February 21, 2022

Should I use a DJ or live band for my wedding?

disclaimer: Occasionally we do share a paid affiliate link, receive a free product in exchange for our review, or accept paid advertising for a post. We also have thriving planner and venue partnership programs, which we love to promote here.  Please know that we only share things, people, and places we absolutely believe in and recommend.


Florist? Check.

Caterer? Check.

Coordinator? Chancey Charm Check.

But, what about music? You could find a harpist for serene background music. Maybe you should hire a DJ for a full range of music. Then again, you might want a wedding band for some classic charm.

Is your head spinning yet, friend?

I’m here to help! Let’s talk through the aspects you need to consider, the pros and cons of a DJ and a band, and what your choice should be.

Initial Considerations for Your Wedding Music

Venue Size

The size of your venue can be a swift deciding factor in choosing your music provider. If your ceremony or reception is in a small space, a DJ is likely the best bet. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t hire a soloist, especially for a dreamy melody as you walk down the aisle. 


Your wedding is all about celebrating you and your fiancé, and the music helps set the stage for that. It’s easy to work with a DJ to choose what kind of music they’ll play. But don’t write off a wedding band as nothing but the traditional 4-piece ensemble. With some searching, you can find a group for any genre, including blues, swing music, or even Celtic tunes. 

Consider which option will feel most natural in your venue and in tune with the vision you have for your wedding. If you’re having a small, intimate wedding, a band might feel out of place among your closest friends and family. Conversely, a DJ might feel like a meager choice when you’re celebrating with 300 other people. 


Some locations are easier to reach than others. If you’re getting married at a secluded mountain retreat, it might be difficult for an entire band to get to you. A destination wedding offers the chance for travel, but remember that music options will be governed by who’s available in the area of the country you’re heading to!

Music Preference

Do you love the idea of live music or does a nonstop DJ mix sound better to you? Maybe there’s a local Bluegrass band you follow or your fiancé really enjoys dancing to all 90s hits. The music that the two of you enjoy has a huge impact on who should provide entertainment for your big day.

wedding dj, wedding band

Wedding DJ

I’ve got one hard and fast rule when it comes to hiring a DJ— you must find someone with wedding experience. There are a number of benefits to choosing a wedding DJ.

  • Music options. The average DJ has 31.5 million songs in their library. 
  • Flexibility. A DJ typically requires less space than a band, so they can fit in smaller venues with ease. 
  • No breaks. With a pre-set playlist, DJs are able to step away for a break without a pause in the music and entertainment for the night. 
  • Budget friendly. The Knot found that couples spend an average of $1,200 on a wedding DJ, compared to $3,700 for a band.

And of course, check out this guide that walks you through how to select your wedding DJ.

Should you use a DJ or live band for your wedding? Find out in this post!

Wedding Band

As more brides gravitate toward the convenience that a DJ can offer, bands continue to provide a classic feel to weddings. Don’t think you have to be planning a traditional wedding to choose a band, though! What are the advantages of a wedding band?

  • Unique music. With the endless band options available these days, you can find a group that plays in almost any genre.
  • Special experience. There’s a reason people pay hundreds of dollars to see their favorite artists in concert. There’s something memorable about the experience that live music provides. 
  • Budget flexible. The cost of a DJ isn’t going to vary a great deal in your area. However, you can choose a band that’s as big or as small as you want, shaping your needs to fit your budget

So, should you choose a DJ or a band?


That’s 100% up to you and your fiancé!

When it comes down to it, the two of you need to factor in all of the initial considerations and decide what makes the most sense for your wedding day. Remember that your music provider for the ceremony doesn’t have to be your music provider for the reception. Feel free to mix and match! It’s all about what makes you two happy.

Happy Planning Friends,

The Chancey Charm Team 

Looking for even more planning insight? Check out my Wedding Planning Bundle + Community Pass. It’s the ultimate step-by-step guide for creating the wedding of your dreams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome to

Chancey Charm

Behind this blog is a team of experienced wedding planners, in destination wedding locations across the country. With over 200 published weddings and editorials under our brand, we’ve served 750+ happy couples since 2011. We’ve been named a top planner by Southern Living Magazine and featured on Martha Stewart. This is our place to trusted planning advice with YOU, so you can plan without the stress.  Our founder, Sarah Chancey, also has a heart for educating new planners and wedding professions through the academy, so you’ll be sure to see some of her content here as well.  Cheers!

search the site

featured posts

post categories