Your wedding reception entertainment – Live band or DJ?

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The cost

Always the first question that is asked about any act, and here the mobile DJ will almost always be the cheapest. Most good function bands (no backing track singers with mini-disco music) usually charge between £ 500 and £ 1500 for a two-hour set. If money is not a problem, no doubt, a band always sees the most impressive option, since there is nothing to match the sight and sounds of live music. Of course, two hours do not cover all night, so a DJ may be necessary after all to fill in the gaps.

The average cost of a good quality DJ wedding is around £ 300- £ 500 and will cover the entire night, from 7 pm to midnight.

The place

You must think about where and when you can establish the band; A number of smaller function suites cannot cope with a 5 piece band, while a good DJ can adapt to their environment. In a larger place, the band option starts to look better. They take over the whole scenario where a DJ may not fill it, creating the overall effect of “bigger and better”: rarely do the guests gape with the DJ equipment as they often do when watching a live band’s crew. You should also consider the setup time … a DJ should take about 45 minutes to get going, while a band will be a bit longer since they require sound controls, etc.

And one more subject in the place … the dreaded sound monitor. This cuts the power to the stage when a pre-set noise level is exceeded. They are notoriously problematic for DJs, and even worse for bands, since live music is a level of noise that is difficult to control.


It’s a matter of taste here, and the old adage that “you can not please all people all the time.” Some will be happy to dance with a feature band playing cover versions, others will be horrified that their favorite songs are being ‘killed’ and would prefer to listen to the originals. If you choose a specific type of band, that is, a rock/indie band, then it is advisable to support them with a DJ, so those who want to listen to the classic disco can have their moment on the dance floor.

With a good quality DJ, of course you will have most of the musical genres covered so they can keep everyone happy.

To sum up…

Having been a DJ for 20 years, a band administrator and singer for some time, I think I can remain fairly impartial in my recommendations.

If your meeting place is small (100 people or less) then take the option of only DJ, it is much less complicated to configure, position and level the noise level.

Large spaces can easily accommodate bands, so I would definitely recommend having one … along with a DJ as support. A very good cover band can lift the atmosphere through the ceiling if placed at the right time during the night. Now all you have to do is decide for yourself!

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