Should You Hire a Live Band or DJ?
Your Wedding Reception Music?
Can't decide who should play your wedding tunes? Here's everything you need to know to find the right music maker for your day.
There is no question that music will make or break how the memories for a wedding reception. We will talk about the ceremony shortly. Always know "they will love the meal, but always remember the music". Music is the vibe that creates the memories. Hiring a talented band or DJ is important but how do you find exactly what you want?
You need to start with by asking yourself these basic points:
- What type of music fits my personal taste?
- What type of music fits my budget?
- Are there space considerations?
- What would my guests enjoy?
What to Consider
Vibe: The type of music you pick which sets the tone of your wedding. And it's the one thing your guests will remember most. The way the music is performed by a band or spun by a DJ affects the atmosphere. Also consider that a band will have much more energy and soul for your event. It's just a fact!
Variety: Regardless of whether you choose a band or DJ, be sure they play slow and fast songs, as well as old and new tunes to encourage all guests to hit the dance floor. The Velvet Hour does this!
Budget: As for cost, DJs generally cost less though only about half the rate of a good band. If a DJ quotes you $1000 then you can expect a band about double double that for the reception. Even with 5 or 6 players. Keep in mind that The Velvet Hour includes DJ & MC services for all wedding receptions.
Space: The Velvet Hour does have a larger footprint than most DJs, yet our advanced equipment allows for generally a smaller space requirement than most bands without compromising quality. You do need to check on whether the reception site has space restrictions, power limitations, & volume limits. The Velvet Hour is happy to assist with this process before you start scouting.
Band - Pros and Cons:
There's nothing like a "live" wedding band to get a crowd excited and create a sense of sophistication. A good bandleader will play the master of ceremonies at your reception, interacting with folks on the dance floor, paying attention to the "feel" of the room and selecting music accordingly.
Pros: 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.
Cons: Bands can be more expensive than DJs. Also, no matter how great the band, they can't have the repertoire of a standard DJ, who can keep a huge variety of music on hand. However, take a moment to review The Velvet Hour's playlist...it covers many eras and genres.
DJ - Pros and Cons:
The days of disco fever and flashing lights are gone. Today's disc jockeys are artists in their own right, offering balanced and eclectic mixes of musical styles for all ages. Plus, the songs played will sound exactly as you remember them, encouraging sing-alongs and improvisation. And, depending on the amount of equipment a DJ brings, they'll take up less dance floor real estate and can be relocated with relative ease.
Pros: If there are a dozen songs you're dying to hear at your wedding, it likely won't be a problem for your DJ to find each track. Also, DJs are generally less expensive than bands. A DJ with a charismatic stage presence and excellent emcee skills can really set the mood and keep the party going.
Cons: On the opposite end of the spectrum, a DJ with a less-than stellar personality can be a party killer. Also, improvisation is tough if, say, your dad is dragging behind tempo on the father-daughter dance or your nieces and nephews decide to crash with "The Chicken Dance."
See Them Live
Ideally, you will want to see a DJ or band in action before you commit so you can gauge firsthand the way they dress, deadpan and work the crowd. (Ask to see a taped public performance or attend a dress rehearsal, but never crash another couple's reception.) If that's not a possibility, ask for a playlist and look for songs you know and love. If a band gives you a CD or a link to a video, be sure that the musicians you hear or see are the same musicians who will play at your reception. Also, ask for referrals from the last few weddings the band or DJ played. Consider your first-dance song a test. If the band doesn't know it and is unwilling to learn it, or the DJ doesn't own it and is unwilling to get it, move on.
Before You Sign
Know that all professionals should be open to your likes and dislikes. Give them your personal request list, songs they must play and, perhaps more importantly, a do-not-play list. Worried you'll hear the "Macarena" at your once-in-a-lifetime event? Specifically prohibit the playing of a song you feel strongly about in your contract.