facebook

What are the pros and cons of live bands vs. DJs for weddings?Jan 01

The White Tree

Music is a vital ingredient to ensure the success of any party or event. It enhances the senses to create an atmosphere where people can relax, enjoy themselves and feel comfortable to let their hair down and communicate freely.

We’ve all been to a restaurant before where the feng shui is just a little off. Then we stop and notice that the music is either too soft, too loud, or the chosen music isn’t matching the tone of the restaurant.

At The White Tree, we understand that every wedding has its’ own unique feel, and the music needs to work in harmony with that. The difficult thing for a bride and groom is working out what style of music the demographic of the guests will want to hear, and how the music should unfold across the entire event.

The White Tree

For small intimate weddings, an iPod playing selected songs via a venue’s house system may suffice. But for larger scale weddings where music should be playing a key role, there are many options to weigh up.

A key musical decision for a bride and groom is whether they go with a live band or a DJ.

Despite running a business that offers live bands for musical entertainment, rather than DJs, I still feel I can give an unbiased account of the pros and cons of both! Hopefully, some of these points help couples who are struggling with this decision.

I’ll start with the pros of a DJ, and admittedly there are many! A DJ is obviously cost effective as there is only “one mouth to feed”. So DJs do become that tried and tested option offering value for money.

The White Tree

As the client, you also have some more control over a DJ in terms of what music they play. It’s much easier to request songs for a DJ to play (and not to play) because with today’s technology they can download, store and play Mp3’s with ease. For a band, this issue isn’t as easy as the musicians need to learn and rehearse requested songs that they don’t yet know.

The actual “sound” of a DJ can also be positive if the demographic want to hear songs exactly as per the original recording. Some generations love to hear a live band’s version of a song, but others prefer to hear it exactly as they heard it on the radio. This is an interesting thought, particularly as younger generations are growing up listening and dancing to DJs at pubs and clubs rather than bands. The Baby Boomer generation, for instance, are much more familiar with dancing to and engaging with live cover bands. Back in the 90s, many of the large venues had live cover bands instead of DJs.

A DJ can also mash up songs easily and move from one song to the next quickly if a certain song or style isn’t working with a dance floor. Mixing on the fly isn’t as easy for a live band. In terms of style, it’s also true that a DJ handles certain genres much better than a band, for instance, house music, hip-hop, and anything electro-based. These sorts of styles can be more challenging for a band to replicate.

When moving onto live bands, the first point is that the decision of “which band” is that little bit more complicated and confusing than booking a DJ. For instance, with The White Tree Band, our line-up is customizable so clients can book us as a small 3 piece with just male vocals/guitar, bass and drums…or a large 10 piece with full brass section.

Gallery Image 5

You also want to find a band that has a singer who fits the tone of your event, and a repertoire of songs that will resonate with the guests. In this research and evaluation process, you should aim to source not just a DEMO but also check out live film clips, and even check out the band at a gig. We run live showcase gigs with The White Tree at venues in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney, so event planners can hear the singers and the different band configurations.

If you are holding a wedding with a crowd who want some serious dance floor action, you’re going to want a bigger band to exert more energy. This is more costly than a DJ, but it can provide an unrivalled sound and a level of engagement that a DJ might not be able to rival.

A good live band comprising top musicians can still perform a range of styles. They can also change gears depending on the stage of the night. So you could chat to the band about configuring a larger outfit for the dance sets, and the same band shrink down to a duo or trip for the earlier stages of the night.

The White Tree

The actual sound of a great live band in full flight during the dance sets is arguably more raw and energetic than a DJ, particularly if you have a great lead singer who is engaging and entertaining. Good singers will be able to cue the band to “break it down” and invite crowd participation such as the guests singing the chorus of a rock anthem, or call and response lyrics. Even some of the more reserved crowds love this sort of involvement…particularly if it’s later in the night after a few drinks!

A final slightly superficial “pro” for a large live band…is that it looks high end. The presence and aesthetic of a full band is arguably more impressive than a DJ standing behind a desk by themselves. This may seem like a trivial point, but we all know how important every ingredient is to the success of a wedding.

A final option to consider, and one that straddles both the DJ and the live band, is the hybrid line-up which we call “sound system gigs”. This is a configuration of DJ and live instruments. There are many outfits around Australia that have been adopting this approach since the late 90s. A common lineup is DJ, percussion, saxophone and female vocals. This offers some live elements for the energy and engagement factor, but also the bottom end frequencies that the DJ brings. It can be a great sound for the dance sets and still quite cost effective as there are usually only three or four members.

The White Tree

The slight risk with the hybrid line-up is that it’s quite difficult to execute. I’ve seen many outfits over the years where the DJ and live musicians are not jelling together, resulting in a stagnant and slightly cheesy performance. This said, the experienced groups who have a musically minded DJ and a singer who can cleverly improvise over the DJ’s tracks, can be very engaging and energetic.

In terms of the “sound” of a sound system line up, some people feel it’s slightly dated, whereas a DJ and live band are obviously timeless. Nevertheless, the sound system/hybrid line-up is a third option that couples can consider.

Whatever music option you go with (even the humble iPod through the venue’s sound system!) you have to put thought into the decision-making process. Key factors such as budget, guest demographic, wedding tone and venue size must all be thought of when booking a band or DJ.

Music does have the power to make or break a wedding, and no one wants their wedding to turn into that restaurant with the bad feng shui!

Visit The White Tree’s Profile / Visit Their Website

Explore

More from this Author

You may also like...

Looking for Venues?

Beach Byron Bay

Beach Byron Bay is the only absolute beachfront restaurant wedding venue in Byron Bay. With understated luxury, spectacular views and award-winning menus, Beach Byron Bay is a spectacular venue for your Byron Bay wedding ceremony and reception.

The restaurant operates daily for breakfast and lunch, seven days a week, as well as an elegant dinner service in the warmer months.

Also available is a takeaway kiosk designed for food, cold drinks and coffee on-the-go or beachside picnics. A perfect pit stop for those enjoying a walk up to the nearby Byron Bay Lighthouse or a day at the beach with family or friends.

Beach Byron Bay Wedding Venue Honeywed
Evergreen Garden Venue

Everything is provided for you, so you can enjoy an elegant, relaxed wedding day that you will remember forever.

The secret garden can host up to 60 guests for a ceremony or 50 guests for receptions. Think private dinner party nestled in the garden, high tea, twilight tapas, garden lunch or perhaps a feasting banquet is more your wedding style, here you can enjoy your dream.

As our venue closes by 9 pm, daytime and twilight evenings are perfect in Evergreen Garden.

This private European-styled residence is situated in Parkwood on the Gold Coast, only 25 minutes from the beaches, and from the restaurant precincts in Main Beach, Sanctuary Cove and Broadbeach.
This picturesque venue can host your wedding open air in its lush green gardens or is a beautiful frame to set your glamorous, sophisticated, marquee wedding.

Set on over an acre of land it provides you with an array of contrasting garden styles. The perfect combination of structured, manicured gardens compares to the rustic bushland and gum trees. The rambling creek and tropical rainforest add another dimension again to the versatility of this garden venue. Photo opportunities in such a diverse and beautiful backdrop are unlimited.

At Evergreen it is so much more than a wedding venue. The glamour, privacy and charm make it the ideal location for any event, such as:

Wedding Ceremonies
Renewal of Vows
Commitment Ceremonies
Proposal Dinners
Elopements
Anniversary Dinners
Unique Photo Shoots
Film & TV Commercials

Evergreen’s loving service, attention to detail, and beautiful environment will make your special day as perfect as you could wish for. Dare to dream in Evergreen…

Evergreen Garden Venue - Gold Coast - Honeywed
Coolibah Downs Private Estate

Coolibah Downs Private Estate is a picturesque estate set on 10 Acres nestled in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Surrounded by enchanting & romantic gardens Coolibah Downs Private Estate creates a unique and memorable experience for your wedding or special event.

For many years Coolibah Downs Private Estate has taken great pleasure in hosting many beautiful & wonderful events such as Weddings, Special Events & Boutique Functions on our unique estate. Most recently awarded the Brides Choice Award for Boutique Wedding Venue & Chapel by Gold Coast & Hinterland Weddings.

DON’T MISS OUR WEDDING SHOWCASE – SUNDAY FEBRUARY 10TH, 2019

Coolibah Downs - Gold Coast Wedding Venue - Honeywed
Rainforest Gardens

The breathtaking scenery and views sweeping the coastline of Moreton Bay, complimented with the fresh, crisp mountain air will take your breath away.

Capture your special day framed by century-old trees, lush gardens, exotic flora and fauna. The fairy-tale lakes and magic waterfalls radiate a sense of tranquillity, peace, and unrivalled romance.

Surprisingly, this secluded wonderland is just 40 minutes from Brisbane’s CBD and 45 minutes from the Gold Coast.

Rainforest Gardens | Honeywed