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Live Music: Wedding Bands

Music makes the party. In a perfect world, with unlimited resources, a live band/DJ combo would be bliss. In the real world, you might have to choose. Instructions

STEP 1: Set a budget for entertainment. A live band tends to be more expensive than a DJ. For a 4-hour reception, a DJ can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000, while a four-piece band can cost between $1,000 and $4000. (Note: the prices of both tend to go up, depending on reputation, demand and quality of equipment.)

STEP 2: Decide upon the length of the reception. Bands tire more easily than DJs and may not be able to work as long.

STEP 3: Consider the location of your reception. Is it too small to house a full band? Does the establishment place restrictions on the types of music played?

STEP 4: Factor in the level of formality. Live music is often considered the more traditional and dignified choice. DJs are the rowdier, hipper option.

STEP 5: Listen to them play. Sit in on an event, attend the band's auditions or ask for a recorded tape.

STEP 6: Check out the bandleader. Is he or she charismatic? One benefit of a live band is that the leader can double as a master of ceremonies.

STEP 7: Question the DJs about their album collections. DJs typically have a much broader repertoire than a live band and can easily add any special songs you desire.

STEP 8: Consider your priorities and weigh the pros and cons of each. Then make a choice and book your entertainment. Bands and DJs can be booked a year in advance.

Best Tip

Be sure to ask family, friends, reception site coordinators, music stores and local musicians associations for recommendations. Often, the best DJs and bands do not have to advertise.


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