The big entertainment debate – Live Band or DJ?

You’re in the middle of planning your wedding and you’ve come to the part where you book your evening entertainment. But now you’ve got a difficult decision on your hands – do you go for a live band, or a DJ? A lot of it will come down to budget and personal preference. We look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.

The Live Wedding Band

In our opinion, there is nothing like a live band for impressing your guests and it really does make a difference to the atmosphere at any occasion, creating a real wow factor! Few people can resist getting up and dancing for a good band.

Cost wise, a professional wedding band will set you back £1,000+, which gets you typically two hours of live music, lighting rig and PA. Many will also provide DJ services, saving you money on booking an additional DJ to keep the music and atmosphere flowing on the night.

A versatile wedding band will have music on hand for a variety of styles, something for everyone – or you can choose one that has a particular style that you want, for example a ceilidh band or jazz band. It’s really up to you. However, it will not be as easy for your band to switch styles up on the fly, or take requests for songs, as it would for a DJ.

Many wedding bands – including ICONIC – can also offer options such as wedding ceremony music, with scaled down options such as a solo, duo or trio.

A live band will typically take up a lot more space than a DJ, so bear this in mind if your venue is small. Some venues are also not properly set up for having a live band, in that there is not access for loading or unloading, or there is just the one room for everything to happen, so the band has to set up and soundcheck in the same room as you’re having your wedding breakfast – not ideal. Some venues don’t allow live music at all due to sound restrictions particularly if they are in a residential area – so if you do want a band, it’s best to check with your venue to make sure they are prepared for it.

The Wedding DJ

The main advantage of a DJ is the variety of music – they will be able to take requests either using their own library of music, or the internet, provided it is available at the venue. Cost wise a DJ is typically cheaper, with the cost for an evening being approximately £500-800. This will also cover the sound and lighting systems much as with the band option. However, if you’re looking for a full day’s DJing or a nightclub type experience you’d be looking more at £1,000.

A DJ will require far less space, so for a small, intimate venue this would work out better. Soundcheck will be less intrusive, also a DJ would have an easier time at a venue with a sound limiter. If your venue has one that is set up around the 90db range, it’s not really going to be possible to have a live band and you’d be better off with a DJ – their music is compressed so you will be able to have a better party atmosphere at a low volume.

Either way, we recommend you spend some serious time researching and making a decision on entertainment. And as always we’re happy to have a chat with you via phone or email about what you’re looking for – send us a quick message via our contact form!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.