Selecting the Right Wedding Reception Entertainment

Wedding reception entertainers, whether a live band or a disc-jockey play an important and significant role at a wedding reception in creating and maintaining the atmosphere of the evening. This influence, which is largely being trusted to a stranger (or group of strangers in the case of a live band), can have an effect on the overall success of the evening warranting it important to spend time and effort in organising and selecting professional vendors with experience and a good reputation.

The organisation of musical entertainment for a wedding reception is a process that can cause as lot of stress and heartache for a bride and groom. There are many questions and decisions that need to be made, some of these may include, will a live band or disc-jockey be hired and how much should someone spend on their wedding entertainment?

These questions, as well as others that will come tome to mind as you read this article, will help you make the right decisions in your selection of wedding entertainers to suit your wedding reception needs.

Live Band or Wedding Disc – Jockey

The selection of using a live band or disc-jockey for your wedding reception entertainment is by far the largest of the entertainment decisions. It is important to remember that both forms of entertainment can create a great atmosphere for you and your guests to enjoy. Similarly, both forms of entertainment can have a negative effect on the night if undertaken by amateurs with little experience and a poor attitude. This selection does largely come down to personal taste and preference.

It is important to remember that live bands have great aesthetic value to a reception and add a level of sophistication and class that disc-jockeys tend to not be able to provide. A disc-jockey does need a lot less space than a live band and takes less time to setup making them a great option for smaller venues where space is at a premium.

Disc-jockeys have a much greater versatility in the songs that they can provide on an evening and a lot more flexibility if song selections are not being received well by the guests, most live bands do have a much more limited repertoire and find it difficult to play requests made by guests. Some live bands do have the capacity to learn additional songs prior to the reception day, these in some cases can recur additional costs due to extra rehearsal time being needed.

An alternative option to choosing one form of entertainment is asking the vendors if they have the option available to have both live music and a disc-jockey. This trend to have a collaboration between disc-jockeys and bands to provide entertainment for an evening is proving increasingly popular as it offers a complete entertainment experience for the guests.


The hiring of a disc-jockey is generally cheaper than hiring a live band for a wedding reception. This is due to many factors, the largest being the number of people involved in the provision of the entertainment. A disc-jockey, being a sole person, can charge a lesser amount than a band and still take home a larger profit at the end of the evening due to not having to share it with other members.

Most vendors are happy to discuss and negotiate prices, it is important to remember that for professional entertainers this is one of the streams of the their main income. All negotiations of prices should be reasonable and respectful of the services that are being offered, after all, you do get what you pay for in terms of quality.


The issue of quality and whether a disc-jockey or live band can provide a better quality product for a wedding reception is a subjective argument. A high quality band and high quality disc-jockey will produce a high quality product just as a poor quality band or poor quality disc-jockey will produce a poor quality product. A disc-jockey does have the advantage in playing songs exactly how they have been heard by the majority of the guests due to being pre-recorded and presented on the radio and other media forms. A band has the capacity to present a song either as an exact cover (as heard on the radio) or as a version (an original arrangement) of the song.

The type of of equipment being used, including speakers, mixing desks, PA system all will have an effect on the quality of the sound produced on the evening. asking questions about the sort of equipment, including brands and the power output of them can help you get an understanding of the quality of sound that will be produce on the evening. Always remember to outline any restrictions that need to be adhered to by the venue including sound levels depending on the time of the evening.

Song Selection

Spend time thinking about the style and even specific songs that you would like played at your wedding reception. Important songs that people like personalised may include entrance songs for the arrival of the bridal party, the cutting of the cake, the first dance between the bride and groom, the tossing of the bouquet, and the departure of the bride and groom at the night’s conclusion.

If hiring a disc-jockey be clear that these songs are a necessity, also be specific if there are types of music that you do not want to hear as it will either offend or not be recieved well by the guests in attendance.

If a live band is being hired always ask to see a list of the current repertoire that they perform and if there is a possibility for additional songs to be learnt for performance on the evening.


Before planning the type of entertainment you desire for your wedding reception have in mind an amount that you are willing to pay. In most cases the entertainment for a wedding reception is around 10 – 15% of the overall budget. As the selection of quality entertainers can play a large role in creating and maintaining a celebratory and fun atmosphere it is usually for the bride and groom’s benefit to always be willing to stretch a little in this area financially to ensure the success of the evening.

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