Find the ideal form of entertainment for your big day with our advice.

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jenny and paul wedding cocktail hour band

Are you ready to dance the night away at your wedding reception? You've thought about the food and the decorations, but have you decided on your entertainment? If you're torn between a live band or a DJ, we're here to help. While both are fantastic options for a fun, lively party, one might be better-suited to your event than the other.

What Kind of Music Do You Want to Hear?

Are you planning a black-tie event and want soft, subtle music to play during dinner, or are you hoping for the reception to be akin to your favorite nightclub? Similarly, is it important to you that music from a wide range of decades and across an array of different styles is played during the evening? Consider whether a band or DJ will be best able to meet your musical needs. Bands can generally perform a range of songs, including classic hits and current favorites, but if your taste is more eclectic, a DJ might be a better option.

Consider What Makes Sense for Your Venue

It's important to really consider whether or not your reception space is conducive to a band—is there enough space for multiple band members without taking away from the dance floor? If square footage is tight, you might want to go with the DJ.

You should also think about the style of your venue. If you're tying the knot somewhere contemporary, a DJ might feel like the right fit. But if your venue is a historic space, you might find that a band gives your reception the elevated vibe you're going for.

Think About the Budget

Generally, a DJ is much more affordable than a live band, but the funds you allocate towards music should be dependent on what's important to you and your partner. For some people, photography is the most important aspect of the day to spend money on; for others, it's flowers. If you and your fiancé think entertainment matters most, go all out on a band you really love.

Always See Them Live

It's so important to see these pros in action, so if you can attend an event at which they're performing (or else see video from their events), you'll get the best idea about whether or not a band or DJ is right for you. While you may have always envisioned a DJ at your reception, seeing the energy a live band delivers might sway you. Similarly, if you always thought you wanted a band but then saw a DJs unique ability to get everyone on the dance floor and change songs in real time, you might decide to go that route.

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