It can be difficult to decide on the form of wedding entertainment that will be best for your event: do you want a live band, or would a wedding DJ be better?
The budget often comes into this to a considerable degree, and many couples are led to believe that the average wedding band cost is greater than that of a DJ – but is this really the case, and does the variety of live bands available for events make this option more appealing?
In this article, the team at Twisted Entertainment asks which is better – a live band or a DJ – for a wedding. We’ll take into account:
- Suitability for your theme
- Venue requirements
- Options for variety
It’s important to remember that both types of entertainment can provide something exciting and unique for your event – so overall, whichever option you choose will be the right one.
How much does wedding entertainment cost?
The rumour goes that the average cost of a wedding DJ is much lower than that of a live band. However, in reality, there is a great deal of crossover.
It’s true that larger bands are usually more expensive as they need to pay more members, but if a DJ is required to provide his or her own equipment (and they usually have a lot!) this will take their costs up too.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our acts and while our prices do vary, you can expect to pay of £1,500 + for a band, but a single DJ usually costs over £600 – and you could end up paying more depending on the length of time they’ll be required to work.
An easy way to settle arguments about what type of entertainment you want for a wedding is to book both. In fact, it’s now a popular trend to have a smaller band or single artist (which is usually more affordable) playing during the day and a DJ providing floor fillers in the evening.
Popular acts from Twisted Entertainment include Twisted Strings – the perfect string quartet for wedding reception music or accompanying photographs and meals – and Elinor Harp, an award-winning solo harpist who will pluck at your heartstrings as you walk down the aisle.
You could also split the night-time entertainment, with the first half of the evening accompanied by a live act like a jazz band – we highly recommend the smooth sounds of Sunday Best or the energetic funk house and soul fusion provided by Twisted Mix – and the second half led by a DJ.
Do wedding venues have requirements for entertainment?
Of course, it’s rare that you get absolute free reign over the entertainment in your venue.
Size is important. Will an intimate acoustic band work, or will you need some amplification? Is the performance space big enough for a ten-piece band or would a solo performer or DJ be less cramped?
Are there noise restrictions in place to prevent disturbing local residents or causing structural damage to an older property? You need to establish this with your venue as soon as possible in order to inform your chosen acts. Thanks to the nature of their equipment, DJs will find it a little easier to stick to sound limits.
Bands featuring five musicians or more may be less able to keep their volume down. However, performing “unplugged” sets, replacing drum kits with electronic alternatives, swapping drum sticks for hot rods and using smaller or less powerful amps are all ways that experienced wedding bands can reduce their decibels.
One wedding entertainment trend that ticks both of the above boxes is the inclusion of a single saxophonist. Talented sax players such as the award winning soloists Ben on Sax or Femme on Sax (complete with glowing saxophone!) can fill almost any space with a warm, bright sound and upbeat tunes without breaching noise restrictions.
How do i get variety from my wedding entertainment?
Most couples like to have a say when it comes to the style of wedding reception music their guests will be enjoying, and many will have specific songs they’d like played.
While DJs are accustomed to taking requests and can play virtually any track without restriction, live bands are often slightly more limited.
However, experienced bands often have a wide variety of pieces in their repertoire – and just because they don’t play the instruments on which your favourite songs were once performed, it doesn’t mean they can’t cook up an awesome cover version. It’s always worth consulting your acts to see if this is an option.
Hiring through a professional music agency such as Twisted Entertainment will give you access to great advice – the bookers there can let you know which acts will match your theme and what limitations each will have.
It’s important to note that bands cannot play constantly – they need to take breaks between sets in order to rehydrate, so they’ll be replaced by music from a playlist at a couple of points throughout the night.
For an uninterrupted late-night danceathon, a DJ might be the better choice as the songs will flow from one to another without breaks.
Theme bands for weddings
Wedding themes are a growing trend, and the entertainment you choose can help to create the perfect vibe.
While DJs are usually hired to play a wide range of floor fillers that suit all tastes, you can tailor something a little more specific with a live band.
Here are some of the top wedding themes for 2019-2020 and the type of entertainment you may hire for each:
- Classy and romantic – you can’t go wrong with a solo harpist or glorious string quartet, such as Elinor Harp or Twisted Strings.
- Lively and wild – high energy party bands like Pumped Up!, Masquerade and Lucie M will get your guests flooding the dance floor, or you could go left of field and introduce a huge wedding brass band such as Twisted Tubes!
- Chilled – for those who like it laid back, enjoy a little funk and soul with Jenna and the G’s or some stripped bay R&B from Joe H and the Players or Return of the Mac.
The variety of acts available from Twisted Entertainment is huge – so whatever the theme of your wedding, you’re bound to find a band to suit.
To sum up, when deciding between a DJ and a live band for your wedding, you should consider:
- The costs involved and how they fit into your budget
- Any restrictions imposed by the venue
- How much musical variety you require
- The theme of your wedding
While either option will make for a great event, you don’t have to choose – many couples decide to hire both a DJ and a live band and have them perform at different times during their big day.
Twisted Entertainment can provide acts internationally, so no matter the location of your celebration, we can help!