Band vs DJ: what to choose for your wedding

Choosing the right band or disc jockey for you wedding party could make it, and choosing the wrong one could break it. The music will set the tone for your wedding party. Usually it’s a matter of personal preference, but whichever option you choose will also need to fit in with your wedding budget. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons to choosing either a live band or DJ for your wedding party.

The pros and cons of choosing a live band for your wedding party.


  • Live music is exciting for the guests and increases the energy of the party.
  • Live music provides a unique atmosphere and an air of sophistication. 
  • A live band is ideal for a themed wedding. For example, a swing group could really compliment a vintage theme, or a folk group could add to a more rustic themed wedding.
  • Most good wedding cover bands have an extensive repertoire which includes relatively modern dance songs and older classics.

Cons :

  • A live band will work out more expensive than a DJ. If you’re on a tight budget, $1500 or less, it may be better to hire a DJ. Take into consideration that you’ll need to pay for the transport costs and accommodation for the whole band. Depending on the location of your wedding this could end up being quite expensive.
  • A less experienced live group could be limited to a specific genre of music. 
  • The band may not have your favorite songs on their playlist. 
  • You’ll need to decide when the wedding band should take their break, and what to fill the gap with.

The pros and cons of choosing a DJ for your wedding party


  • A DJ is usually cheaper than a wedding party band.
  • A DJ and their equipment usually take up less space than a band.
  • A DJ will have access to lots of songs and so will be able to handle most song requests.
  • Your DJ can fulfill the role of emcee if needs be. In this case choose a DJ with personality.
  • A DJ doesn’t need a break.


  • An inexperienced DJ won’t be able to offer creative suggestions.
  • Some DJs can be hard headed and not open to ideas or input.
  • Some DJs have a reputation for showing off too much.

Experienced live bands and disc jockeys should have a good idea as to which songs guests like and which they don’t like. They should also know the songs that people enjoy dancing to. Give an experienced band or DJ the freedom to control the dance music at your wedding party. An ideal option would be to have a DJ alternate with a live band throughout the wedding reception. This way you’ll have the best of both worlds. Either way, it’s important to check the sound equipment and the acoustics before the wedding reception to ensure that you eliminate any musical hiccups.