Band or DJ for my Dinner Reception?
This is a question that comes up from time to time. Both options lead to successful parties and both have their strengths and benefits. Most important thing is to determine what you really want and what will serve your party the best.
The first item to address is budget. A band will typically run higher than a DJ in most cases simply due to the fact that there are more individuals to be compensated than just the DJ. It is best to determine what your budget for entertainment is before you seek out entertainment for your dinner reception.
The second item to consider is the physical space available for the entertainment to set up in your dinner reception ballroom. You also have to check to see if you venue has restrictions imposed upon it by the local townships for noise levels. Some venues are required to use a Decibel Meter to maintain the volume of your entertainment under the imposed thresholds throughout the night.
Third, is live music or Electronic Dance Music (that DJs do better than bands) more important to you? A DJ can certainly play anything but a good band performing a song like “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire would be a different experience than a DJ playing it. On the flip side, a band performing a song like “This Is What You Came For” by Calvin Harris would be different experience than a good DJ performing it. What is it that you want with the music at your party? Do you want your playlist to concentrate more on the classic hits or more on current Top 40 genre? Consider your guests and think about what they might like.
Consider your theme and what you want it to feel like in your ballroom and which of the two would be a better fit for your vision? How much of a variety in music do you want throughout the night? While many bands can give you great variety in music genres, a DJ can pretty much play anything.
One more worthwhile item to bear in mind is the quality of the talent your book. Be it a DJ or a band, you need to do your research on the act/talent you are considering. Read testimonials, talk to others who may have seen them perform before, go to one of their live showcases, how much experience do they have running weddings, talk to them and get a real good sense about their ability to run a party like professionals. Is the DJ or band you are considering skilled with MC’ing? Can you picture the band’s MC or the DJ MC’ing your dream day?
In a nutshell, once your budget has been determined, identify what is important to you first and then begin your research and seek those qualities in your talent. After all, this is the day you have been dreaming of and you want it to be perfect, one that reflects your personality and tastes.