When it comes to weddings, one thing is for sure: music can certainly make or break your wedding reception! Before deciding on whether to hire a wedding band or hire a wedding DJ, there are a few things to consider. The Knot conducted a poll on what guests remember most from a wedding, and overwhelmingly, the guests said they remembered the food and music! So now the question is, should you hire a band or DJ for your wedding or event? There are pros and cons to hiring either a band or DJ. Let's discuss those, now.
Things to Consider When Hiring a Wedding Band or DJ
The first thing to consider is, what type of vibe or atmosphere are you going for? You have to consider your theme, if you have one, as well as what music genre best represents your personalities, as a couple. Maybe you have a Roaring 20's theme, or a rustic, Texas country vibe. Whatever the vibe is, be sure your music choice reflects this. Decide who can best reflect your vibe, whether it's a band or DJ.
Music and Genre Preferences
You also have to consider what type of music genres and preferences you may want played at your wedding or event. Additionally, will your guests all want to hear the same music genres, too? Ask for a playlist of songs that the band is able to play. Be sure to also ask if there are songs that you can request that they play. If you're opting for a DJ, be sure to ask what genres the DJs play and if your DJ is also able to get specific songs, or take requests.
If possible, find out if you can see the band or DJ, live. Many bands and DJs will play public events that you can go to and hear them for yourself. If this isn't possible, see if there are any videos available of any past performances. Also, be sure to read reviews from various websites, to see what actual clients are saying. Reviews within the last 3 months are definitely going to be the most important, since it will tell you how they're performing, now.
Another thing to consider is the size of the venue where your wedding or event will be. Talk to the venue manager about where the bands or DJs usually set up. Bands usually require more space than a DJ, depending on the DJ's set up and the size of the venue. Generally, we ask for about an 8 ft X 8 ft area to set up our DJ equipment (as well as our photo booth area).
If your event is at an outdoor venue, or near a residential area, be sure to ask about noise ordinances. In our area, they usually require the sound to be less than 85 decibels for outdoor events. The venue manager also usually has a decibel reader to be sure your band or DJ is complying with this. If it's louder and the venue gets a complaint, the venue is often warned or even fined, and they may pass this cost onto you. Other times, the police may even ask the venue to stop the entire event, due to noise complaints, and it can happen on the first complaint, without a warning, at the police officer's discretion.
Bands and DJs need power outlets. Usually, a DJ will only need one standard power outlet on its own breaker. A band will likely need more power, since there are more musicians and more instruments to amplify. Be sure that wherever the band or DJ is setting up has the necessary power outlets.
Cost to Hire a Band vs. DJ for a Wedding
Generally speaking, bands cost more than a DJ. However, there are exceptions. If you're hiring a very experienced DJ or DJ company, they are likely more expensive than other DJs. DJs and DJ companies, on average, charge about $1200 for a wedding reception. This can certainly cost more or less, depending on your area or region of the country, how much competition there is in your area, how long the DJ/company has been established, etc.
Bands, on the other hand, are generally more expensive, since there are more people to pay. A large band with several band members will definitely cost more than a smaller band. Other factors that affect pricing are: the day (weekdays are usually less than weekends), the time (daytime events are usually less than evenings/nights), time of year (winter events can often be less expensive than spring or fall events, at least in central Texas). Even summer events can be cheaper in the central Texas area, since it's ridiculously hot, so summer events can often be less expensive.
Pros & Cons of Hiring a Wedding Band
After you've considered all of the above information, it's time to look at the pros and cons of hiring a band. Let's discuss these, now.
Pros & Cons of Hiring a Wedding DJ
Overall, it's totally your choice on who to hire. Be sure to get a contract with the DJ or band, and be sure to do your research beforehand. We've done weddings with a band and a DJ, and the people had so much fun! If it's in your budget, you can get the best of both worlds! If you're looking to hire a great DJ or photo booth rental for your Austin, San Antonio, or central Texas event, contact us, today. Let's celebrate, together!
- Austin's Best DJs & Photo Booths
Wedding & Event Planning Tips - Written By Certified Wedding/Event Planners!
We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!
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