How to Choose Between a DJ and Band by EastCoast Entertainment

Photo by Dan Mears Photography
Booking entertainment can be an unfamiliar and complicated process for many couples, and simply deciding a band or DJ can cause unneeded stress. How do you find exactly what you want? It starts by simply asking yourself a few basic questions regarding what type of entertainment suits your personal taste, budget, and venue space allowances. Our friends at EastCoast Entertainment are sharing three main considerations for finding entertainment perfectly suited for your big day!
The type of music you pick sets the tone of your wedding reception, and it’s an element most people often remember. The way the music is delivered—by live band or DJ— affects the atmosphere. When selecting between a band or DJ, think about musical elements that best reflect your personality and inspires the ambience you want to create.
What is important to you?

Interaction between entertainment and guests?

Variety of music across all genres?

Continuous music?

Wow factor?

The Case for a DJ
A DJ will have an endless variety of songs instantly available to them, meaning they can adjust to the mood, take requests, and easily play music across all genres. They use pre-recorded music to evoke a fun, high-energy vibe playing the right songs at the right moment with a flexible setlist. DJs read the crowd and provide a constant flow of carefully selected music that appropriately fits the mood at different points of the night.
The Case for a Live Band
Bands are fun, dramatic, high-energy and really get the party started. Live performances tend to be more emotional and engaging, so guests who don’t enjoy dancing will still have fun watching a live band perform. Most reputable bands have extensive song lists and are more than happy to learn a song or two for your big day. However, make sure you select a band with a song list of your liking! Also, while continuous performances are growing, many bands still need a break between sets and continue the music through a preset playlist.

Photos by Billie and Jeremy Photography (left) and Nicholas Viltrakis Photography (right)

In the price war, DJs generally cost less. Although the exact prices vary depending on duration played, equipment requests, production needs and whether it’s a weekday or weekend, average wedding DJs range from a couple hundred to a couple thousands of dollars. However, there are always exceptionssome well-known DJs can be just as expensive as live bands!
A band can often cost a fair amount of money as each member needs to be paid. Ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, bands come in a wide array of price points. Elements affecting pricing include: the number of musicians in the ensemble, the amount of time the band is contracted to play, the location of the event, time of the year, and even the day of the week can affect pricing.
DJ equipment tends to be smaller and more mobile which allows you to rearrange rooms to fit your desired look and feel. Also, a well-trained and properly-equipped DJ can easily address the unique needs of weddings with separate systems for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception.
Have your heart set on a 22-piece big band? You first need to check with the venue to see if there are any restrictions on the number of musicians and pieces of equipment you may bring in. You will also want to confirm electrical power supply and/or noise limitations. If the venue provides a stage, the size of the stage could be a determining factor for your band selection. The opposite is also true. If your venue is large and open, you will want an act that can appropriately fill the space.
The bottom line? Do not be overwhelmed. Putting some thought into these elements will lead you directly to the perfect band or DJ for you. If not, reach out to an entertainment agency like ECE. Entertainment agents work daily with both bands and DJs and can walk you through helpful exercises that will help to shed light on the perfect artist for you. You can be confident that the artist you selected is talented, professional and, most of all, fun. The only thing left for you to do is anticipate your amazing day!

Photos by featured vendor, Eric & Jamie Photography

ECE is the largest, full-service entertainment agency in the country, arranging unforgettable entertainment and producing custom events from coast-to-coast and around the world. From weddings and social galas to college concerts and business entertainment, we make your event a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Learn more at

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