Friday, July 29, 2011

Live Band or DJ. . . or both?

Is your personalized playlist better than a live band?  With so many different tastes in music these days, it can be hard to choose a sound that will be engaging for all of your guests.

Be sure to pick whatever musical style you think will ensure your guests have a great time!

Creating the perfect atmosphere for your big day is highly dependent on your choice in music. Will it be with Soft strings or a toe tapping big swing band?  Would your guests enjoy an evening of elegance or a "can't stay in your seat" dance party?  Here are some questions to consider before making the choice:

Budget: It is a common misconception that bands are ridiculously more expensive than a DJ - do not assume!  A respected DJ in the upstate New York area can range from $1500 - $2500 and live bands can range between $2000-$3000.  Making sure the price difference is enough to deter your decision is a personal preference.  Before you make a decision, find out how much each costs.

Interaction & Guest Enjoyment:  A live band is able to engage and entice the crowd to participate in songs, bring them on stage or wander out on the dance floor among guests.  DJs can interact via the microphone and dance out in the crowd but can have less involvement in the actual songs unless you have karaoke at your event.

Who will show up?: Regardless of live band or DJ be sure you know the entertainers who will be there the day of your wedding.  Some 'cost-saving' DJs hire out their talent so you don't know exactly who will show up at your wedding.  Always, ALWAYS preview the entertainer's work before you book them and be sure it is written in the contract who is going to show up.  If you go to a wedding and Tom is the DJ, and the day of your wedding Bob shows up, the experience could be quite different.  Ormond Entertainment is a DJ Entertainment Company who has two individual DJs who are the personalities you hire when you hire the company, no surprises.

Also always make sure the contract has a section pertaining to smoking and drinking at the event.  This may seem logical, but is not a given.  I personally do not like to see the entertainment smoking outside or consuming alcoholic drinks during the event (you might not mind, but be sure to think about it). Ask the venue for a green room where the band can put their food and beverages out of the way of guests. Do provide water to the entertainers, particularly for musicians.

Song Selection:  Some bands will only play the set list they are accustomed to.  They will say when you hire "The Band" you hire "The Experience" of the band.  Great bands like DeSantis Band and Orchestra will work with you and plan a customized playlist, including and adding to their repertoire. DJs make it easier to pick modern, trendy exact songs you want to hear.
Highlighting a DJ on stage, like at the Clayton Opera House, is a great way to add "WOW" to your Wedding.
Photo by Bert Pohl
Remember - it is the entertainer's profession to understand the guests, so though you may select songs you want to hear, if the DJ or band is not getting a solid response from the crowd, they will take the liberty of trying different music until they engage the guests.

The choice doesn't have to be so difficult, maybe you'll have both live and a DJ.  The industry is seeing a new trend of live bands for dinner and beginning of dancing, then switching to a DJ throughout the night.

No matter what you choose, picking the music for your special day should always be fun!

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