Live Band vs. DJ: Which is Better for Your Wedding?

Choosing between a live band and a DJ for your wedding can be tough. While both options have their advantages, a live band brings a unique energy and charm. These two love to perform and Joey even sings and plays guitar, so it made sense to incorporate live entertainment into their wedding reception. The Bachelor Boys Band did a phenomenal job of vibing with the couple and engaging guests, and it was a treat for us all! I don’t think a single person was sitting at the end of the night. 

A live band offers a dynamic performance, with real musicians playing instruments and engaging with the crowd. They can adapt to the mood of the room, playing a variety of genres and creating a personalized experience for you and your guests.

All that to say, I am not knocking DJs in the least! Pittsburgh has quite a few fantastic party-pumping professionals. But if you love the live performance vibe showcased on Olivia and Joey’s wedding day, a live band might be an excellent alternative for you! 

Ultimately, the choice between a live band and a DJ depends on your personal preferences and the atmosphere you want to create for your wedding. Consider the style of music, the level of interaction, and the overall experience you envision for your special day.

Factors to Consider When Hiring a Live Band

Hiring a live band requires careful consideration to ensure you find the perfect fit for your wedding. Here are some factors to keep in mind when making your decision:

Genre & Style

Determine the type of music you want for your wedding. Whether you prefer classic rock, jazz, pop, or a mix of genres, find a band specializing in your preferred style.

Experience & Reputation

Research different bands to find ones with a proven track record of delivering exceptional performances. Read reviews, watch videos of their past performances, and ask for recommendations.

Flexibility & Adaptability

Look for a band that specializes in events and can adapt to different settings, from intimate ceremonies to lively receptions. They should be able to play a diverse range of songs and cater to your preferences.

Professionalism & Reliability

Ensure the band you choose is professional and reliable. They should be punctual, well-prepared, and able to handle any last-minute changes or requests.


And finally, check the band’s availability for your wedding date and book well in advance to secure their services.

Budgeting for a Live Band at Your Wedding

Planning a wedding involves careful budgeting, and hiring a live band is no exception. While the cost of a live band may be higher than that of a DJ, the unique experience they provide is well worth the investment. When budgeting for a live band, consider the number of musicians you want, the duration of their performance, and any additional services they offer, such as MC duties or lighting.

It’s important to allocate a reasonable portion of your budget for live music since the band’s quality can enhance your wedding’s overall atmosphere. Professional live bands usually have a range of pricing options, so discuss your budget with potential bands to find one that meets your needs. 

Tips for Working with a Live Band for Your Wedding

Collaborating with a live band on your wedding day requires effective communication and coordination. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth experience:

Discuss Your Vision

Communicate your vision and expectations to the band. Share your preferred songs, special requests, and any specific moments you want them to highlight during the performance. Let them know what kind of experience you hope to create and any themes so they can match the music to your style.

Coordinate with Other Vendors

Keep your band informed about the timeline of events and coordinate with other vendors, such as the wedding planner and photographer, to ensure a seamless flow of the day.

Provide Adequate Space & Equipment

Make sure the band has enough space to set up their equipment and perform comfortably. Discuss technical requirements, such as power outlets and sound equipment, for a smooth setup process.

Schedule Rehearsals

If possible, schedule a rehearsal or soundcheck with the band before the wedding day so they can familiarize themselves with the venue and ensure optimal sound quality.

Communicate Changes

If there are any changes or updates to the schedule, promptly communicate them to the band so they can adjust their performance and avoid confusion on the day of the wedding.

Popular Wedding Songs & Genres for Live Bands

The key is to mix it up a bit. Too many slow songs will make guests sleepy, and constant energy will feel overwhelmed. Strike a good balance (although a great band will know this). Let them know your preferences or any style or song you DON’T like.

Romantic Ballads

From classic love songs to modern ballads, live bands can create a romantic atmosphere with heartfelt performances. Songs like “At Last” by Etta James and “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran are timeless choices for a first dance.

Energetic Dance Hits

Get your guests on their feet with lively dance hits. From funk and disco to modern pop, live bands can play crowd-pleasing songs that will have everyone dancing. “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake are popular choices to get the party started.

Nostalgic Classics

Transport your guests back in time with nostalgic feel-good classics. Songs like “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond and “Don’t Stop Believin’'” by Journey are crowd favorites that will have everyone singing along.

Jazz & Swing

For a sophisticated and elegant atmosphere, consider hiring a jazz or swing band. The smooth melodies and timeless charm of songs like “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra and “It Don’t Mean a Thing” by Duke Ellington are solid options.

Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Congratulations to Olivia and Joey! And thank you to their skilled vendor team for pulling off a spectacular wedding day! Check them out below. 

If you want to elevate your wedding experience and relive the day through documentary-style images, I’d love to help!

Connect with Rachel

Pittsburgh Wedding Vendor Team

Photography: Rachel Wehan Photography
Place of Purchase for Dress: Blanc de Blanc
Band: Bachelor Boys Band
Hair: Mikayla Dietrich @StudioSevenHair
Florist: Kocher’s Flowers
Bakery: Tinman Sweets
Venue/Rentals: Wintergarden at PPG Place