If you’re on the fence about hiring a wedding band or DJ, and you’re unsure which one to choose, this post is for you. Planning a wedding can feel like such a huge job and can quickly become overwhelming, but hiring vendors should be one of the first things you do after choosing a venue.

Two people dancing behind a wedding DJ stand and Apple laptop.

The Main Things to Consider When Deciding Between a Band or DJ

Wedding Band Vs DJ Cost 

Your budget will have a huge part to play in the decision-making as wedding bands can often be more expensive than DJs and if you’ve got a pretty strict budget, you might not have the flexibility to spend more on your entertainment.

Wedding bands will usually cost more because they will include multiple people, a lot more equipment, and will usually charge by how much time you’re wanting them to perform. For example, are you wanting the band to perform during your ceremony, reception, and provide evening entertainment? If so, you’ll need to pay them for the whole day, (even if they’re not technically performing for that whole time) because they will need to take breaks.

Wedding Theme

Does your wedding have a theme? Will this extend to the type of music you’ll be playing on the day? If so, you might want to hire a band that is in line with that theme (e.g. an 80s band) who dress the part and maybe even provide additional entertainment. 

If you want to have a complete variety of music played throughout your wedding day, a DJ is going to be the best choice for you, as they can take song requests, you can provide them with a ‘don’t play’ list, and even send them a playlist you’ve put together for certain parts of the day.

Dominic performing a set as a wedding DJ.

Venue Restrictions For Bands

A lot of wedding venues have restrictions around live music being performed. Sometimes the restrictions are around noise levels, some are around the space available, and others around the electricity usage! If you’re absolutely set on having a band, make sure to ask your venue about any restrictions they have before putting down a deposit!

Must Haves & Priorities: 

If you’re really struggling to decide between a wedding band or DJ, think about what is absolutely essential to you. For example, do you have a wedding planner/coordinator, or are you going to need an MC (master of ceremonies)? A lot of bands don’t provide this service, so if you are set on a band and need an MC, make sure to ask if they can provide this. 

Would you like music playing during quiet times during the day? For example, during your wedding breakfast or during cocktail hour? If so, can your band provide background music using their equipment between sets? Can you request what this music is? These are all questions you want to make sure you’re asking before hiring a wedding band. Your DJ can have multiple playlists that are for certain times throughout the day so would have no problem doing this.

Dominic MC'ing during his set as a wedding DJ.

Wedding Band DJ Combination: How This Can Work 

If you’re in the fortunate position of being able to have both a wedding band and a DJ on your big day, there are a few ways this can work; 

  • You could have your DJ present for most of the day and then leave when your band arrives for the evening reception 
  • You could create your own playlist for the ceremony and reception that is just playing in the background and have your wedding band and DJ arrive for the evening, alternating their sets
  • Hire a wedding band for your ceremony and reception to play specific songs during the calmer parts of your day, and then have your DJ arrive for the evening so that people can request the songs that will make them get up a dance, putting people in more of a ‘party’ mood

@weddingduo There are some tremendous wedding bands out there! #weddingdj #mythoughts #weddingentertainment #imgettingmarried #engagedtiktok ♬ original sound – The Wedding Duo

Hopefully, these tips will help you decide between a wedding band or DJ and get one (or both!) booked for your big day. We have a resident Wedding DJ here at the Wedding Duo, Dominic – so feel free to reach out to us with any questions!

For more helpful DIY wedding tips and inspiration, be sure to visit the blog page!

Wedding Band or DJ: Helping You Choose

Vendor advice


Grab your free wedding day checklist here!




After 10 years in the wedding business, we know what it takes to plan a wedding without overlooking any details. We’ll help you do the same.

Wedding advisors for the DIY couples

We're Serena & Dominic


Let's Get Social


Grab your free wedding day checklist here!

Download Your Free Guide!