Should You Hire a DJ or Band for Your Wedding?

If you’re planning your wedding and you’re hiring your wedding vendors, you might be wondering whether you should hire a DJ or band for your reception. Your reception entertainment plays a huge role in setting the tone of your reception. It’s important that you hire the right person or group. Each one has its pros and cons. You need to consider your style, your guests, your budget, and the vibe you want for your wedding.

Today, I’m hoping to help make that decision easier for you by giving you 3 points to consider when it comes to choosing whether to hire a DJ or a live band for your wedding.

Two wedding guests dance to a DJ at a wedding

What does your wedding budget look like?

In most cases, an experienced, live band is going to cost more than a DJ. However, a band has more people to pay: the band members, the sound technician(s), lighting technician(s), and the band manager. So when you divide the total cost among the number of people a band has to pay, it ends up being pretty comparable to the cost of a DJ. A DJ is going to be less expensive, so if your budget is tighter, then this is the way to go.

For DJs in the Greenville, SC area, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1000-$5000.

For bands in the Greenville area, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2000-$10K+.

Like most things in life, though, you will get what you pay for… and this goes beyond your DJ or band for your wedding. Make sure that whoever you hire fits within your wedding budget.

What kind of vibe do you want at your wedding?

If you are hosting a small, intimate wedding, then you probably want to consider hiring a small band or a string quartet. If you want your wedding guests to dance, then consider hiring a band who plays a lot of covers or a DJ who can play enough of a mix to get everyone on the dance floor. 

But don’t think that a DJ is simply a playlist or simply someone clicking “next” on Spotify. A good DJ is more than a playlist. DJs can take your wedding to the next level in so many ways: lighting, a good mix, a good emcee. A good DJ will also be able to read your crowd and adjust the music selection to fit the vibe. A band may not be able to do that; they have typically rehearsed a set list and will stick to it.

How much space is available at your venue?

This is one factor that many couples may not think about right from the start. Your venue has a certain amount of space and likely has other restrictions and regulations you need to consider when it comes to planning your wedding.

A DJ does not need as much space as a band. Bands need more space to accommodate the band members, performance space, instruments, and equipment. Some bands also require a stage, and most bands require a Green Room. In these cases, you need to make sure the stage will fit in the reception space, and you need to make sure the venue will be able to offer a Green Room or a private area for the band to get ready.

DJs and Bands in Greenville, SC

Regardless of who you hire for your reception entertainment, my biggest tip is to hire a professional. That way you know your wedding is in good hands. 

There are several DJs in Greenville and the Upstate that I love and recommend:

There are also several bands and agencies in Greenville and the Upstate that I love working with:

So the question remains – are you going to hire a DJ or band?

A full wedding band

If you’re in the beginning throes of wedding planning, you might also be interested in reading: