Anybody who has ever been a guest at a wedding will be able to tell you two things about it:

  1. If the food was good and
  2. If they had a good time.

There’s no doubt that music is the secret to rocking your reception. But do you get a DJ or a band for your wedding? Or both?


Bands are more expensive. It’s just physics: A good wedding band can cost around $10,000, give or take. An incredible NJ Wedding DJ will typically be in the ballpark of $2,000 before upgrades.

Whether you choose a DJ or a band, these prices will fluctuate depending on the upgrades and options you choose. For example, having your entertainment provide your wedding’s uplighting or include video screens with visual effects will all add to your bottom line. However, budget-wise, hiring a DJ is definitely the more cost effective route.

Music & Energy

If you’ve seen the band before and you’re in love with their renditions of your favorite tunes, then this one is a no-brainer. However, some folks will argue that nobody will ever be able to play the song as well as their original artists. The latter, will obviously be accomplished by hiring a DJ.

Another consideration is volume level. Bands typically are on the higher end of the decibel spectrum because of the fact that they have percussionists with drum kits and other live instruments that are much harder to control than the DJ’s volume knob.

Bands also bring a certain “live” energy to a reception whereas a good DJ will tend to be more “in the background.” Yes, there are still DJs out there that are spotlight hounding egomaniacs and think your wedding should be about them, but the key here is to seek out professional DJs that don’t have to resort to teaching your guests how to do the Macarena to create excitement.


With a band, you are limited to what the band knows. If you find a great band, they’ll typically be willing to learn a few special songs for your wedding (either gratis or at a nominal cost). A DJ, however, will easily be able to accommodate any music request you have.

Still Torn? Get Both!

Certain innovative entertainment companies understand that some brides will have a hard time choosing between a DJ and a band. Out of this issue has spawned hybrid packages that include both a DJ and a band. When the band takes breaks, the DJ fills in for them in between sets. This gives you the best of both worlds. Of course, it goes without saying that this is obviously the most expensive route.

Because of this extreme expense, some companies have even evolved to offering these DJ/Band hybrid packages in a more affordable way. By combining the best elements of a live band (think vocalists, piano and saxophone) with a DJ, brides are exposed to the “live element” of a band’s performance with all of the added benefits of a full DJ package. Going this route is much more affordable than the previously mentioned option and will set your budget back around $4,500.