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DJ vs. Band

April 14, 2014

Wedding DJ vs. Live Band.

So, you’ve got a ring, a date, and a place.  Now is the time when most couples planning their wedding start filling in the necessary details.  Of course when it comes to entertainment this is the classic dilemma some couples face:  Do I hire a DJ or a band?

Now, at SoundFire DJ we are all professional musicians as well as DJs.  I make a point of telling you this to assure you we do not have a bias toward one or the other.  Our goal is to help you make the best decision for your entertainment options.  After all, we are more concerned with providing you with expertise instead of selling you on one service or another.

So, let’s look at some simple pros and cons of each.  We’ll start with a band.


  • Live music has a certain authenticity & energy.
  • Unique sound and interpretation of music.  Each song is one of a kind.
  • Fascinating to watch the musicians create the music right before your eyes.
  • The style of music stays relatively consistent throughout the performance.


  • Limited selection of music or repertoire.
  • Limited styles of music due to limited instrumentation.
  • Has to take breaks several times throughout the evening.
  • You may be neglecting a portion of your guests by not having music that fits their tastes.
  • Often times the volume level remains the same during dinner as during the dance which makes it harder for you and your guests to have conversation during dinner.
  • Large footprint in your reception hall.  Bands take up a lot of space!
  • Some interpretations of songs may not be favorable to you and your guests.


  • Capable of providing a large range of music.
  • Can (and should) cater to all of your guests by having something for all musical tastes.
  • Smaller footprint in your reception hall.
  • Often times provides dance lighting to enhance the mood of the music.
  • Professional wedding DJs will have excellent emcee skills.
  • Can easily adjust the volume to accommodate dinner & cocktail music.
  • Unique performance with how the DJ mixes songs and reads your crowd.
  • The music runs all night, and only stops for games or traditions.


  • Watching a DJ mix isn’t always as exciting as watching a drummer wail or a guitar player shred.
  • There is no musical interpretation as all music is pre-recorded.
  • The style of music may change too drastically or too much if not mixed properly.

So, looking critically at this list of pros and cons we see that a DJ has a little more flexibility than a band.  Now, if there is a smaller wedding where the guests have a more focused taste in music a band can be a huge success!  Bands are typically a little more exciting to watch than DJs, but if you want people dancing all night a DJ is equally equipped to provide that.

Ok, you really, really want a live band at your wedding, but you want to make sure your guests are all pleased.  You also want the music to run all night, and keep the excitement going.  Here’s what you do:  Hire a DJ to compliment your live band.  Here’s why:

  • A DJ with good emcee skills can keep the crowd engaged for games & traditions so the band can stay ready to perform music.
  • Your DJ can provide great music to keep the energy going while the band takes their breaks throughout the evening.
  • Your DJ may also provide dance lighting which most bands do not include.
  • Your DJ may also be able to provide additional sound reinforcement and speaker tuning to help the band sound better.

In the end it comes down to what you decide is best for your wedding reception.  We certainly know from experience that a DJ, or a DJ with a live band is the best way to go for your wedding entertainment.  Also, given the fact that the entertainment is the most important part of your reception, we invite you to do your research.  We have made ourselves available to the public as free consultants for your wedding entertainment.  If you need wedding entertainment, and we have your date available we can also talk about what we can provide for you.  Thanks for reading this “Wedding Pro Tip”! 

Contact SoundFire DJ today, and experience the difference.

UPDATE: It looks like The Knot has written an article on this too, if you didn’t want to just take our word for it!


  1. I really like that you suggest hiring a DJ to compliment a live band! That’s a great idea. My fiancee and I are in the process of planning our wedding, and would really love to have live music but understood some of the limitations you mentioned as well. Having a DJ to assist and support the live performances would be great!

  2. I liked what you said about bands providing authenticity and energy. My sister-in-law is trying to decide if she wants a band or a DJ for her wedding, but she has really been leaning towards a band recently. I think that she would really love to have that kind of energy associated with the event.

  3. If you’re to ask me, I prefer a DJ over a band. Actually, this is what we are discussing a while ago. My daughter wants a DJ while her husband to like a band. Let us settle this a month before the big day!

  4. You made a great point when you mentioned a DJ being able to keep the music going while a band will take their breaks. My sister is trying to figure out what she is looking for with the music for her wedding. I think that she might really like a DJ more and I’ll share some of these points with her when I see her.

  5. Thanks for the rundown of wedding bands and DJs. Our wedding is going to be a small affair, without much crazy dancing, so I think a band may be best. My hope is that the guests will just relax and watch the music happen!

  6. Thanks for helping me understand the pros and cons of having a band or a DJ at a wedding. My sister is about to get married and I wanted to help her decide on how to keep the people engaged while in the reception. What you said about how professional DJs have superior emcee skills is a huge advantage, since they can keep everything moving and entertaining! I should share this with her so she can decide whether to get a live band or a DJ.

    • She could always hire both! We do many joint service events with live musicians that add up to incredible success.
      The biggest regret most couples have after their wedding is underplaying the role of great entertainment by under budgeting for it. Let your sister know she can always give us a call if she would like any pointers on how to pick the best entertainment for her wedding.
      Thanks for reading!!

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