“We Want a Band and a DJ at our Wedding”

Once in a while, couples contact us telling us that they want to book both a DJ and a band for their wedding.  My first question is “Why would you need to do that?”  Even as a live musician, I’m not anti-DJ like many musicians are, but, I struggle with understanding why people would hire both a DJ and a band for their wedding.  The purpose of this post isn’t to try and take away work from DJs, but rather to save our clients money.    Here are a few thoughts:

  • From a cost perspective, it doesn’t matter to us if we’re going to perform less because there will be a DJ at a wedding as well.  Our time is still being booked for that date, and we still charge our standard prices.  I’m sure nearly every other band and every other DJ will do the same.  So, it’s not as if you’ll get a discount because both the band and the DJ will each be working a little bit less at your event, and therefore it’s inefficient from a cost perspective.  With weddings as expensive as they are already, this would seem like an obvious way to save money.
  • Any band that you hire should already be planning on playing recorded music during any breaks that they may take during the evening.  So, you’ll still be getting the recorded music to fill the spaces when the band isn’t performing.  While you may not get the same quality mixing that a DJ would be able to do, any band should be more than capable of playing recorded dance music for your guests that will keep them on the dance floor. 
  • Some songs sound better on recordings than they would being performed by a live band.  I won’t argue with this.  But, if you refer to the bullet point above, maybe you’d want to throw in 20 minutes of recorded dance music that wouldn’t necessarily sound as good from a live band, or perhaps that is in a style that the band doesn’t specialize in.  It shouldn’t be a problem for a band to play some recorded dance music for you as well. 
  • “DJs have special training on how to emcee an event” – I disagree with this in several ways.  Bands typically provide emcee services for all weddings they perform at.  Any person who can speak with inflection can do a good job as an emcee. 
  • “DJs have a library of thousands of songs.” – That’s wonderful, except during your four hour wedding reception, you’re going to hear less than 100 songs.  Many of the same songs are requested at every wedding.  So, if your band has a great repertoire of dance music and you still want to supplement it with some selected recorded songs, that library of thousands of songs from your DJ isn’t going to be that critical. 

I’ve been to many weddings where there were DJs, and they were a LOT of fun.  So once again, I am not downplaying how great a DJ can be for entertaining a crowd.  However, I think in nearly every instance, if you want some recorded music at your wedding along with a live band, that a good band will also be able to successfully manage your recorded requests as well.  Enjoy the music!