Wedding reception music is a HUGE part of an awesome wedding, which is why narrowing down your choices for wedding entertainment are so important. Do you want a band? DJ? What’s the right wedding entertainment for your wedding day?
The good news is you can answer this big question with a few easy questions.
Do we want live music? Do we need an emcee?
The main difference between a band and wedding DJ is the issue of live music, though this does come with some pros and cons. While bands can deliver an awesome performance, they may be limited to the songs they can play. DJs offer a variety of wedding dance songs, but don’t deliver them live. Both wedding entertainment options should deliver an interactive experience, though you should be leery of wedding entertainers (bands and DJs) that don’t ask questions about songs you want played. This is a sure sign of an amateur that delivers the same playlist to every wedding—-they don’t customize their song list to you!
It’s also important to remember that you need an emcee to announce important events throughout the night as well. Most bands and DJs offer the service, but you should always make sure to ask if they can emcee so you’re not yelling at your guests at the top of your lungs.
What are our favorite songs? What wedding songs do we hate?
A custom playlist is one of the biggest perks of hiring a professional wedding entertainer—and not one that you can get from any wedding entertainer. Some bands come with set playlists. Unfortunately, some DJs have the same limitation.
Before contacting any entertainers, decide what you songs you want played (and not played). The answer steers you to the right kind of entertainer (band or DJ). Better yet, you can make a list with our wedding DJ checklist that you can use when interviewing prospective entertainers.
What is our wedding theme?
If you have your heart set on a wedding theme, like a Great Gatsby or a tropical wedding, look for wedding entertainment that can customize their playlist. For the latter theme, a wedding DJ who can compile a tropical playlist or a steel drum band can complete the theme and transport wedding guests to a warmer climate.
How big is our wedding? Where are we holding the wedding?
These details may not narrow down your options, but they are important logistical details that can help you as hire a wedding DJ or band. A top-notch Chicago wedding DJ or band should have experience at many of the top local wedding venues, which minimizes the amount of calls you need to make. If you have your wedding venue booked, you should also let the entertainers know; some wedding entertainers (bands and DJs) charge a travel fee.
What is our budget?
Your wedding budget is an important part of choosing a wedding entertainer. It can also narrow down your options considerably because wedding DJs are typically more affordable than wedding bands. This advice does come with an important tip: always allocate enough money to hire a professional wedding DJ. Unfortunately, hiring an amateur DJ comes with the risk of a one-size-fits-all playlist, substandard emceeing and equipment, and no back-up in case of an emergency.
What other wedding entertainment do we want? Should we include a surprise?
Don’t limit your wedding entertainment to only a band or DJ! Instead, have fun giving guests other ways to enjoy themselves at the reception. It can be a lot of fun generating trivia games, coloring tables for young guests, and coming up with fun wedding themed props for a photo booth. Or, if you want to make your reception more spontaneous, twist one of these wedding surprises into a one-of-a-kind event your guests won’t forget.