Skip to main content

DJ vs Live Band For Your Wedding: Which Is Best For You?

A bride and groom dancing surrounded by sparklers

Music is an essential part of your wedding day, so it’s essential that you choose your entertainment carefully. It creates an atmosphere and brings everyone to the dance floor to get moving and grooving. One of the biggest dilemmas many couples face is choosing a wedding DJ or a live band. You want your music to be the ideal reflection of you as a couple and an inspiring collection of tunes that you both love that will have your guests dancing all night.

While you may already have the perfect setlist ready, perhaps you haven’t yet decided on whether to go for a DJ or live band yet. That’s where we come in to help. Keep reading to discover which form of entertainment is best for your big day.


Think about the genre of music that suits you and your partner best and the atmosphere for your reception. Some types of music sound best when performed live. For example, big band or country music.

If there’s a certain song that you love the original recording of, then a DJ may be a better option for you. The songs played by a DJ won’t be covers, which is essential if you want to hear some songs exactly how they were recorded or if you have a wide selection of genres and songs for your wedding entertainment.


Usually, wedding bands are the more expensive option. The final costs depend on the number of band members, equipment, experience, the amount of time you’ve reserved them for, and the day of the wedding. Weekend weddings typically cost more than a weekday wedding, for example.

These factors apply to a DJ’s fees too. But generally, if you hire a wedding DJ it will cost less than a live band.

If you’re still struggling to pick, decide your budget for reception entertainment and research both bands and DJs in that price range to help you compare.

Remember, live music can be worth the steep price if you hire an excellent band. The right band will make a memorable and exciting time for everyone. Plus, a live band works wonders for getting the crowd to dance and get involved.

There’s a huge selection of wedding bands out there playing all genres of music, from traditional wedding music to punk hits.

A wedding band may set you back anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 and more. A professional DJ typically costs $100 to $300 per hour.


Space is another factor to consider. It’s essential to check with your venue to determine if you have enough space for a live band or the hook-ups required for DJ equipment before making your choice. If you book a ten-person band, you could be taking up too much room, whereas a DJ usually takes up less space, depending on their required equipment.

Always check with your wedding reception venue about any space of equipment guidelines before locking in your entertainment.

You won’t want your wedding band crammed into a tiny corner, after all. If you choose a band, you’ll need room for several people along with their instruments and amplifiers.

A DJ should only require a table, speakers, and lighting setup, so their spatial needs are more flexible.


What kind of atmosphere do you want at your wedding reception? One of the most significant benefits of a live band is the coolness of a live performance.

When you hire a live band, you’re treating your guests to an intimate performance. Guests can move along on the dance floor, or they can enjoy the band from the comfort of their seats.

While there are many genres of bands, wedding bands work best with genres like big band or Motown. Band members can put their heart and soul into the performance and live instruments, and great to hear. If you’re after a high-energy performance for your wedding, a band may be the right choice for you.

Bands will inject personality into familiar songs. That means you’ll hear a unique version of a song rather than the original you know and love.

It’s also essential to remember that live performers need breaks, so expect some interruption. Most bans will have a playlist to play during their breaks, but there will be an interruption to an extent.

You’ll also need to check with your band if they require food so you can add them to your catering count.

Band or Wedding DJ: What's Your Choice?

We hope our tips help with on your decision whether to hire a band or wedding DJ. Whatever you decide, always request to meet the band or DJ in person before booking.

It would be great if you could view them in action before your wedding day too, or at least see video examples of previous weddings they’ve performed at. Ask to see a playlist from them or query whether there are any songs or genres they’re limited to.

It would be sad to realize just before the wedding that a band or DJ can’t play a song that’s important to you. Compile a list of must-have songs and tracks that you don’t want to play at your wedding.

This way, your entertainment has clear expectations from you on the atmosphere of your wedding reception.

Here at Blue Sky Atlanta, we can help you find the live band or DJ of your dreams. Learn about our incredible entertainers here.