Handy Tips: Live Music at Your Wedding Reception

Band versus DJ. We’ve all heard it before. The purpose of this article is to discuss some of the pros and cons of hiring a live jazz band versus a DJ for your wedding reception.

An argument commonly put forth by DJs is that they can provide a wider selection of music. DJs obviously offer a better solution in the quantity stakes because they have “tens of thousands of songs available”. During a typical wedding reception there will be around 60 songs played. Do you want to spend the precious time you have leading up to your wedding day wading through thousands of songs to find ones that reflect your music tastes as a couple? When it comes to music too much can be a bad thing. And especially when it comes to a wedding quality always trumps quantity. Most good live bands these days can traverse any number of musical styles; jazz, bebop, bossa nova, contemporary, Dixieland, funk, groove, latin, Motown, soul, south American, swing, pop which will give your wedding a variety of music throughout the night.

The level of skill involved with performing live jazz music as compared to DJs are worlds apart. DJs usually dig up their greatest hits albums and off to the gig they go. Or they simply hit the internet and download songs for free. Once at the gig they simply plug in their laptop into the speaker and hit ‘play’. Job done. Now tell me again why he is charging you $2,500? It is important for you to understand what you’re getting for your money. DJs are generally not musicians, they just know how to press play on a laptop. Full time professional musicians devote their lives to music because they love music. They love performing for people. This involved years and years of specialised training, hours of practice, skills that DJs simply don’t have.

When it comes to your wedding, charisma, personality and stage presence are paramount. Live bands can usually offer a level of sophistication and class that DJs do not offer. Professional jazz and blues musicians with tertiary qualifications in music performance are born to perform, they love the stage. They put years of training into their craft, and further their music skills by studying and performing at conservatoriums and music schools around the world. They don’t do it for the money, they do it because they love music and they get a kick out of providing a great night’s music entertainment. Their skill and craftsmanship surpasses anything a DJ can offer.