Live band or DJ for your wedding?

Live Band or DJ for your Wedding?

Have you started planning your wedding and are wondering where to allocate more of your budget – hiring a live wedding band or a DJ? This is a common dilemma for engaged couples. A live band can lend an energetic vibe while a skilled DJ sets the tone too. So how do you decide?

In this in-depth blog post, you'll get a full comparison of typical wedding band and DJ costs. I'll outline the pricing factors, average fees, and tips to save money without compromising on musical quality. You'll be able to weigh the pros and cons and decide where to splurge or cut costs on your wedding entertainment.

TL;DR Summary

• Wedding bands cost $2,500-$10,000+ depending on size, experience, and location

• Solo musicians or small bands can provide ceremony/cocktail hour music for $500-$2,000

• DJs cost $800-$1,500 on average for 4-6 hours of reception music

• Consider split options like a ceremony trio and reception DJ to save money

• Compare rates and packages across multiple vendors to find deals

• Non-peak days and times usually save on band or DJ costs

• Is better if you hire all entertainment, lighting, and music from the same vendor, that way you could negotiate lower rates or added values.

Factors that Influence Wedding Band & DJ Costs

Live Wedding Bands: The biggest cost factor is the number of musicians and singers in the band. Full bands with 6-12+ members will be the most expensive at $5,000+. Duos or trios cost $1,000-$2,500. The band's experience playing weddings also matters - popular bands charge top rates. Where you're located and peak season dates will impact costs too. Custom song requests, extended playing times, and add-ons like lighting or sound equipment increase fees as well.

Wedding DJs: DJs also set pricing based on experience, with the most in-demand DJs charging over $2,000. What's included in their base package - hours of play, lighting, MC services - affects costs. Geography and peak wedding dates raise rates too. Many DJs charge extra for travel outside their main base (e.g. a Cancun-based Dj having to play in Tulum), special song requests, and extended play.

Live band or Dj is an important decision for a wedding party

Average Cost Ranges:

Wedding Bands: $2,500-$10,000 with most couples spending $3,500-$4,500

Solo or small ceremony/cocktail bands: $800-$2,000

Wedding DJs: $800-$1,500 for 4-6 hours on average

Saving Money on Wedding Entertainment

Book non-peak days/times - Having your wedding on a Friday, Sunday or non-summer month can save 10-30% on band or DJ fees.

Hire a hybrid combo - A solo pianist or string quartet for the ceremony and cocktail hour paired with a DJ for energetic reception dancing can cost less than a full band.

Compare multiple vendors - Don't assume you have to book the first band or DJ you fall in love with. Compare rates among a few top contenders to get the best deal.

Prioritize the reception - Splurge on a band or DJ for the main reception dancing hours when you'll need the most entertainment. Use recorded music or a single musician for the pre-reception events.

Negotiate extended times - If you want your band or DJ to play longer than their standard package, try negotiating a discount on the hourly overage rate. If you hire the same vendor for several services they probably be more comfortable negotiating some upgrades or added values

You can get added values if hire all services from one vendor

The Bottom Line

Looking at average wedding band and DJ costs gives you a benchmark, but keep in mind your wedding vision. Would splurging on a hot 12-piece band energize your guests and create an unforgettable party vibe? Or does an experienced DJ playing your customized playlist fit the mood you want? Know your priorities, then compare options across a few top contenders. This ensures you get affordable rates for the musical experience you're after, without overspending.

What combination of live music and DJ is on your wedding wish list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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