When it comes to planning a wedding reception, the biggest decisions are venue, food, and entertainment. Of those three focal points, it’s the latter that typically causes the most frustration. Venue and food tend to fall in place, but few people know how to pick the right type of music for a major event.

Wedding DJ vs. Live Band

With music, the first thing to consider is whether you want a wedding DJ or live band. Both come with their own sets of pros and cons, so make sure you do a bit of research before going in either direction.

A DJ comes with a number of benefits. Not only are they comparatively cheap, but they also possess an incredible amount of versatility. Today’s DJs literally have access to any song you want to hear. So, if you’re dead set on hearing a specific playlist, this is a good option. The downside is that DJs don’t always have the personality you want, which can be a total party-killer.

Wedding bands are more expensive, but they have huge upside. Live music is much more likely to get people dancing and can turn an average reception into a stellar one. A band ends up being the “host” of the reception and can really make your party.

How to Choose the Right Live Band

If you have room in your budget for a live band, it’s always a good idea to pursue this option. But how do you choose the right wedding band? Here are some things to look for:

  1. Wedding Experience

The first thing you want to do is make sure the band has experience playing weddings. There’s a difference between playing at a local bar on a Thursday night, or doing occasional corporate gigs, and playing a wedding. A band might possess the talent to play the music you want, but they should be well versed in wedding reception etiquette and how different aspects of the night are expected to flow.

  1. Versatility

Versatility is a big key for most people. Since your guest list most likely features a variety of people with different tastes, you want a band that can appease all of these different stylistic preferences.

Some bands are only willing to play a particular genre, while others can move from country to jazz to rock without much trouble. The Grooves are an example of a good wedding band that can play a variety of music. Look for a band like this in your area.

  1. Good Reputation and Referrals

Wedding bands are in the business of booking events and will often tell you what you want to hear in order to get the job. In order to make sure you are getting a good deal, always ask for referrals and seek out reviews. This will help you get the full picture.

  1. Price

Price is obviously something you have to think about. Wedding bands can range in cost anywhere from just a couple thousand dollars to $30,000 or more for a famous band that plays all night. Identifying your price range will help you whittle down your list of potential bands, making the prospect of selecting one much more manageable.

Make Your Own Decision

It’s always nice to have friends and loved ones provide input and suggestions for your wedding reception, but don’t ever feel like you’re obligated to listen. It’s your wedding and you should make decisions that make sense for you and your partner. When it comes to entertainment, selecting the band should be something that’s fun and enjoyable. If it ever becomes stressful, take a step back and reevaluate what you’re doing.