Wedding Reception – Band vs DJ

Choosing what music to have at your reception could become one of the surprisingly trickier decisions you’ll need to make when planning your nuptials. Do you opt for the pricier, elegant band or a cheaper, more common DJ? Here are some of the pros and cons of each, helping you to decide what’s right for your big day:


Hiring a band gives you the enjoyment of live music, which is a completely different dynamic. It’s easy to set a tone or theme for your evening when hiring a band. It’s memorable and distinctive but be prepared to pay more. You could also find that song choice is limited, being restricted to the band’s particular style and repertoire.

Popular wedding bands will also get booked up far in advance, so you’ll need at least 6 months’ notice to secure a popular and successful band. You’ll need to ensure that they are available on your wedding date, have a wide enough range of music they can play, perform in a style that both you and your partner enjoy and fit within your budget.

The way that bands charge can vary, with some charging a flat fee or per musician, per hour. You’ll also want to know what instruments are played, how many musicians there will be and how often the musicians play together. Size is another consideration. Bands take up considerably more space than a DJ, so if your reception space is tight, you might need to reconsider.

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Often viewed as a less elegant option but still the most popular, with a whopping 85% weddings featuring a DJ providing the sounds. The pros of hiring a DJ include lower cost, hearing songs performed by the original artists and not cover versions, much wider variety of music choice and they take up much less space than a band. While a DJ won’t command the same kind of atmosphere as a live band, they still provide exciting lights and effects, meaning you’ll still have a visual focus for the evening.

Hiring a suitable DJ is much easier than hiring a band. As long as the references are good, their equipment is up-to-date, and their music selection meets your needs, the only thing left to check is that you get on well, so conduct an interview. You’ll want to make sure that their attire is suitable, their behaviour suits your needs and if possible, ask to see video footage of their last wedding performance. For a Wedding DJ Gloucestershire, visit

You won’t be able to dictate every song that’s played, just as you wouldn’t with a live band. You need to allow the DJ the freedom to practice their craft, read the crowd and respond with appropriate song choices. You risk dampening the excitement if you insist on sticking to a rigid, pre-planned schedule. You can, however, provide a list of songs that you really want played during the evening, including your first dance of course. You’ll also want to advise them of any songs that should be avoided!

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