Music is important to creating the right atmosphere and flow for your wedding, and when people think of music at a wedding, the two most common choices are a band or a DJ. However, which songs are played is far from the only consideration when making this decision. This week, on the podcast, Dominic went through all the things you may not have thought to consider when choosing who to trust with your wedding’s music.
When hiring a wedding DJ, it is to be expected that the DJ will also do the MCing. They have experience with the flow of a wedding, letting people know what’s happening when it’s time for the first dance or the cake cutting. Many DJs will also partner with other vendors at the event to make sure important pieces are covered. For example, they’ll notify the photographer what side the couple will be coming in for the introduction, or where the best spots might be to capture certain pictures.
If you’ve decided that you are going to hire a band for your wedding, find out if they are willing to talk on the mic and do the MCing. Ask how they will go about doing it, and what information they’ll need in order to announce the wedding details, as well as their experience MCing a wedding.
For both bands and DJs make sure to discuss language expectations (no swearing, etc.), as well as your feelings on alcohol consumption while on the clock.
Typically a wedding DJ isn’t going to need many breaks, and if they do, they are set up with a playlist that continues while they’ve stepped away.
Bands will need at least a few breaks during their set. Ask your band if they plan to play other music during the break to fill the gap. If they are not set up to do that, this would be a great time to have your cake cutting with some light background music that you can play off your phone, or consider having a DJ to fill in the gaps.
Where a DJ is able to quickly move their equipment from the ceremony to the reception, which is not likely for a band. A band comes with a lot of equipment that cannot be torn down and moved quickly.
If you’ve decided to hire a band for your wedding, you’ll need to find an alternative option for ceremony music. This can be done by a family member or friend and playlist on your phone, but make sure that the music has been downloaded so you don’t have any issues with wifi. Also connect the person in charge with the venue or the wedding planner, so they can get it all set up prior to the start of the ceremony.
Another area in which bands and DJs can differ is in their attire. Generally, DJs will show up in a suit, whereas bands may wear more of a casual vibe or something that matches their style of music.
It’s a great idea to inform both a DJ and band what you would like their attire to look like for your wedding. The last thing you want is your entertainment to show up dressed in shorts and crocs while your guests are in suits and gowns.
Space in your venue is another area that you’ll need to consider. If you have a smaller more intimate venue, it would be difficult to have enough space for a live band to play.
Bands take up a lot of space and usually need a good amount of power. Double-check with your venue about how many circuits they have and so you don’t overpower the system! A DJ takes up a much smaller amount of space, only needing a table to put their equipment on and then some additional space for their lighting.
Always check with your vendor to determine their space requirements so there are no issues on your big day!
A big benefit of hiring a DJ is they come with a wide variety of music. When we go to a wedding, we plan for 4 generations and all walks of life at the wedding, meaning we have a good mix of top hits as well as older music. The goal is to get everyone from the flower girl to the grandparents out on the dance floor at some point.
DJs are also able to tune in to the vibe of the crowd, if they see the guests vibing to a certain genre, then they can play more of that type. We can bounce between Michael Jackson and Beyonce with the flick of a playlist.
Bands generally only play one style of music. This is where bands can be a great option if you just like listening to live music vs. having a hopping dance party. Another great question to ask your band is if they are comfortable taking song requests! If going with a DJ, check out our music planner for help organizing music on your big day!
The size of your budget for music can definitely end up being a deciding factor for your music entertainment. A band will likely be much more expensive. They have more people to pay, and they may request a rider. A rider is a part of their contract, which includes space to hold their personal belongings, a break room, and snacks/drink requests.
DJs travel alone and don’t require any extras. We usually show up with everything we need, and while you may generously offer us dinner, dessert, or drinks, we typically show up with everything we need.
If you have a generous budget, you could look at bringing on both a live band and a DJ so they can take turns when breaks are needed, or just to give the room a different vibe!
At the end of the day, when you are deciding which way to go for your music entertainment, think about your vibe, and how you want your wedding to feel. Do you want a big dance party or would you and your guests prefer to listen to live music? Go into it with your eyes wide open, ask clarifying questions, and remember it’s your day and is very personal, so go with what you want. If you are interested in learning more about our services or want to do a free consultation, visit our website!
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