Should You Hire a Band or DJ for Your Reception?

Take a look at the benefits of each entertainment choice.

Should You Hire a Band or DJ for Your Reception?

Photo: Jay Lawrence Goldman and Carasco Photography

For many couples, the most important vendor to hire for the wedding reception is the entertainment. In fact, if you want your guests to dance all night, that's what really brings the party to a wedding.

Before beginning to interview vendors, you'll have to decide whether a live band or a DJ is best for your reception style. If you and your future spouse have been engaged in many debates on this subject, you’re not alone! Choosing between a band and a DJ is always tough because there is no real right answer – it all depends on your taste and priorities. 

It’s important to compare the differences between booking a band versus booking a DJ in order to see which act best aligns with your own celebration. If you’re still undecided, read through our real weddings to see what brides and grooms said about their reception entertainment. 

Wedding Band

Wedding band on stage with purple lighting

Hiring a band adds elegance to create an exciting atmosphere during the reception. It makes a statement about the formality and opulence of your wedding. As long as you pick the right band, the live performance can add energy to the proceedings. If you have a plethora of friends and family who can’t or won’t dance, they can still enjoy watching the band perform. If choosing a specific genre of music, the band can also contribute to the overall theme of your wedding. Photo by Carasco Photography

Wedding DJ

Wedding DJ performing at dj table
With a DJ, a wide variety of music can be played for a more diverse crowd. Couples who are very particular about their music can have customized playlists to fit their tastes. A DJ can also take requests more easily, since he or she will have nearly every song at his or her disposal. If you’re wary about a DJ being nothing more than a glorified Spotify playlist, remember that a skilled disc jockey can create on-the-fly mashups to make sure every song has a proper dance beat, as well as excite the crowd. Another advantage is that a DJ can fit in smaller spaces and doesn't require a stage, which is helpful for unique venues. Photo by Jay Lawrence Goldman Photography

For more wedding entertainment tips and advice, click here. Make sure to ask these seven questions before booking a band, learn the advantages to hiring an entertainment company, and discover how to keep the dance floor packed all night long.