Live or DJ?

One question we get asked often is whether a client should use a live band or a DJ.

We chose this topic for our very first blog post because it has been a prominent point of discussion for us as a music agency.

No doubt about it, Music can make or break a wedding—we think of it as the heart and soul of the celebration. Hiring a talented band or DJ is a given. But how do you find exactly what you want? It starts with asking yourself some basic questions, specifically what type of entertainment suits your personal taste, budget, space allowances, guest demographics and killer dance moves.

Live music creates warmth, excitement, and there is a “performance to watch," while DJ’s can spin every style of music and “sound just like the record.” Well, after helping thousands of people with their own celebrations over the years, this is what we've found:


live band:

  • Pros: Live music is, well, live. You and your guests will experience the pleasure of a performance. Anything can happen to raise the excitement level, from an infectious horn section interlude to a moving solo.

  • Cons: Bands can be more expensive than DJs. Also, no matter how great the band, they can't have the repertoire of a standard DJ, who can keep a huge variety of music on hand.

there are some clients that demand a live band because they know their audience loves to see musicians do what they do best, create and improvise on the spot. 


  • Pros: If there are a dozen songs you're dying to hear at your wedding, it likely won't be a problem for your DJ to find each track. Also, DJs are generally less expensive than bands. A DJ with a charismatic stage presence and excellent emcee skills can really set the mood and keep the party going.

  • Cons: On the opposite end of the spectrum, a DJ with a less-than stellar personality can be a party killer. Also, improvisation is tough if, say, your dad is dragging behind tempo on the father-daughter dance or your nieces and nephews decide to crash with "The Chicken Dance."

Some people have chosen to use BOTH, and guess what-- it sounds great! Here is why we're now asking, "why choose when you can have it all?"

1. Alternate the sets of live band and DJ, so the band plays a set, then the DJ, and so on. This way you get the excitement of live musicians and the versatility of a DJ. This may seem strange at first, but trust us, it works!

2. You can also do the first half of the celebration live and then the second half have the DJ come on. That way, as things heat up, you know your dance floor will be pumping!

3. Another cool and unconventional option is to have live musicians perform simultaneously with the DJ. This way, you get the best of both worlds.

The choices are endless.

These are some of the ideas that have worked for us many times. Have you seen this before? What was the last memorable celebration like for you? 

We'd love to hear from you! 

We have a very small budget for our music..."

Quite often, we hear couples saying they may not have much left in their budget for the music that they wanted. We might be prejudiced, but besides a nice venue with good food, the music is the critical part of the celebration.

Years ago, people spent huge sums of money of photographers, fancy invitations, giant flower arrangements for each table etc. It’s no wonder they ran out of money.

Instead, some couples have decided to have a few friends take candid photos, send out invitations on line and use small floral displays on each table. (Not only less expensive, but now guests can see each other, without putting the large display on the floor)

For years, couples have been buying large costly arrangements like the one on left, only to have guests put them on the floor...

Be wise with your budget, and remember, music makes the party!