Should I hire a live band, a DJ, or both for my wedding?

Regardless of who is playing it, music is absolutely essential to any wedding. Since the dawn of time, man has paired music with festivities, and for a good reason: music is the universal language, as it brings people together to dance, relax, and revel in a joyful atmosphere. This might explain why choosing between who you’d prefer to provide your wedding music can be quite intimidating–if you want to get one thing right, it’s the music. There are benefits and drawbacks to hiring live bands and DJs alike, and arguments for and against having a combination of the two–yes, it’s totally possible and is done often!

wedding dj professional

The benefits of hiring a professional DJ for your wedding

Alright then, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. We’ll start by talking about some of the reasons you might want to have a DJ be the primary source of your music.


The number one reason you should have a DJ play your wedding? Flexibility, or versatility. DJs have something that live bands don’t: a vast and diverse music library that can easily be expanded, thanks to the internet. This means that if you want to give your guests the immense satisfaction of having their requests played, a DJ will be a true crowd pleaser, and there will be few, if any limits on what we can put on your custom playlist. A live band, on the other hand, is often limited to the genre of music of their specialty, and cannot take all requests nor do they always have time to learn new songs by heart before the wedding.



The fact of the matter is that DJs are more affordable than live bands. Think about it this way: with a DJ you’re only paying one person, versus say a four or even ten piece band, and everyone needs to eat (both metaphorically and literally). We will get to why the price of live bands can be worth it in the next section, but for now let’s focus on how much bang for your buck you get with a DJ. Price-wise, hiring a wedding DJ is an efficient and affordable way to cover your ceremony music, special dances, and reception plus cocktail area music, not to mention you have a built-in MC to keep your event moving, all for the price of one! Whereas a live band would likely play just one section of your wedding.



You will have to take multiple steps to ensure that a live band will fit into the space you’re renting out, in addition to checking that there’s enough wattage/power supply to support multiple amps and speakers. The last thing you want is a power surge to crash the middle of your party. With a DJ, this is rarely an issue. Our compact, sleek, one-person setup will work at pretty much any venue, and can easily be generator-powered

live wedding band on stage

The benefits of having a live band play your wedding

DJs are a great option, but there are also plenty of perfectly good reasons to go with a live band instead.


It’s hard to beat the excitement of seeing a live band play. There’s something that digital music simply can’t capture that live music can, and somewhat accounts for the reason computers haven’t completely replaced guitars already. If you want some nice background music, hire a DJ. But if you yearn to dance your pants off to the live thump of a bass drum and the soaring treble of a trumpet, it’s time to open your wallet and bite the bullet.



If you want to stick to a certain genre rather than prioritize song requests, a live band is the way to go, especially if you pick one that is great at what they do. Maybe they’re a 70s-style classic rock cover band, or highly skilled jazz musicians with a vast catalog of classy, swingin’ instrumentals. Either way, live bands can really transport their audience into a different place or time period.

wedding band on stage lights

The argument for both

People often assume that hiring a live musician for their wedding means they won't be needing a local DJ, but that is not the case–it’s often ideal to have both. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need a DJ for music, but that a local DJ is crucial for providing mics, audio, and technical support throughout the event. Additionally, even live musicians will require certain equipment (speakers, mics) that they might not be able to provide themselves. Lastly, having a DJ is critical to keeping a wedding organized–in between events, they may use the mic to direct people to a certain area, i.e. getting seated before the ceremony or dismissing tables to line up for dinner.

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All About DJ Cutt Entertainment

We are a full-service entertainment company in Portland that provides its clients with top-quality service and leaves them feeling like they made the right decision in choosing us. With our wide range of services, we strive to meet your needs and exceed your expectations. We have extensive experience in DJing, videography, and live streaming, as well as other aspects of live events such as lighting design, sound engineering, and more!

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