Should you hire a Band or Professional Wedding DJ – Part II?

November 8th, 2015 pulsedj

Part 2 of a 3 Part Article

When searching for entertainment for your wedding, you are faced with many major decisions; one can be whether to hire a live band or DJ?

Pulse Entertainment, a Professional North Carolina based Wedding Disc-Jockey with over 20 years of experience would like to share a few tips to help couples make the best entertainment decisions.  In this three part series I will try to remain unbiased toward my own profession.  There are good points for having a live band, or a DJ,  and a few things to keep in mind when deciding.  Sometimes couples choose to hire both a DJ and live musicians, and when your budget allows it, that can be a great option. I have worked with bands and live musicians many times, and now I would like to offer some tips based on my own experience.

Cocktail Hour and Dinner Music Band OR DJ?

THE PRO’s:  Live music is, well, live.  You and your guests will experience the pleasure of a performance.  Anything can happen to raise the excitement level, from an infectious horn-section interlude to a moving solo.  Bands create a tangible atmosphere and an interactive experience which people take a mental picture of throughout the day.  Bands generally bring a lot of energy to an event.

THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND: Bands might have an awesome set list to choose from, but they usually have a limited number of songs and styles they can play.  Should you want to change the feel of your cocktail or dinner music on the fly, this may be impossible for them in most cases.  And remember, if the band uses sheet music they may have that “gap of silence” between each song that can be very josseling for your guests.  A Great band will have a fixed set of music which they’ve memorized and prepared for and generally there is little to no gap between songs…but those bands cost a lot more money.  Great bands memorize their music, it’s just that simple.  The good DJs will usually have gone over music with the clients and have arranged a list of songs that fit the couple’s idea for the feel of cocktail and dinner.  This music list can include popular hits everyone can sing and tap their toes to, or favorite bands that the couple love.  The theme can be changed at any moment using a giant library of music already installed in the DJ’s computer.  It will run on a loop and have a fading effect that makes song transitions seamlessly and with no “gap of silence.”  By using computers for cocktail and dinner music, this also allows the DJ to be free to help wherever they are needed and talk to the wedding party and the important people involved in the Grand Entrances, Special Dances, Toasts, etc.  This is very useful when you’re trying to keep the schedule moving and rely on the DJ to MC the event.  While many bands have MC’s who can be working to arrange and execute the schedule while the band continues playing, the less expensive bands are generally not as prepared, experienced or interactive behind the scenes as a professional wedding DJ.

Also, With a band it may be hard to control the volume levels unless they have a professional sound technician with them. Without a sound technician, a guitarist’s amp may be too loud while a singer or trumpet player is getting louder trying to compensate, this isn’t ideal.  DJ’s control their sound by walking around during a song and checking levels to make sure the music isn’t too loud or is just loud enough…or in some cases, meets the noise ordinance requirements set by a Venue.

Something else to consider: if you are providing vendor meals, with a band you might have many mouths to feed which will increase your catering bill, while a DJ may only be 1 individual or 2 at the most when there is a DJ and MC combo.

So in conclusion, which is best for your cocktail music- a DJ or a band?  It’s up to you!  There is no right or wrong choice and each has it’s own pros and cons, but remember to stay true to who you are and provide whatever entertainment reflects your personality and makes you happy.  It’s YOUR day.  The best thing to do is research; see which option fits best for you and will make your reception one to remember!  Good luck!

Part 3 of this blog will focus on The Dance Music Band OR DJ?

I wish you love, happiness, an awesome wedding and a beautiful future.



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