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A massive thank you to Andy Lewis from 5CATFish for writing this post, something I’m sure every couple thinks about when booking their wedding entertainment.
Bands Vs DJs – The Common Dilemma
Entertainment for your wedding is often an overlooked element with all the more obvious suspects (cake, dress, invites…) having the lion’s share of the hard-earned wedding budget. However, as something that’s clearly close to my heart, I often stress to would-be clients that the entertainment, just by the very nature of being the final event on the reception’s agenda will often be the element that’s remembered more easily. Therefore – you really want it to be remembered for all the right reasons!
So……..which to choose – Band or DJ?
There are loads of considerations to take into account when planning your entertainment and plenty of questions that you should be asking any reliable supplier, whether they play an instrument or ‘spin vinyl’.
For obvious reasons, a band will usually take up more space than a DJ, at least if they are a 5-piece band or more.
Bands do admittedly come in many different shapes and sizes now, with the advent of technology allowing at least one or more of the instruments in a band to be played by a backing track so you can feasibly achieve a full sound with only a singer and a laptop. This type of smaller format might be ideal if your venue has limited space but does lack the visual dynamics of a full band with all live instruments. A DJ, unless they have a custom booth, could feasibly set-up on a relatively small table with some allowance for lights and speakers making them a much less space-hungry option. This should only be a consideration if space is really at a premium and shouldn’t be the over-riding factor.
If you book a live band with a drummer, there is a minimum volume (provided it’s an acoustic rather than electric drum kit) below which you cannot really go and that’s the volume of the drummer! It sounds obvious, but if your venue has a limit on volume (whether that’s imposed using an electronic limiter or just a perceived limit enforced by the Manager’s ears,) you may want to discuss this with your venue and the entertainment supplier in question. DJ’s can turn-down easily and, in fairness any professional band should be able to work within sensible volume boundaries although many will not play at venues with electronic limiters. (This is a device that monitors volume then, should the music be too loud, the power is switched-off to their equipment!)
This should really be the deciding factor for any entertainment – do they play what you want to hear? Bands, by their very nature have a limited repertoire which, although it may run into a hundred or more songs, will never compete with a DJ who may have thousands of tracks at his fingertips. The main thing to remember about the music choice is – don’t just choose for yourself although that is vitally important. You also have a multitude of guests who are hoping to be entertained so your predilection towards Belgian folk music may not be everyone’s choice
So……Band or DJ?
There is no right answer to this – it really is down to what can fit in the venue, what other logistical considerations there are (volume, power requirements, staging in a marquee) and most importantly what music you want to hear. The difficulty of many wedding entertainment solutions is that owing to the fact they mainly play weddings, it can be difficult to verify their claims as to how good they are. Meet with the shortlisted suppliers, ask for references and – above all – enjoy the entertainment, whichever you choose!
Andy Lewis runs and plays keyboards in the Award-winning wedding entertainment solution, 5CATFish who, incidentally offer a novel solution to this blogged dilemma with both a full 5 or 6-piece band (or a trio where space is at a premium) always accompanied by a DJ to supply the best of both worlds!
Email – [email protected]
Mobile: 07540 705 143
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