Should you have a live band or a DJ at your wedding?

Should you have a live band or a DJ at your wedding?

Music is one of the important parts of your wedding reception, because people come together on the dance floor. It’s the music that truly has the power to make or break the wedding reception so choosing what should be played at your wedding is a big decision to make.

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference and costs, so here’s a look at the pros and cons of a live wedding band or DJ.

A live band 

In South Africa, a live band at a private function like a wedding costs roughly R 12 000 to R30 000. Prices vary based on your location and other factors, like the size of the band.


– Live song requests – people and the couple can ask the band to play their favourite songs

– It is more personal than a DJ

– It appeals to younger and older guests

– You and your guests will experience the pleasure of a live performance


– The big disadvantage of hiring a band is that they tend to be a tad expensive

– Bands also take up more space than a DJ

– The travelling cost and accommodation might be your responsibility if the band is not local

– A band might have one genre of music throughout


Private function DJs can cost anywhere between R6500 to R12 000, while celebrity DJ prices range from R20 000 to R45 000. Plenty of couples hire a wedding DJ and prefer the diversity of music over a live band.


– A DJ can play different genres of music to appeal to a larger crowd

– They don’t require much space to set up

– They are usually local unless you want a celeb DJ


– Your wedding reception lives and dies depending on the DJ

– Since DJ equipment is usually a bit more “techy” it comes with a lot of wires – and sometimes it can look a little messy

– The equipment could crash and that would be the end of music and the vibe it brings

Some people prefer to have both, a DJ and a live band, to cater to everyone. The band is usually reserved for the romantic first dance. If this is the kind of vibe you want, then you should look into the cost of it all.

Pictures: Unsplash

Article written by