ProBride: Strings, DJ, or Band…Oh My – Wedding Entertainment
When it comes to entertainment for your wedding there are a lot of choices. Do you want live musicians for the ceremony, or will a DJ for all make you happy?
As a bride:
I knew what I wanted at my wedding, and I did research to find something in my budget. For me, spending a little more on entertainment and cutting back in other areas of the wedding was totally fine.
As a planner:
Your entertainment for the night is very important. This is what will keep the guests on their feet having a good time. It is one of the most important expenses of wedding planning, second to photography. Do not cut short on this!
Here are a few observations I have noticed while executing the wedding day:
- Live ceremony music is beautiful.
- No one really pays attention to live music during cocktail hour. I usually hear live musicians get lost in the sounds of chatter from the guests.
- A great DJ can be equal to a band when it comes to rocking the dance floor.
- Not everyone does a band, wouldn’t it be kind of cool to have one?
- A DJ can “mix” songs and play more dance/house songs
- The bigger the band, the higher the cost
- A DJ doesn’t quite hit the excitement level of a live band
Now, lets go over a few costs that relate to each type of performer:
For the ceremony, I love live music. Whether it’s a trio, pianist, harp, or organist, its a nice touch and so romantic. If you are getting married in a church, the church may have their musicians that usually are offered at a smaller cost or even included for the wedding. However, if you are doing a wedding at the reception location, you might need to consider an outside source. I have commonly seen (prices can vary) that a musician/group can start at $150 an hour per musician. Also, sometimes there is a minimum of hours required, as well.
A DJ can be hired to complete a wedding from start to end. However, a DJ usually does not come to a church wedding but can easily provide the music for a same venue ceremony and reception wedding. I most commonly see DJs require a minimum of five hours. They can provide ceremony, cocktail, dinner, and dance music. I would say for a five-hour minimum, a DJ could start at $1300 (prices can vary).
Bands are the most expensive when it comes to wedding entertainment. You want to make sure you get a good one. Do your research first, and I advise getting in touch with someone that knows the industry and lots of bands, such as a management company that can fit the right band with you. Also, you want to make sure that your band plays all types of music to fit everyone’s taste at the wedding. You don’t want to be the wedding where a lot of guests leave because they feel uncomfortable with the sound of the music. A band of four or five members can start (prices can vary) at $5000 for two to three hours and can very easily grow from there.
My biggest piece of advice is to always stay within your budget. My second biggest piece of advice is to do your research and make sure you love your entertainment.
Farrah is a Certified Professional Wedding and Event Planner (CPWEP).
Her company Simply Azure Events helps brides create stress free breath taking weddings.