There’s nothing like a live wedding band to get a crowd stoked and create a sense of sophistication. Music groups can synergize with the tone of your wedding and almost any niche theme, offering everything from accordion to klezmer ditties. A good bandleader will play the master of ceremonies at your reception if you want him to interact with folks on the dance floor, pay attention to the “feel” of the room, and select music accordingly.
- Pros: Live music is, well, live. You and your guests will experience the pleasure of a performance. Anything can happen to raise the excitement level, from an infectious horn-section interlude to a moving solo.
- Cons: Bands can be more expensive than DJs. Also, no matter how great the band, they can’t have the repertoire of a standard DJ, who can keep a huge variety of music on hand.
Don’t fear the DJ: The days of disco fever and flashing lights are gone. Today’s disc jockeys are artists in their own right, offering balanced and eclectic mixes of musical styles for all ages. Plus, the songs played will sound exactly as you remember them, encouraging sing-alongs and improvisation. And, depending on the amount of equipment a DJ brings, she’ll take up less dance floor real estate and can be relocated with relative ease.
- Pros: If there are a dozen songs you’re dying to hear at your wedding, it likely won’t be a problem for your DJ to find each track. Also, DJs are generally less expensive than bands. A DJ with a charismatic stage presence and excellent emcee skills can really set the mood and keep the party going.
- Cons: On the opposite end of the spectrum, a DJ with a less-than stellar personality can be a party-killer. Also, improvisation is tough if, say, your dad is dragging behind tempo on the father-daughter dance or your nieces and nephews decide to crash the chicken dance.
Above all, try to go and see the wedding band or DJ actually performing to know if they’re truly right for you. No, you don’t need to crash a wedding at someone’s house, but if they’re playing a reception at an event space, or a club, peek your head in the back unobtrusively and watch for their style and vibe. Frequently a DJ or band leader will act as the MC of a wedding reception, which means you’ll need them to be entertaining but not annoying, polished, friendly, and charismatic.