Band or DJ? Four things to consider when picking your wedding entertainment

March 09, 2015

The booze has been flowing throughout dinner, your guests are unquestionably merry and now they’re ready to do some dancing. But what awaits? Is it a DJ or a band that you’ve booked? Pick the right one and your wedding will go down in infamy for having that entertainment that really got the crowd going. However if you pick poorly, the night will end prematurely amongst muted conversation as your Aunt thrashes your brother-in-law at pontoon as the Rick Astley lookalike warbles another song that nobody remembers. It seemed like such a hilarious idea at the time...

In order to avoid these wedding entertainment pitfalls, here are 4 top tips to bear in mind.


 This is a biggie. Perhaps the most important thing to think about when thinking about your wedding entertainment. What sort of tone will your wedding have? If you’ve gone for a chilled out, Jane Austen theme, it won’t do to book that thrash metal band or electro DJ that you both like. Moreover, Grandma won’t know the lyrics or tunes and she’s bought her dancing shoes specially. You may want to avoid the type of music your University friends all loved ten years ago too – nostalgia can be good but be sure to have a listen to that band just one more time on YouTube. Some tracks simply don’t hold up years later and are better left in the past. Remember too that a live band as opposed to a DJ can change the ambience of a room. So think about that guestlist and the vibe you’re wanting to go for and choose accordingly.


 Obviously having a DJ means that as long as they have the tracks, the tunes can change from a heavy rock classic to a slow dance number in the time it takes you to convince Uncle Dave to put down his pint and show the floor how he came to win Rotherham’s Best Disco Dancer back in ’84. However a band can add a little bit more personality to proceedings, despite perhaps having a slightly more limited repertoire. Having said that, many wedding bands are extremely adept at working across various genres and most will take the time to learn special requests ahead of your special day. Ask for a playlist from a band and see the selection on offer!


Many wedding couples book a venue first and then move on to booking everything else. This makes sense as far as a lot of the wedding planning details are concerned but if you have your heart set on a particular form of entertainment - be it band or DJ - then make sure to find out if there are any restrictions in place at your wedding venue of choice. Some venues have noise restrictions and limitations on the number of musicians or pieces of equipment that you are allowed to bring in. Moreover, a historical venue may not want you to bring in large speakers, which could make a DJ difficult to arrange. And please, please, please think about the logistics of getting your entertainment to the place they need to be. The reception venue may afford great views but with that lift out of order, the Big Band you booked probably won’t be too overjoyed to traipse up all those stairs.


 Generally speaking, a DJ is cheaper than a band though be aware that their prices do vary depending on whether it’s a weekend or a weekday. Moreover, the more members in a band, the more people who will need paying, which of course adds to the cost so think about that when deliberating between an Orchestra or a talented two-piece. It’s also important to note that band prices can also vary depending on how long you require them to play for and the time of year, so do think about that when booking your wedding date.

Of course, it's ultimately up to you whether you book a band or DJ for your wedding. Either way, we're sure you'll have a great time! To see a few weddings we've helped out with in the past, feel free to check out our wedding page.



Planning an event? Get in touch 

Here at Sternberg Clarke we know how to handle a challenge and we stop at nothing to ensure your event is a night – or day – to remember. Check out our create page and learn more about how we can customise your entertainment to match your needs.

Thinking about booking one of our many talented music acts? Visit our contact page and send us a message.

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By Henry Fosdike