How to Choose Between a Wedding DJ or Band

Choosing your wedding entertainment can make or break your wedding guests’ experience. There’s no right or wrong decision when choosing between a wedding DJ and band. However, your budget, music preferences, guests, and venue size …


Choosing your wedding entertainment can make or break your wedding guests’ experience. There’s no right or wrong decision when choosing between a wedding DJ and band. However, your budget, music preferences, guests, and venue size can all affect your guests’ experience. 

If you just can’t decide what to do with your wedding entertainment, this article is for you. We cover monetary aspects of your wedding entertainment decision as well as other factors that should play into the final decision. You want your wedding entertainment to be a memorable experience for all those involved. Both a wedding DJ and wedding band can give you what you’re looking for. It all comes down to your preferences. 

Your wedding DJ has the power to create unforgettable moments. It’s not just about playing music; it’s about crafting an experience that resonates with the heart and soul of the celebration. If you want to explore what it takes to build a wedding DJ setup, check out They have a detailed article that explains what equipment you need to consider as part of a wedding DJ setup, from the DJ controller to headphones, lighting, and backup plans.

Your Budget 

Your budget is one of the most pressing concerns for anyone planning their wedding entertainment. You should expect to pay around $3,000-$10,0000 on your wedding band. The reason why you should expect to pay more for a wedding band comes down to a few determining factors. First, you have to factor the number of people in a wedding band being more than a solo DJ. Not only will you have to pay a band more for the flat-rate, you will also have to pay more for their transportation, their equipment and extra equipment such as lighting. 

DJs cost around $500-$2,000. This rate varies on experience and skill level. For example, if you hire a DJ who does it as more of a hobby, you can expect lower rates than a DJ who is respected within their community and can charge more due to the value they bring to your wedding entertainment. 

Your Wedding Style

Much of the decision between a wedding DJ and wedding band has to do with what type of wedding you’re planning. You need to make sure the music fits your wedding. If you are hosting an intimate wedding with 30 guests, your entertainment will look and sound much different than if you are hosting a 300-person wedding. You also have to think about the age range of your guests. 

However, you don’t want to compromise your own musical tastes for the sake of your guests. Whether you hire a DJ or wedding band, you should always meet before the wedding to discuss your preferences so they can deliver the music you desire. 

The Venue Size 

You must factor logistics into your wedding entertainment decision. The larger venue you have, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to justify a full band. You could also use the venue size to your advantage when hiring a wedding DJ. Larger venues give DJs the opportunity to include more stage elements in their show. 

If you’re looking for an extravagant display of lights, confetti, and fog machines, you will need a larger venue. Whether you plan to hire a wedding DJ or band, the larger venue will give you more capabilities when considering electric outlets, physical space, and noise limitations. 

On average, bands need more space on the stage itself while a DJ might only require a few pieces of simple equipment. If you’re looking to book a band, make sure you clear it with your venue before settling on anything permanent.

Your Guests

When choosing your entertainment, you need to consider the preferences of your guests while maintaining the integrity of your own preferences. Consider the age range and demographics of your guests. You will likely want to include the Top 40 hits, some Beyonce, and Sinatra. Cover an eclectic range of interests. 

Younger guests might be more in-tune with the current hits and you should try to incorporate these into song choices. 

Pros and Cons of Wedding Bands 

To help you make a decision, you should consider creating a pros and cons list. Here’s an example of some of the pros and cons of hiring a wedding band. 


With a wedding band, you can add that special touch to your show. There’s something about having live entertainment at your wedding that makes it special, enhancing your wedding from wedding entertainment to an experience. 

Wedding bands are also skilled at making connections with crowds. Because they know how to amp up their performance. The live performance element can bring an added enjoyment to your wedding. 


DJs have more ability to increase their repertoire and provide you with the particular songs you want to include in your wedding reception. Wedding bands require more space than wedding DJs and more equipment.  They also require longer breaks which can hinder their performance and zap the enthusiasm from the crowd.

Pros and Cons of Wedding DJs 


DJs can provide more variety to your wedding entertainment . They have access to more music and they can change genres quicker when the mood strikes them. DJs also occupy far less space than bands and instruments. DJs also have to take fewer breaks than a band in order to maintain energy. Playing  a DJ set doesn’t require as much energy as playing a live set. 


Some people simply prefer live music over electronic music. While the younger crowds are more receptive to electronic music, there are still quite a few pursuits out there who prefer the intimacy of a live set. Also, DJs don’t have any instruments and are typically standing behind a table trying to perform. 

Choosing Between a Wedding DJ and a Wedding Band

Choosing between a wedding DJ and band comes down to a few key questions. To start, consider your wedding entertainment budget. Wedding entertainment is one of the most important factors to consider when trying to decide between a wedding band or DJ. 

Wedding bands are typically more expensive than wedding DJs, but wedding DJs’ experience varies more than wedding bands. Wedding DJs can treat DJing weddings as a hobby and not dedicate the necessary passion to their craft to justify their rates.

On top of those considerations, you must also determine the style of your wedding and the size of your venue. You should consider guest preferences and whether your venue can handle a larger performance such as a large band or an interactive wedding DJ with an extensive list of equipment. 

When it comes down to choosing between a wedding DJ and band, it’s your wedding and you need to feel comfortable with whomever you choose. The initial interview phase should cover all of you and your guests’ music preferences as well as hammering out pricing details.  

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