Wedding Band or DJ? How to choose

Trying to decide whether to book a wedding band or DJ? This hack is for you. We have 3 points for you to consider:

Wedding Band or DJ?

Trying to decide whether to book a wedding band or DJ? This hack is for you. We have 3 points for you to consider:

Music catalogue

Are you willing to sacrifice your “perfect playlist” in exchange for the atmosphere that only live music can create?

  • With a DJ, you can usually choose ANY music you want(as long as there is a digital version of the song available somewhere). This allows you to craft your perfect playlist
  • With a band, your choice is more limited. You’re pretty much restricted to the band’s playlist. They may be able to learn a song or 2 especially for your wedding, just don’t expect them to learn an entire playlist


The key thing to consider when making the decision is the fact that bands and DJ’s create VERY different atmospheres. Live music and recorded music are totally different in the way they make people feel. Both have their place.

A DJ seems to create a more passive atmosphere where your guests can casually flow between dancing and socialising.

A band on the other hand, creates a more engaging atmosphere, the live music adds a sense of urgency which can lead to either more guests dancing or less guests dancing, depending on the willingness of your guests. This part is a judgement call as it is down to your knowledge of your guests and which option you think would be more appealing to them.

If your goal is get as many people dancing as possible, a Scottish ceilidh band is a great way to go. It fills the floor and is a lot of fun.

Which one best fits the theme?

Sometimes, there is an obvious match between your theme and the music. For example, a live band would probably work really great at a festival wedding or barn wedding. If you are having a retro theme on the other hand, a DJ may be the perfect fit.

Tip for band bookers: A band will often take a break during their set. To allow your guests the option to continue dancing, ask the band in advance if you can plug your phone into their sound system. Have your phone ready with a pre-built playlist on Spotify. This way you benefit from both the live band and your perfect playlist.

Once you decide, it’s time to book!