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Old City Wedding Music: Choosing Between A Live Band Or A DJ For Your Wedding

By Wedding Entertainment

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We want a DJ but our parents want a band, what should we do?

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Q: We are thinking about the entertainment that we would like for our wedding reception and my fiance and I have sort of reached an impasse with our parents. They are all insisting on a band, but Phil and I prefer a DJ. Granted that they are paying for everything, but this is Phil’s and my wedding! We just really prefer that the music sound the way that we are used to hearing it. What do you suggest?


A: Hi Meghan! The good news is that here at EBE, we have both amazing bands and talented DJs, so no matter what you decide you are in great hands. As far as which direction to go, as someone who has been a DJ/MC for 28 years, I may be a little biased. However, even I am the first to admit that is a definite level of energy and excitement that comes with a band that is difficult (though not impossible with a great DJ) to duplicate. There are certainly pros and cons for both sides of the coin (for example, with a DJ you a virtually limitless with the library of songs that can be played, while with a band you are limited to what they know or can learn in time for the wedding), but rather than go into all of them, I would rather point out some other factors that you should take into consideration before making your decision. I do want to point out, however, that with today’s technology EBE’s bands are truly able to keep that “original” sound into their performances. Come to one of our band showcases, because in this case hearing is truly believing.

1) Budget

You said that your parents are paying for the everything, but have you established an entertainment budget? You may find that your budget will not allow for a premier band. Without question you will be better off with a great DJ than you would be with a lousy band (not that you will find any lousy bands here), which would approximately the same price.

2) Size/Space

Think about your venue. Will there be enough space for a 14-piece band? Will there be enough space for a 7-piece band? For most venues this is not an issue, but occasionally we encounter places that are too small for a band to fit.

3) Compromise

There are a couple of different directions that you may also want to consider, where you can have a band and a DJ. We have performed at several weddings where a DJ is bolted onto a band and can perform one or two dance sets. Or perhaps a band for the reception and a DJ for the after party? Better yet, how about both at the same time? We have three bands (EBE Amsterdam, Imagine & Love) that feature a DJ as one of the band’s pieces. The DJ’s smooth beats blend in with the band’s music, making for a very unique instrument. Another option is to add a live instrument or two with your DJ. In this case, the DJ is playing the original music, to which the instruments play along. If it were up to me, I would have a drummer with me on every party at which I perform. It is the first thing I recommend as it gives an energy boost that is indescribable. A saxophone, guitar or percussionist work amazingly well too.

I guess my point is to please not stress over this! I am sure that we can find the perfect entertainment for you, Phil and your parents. No matter what you decide we thank you for thinking of us and we would be honored to be a part of your special night. ALL of us at EBE are looking forward to celebrating with you.

Best regards,