by Guest blogger DJ Ed
DJ OR LIVE BAND?
Don’t fear the DJ! The days of disco fever and flashing lights are gone. Today’s disc jockeys are artists in their own right, offering balanced and eclectic mixes of musical styles for all ages. Plus, the songs played will sound exactly as you remember them, encouraging sing-alongs and improvisation. A good DJ can get even the shyest wallflowers onto the dance floor and get your party hopping! And, depending on the amount of equipment a DJ brings, they will take up less space on the dance floor and can easily be relocated.
PROS AND CONS OF A DJ:
Pros: If there are a dozen songs you’re dying to hear at your wedding, it likely won’t be a problem for your DJ to find each track, or you can also make a playlist into a CD. Also, DJs are generally less expensive than bands. A DJ with a charismatic stage presence and excellent emcee skills can really set the mood and keep the party going.
Wedding singers or bands usually don’t provide the variety of songs and genres that a DJ can bring.
Cons: On the opposite end of the spectrum, a DJ with a less-than stellar personality can be a party-killer. Also, improvisation is tough if, say, your dad is dragging behind tempo on the father-daughter dance or your nieces and nephews decide to crash the chicken dance, whereas a live band can change tempo on the spot.
You also might want to consider……
Don’t get your heart set on a bumping system before you check whether the reception site has any restrictions on the number of musicians and pieces of equipment you may bring in, and whether there are any electrical power supply or noise limitations. For example, a registered landmark reception site may not allow you to use large speakers. Ask these questions before you start scouting bands.
Are you a little bit country, while he’s a little bit rock and roll? Regardless of whether you choose a band or DJ, be sure they play slow and fast songs, and old and new tunes to encourage different sets of guests to hit the dance floor.
In the price war, DJs generally cost less, and prices vary depending on equipment requests and whether it’s a weekday or a weekend. A 12-piece band, for example, will generally be more expensive than a DJ, since there are more people to pay. (There are always exceptions; celebrity DJs can be just as expensive as live bands.) Band prices vary by the number of musicians, the amount of time you want them to play for, day of the week, and what time of year it is.
40 Questions you should ask before hiring a DJ:
- Do you offer a written contract?
- Will you be the DJ at our wedding?
- May we meet with you in person before we sign a contract?
- How long will you hold our date for us?
- Do you work exclusively for this company?
- How long have you been a DJ and how many weddings have you done?
- How many weddings do you do each year?
- How many other types of events do you do per year?
- Do you perform for more than one event in a day?
- What makes you different from your competitors?
- Have you played at our reception site before?
- Do you act as the “emcee” and make all of the announcements?
- How would you define your “style” when making announcements?
- What do you do to motivate the crowd if nobody is dancing?
- What if something happens to you and you can’t make it to the wedding?
- Will we meet again before the wedding?
- Can we visit you at a performance?
- May we speak to your references?
- How do you keep your music collection up-to-date?
- How involved can we be in selecting music for our event?
- When do we need to submit our music requests and event details?
- Do you take requests from our guests?
- Can we submit a “Do Not Play” list?
- When do you arrive to set up for our wedding?
- What will you wear to our wedding?
- What will you wear when you set up and break down your equipment?
- How much of a deposit is required to secure our date?
- What is included in the cost of my event?
- How much would you charge for overtime?
- What do you require from us?
- Do you require a meal?
- Are you insured?
- Do you take any breaks?
- What is your policy on alcohol or smoking during the wedding?
- What kind of equipment do you use?
- Do you bring backup equipment with you to the wedding?
- Do you have a wireless microphone?
- Do you have a “light show”?
- Do you set up a sign or banner with your equipment?
- Do you belong to any professional associations or trade groups?
Any way you slice it, the entertainment value determines whether your guest gracefully exit early or dance late into the night!
Next, look for “15 songs you shouldn’t play at your wedding!”