Wedding Bands are great, but could be costly.
What are your other options?
Bands vs. DJs. A conversation that every engaged couple has debated at some point or another. Some have strong opinions one way or another. Statements like… “It must be a band. It’s so traditional and elegant.” Or, “We need a DJ, there isn’t a band that can play the variety music we want (especially within our budget).” But, what other couples do not realize is, in this case, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Be Bold… think outside the box and consider a hybrid situation.
This means a band and DJ combo.
Looking at this further, you can split the performance times. For example, you can hire a small band (or single musician) for ceremony and/or cocktail hour then have your DJ to cover the reception. But, what most couples rarely think about is a true hybrid situation where throughout the event live musician(s) plays along with the DJ. This is where the best of both worlds meet making your party stand out from others!
The hybrid scenario most commonly consists of one or more musicians including a drummer, saxophone player, violinist and/or keyboardists. These musicians perform in tandem with a DJ providing the overall music programming. The options are limitless! The challenge though is finding the right musicians. This is not a skill that just any high school band educated player can tackle. The successful musicians who work along side a DJ are professionals in this arena of entertainment. They must follow and study many genre’s of music and be able to work seamlessly with the DJ to transition from one song to another without any notice. The best are also experts in interacting with guests to help create a joyful and memorable event for everyone. In fact, the musicians may be in the middle of the dance floor jamming away with the guests. Without their knowledge, at anytime, the DJ can transition into a different track.
So if you wanted to explore this option, where do you begin? Well, first off… speak with your DJ and see if he or she has musicians they already work with regularly. Knowing they are experienced in this hybrid situation key. The musician and DJ already know how they “collaborate” together. Additionally, there is an element of technology involved. The DJ must bring the appropriate equipment to properly tie the musician’s microphone(s) and instruments into the full audio mix. See if your DJ can provide you with some audio samples or video from past events where they played together to show you exactly how this will play out at your event.
How does this all add up? The cost for a decent wedding band in the NY Metropolitan area including the demanding New Jersey market is a minimum of $5,000. Most good bands are $8,500 and up. And if you were considering a top band, expect to pay, around $15,000 plus. Compare this to a DJ. Like band, DJs range in price as well. Decent DJs will charge around $1,500 per wedding. Great DJs will start around $2,000. Often DJ’s offer “add-on’s” including photo booths, lighting, TVs, etc. While these may appear on a DJ’s package, they should not be used in comparing prices to a band (since the band is not providing those items). A live musician for a party though may range from $500-$1,500 or so per performer (based on their experience, the instrument they play, the length of time they are booked for, and the travel involved). Hypothetically, if you added two musicians to your wedding at the average of $1000 each on top of the cost of a great DJ, you are spending roughly $4,000 which is still lower than the decent band. We also know that most clients do not want to settle only for decent.
In closing, there are so many variables to consider in booking the entertainment for your big day. Regardless of you planning a wedding, bar/bat mitzvah, sweet 16 or corporate event I would strongly urge you to consider a DJ and band hybrid situation.
Sample wedding video with a saxophone and violinist with DJ:
Sample video showing various events with a percussionist and DJ: