Kayla McDonagh Wedding Singer Ireland

Hello folks,

There is a huge debate amongst brides, grooms, bands, DJs and everyone else with an opinion lately about whether a band is better than a full night DJ.

I had a great chat yesterday with a friend of mine who is a fantastic wedding DJ about the band vs full night DJ dilemma. It got me thinking and I thought why not write a post about it and put my opinion out there for all of you to read. I might (probably will) annoy some of my fellow industry colleagues but it wouldn’t be the first time!  muwahaha!

So who wins? First of all lets look at some basics:

  1. If you book a crap band  or crap DJ NO ONE WINS!
  2. If you book a band who may be amazing at what they do but whose style you or your guests won’t like then NO ONE WINS!
  3. If you book a fantastic young DJ who plays all the new techno dance mixes but your guests are on average 50 or older and only want to jive or waltz then NO ONE WINS!
  4. If you ask your band or DJ to solely play music that only you like without taking your guests into consideration be prepared to dance alone…. and ultimately NO ONE WINS!
  5. If you spend the night chatting in the corridor or at the bar instead of being on the dancefloor then the majority of your guests wont be on the floor either. NO ONE WINS.

Get the picture?

So having said that, here are my thoughts on the wedding band vs full night wedding DJ dilemma.

  1. Priorities – If like me, You love live music and love a good live band then book a band! If you don’t care too much for live music then spend your money elsewhere. Book a full night DJ and use some of the money saved on another element of your day that is higher up on your dream list! Maybe another €1,000 on your honeymoon or towards a videographer . If music is your thing and you appreciate good musicians then you will find and book a band that suits you!
  2. Budget – Its not all about money but sometimes it is. When it comes to a wedding, we are talking thousands. when it comes to a band we are talking thousands. (2k on average for a 5 piece band) . When it comes to a full night Wedding DJ we are talking hundreds 700 – 900 on average) . So immediately, based on budget alone, your decision can be made for you.
  3. Wedding Size – In my opinion the smaller the wedding the more live music you should have. I personally think a live band can capture a smaller crowd and engage them in their performance more easily than a DJ. In saying that , if you book a good DJ then they will do the same.
  4. Talking point – I believe that a band can be the highlight of the night. From my own experience, I love having people come up to me and telling me that my voice is X, Y and Z and complimenting the band on our performance. A good band that impresses a crowd with their interaction AND musical talent can be the highlight and talking point of the night. Maybe a lot of your family and friends are in to music or are musicians and you want to impress them with a fantastic live band. A good DJ is also a performer but without an instrument.

Should you book a band or full night DJ?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is live music important to me? (If yes then book a band)
  2. Have I got room in the budget for a good band who’s music I like ? (If yes then book a band)
  3. Do I want to have the best night of my life dancing with family and friends at my wedding?

If you answered yes to the last question then whether you book a band or go for a full night wedding DJ, Make sure to talk to them, ask questions, know what they do, how they perform, what they perform, read reviews and see them live. ( Don’t just see them live for 20 minutes, make an effort to see their full set as you need to see the big picture and so many things can effect the earlier part of the night that are outside of the band or DJs control) If you do this then whether you book a band or a full night DJ , You will have the best night of your life!

I tell couples all of the time who inquire with my band, Lady and the Tramps, that a wedding band (or DJ) is like a pair of shoes. You need to find the right fit. So find the right fit – Priorities, Budget, Wedding Size and Talking point.

So who wins? Band or Full night DJ?

That is completely up to each couple individually. You cant compare your decision with another couples decision. They may hate live bands, may have a bigger or smaller budget. They may have spent a fortune on another element of their day. You wont please all of your guests with your decision but if you book a professional supplier that works for you and who you trust, then you have made the right decision. Now help them out and get on that dance floor!


A little side note on Bands who offer a Band and DJ Package. Make sure to see their DJ live as well as the band itself. Ask them for available dates where you can see the full package in action.




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