Weddings

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How to decide between a band or deejay

Few things set the tone for a wedding ceremony and reception better than music. Music establishes ambience and serves to transition guests through the various components of the day.

Music is played in various ways throughout a wedding. For example, the wedding ceremony may be accompanied by a pianist or violinist, while music during the reception is usually provided by a band or deejay.

The decision of whether to hire a band or deejay often comes down to personal preference and budget. The following are some things couples should consider as they make their decision to go with a band or deejay.

Band

Live musicians spend years honing their crafts, and watching a band play at a wedding reception can be akin to attending a concert.

A live band can bring with it a sense of sophistication. Performers can tone the music to the crowd and improvise if necessary to meet the needs of the room. A good bandleader also will serve as a master of ceremonies at the reception.

Many wedding bands can competently play songs from various genres of music, while some are especially skilled at recreating the sound of a particular group.

Bands tend to be more expensive than deejays, and that's something couples must factor into their budgets if they prefer a band to a deejay.

Deejay

The deejay is one of the first vendors people think of when they envision a wedding reception. Perhaps because they are less expensive, deejays tend to be more popular than bands among today's couples.

Deejays are advantageous for various reasons. Thanks to the accessibility of digital music, deejays can often procure just about any song a couple desires for the reception. That's a significant benefit for couples who want to hear the original versions of their favorite songs, and not a band's take on those songs.

Deejays also can read the crowd and make adjustments to the music at any time. If a particular genre is not working, deejays can easily transition to another type of music to get guests back on their feet. That's not always possible for bands whose repertoire is exclusive to a particular genre.

Many deejays also blend songs seamlessly and may incorporate lights and other effects into their performances, which can encourage guests to loosen up and hit the dance floor.

Deejays also tend to travel with less equipment than bands, so they will take up less space in a party room.

No matter which road a couple chooses to travel, it's a good idea to listen to a deejay or band perform in a live situation before making a final decision. Couples also should confirm that the performers they meet or audition will be the ones who will perform at their weddings. Make sure this is written into your contract.

Couples should provide a list of songs they want to hear well in advance of their wedding day. This affords a deejay ample time to find each song or bands to learn the songs before the big day arrives.