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Wedding Music – Should You Hire a Live Band, a DJ or Both?

When it’s time to start shopping for the wedding music for either your ceremony or your reception – or both – some couples think you have to go with either wedding DJs or a live band. But sometimes, it might be better to hire both.

There are a lot of reasons why you might want a live band for your wedding music. Maybe it’s because you think having a live band perform will add some extra excitement to the reception, get the people off the chairs and onto the dance floor, and interact with your guests better when they’re making requests.

Or maybe you’ve decided to hire a local band because you’re friends with the musicians, or you’ve seen them play at other events and they’re really very good.

But here are some things to consider when you’re trying to decide which way to go.

Wedding Music by a Live Band versus a DJ

The variety of music. The band you pick might play a mean Lynrd Skynrd and Tom Petty, but what about a 50s jitterbug tune? What is the musical range of the songs they can play well enough to keep the crowd on their feet?

On the other hand, with today’s technology, a good DJ can pretty much get access to and download any song you’d like, almost on the spot, so he can provide the kind of wedding music that will keep everybody happy.

Interaction with the crowd. Sure, with a live band you have people singing to the crowd. But how often can they leave their instruments sit and actually get down on the floor with the crowd?

A good DJ will set the music up to play and then jump down on the dance floor and lead the guests through the latest dance craze. That will really get your guests moving!

Coordinating with the caterers and bartenders. Here again, the DJ can set the music, set the pace, and walk away to talk to the bar tender or other coordinators and help set up the timeline for cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet, and even playing some fun games with the guests.

Meanwhile, the band members need to be with their instruments and concentrate on the songs they’re playing.

Can the band’s lead singer be an emcee during the reception? Probably not. He’s there to make sure the music is played.

On the other hand, it’s the job of wedding DJs to serve as the Master of Ceremonies to kick off the party and coordinate with the photographer, the caterers and other key staff during the entire reception.

So which is the best way to go? I’d go with an experienced DJ who specializes in weddings and receptions, someone with a lot of references and solid, positive testimonials.

But if you’ve had your heart set on a particular live band to provide your wedding music, why not hire both?

This way, if you have particular requests that the band doesn’t play, your DJ can fill in the gaps when the band takes their break.

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