Photos: Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Aside from choosing your wedding venue and selecting stylish décor, picking the right music for your wedding completely sets the tone for your reception. Are you and your hubby-to-be party animals? You'll want a DJ to bust out his or her best jams and keep every up out of their seats. Looking to throw a low-key, intimate sit down dinner? A great band crooning smooth tunes is just the ticket. Here, two wedding planners point out the pros of both options.
Book a DJ:
The great thing about hiring a DJ is that they're versatile—you can switch the tone and song list throughout the night. "Book a DJ if you want Sinatra during dinner and Top 40 for dancing—and to save a lot of money," says Lauren Geissler of Downey Street Events. "Pick a DJ who meshes with your style. Is he an energetic emcee or the silent type? Can he build a playlist from a few suggestions, or does he need a full handpicked list?" DJs are also known to bring party favors, such as playful lights and accessories, so make sure you're okay with a club-like vibe on the dance floor.
Go for a band:
"If your main priority is a jam-packed dance floor, nothing gets the crowd energized like live musicians," says Calder Clark of Calder Clark Designs. "If you're on a tight budget, hire a local act, like a bluegrass band, and limit the reception to four hours—that will give you a strong three-hour dance set." Also consider, if you do hire a wedding band, will they rally the crowd as much as your favorite DJ would? And while a more budget-conscious band might not be as versatile, some songs do sound best in their original form ("Livin' on a Prayer" live? Yes, please!).