I thought it might be a good idea to put forward an experienced DJs view on the bands vs DJ debate, as many of the articles that I’ve previously read have been by written by bloggers or wedding press, who to be honest, have in all likelihood not attended as many weddings like me.
Bands seem to have made somewhat of a comeback lately, with so many to choose from of wide-ranging quality. However, we will always be slightly biased and say a DJ is your best option if you’re looking at costs. For what you’ll spend on an average band, you’ll get an amazing DJ and perhaps even some live accompaniment, a DJ with Sax or DJ with percussion have become more and more popular over the past few years and I can honestly say that we were probably one of the first DJ companies to champion this combination back in the 90s.
If money isn’t an object, then a full live band and a DJ is an awesome combination with the flow of a typical evening going like this.
8 pm - DJ to play for the first hour, this will allow your guests to mingle, socialise and have a few drinks.
9 pm - DJ or band to play the first dance, then a band to play the first set. Normally around 45 minutes.
9:45 pm - DJ to play the second set until 11 pm, this is the part of the evening your dance floor should really start to warm up.
11 pm – The band to play the second and final rocking set if it’s a midnight finish. If you’re going on into the early hours, then it’s back to your wedding DJ to finish.
You may wonder why I’ve not started with the first dance, generally, I always feel it can be a little awkward going straight from the wedding breakfast and then into the first dance and I’ve always found warming the guests up a little works wonders. If you drop the first dance too early, especially at summer weddings, after two or three tracks, the guests will hit the bar and if the weather is nice, head outside. This, no matter how good the music is.
With regards to the music choice, a standalone DJ will play for the entire evening, have a far larger music repertoire at their disposal with the ability to cover a lot more genres.
Booking just a band will have time limitations, as in two maybe three sets with breaks, although most bands or their agents now offer a DJ to cover the band breaks. However, do be mindful that a band member who seconds as a DJ and plays from a Spotify playlist, does not constitute an experienced DJ. Always make sure you choose a professional DJ to keep the musical and party vibe flowing and cut costs on this at your peril.
If space is an issue, DJs generally take up far less space and, when setting up, they need a lot less time without the need for loud sound checks. We built our business on booking DJs, and although we now recommend some of the amazing bands we have worked with over the years, providing DJs for weddings is what we know best.
DJs have far more flexibility, with the ability to cover your entire day without the need for multiple artists. From playing music for your wedding ceremony, music for your drink’s reception, music for your wedding breakfast and then DJ for the party to finish off the day. Most reputable DJ companies will offer an all-day service to cover every aspect.
Unlike booking a band, booking a DJ through us also gives you access to our extensive range of wedding production hire stock, from dance floors to draping, from additional lighting to sound systems for your wedding speeches. We also offer clients exclusive access to our online music database, this allows clients to choose their favourite music, save the list and add to it in the run-up to their big day. Next to each track selected there is a traffic light system, green (must play), amber (play if possible), red (not on my dance floor).
So, to summarise. If you can afford an amazing band and an amazing DJ, go for it and you’ll have a blast. If your spending power will only stretch to an average band, then go with an amazing DJ with a few extra wow factors and perhaps add a live sax with your DJ.