DJ Versus Band: What’s Right For Your Wedding?

As you plan your wedding reception, you have one requirement in the back of your mind. You want your guests to have fun! After all, it’s one big party to celebrate your big day.

Inevitably, you’ll run into that age-old question: Should you get a DJ or a band for the reception? We’ve broken down the pros and cons of both options to help you make the best decision.

Bride and Groom Dancing | Wedding Reception Music: DJ Versus Band | Brendan McIlhargey / iStockPhotoBrendan McIlhargey / iStockPhoto


Though there are exceptions, bands are usually more expensive than DJs. You can expect to spend $1,000 or more for a band, and only around $400 or $500 for a DJ. If your budget is a concern, a DJ is the way to go.


DJs and bands have two very different styles. DJs often make the reception feel like one big party. If you’re a fan of a club atmosphere, a DJ is a great option. For a more elegant feel to your reception, a band is the best choice.


No matter how skilled the band is, they’ll never have the same variety of a DJ. If you give your DJ a list of songs ahead of time, it’s guaranteed that all your favorite songs will be played. Then again, variety may not be a good thing. A cohesive playlist of a select number of genres will keep the wedding reception on theme, which is something a band is especially adept at offering.


Some DJs market themselves as reception hosts in addition to music-spinners. They lead party games and get the crowd excited. Bands may have less experience with this. Again, it really depends on the style you want for your wedding reception. If you find the idea of an active DJ overwhelming, a low-key band is a smart alternative.


When it comes to romance, a band will always defeat a DJ. A few violins or a harp will transform your run-of-the-mill wedding into a fairy tale!


Not all wedding receptions are sprawling affairs. DJs take up significantly less space than bands. A DJ will help you save much-needed dance floor real estate.

Are you deciding between a band and DJ? Which option did you go with and why?