedding band might be your best bet. However, if you will be having a more modern, dynamic wedding theme focused on dance, a DJ is a better fit.
3. Wedding Guests
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A wedding reception is for everyone to enjoy, not just you and your partner, right? Thus, in choosing between a wedding DJ and a wedding band, they should be a big consideration too.
While this shouldn’t be the top of your priority, it’s good to know whether your wedding party will appreciate one more than the other. Know your demographic—what are the ages of the attendees? What songs do they like? What type of memories do you want to make with them?
4. Wedding Budget
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As mentioned above, wedding DJs generally cost less than a wedding band; so if you want to save money on entertainment a DJ is the best way to go.
As a general rule in the wedding planning industry, wedding reception DJs should cost around $600 to $3,500. Bands, while they do have a wide price range, tend to cost much more (around $400 to $12,000).
However, there are great deals for wedding bands these days, especially as the market continues to saturate (with all pandemic restrictions lifted). Therefore, you will eventually find a band that fits your wedding budget—the question is now whether they are better than a same-priced DJ or not.
5. Wedding Partners’ Personalities
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In planning any kind of wedding, this should be a top consideration. Weddings are a culmination of your love—its type; its shape; its size. Each facet of your big day should reflect you and your partner’s personalities.
Thus, if you identify more with high energy party folk, then getting a DJ will be a smart choice. If you are musicians yourselves (or live music lovers) and want to partake in the performances, then bands are the one for you. In many ways, this will also reflect in your playlist (refer to #1).
6. Wedding Venue
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Size matters in wedding receptions; it dictates what forms of entertainment and catering you can have. In choosing between a wedding DJ or band, it is important to double check how much space they will take up.
Moreover, it is also important to note how much equipment and amenities they need to give a fun, satisfying performance. Like any life milestone, you don’t want half-baked experiences—you want memorable ones, where everyone is comfortable and having fun.
You don’t want to host a garden wedding reception where a DJ can’t access their prepared online playlist or a rustic wedding where a band can’t amplify their instruments. Every bride and groom deserves a hassle-free day.
Is getting a DJ better than getting a band for your wedding? Or is it vice versa? As this debate continues, one thing is for sure: there is no final answer. For as long as love remains diverse, dynamic, and unyielding, so will weddings—so the answer is yours to decide all along (always has been).
Congratulations on your big day and we hope you get to decide between a wedding DJ vs band! Whichever you choose, we’re sure you’ll have a great, fun time with friends and family.