Couples' FAQ, Weddings

Band or DJ? 5 Questions To Consider

February 27, 2015

When it comes to your wedding reception, your decision about music entertainment can go a long way. Fortunately, there are tons of great options at almost every price point, especially in California. Perhaps you’re considering a band or DJ referred to you by a friend, a group you saw at somebody else’s wedding, or found online. Maybe you don’t even want to go that far and just figure you’ll plug an iPod in and see what happens! (Hint: don’t.) In any case, here are 5 important questions to think about when making your choice.

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1. Who’s behind the mic?

You’ll want to think carefully about who’s steering the direction of your wedding reception. Any solid band or DJ will allow you to use their wireless microphone system to make speeches, but who’s behind the mic the rest of the time? This person will introduce the wedding party and toast speakers, call the bride and groom to the dance floor, corral your guests to the proper areas throughout the event, and (don’t forget!) encourage your guests to get down with you when it’s time to turn up the music! Ask your band or DJ about their experience as master of ceremonies. If you want to see that they really know what they’re doing, ask about a time they had trouble getting guests out on the dance floor. Which songs did they play and why? How did they bring the energy back?

2. Rock Show or Dance Club?

Although some wedding bands are so versatile that they can play songs exactly the way they sound on the original recording, most bands will bring their own unique flair to each tune. Vocalists sing extra runs, drummers play extra fills, songs are clumped together into medleys, etc. If this appeals to you, don’t miss out on having a performance that is unique to your wedding. If you and your guests would be happier with that full, produced radio sound that only a DJ can provide, you’ll want to invite a DJ to pump the jams.

3. What is your space like?

Because there is very little guest interaction with a DJ as opposed to a band, DJs work best in a large, dark, enclosed spaces with lit up dance floors. Your guests will feel slightly more exposed dancing for a DJ than for a band, so be conscious of the atmosphere. You should also be cautious of the size of the room. For smaller rooms and outdoor venues, an acoustic band might be more appropriate for the theme and dynamic level of the event.

Girls Dancing - Dana + Harry

4. How important is the presentation of the entertainment?

Consider where you and your guests will be positioned in contrast to the entertainment. If you have more than 100 guests, you may want to think about having a band to bring the room together. A great looking band can really fill the room and add that extra aesthetic element to the event. If your wedding is a bit smaller and there really isn’t any room for a large band, having a small band or DJ in the corner might be more appropriate. If you are hiring a DJ for a larger venue, be very particular about the presentation of the DJ’s setup. If it’s just a guy at a turntable, it’s not going to do the room any favors.

5. What do you want your guests to remember about your wedding reception?

Perhaps the most overlooked factor in making this decision is how you and your guests will remember your wedding after it’s over. Your memories will consist primarily of your interactions with your guests – the cousin who moonwalked to “Billie Jean”, Grandma and Grandpa who danced cheek to cheek for “Wonderful World,” the friends who smiled and told you what a great time they were having and how happy they are for you. Attached to each of these memories will be a soundtrack – whatever song was playing at the time. Consider whether you’d like that soundtrack to be a song played in a certain way that you’ve never heard before – perhaps by a singer with a unique voice, or a band with an interesting configuration of musicians. Or perhaps you’d like the soundtrack to be your favorite song, exactly the way you’ve always known it. Trust us, this will make a difference in how you remember your event.

Whichever direction you’re headed with the music, WeddingWire is a great resource to select a great vendor. Pay special attention to the reviews past clients have written about the act – nobody can classify them better than somebody who has already paid for their services.

Tamara+Josh-Reception-0513Courtesy: Hewitt Photography

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Ben Mallare

An Annapolis, Maryland native, Ben Mallare has provided live musical entertainment for hundreds of couples, families and companies since 2012. In 2014, Ben developed Ben Mallare Events & Entertainment into what it is today: a full-service private events entertainment agency with over 35 musicians performing 75 weddings and events each year. The company is a natural result of Ben’s aptitude for musical performance combined with a deep love of personal service. Ben currently lives in Glendale, California and most looks forward to the new brides and grooms he’ll get to meet in the coming year.

Looking for unique, live musical entertainment that will fit both your vision and your budget? Get a quick quote from Ben at www.benmallare.com.

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