Thief Hall Journal

Band or DJ?

Now, one of the questions when planning your wedding is whether to have a band playing or a DJ, or to make the question harder, both? This is something you both need to discuss together and it all goes down to your own personal preference and the logistics. For example, where your venue you is and the size and shape of your venue and where you have your evening do etc.


When looking into a DJ people think that it would be the cheaper option over hiring a band. In some cases having live music can sit higher on the price line, but DJ prices can vary a lot depending on how much or how little you go for. This is also due to many different types of DJs, some specialise in parties and chart music, some are more comfortable in clubs or do private parties or some specialise in weddings, but depending on what style you like depends on which one you go for. Some love the traditional wedding DJ, some not so much.

Live Band

Its obvious that a live band can have a huge impact on the atmosphere for your wedding party. And the band can also use the way they play the music to engage directly with the audience, they can read the room and respond with the mood of the audience. Band will usually have 2-3 sets of playing with a few 20-30 minutes breaks in between. They need a break as it can be high energy and they need to rehydrate, this is not something I would particularly worry about, but just to be aware that a playlist will be playing from the speakers while they have a break. Also be aware of the space in your venue, bands been enough room for all their equipment to set up.

There are a few things to consider when you are looking (for both):

1. Budget

Looking at Band or DJ, the DJ is typically less in the price range, but it varies on what you want, how long and what day. DJ’s can also become more expensive depending on how well known they are! A 7-person band will cost more due to the fact that there are more members that need paying, so keep in mind that if you only want a 3-person band it might work out cheaper than a well known DJ. Both will vary on prices depending on the time of year, day of the week and how long yui want them for.

2. Space/Venue

You need to keep in mind where you have chosen for your venue. If you have your heart set on a full band with drums, guitars, singers etc, they will need enough space for all of their equipment. Speak to your venue or go and see it again to be able to visualise if there’s enough space and where would be best for them to go. Most likely your venue will have a good idea of whether they have enough space and how big you can go, they will also know the best place for them to set up.

3. Atmosphere

Try to think about what theme/style/vibe you are going for for your wedding, this has a big impact on what you will go for. What music genre best suits both the bride and grooms personality. If you both enjoy country music, choosing a DJ who plays 80’s pop would not fit the style of your wedding. Similarly if you both enjoy Chart music, choosing a band who specialises in rock music would not fit either. Regardless of whether you choose a band or a DJ, be sure that they can play a variety of music, different genres, fast and slow. This is in case they have any requests or where you decide on a song during the evening.

4. See them play

It’s important that you go to see either the DJ or band live at least once before choosing them, there’s nothing worse than choosing someone who is completely wrong for your big day and they are already booked and paid for. It’s important to see them, the way they dress, the way they work the audience, the way they play the music, how much passion they have for the music etc. Most bands will send you over a set playlist they have for you to hear them, ask for referrals from previous weddings, look for reviews left for them previously, this will give you an idea of how they perform at other events. AND, always make sure (band or DJ) know or are willing to learn/get your first dance song!

5. Choose for yourself

Finally, whoever you decided to go for or have emailed for quotes, never be pressured into having a band or DJ all day! You may not always need them all day depending on your venue. Typically a venue will have some form of background music for you to be able to play throughout the reception or wedding breakfast. So, do not panic when timings are thrown at you for needing a DJ or band all day!