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Weddings

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Band or DJ? How about both?

Few elements can make or break a couple's wedding day more than entertainment. While factors like the weather are beyond couples' control, ensuring guests have an opportunity to dance or sing along to some good music is something couples can emphasize as they plan their weddings.

When it comes to music, the two main options for weddings are a live band or a disc jockey. Each has its share of advantages and disadvantages. A live band may be more expensive, but it can get the crowd excited. A good bandleader also acts as a master of ceremonies and can pay attention to the vibe of the room, tailoring a playlist around that overall mood. Plus, bands offer live performances, which adds an extra special element to the occasion that can't be replicated at home.

A DJ is a popular choice, and today's DJs are often artists in their own right. They know just how to select and seamlessly mix music to create the mood and really keep the party going. Couples who prefer to hear original versions of particular songs — especially for their first dance song — often prefer DJs. The popular wedding planning resource The Knot also says that it is often no problem for a DJ to find and play a song from an extensive digital library, while bands may not be able to learn and perform a song in time.

Couples who can be flexible with their entertainment budgets may be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. There is nothing that says a wedding cannot feature both a live band and a DJ. Such a wedding may just take a little more planning. Consider the scenario of bringing in a band for the cocktail hour and perhaps an hour or more during the dinner service of the reception when live music can accompany the meal. After that, a DJ can take over and drive the festivities up another notch with a late-night dance party.

Some music vendors also do a combination of live and prerecorded music. They may have live singers who accompany recorded tracks, or digital instruments like keyboards and drum pads that can enhance recorded songs. These also are options when selecting wedding music.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to setting the soundtrack for a wedding. A band, DJ or combination thereof can make the occasion even more memorable.

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