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Should you have a band or DJ for your wedding?


Music instantly creates an atmosphere, so deciding whether you want a band or a DJ for your wedding reception will, to a large extent, determine the tone of the event. It’s also essential to agree with your partner on what type of music you want, as if one of you is picturing a ballroom scene from a Jane Austen movie, and the other is hoping for hard rock, then you’ll have a definite clash of interests. Below you’ll find a few questions to help you make the decision.


What do you really, really want?

While there are practical considerations, it’s worth focussing on the key element you want, which might be a mood, a dance style or a favourite song, and letting go of anything less important if you have to. Get your partner to pick one priority too, and focus on finding something that suits those two ideas.


Space, time and money

Both bands and DJs have particular advantages, so practical reasons may make one more appealing than another. For example, a DJ set up typically takes up less space than a band and is usually cheaper as you’re hiring one person rather than several. Some DJs may also offer extra services, such as bringing disco lighting, which is great if the venue doesn’t provide them. On the flip side, having a band play a fixed set which ends at a relatively early point can be a clear signal to everyone that it’s time to go home (or at least to the bar) so if your venue has an early curfew, this may be helpful.


Do you want a particular song played?

If you’ve been picturing your first dance being to a particular track, a DJ may be the best choice as they can simply play it. On the other hand, if you and your other half are fans of a local band or would consider hiring a tribute act, having music you love played live is a great way to celebrate. If you really want a particular song, its essential that you let the DJ or band know before you book so they can inform you if it’s not possible.


Would you like dancing?

Many weddings finish with dancing, whether it’s a ceildh or country dancing, a classic wedding disco or something a bit more rock. If you’re going to invite your guests to dance, it’s important to think about your audience – many people will only want to dance to music they recognise, so if you’ve got several generations to please a DJ might be best, while if you like formal dance styles a live band and a professional dance caller could be ideal.


Whether you choose DJ or a band – or both, for different parts of the evening – a good wedding venue should help you make the most of the occasion. At Ettington Chase, our dedicated wedding support staff will help you every step of the way, so if you have further questions about whether a band or DJ would be better for you, please get in touch.