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The Friday Fight-out: DJ vs Live Band

FRIDAY FIGHT OUT!In honour of our brilliant guest expert, Wedding Singer and Pianist Holly Jazz Kotzé this week we are debating a subject close to our hearts: the wedding music. Now Dom and I actually met whilst playing in a jazz band so live music is something we both absolutely adore (and to be honest there was a mini fight-out on who would get to fight it’s corner!), but is it the right thing for a wedding or is a DJ the best way to get the guests up on the dance-floor?

Let’s find out!

Hitting all the right notes on behalf of the live band, she once had to improvise an entirely new ending to Rudy Clarke’s “Shoop Shoop Song” singing to a live audience when the band realised they hadn’t actually rehearsed it yet… it’s Dom “The Tog” Bride.

Missing the beat entirely but fighting on behalf of the DJ, whilst working backstage he once had to run on half way through Girls Aloud’s “live” set for some PA system acting when it became apparent to the audience that one of the mics clearly wasn’t plugged in anywhere… It’s Matt “The Gormless” Groom

Let’s Face the Music and Dance!

Dom: There’s nothing like the sound of a live band: the energy, the artistry, the visual element of seeing that band right there in front of you… it’s incredibly powerful and creates a real party atmosphere.york-place-studios

Matt: A good DJ can really get the crowd going! Lets face it, at a wedding everyone’s after the big cheesy tunes and people love putting in requests with the DJ for their favourite tunes so they can dance like there’s no tomorrow!

D: There’s something very glamorous about having a live band. They can even be used as an extension of your wedding theme: a chic looking pop band, an elegant string quartet, a funky funk band, cool blues or even an opera singer for that theatrical theme!

yorkshire-wedding-photographerM: A band won’t necessarily be able to play all the songs you want and can’t adapt as easily to the mood of the crowd. A DJ has the flexibility to play whatever you ask for and is more likely to be able to provide something for everyone.

D: As Holly commented in her post, the band can add an extra level of sophistication to the day and also provide a brilliant talking point for the guests.

M: But getting a band in means you have to have a much bigger area of the room given over to the band and finding extra time in the day for them to set-up, sound check etc. which can create problems and look messy!

D: Live music doesn’t have to be limited to the reception; having a pianist or maybe a string ensemble play you down the aisle is just magical. It really heightens the atmosphere and can underscore and compliment the ceremony perfectly.

M: Hiring a band can be a lot more expensive than a DJ because you’re paying for more people to be there. A lot of bands also won’t have their own PA system which you may need to hire, whereas most DJ’s will bring their own.

yorkshire-wedding-photographyD: A lot of people won’t want to get up on the dance floor and so the DJ part of the evening can be a bit boring! A band provides that performance aspect and visual element that keeps everyone entertained regardless of whether they want to dance.

M: A lot of people now are going for creating their own playlists rather than even having a DJ. This gives you the chance to really tailor the music to your friends and family: you can even ask them within the RSVP’s to choose some songs you’d like to hear played which is a really nice way to get people involved and up dancing the night away! It’s also incredibly cheap: you only need to pay for the sound system and any downloads you need!

D: With live music you can get any musical friends involved!! Make it a really personal part of the day by asking someone close to you to play something to entertain the guests!

M: Well it’s a nice idea, but you know Mark would get his Ukelele out and start playing “My Old Man’s a Dustman” as you walk down the aisle don’t you!york-wedding-photography


D: The live band adds an entirely different element to your wedding day. It creates an incredible buzz, an extraordinary atmosphere and something truly unique for your special day. People react more to live music: they get up and dance, they applaud, they interact. There is a visual performance element that keeps those people that don’t dance interested, and the band keeps everything fresh and original. They can react to the crowd and keep up the energy. Having a band doesn’t prevent you from also playing some recorded tunes as well, and that mix of live and recording keeps it interesting over a longer period. Dancing your first dance to a live band is something truly special that you will never forget.

M: The music at the wedding reception is all about finding something for everyone: the cheesy disco with the songs that (secretly) everyone loves. It’s playing the big tunes and getting that reaction as people rush to the floor, it’s pleasing the crowd and adapting the music according to the reactions. A DJ usually has an almost endless supply of music whereas a band are generally limited to a particular style which the guests may or may not like. Bands can be very expensive and you may need to hire additional equipment to facilitate them that a DJ would normally bring. If you want to really keep the cost down you can create your own playlist and let the guests choose their own tunes! Whether it’s a live band or a DJ the important thing is to get everyone up having fun!

Anyone else got a sudden urge to grab some turntables and a kazoo and party the night away? Ok just me then… We’d love to hear where you stand on the Live Band Vs DJ debate so please leave your comments below!

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