Does My Event Need Music? Band, DJ, or DIY
One of the most important aspects of any event is entertainment. We ask ourselves will there be music, games, or other activities? No matter what, you'll need to entertain your guests. Since I'm a DJ, I've chosen to focus on music, and save the other activities for a different post.
So, which option is best for you? Well, it really depends on your tastes and budget. If you can afford it, then it's best to have both a band and a DJ. This will keep your guests entertained throughout the entire evening and offer the greatest variety of entertainment. For most of us though, that's out of the question so here are a few pros and cons of each choice:
Hiring a band:
Bands almost always bring great energy. They have a unique sound, a custom music selection, and usually great lighting and effects. Assuming they're talented your guests are guaranteed to have a great time! The downside to a band is that they can get pretty expensive. They may have limitations on the songs they know, and they tend to need breaks leaving your guests without any music. (that's where a DJ would come in)
Providing the music yourself can save you a lot of money and you are guaranteed to like what plays. With apps like Spotify or iTunes etc. there's a ton of music available for a low price. While inexpensive, there's no flexibility in an established playlist. If you're going to make changes you'll need to either interrupt your celebration or put someone else in charge of the music. Additionally you may need to rent a sound system. Cheap portable speakers are great in the park or at a back yard BBQ, but do you really want them at your wedding? You may also need lighting for the dance-floor, and if you don't know how to set all of this up, you may need to pay for that too. (it takes me about 1.5 hours to set up my equipment) Finally if there are any requests, or the crowd isn't feeling the music, you may end up disappointing your guests.
Hiring a DJ:
Should you decide to go the DJ route it's important to know what kind of DJ you're hiring and if their style and personality is a good fit for your event. The upside to a DJ is that they can play just about any song and match any style of music you'll need. Like a (good) band they know how to read a crowd and make adjustments on the fly if needed. They may have dance-floor lighting and will have their own sound system. Some DJs can even offer additional services like planning and coordination assistance, uplighting, microphones, MC service, and more. The downside to hiring a DJ is that they may not be experienced at weddings, or may not be very good in the first place.
For tips on finding the right DJ please read our blog post (5 Things to Know About Hiring a DJ)
Here are a few links with more information about choosing an entertainer: