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Paul Gero photograph of Ballroom with dancing guests

Live Band or DJ? What’s right for you?

Premier Bride Milwaukee and ACA Music & Entertainment

July 28, 2021

As you are planning your wedding entertainment, you want the ambiance throughout the day to be perfect. Music you love, the right songs at the right time, and something to get everyone in the dancing mood. But the big question always lingers…Live Band or DJ? Premier Bride Milwaukee sat down with Matt, the owner of ACA Music & Entertainment, for his professional insight on the topic.

What do you always tell a couple to look at when they’re debating going live music vs. DJ?

We rarely, if ever, are a part of that decision. Our clients almost always know whether they want a band or DJ when they approach us. The few times it does come up, we look at the size/space of the venue, number of guests and budget. Bands tend to have a higher price tag than DJ’s, although that is not always the case. The best DJ can be priced comparably to some of our smaller bands.

Do you get to choose song lists with live music like you would with a DJ?

You have input on the playlist with bands as well as DJ’s but it is slightly different with a DJ. With a DJ, they sky is the limit as far as requests. With bands, you can make requests as well but it’s best to leave the band some flexibility to read the crowd and perform the songs that they perform exceptionally well.

Slater Wedding by M Three Studio

What are the perks/drawbacks of going with a DJ?

DJ’s can generally accommodate small and large venues. If you’re having a group under 50, A DJ is a great way to go. DJs have access to mobile internet so you can request as many songs as you’d like, even on the spot. Besides that, our DJs are also high energy entertainers that will be geared up to keep the crowd on the dance floor.

What are the perks/drawbacks of going with live music?

A great perk about a band is that you’ll have anywhere from 4-17 performers on stage engaging and encouraging your audience. You also have the added entertainment value of watching the musicians perform, which helps make guests with two left feet still feel like they are part of the party. It’s like having your own personal live concert experience! However, for a live band, you’ll need to make sure there is enough space for the band to comfortably perform, which can be a drawback at smaller venues.

What are some tips all couples should know when booking their wedding music?

The main tip I like to share with potential clients is this…you don’t have to make this tough decision anymore! Why not have both!? Most bands can incorporate live DJ service into their performance. For example, the DJ would perform on the band breaks and then take over for an after party after the band’s sets are over. On the flip side, you can have a DJ as the main entertainment focal point, but incorporate elements of live music throughout the day and evening. For example, you could have a string group perform for the ceremony, jazz group perform during dinner and have a DJ take over for the dance sets. Most of our bands allow you to add a DJ as an additional musician and many of our DJ’s work with various ensembles of musicians.

So, whether you choose to go the route of live music, DJ….or both. You’re sure to have happy guests and fun night for all!

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