Wedding Party Band or DJ? Why not both?
By DJ Cam Reeve
When it comes to hiring entertainment on their big day, most couples ask themselves these questions – “Should we hire a cover band or a DJ? What are the benefits of a wedding band or DJ?" While this seems like a black or white question, we’re here to tell you it’s not always so easy. Live Bands and DJs each bring a unique set of talents to Utah wedding receptions. Today we’ll talk about the benefits of each and why, in our opinion, combining them may be the best option.
Wedding Band or DJ - Benefits of a Band
There’s no denying the energy that a live band brings to an event. People are naturally attracted to the dance floor by the concert feel that arises when a band takes the stage. They lend a classy feel to most events, and live musicians are often well versed in the reception environment. Some Wedding Live bands may even have a choreographed light show that’s perfectly in time with their music. Since their set list is often much smaller than a DJ’s, both their music and lighting is well dialed in.
So is a Wedding Party Band the Answer?
It’s obvious there are a lot of benefits with hiring a band, but they aren’t without a few drawbacks. No Wedding Party Band can have every single song in their catalog, so you might be limited based on the band’s experience. Some songs also don’t lend themselves to being covered by a band. Live Bands often need to take breaks between sets, leading to potential quiet downtime.
When it comes to instruments, keep in mind that they can be a little loud for certain guests. They also may have limits on how long they can play in a given period, and the cost may go up if you exceed that time. You potentially flew everyone in for your wedding – you probably don’t want it to end early! So what's the solution to the wedding band or DJ question?
Adding a DJ to Your Wedding Cover Band
We may be partial, but we think there are quite a few benefits to hiring a DJ. Whether it’s price, music selection, or something else, a DJ can easily elevate the energy at your Utah wedding. But we aren’t advocating you ditch the band for a DJ! In fact, in our experience, when it comes to the "wedding band or DJ" question we’ve found that combining the two leads to an even more successful reception than one without the other.
Remember how we mentioned that Live bands occasionally need to take breaks between sets? Having a DJ on deck at your wedding reception can keep the energy up even when the band is off stage. They can also serve to play songs that guests request or that aren’t on the band’s setlist. And of course, if your DJ is also a professional MC, they can direct the flow of the night in ways some Live bands may not be accustomed to.
Have a DJ? Consider Throwing an Afterparty
A rising phenomenon at receptions across the country is the wedding afterparty. Yes, Deer Valley is the perfect place for these! After the main wedding dining, formalities, and dancing ends many couples choose to transition the night to a more “late night” feel. This doesn’t mean you need to move your guests anywhere! Often, the afterparty takes place in the same location as the reception, in a Lounge area in the same Lodge.
While the party band focuses on playing many of the wedding music staples, your afterparty DJ can dive deeper into the less common music selections. We know that the older guests start to lose steam as the night wears on and the children head off to bed – this is the perfect time to cater to your younger friends. Whether you want to play some deep house, festival-type music, or even just squeeze in some explicit lyrics, the afterparty is the place to be. Because the guest count has likely dropped late in the evening, you can enjoy the music in a more intimate setting with any energy or vibes you want.
The most common "vibes" we get asked for at afterparties are house, early 2010s, and alternative rock.
Wedding Band or DJ – Final Thoughts
Let’s wrap up by highlighting those main points again. Live party bands bring concert energy and class to your wedding reception that’s tough to beat. They may even have choreographed lighting to really up the energy.
DJs, on the other hand, can offer a bigger variety of music and have an easier time taking requests on the spot and have less setup/takedown time. They don’t need breaks during long dance sets and may even be more cost-effective. However, in our opinion, we think the best choice is both! By taking advantage of the benefits of both a band and a DJ like DJ Cam Reeve, you can bring an energy and atmosphere to your Utah wedding that’s pretty hard to match.
Thoughts from DJ Cam Reeve
I personally love working with other Creatives and Artists. I've worked with Quartets, Trio's, Strings, Soloists, Party Bands you name it. These events we are a part of are all about the Experience. A DJ like myself and Utah Party Band can be an unforgettable experience if executed with the Right Team. Reach out to Me if you want to learn more.