Today’s brides and grooms have more choices than ever when it comes to music entertainment. The internet is a good place to find, interview and hire wedding entertainers. But with so many choices available, it can be difficult to discern which individuals are legitimate and which are amateur. It’s important to get the choice of wedding entertainer right, as music is one of the aspects that guests will remember most. One of the initial decisions brides need to make is whether to hire a live band or a DJ. Both have their advantages, and couples should determine which option will work best for their wedding. One of the disadvantages of a DJ is that whilst their range of services might look comprehensive on paper, in essence a DJ will do little more than press play from behind their equipment. Live bands can do more than that, because the performers create the music on the spot. No do performances will be the same, which makes it more unique and special than a recorded song. Live bands create that which is not easily put down on paper, they create atmosphere at a wedding. It’s not an easily quantifiable commodity, but guests recognize it almost as soon as they walk into the reception venue. Atmosphere is what separates good weddings from truly impressive and unforgettable weddings. The musicians in a live band are trained performers, they live to perform on stage and love to interact with the audience. They know exactly what to do to get everyone in the room on the dance floor. And after all, you want your wedding to be a spectacular party where everyone is included and having a good time. DJs can often play songs that appeal to only a portion of your guests. Live bands are able to take music requests on the spur of the moment and can even adapt the lyrics of a song to reflect the bride and groom’s names. DJs are often reluctant to take requests because they find them difficult to fit them in to their pre-prepared playlist. Live bands bring personality and charisma to a wedding, and this is something guests will pick up on because it enhances their enjoyment of a wedding. They want to be entertained. There’s nothing worse than a wedding reception with no ambience or energy, a reception that fizzles before it began. Live bands bring personality, fun, enthusiasm, talent, musicianship, and allow the audience to engage directly with the music. With a wedding DJ guests often feel that they are just listening to a fixed list of music. Where’s the fun in that? It would make more sense to do it yourself with an iPod playlist than hire a DJ, at least then you have complete control over what songs get played. And it would save a lot of money as DJs are very expensive. You’re paying one (usually) untrained person to stand in front of a laptop and hit play, whereas with a live band you are paying 4 or 5 professionally trained and experience musicians. Live bands are definitely better value for money than a DJ.
The author, Scott Simpkins, is the Musical Director of Sydney's #1 Wedding Jazz Band ‘Jazz Fever’. For more wedding tips and inspiration, head to Jazz Fever's blog: