By Derek Schwartzentruber – National President Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association
You’ve reached the party planning stage where it is time to help your wedding couple decide on entertainment.
Do they go with a live band or a DJ?
That is a big question with many pros and cons on either side. Both have their benefits, both can have their drawbacks.
As lovers of music, DJs are often big fans and supporters of live music, but when trying to entertain a wide variety of age groups and demographics, is a band the right choice for the party?
Some bands are fantastic for playing many genres of music, however, their song knowledge will vary from band to band.
How do they handle requests? Do they know the latest songs that came out online this past Tuesday? If the lead singer is sick, do they have another singer to fill-in?
Bands can also take up a considerable amount of space, especially in a smaller venue.
There are definitely some cool things a band can provide because they are live.
The right band can provide great interaction and very high energy with a crowd. Because the music isn’t prerecorded, they can also do fun things like change the words around and change names in
the songs to personalize details for the wedding couple or company they are performing for.
Some bands also have the ability to seamlessly play groups of hit songs together in non-stop medleys.
When it comes to a DJ, they are generally quite versatile with many music genres and seldom take up a lot of space. DJs can be very interactive with the crowd and can play almost any request because a DJ usually carries over 10,000 popular songs (and sometimes upwards of 50,000+!) that could be played at the drop of a hat!
If a DJ comes down sick, they generally have a solid backup plan in place where another DJ in their company can come to the rescue or they belong to an association where a network of other DJs can fill in the last minute. If the music isn’t working right for the dance floor, a DJ can change the genre in a heartbeat. In addition to spinning the tunes, your wedding couple wants, DJs can also be the wedding MC for the evening, working with you to keep the flow of the event running smooth.
Some DJs have even been fortunate enough to play with bands at weddings and corporate events. The key to making that succeed is for the DJ to pay close attention to the band during their sets and if someone requested a song the band didn’t know, there may be the first song for the DJ to start their next set with!
It is up to you and your wedding couple to decide how versatile your entertainment needs to be for their special day. The energy of a live 8 or 10 piece band can be tough for a DJ to compete with, but the music selection and mixing ability of a DJ might more than makeup for that.
Ask your wedding couple which of these two options will appeal to their guests in the best way possible. This will help to ensure their guests are happily remembering the celebration long after the wedding has gone.