For many brides and their grooms, one of the biggest questions of the reception will be: live band or DJ? You may have heard of a DJ totally bombing the reception and a friend of a friend may have told you their live band didn’t work out as they had hoped. So how are you supposed to know which one to go with? Luckily, I’ve sorted through the pros and cons of each to help you out with your musical dilemma.


One of the biggest pros of a DJ is the variety of music they offer. According to Inside Weddings, they also offer authentic versions of songs, better volume control, and often better prices. Chances are, they’ll have any song that you or your guests wish to hear at the reception. Another positive is that they don’t require breaks like a live band does. This will ensure that the music and the upbeat environment won’t stop at any point during the night.

Of course when hiring a DJ, you may be running the risk of his/her personality clashing with the wedding. Some brides wish for the DJ to be the life of the party, while others would rather have him/her blend into the background a bit more. Inside Weddings recommended asking each DJ how he or she approaches their wedding performance. This way you can be sure what type of entertainment you’ll be getting on your big day.

Live band

Nothing can beat the excitement of a live performance. And if you’ve ever been to a concert, you’ll know what I’m talking about. A wedding band always gets guests out of their seats and fills the room with an adrenaline level unmatched by a DJ.

Unfortunately, live bands can often be a bit pricey. According to, some bands can even require up to $20,000 for the night. Yikes! A live band also may not have the musical selection of a DJ. DJs could potentially play anything from techno to classical music, while a band’s may be more limited. Having only one genre of music may prevent everyone from getting a taste of music they enjoy. You don’t want to prevent your Uncle Bert from dancing, do you? Well, maybe you do…

How about both?
If your budget allows for it, many couples are opting for both a DJ and a live band at their wedding! Each mood may require a different type of music. For example, Back Third Entertainment said that a live band would work great for cocktail hour and provide traditional background music like jazz. When it’s time for dancing, it’s the DJs turn to play the songs everyone wants to hear and keep the momentum of the reception going. If there is a particular song you would love to hear live, have the band honor your request! But make sure you talk to the band ahead of time to see if they’re able to play the songs you wish to hear.

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