Real Weddings

Friday, July 1, 2011

Music: Live Band vs Disc Jockey

Battle of the Bands and DJ’s

It’s finally the end of the week and like most of you out there, we’re counting the hours until we can trade our overloaded desks for a night (or weekend) on the town. Yes, the weekend has plenty of social events to attend; weddings, engagements, baby showers, cookouts, etc. Whatever you decide to do this weekend, be sure that one thing these events will have in

common is… Music! In one form, or another, music will be in the air and this definitely ha

s us thinking about weddings.

OK, this is a wedding blog so we are ALWAYS thinking about weddings *insert laugh*. Today, we are looking at music in respect to the reception. At a wedding music is provided either Live (A band) or recorded (Disc Jockey). While both methods can be entertaining there are also a number of things t

o consider when deciding whether to go with a band or DJ (in no particular order):


Music has a large influence on the ambience of a room, s

o think about your theme for the reception. What vibe do you want to have in the room, relaxed and easygoing or energetic and upbeat? Most African bands are high energy and guest engaging so that is a sure fire way to get your guests excited. If your looking for a classic and relaxed atmosphere, a DJ who can play slower more contemporary songs to keep the mood light and airy is best suited for the occasion.


The two go hand in hand. Why? Because the music is not j

ust there to fill silence, its there to entertain YOU & YOUR GUESTS. If you and your spouse-to-be love music from across the genres, a DJ would have the array of songs needed to incorporate these genres into the reception. When considering the guests, it’s often safe to cater towards the majority. Younger guests are generally more receptive of what’s current (AND wedding appropriate) i.e. Top 40, R&B, Rock, Hip-Hop etc. Which would of course be better provided by a DJ. Older guests are more appreciative of traditional

African music and the custom of “spraying” which a live band would be more suited for the job.


Sometimes, this is not as simple as we think but you must consider the size of the venue. Will the hall comfortably hold your guests, decor, d

ance floor AND a band? If Size is not on your side, the beautiful thing about a DJ is that (s)he will not require the amount of room needed by a band and If you were hoping to dance the night away in your Traditional wear to the beat of your cultural drum, look for a DJ who will have such songs in his collection.


Usually, having a DJ costs less than a Live Band. This is because the larger the band the more people to pay. For the Bride on a Budget, this does not mean that you cannot have that band.

A few pointers:

1. Look for a band with fewer members (But DO NOT sacrifice quality).

2. Ask friends and family if they know anyone willing to work with their budget.

3. Instead of hiring a band for the whole day, hire them for a later time e.g. in the second half of the wedding i.e. the time couple change into their Traditional. With the right sound system, and lengthy preselected play-list, a close friend can easily stand-in, as DJ ‘til the band is ready to play.

Remember, whatever your decision, be sure to check references and ask unbiased family and friends for an opinion. There is nothing worse than hiring a terrible DJ or Band for a time you will remember for the rest of your life.

Ultimately the goal is to have fun dancing with your New Husband surrounded by loved ones.

Photos Courtesy of:

Cunningham Photography


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