Image courtesy of Farlie Photography
It’s the big party you want everyone to remember.
You’ve planned every single detail of your special day, and your wedding reception is the big finale – it has to be perfect. Visions of an empty dancefloor are giving you nightmares!
Hitting the right vibe is vital to getting everyone up on their feet. So when it comes to choosing a live band vs DJ, which should you pick?
Band: The Argument In Favour
Experiencing live music is something pretty special, and special is what your big day is all about. What better time than your wedding day for treating everyone you love to some fantastic entertainment that gets their toes tapping and their hearts glowing?
Loud and lively, a wedding band gets everyone up on their feet with that joyous atmosphere that simply cannot be rivalled. If you or your partner have a very specific taste in music, a live band that plays that genre could be a great addition to your reception. Fill your dancefloor with tunes you love and the fun will be sure to follow.
A band’s ability to interact with the crowd and even add their own spin to guest requests provides something truly unforgettable. If you really want to get the blood pumping, then you could consider bringing in an interactive Ceilidh band that will get your loved ones twirling around the room in no time.
What’s more, live music is supreme entertainment even if you’re sitting. This means that you can cater for every single one of your guests, whether they fancy non-stop grooving or a comfy chair. If you think a band might be for you, check out Go2 Entertainment on our recommended supplier list.
Band: The Argument Against
The top reason that steers people away from live music at their reception is cost. Hiring a wedding band typically costs significantly more than bagging a DJ. And when you’re trying to plan your perfect day on a budget, something has got to give.
Having said that, lots of couples still front the cash for a big band because of all of the brilliant benefits mentioned above.
Another reason you might want to think twice about bringing in a wedding band? Availability. If you’ve got a strong idea of who you want, you’ll need to get in touch with them way in advance and book their time. Wedding bands are in high demand because of the unique energy they bring to a reception, and many couples find that they’ve missed the boat before they even knew it was sailing. Start doing your homework ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
Thirdly, set timings can be an issue. On the night, bands usually perform in 2 sets, leaving you with an awkward gap in the middle. It’s totally possible to fill that with an onslaught of posh nibbles and cocktails, or hilarious party games depending on your vibe, but it’s definitely something that needs some thought.
And last but not least on the list of live band disadvantages is space. Those awesome instruments, not to mention their very talented players, need lots of room. And not every venue has it. At Baddow Park House, our Orangery is the perfect location for for a band, with ample room and fabulous acoustics. Read more about the Orangery in our blog here.
DJ: The Argument In Favour
We’ve touched on this already, but the number one advantage a wedding DJ has over a band is cost. DJs are MUCH cheaper to hire. And they take up far less space.
Another huge benefit you experience with a DJ is their vast repertoire of music. Disco classics? Tick. Ibiza floor fillers? Tick. 90s rave anthems? You got it!
A DJ can usually easily respond to your guests’ requests, meaning everyone can get involved… if you want them to, of course. And you can curate the playlist alongside the DJ ahead of your wedding to pitch that perfect party atmosphere.
Many DJs have extras they can bring along, too, that will enhance the visuals of the night whilst keeping you on budget. Props like neon signs, light boxes and photo booths can all take your reception from good to great, and huge screens that can roll photos throughout the night can hone in on the personal touch.
Non-stop entertainment is very much the wedding DJ’s motto. No breaks between sets, just pure fun all night. Some DJs can also be present in the afternoon to play background music for your wedding breakfast because they can easily adapt the volume of their music. This can also be useful if your venue has a strict noise policy. (Boring, but some do).
DJ: The Argument Against
Hiring a DJ for your wedding is cheaper; there’s no doubt about that. So if you’re on a stringent budget, it’s certainly something to consider.
But for all their benefits, DJs simply don’t scream atmosphere like a live band. They can take requests, sure, but the DJ has so much control over the vibe that choosing the wrong DJ can seriously kill the buzz and leave you, and your guests, wanting.
And it’s hard to find a good one. There are, unfortunately, some rubbish DJs out there who have the potential to ruin your night. Because it’s not just about playing songs; a fantastic DJ will be a professional at reading the crowd for a night to remember… but not every DJ can. So heavily vet your choice before booking a DJ; take any recommendations you get given, read plenty of reviews and watch or listen to live footage if you can. We do have a recommended DJ, Fox & Braces, on our supplier list. Check out the list here…
Things You Need To Consider
When it comes down to it, both options work well for your wedding reception. It just depends what you’re after. Here’s what you should think about when you’re in the planning stages.
Your Music Tastes
If you and your betrothed have wildly different tastes – think R’n’B and Ska – finding a band that you both like might be tricky. A DJ can mix different genres more easily, giving you the best of both worlds and no one with the hump.
Before you book ANYTHING, make sure you work out what the limitations of your venue are, if any. A more intimate space won’t work for a 5 piece band, but it could be sufficient for a duo.
This goes without saying. See what you’ve got to play with, and then work within your means. Your reception is going to be brilliant, whatever entertainment you choose.
Live music is an emotional experience and will elevate your special day; you’ll remember dancing into the night, feeling the music in your bones forever. A DJ, on the other hand, can keep your dancefloor busy throughout the evening and respond to guest requests with ease.
How do you want your evening to play out? A band will play sets and have a pretty strict finish time, whereas DJs tend to play for longer if you have a later finish.
What About Both?
Option number three. Some couples see the value in booking both a DJ and a live band for their wedding reception. This way, the DJ can fill in the gaps when the band is taking a break, and finish off the night by filling the dancefloor through the early hours – if that’s your thing.
If you’ve got the budget for it, booking both is a brilliant way of providing entertainment for your guests the whole way through the evening.
The Music Matters
It’s a personal choice. If you’re after a high-energy show, or you or your partner have particular musical tastes which can only be sated with live instruments, go for the band. It’s worth the money if you’ve got it to spend.
If, instead, you’d rather have a great DJ who can adapt to the audience, play requests and run the whole way through until the party dies down, go for it. Just make sure you check them out first.
Great Entertainment Needs An Even Better Venue
If you’re on the hunt for a luxury wedding venue that has enough space and equipment to support a DJ or live band for your wedding reception, look no further. Come and take a look around Baddow Park House and we’d be delighted to talk you through our packages.
Please email [email protected] to book your private viewing.
Fleur & Andy
Kirstie and Andy
We want to thank you sincerely for making our wedding day so special. Everyone thought the organisation was excellent and everything went so smoothly. Baddow Park is a beautiful place to hold an intimate wedding, the house and the gardens are just delightful. Everyone there said what a lovely venue it was. We had the most beautiful wedding and we are very grateful.
Mrs & Mrs B
Nick & Lorna Bastian
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