By Jamie Rivera Published 02/05/2017 10:44:00 | Views: 680
Band, DJ or iPod?

You have chosen the colors, the reception site and the bridesmaids’ dresses… but something is still missing. How are you going to get your guests moving? We know how important music is for your reception – it’s the part that sets the mood and keeps guests going throughout the night.

There are a wide variety of ways to pump music into your reception, but making the best choice for you can be difficult.

The final choice will rely on your personal preference and budget restrictions, but we want to share our opinions on three popular choices a Band, DJ or iPod.

Zenura wedding images
  {photos by Zanera}


Before you start your search, make sure you know what kind of atmosphere you want to create. Do you want groups of people rocking out to Top 40 Hits, line dancing to country or swinging to big band sounds?  Ask bands for audio and video tapes so you can get a feel for their music.


Bands have a more dramatic presentation and they normally have unique personalities, which can give your reception a one-of-a-kind feel, or even fit in with a theme. Some bands specialize in certain styles that could emphasize your wedding theme. Whether you are having a Las Vegas themed wedding and want a band who only sings Elvis Presley songs or you want some cowboys to play at your western themed wedding – you can find a band to fit your style.

Normally a band’s energy is a great way to get people on the dance floor and even guests who aren’t dancing will be entertained by the show.


Many bands must be booked 3 or more months in advance, so if you’re a last minute bride, this option might not be the most realistic for your plans.

Make sure to consider the venue your reception will be at and whether it is suitable for the type of band you’re looking for. Some bands that are just starting out may not have the right equipment to play at your reception.


  {photos by auroramixer} 


Never be afraid to talk with a DJ about what he or she will play. You want your reception to be unique to you and your future spouse, so you should be able to request some specific songs and offer a “No Play List”.  A list can seem to be a little too much, but it actually helps give the DJ a good
idea of the music you like and it will give him a good excuse if a guest requests a song on your No Play List.


DJ prices are normally much lower than Band prices (think $500 compared to $2500) and they usually work in a smaller space.

DJs will usually have a plethora of music choices and should be able to play any song you’d like – whereas bands are limited to the songs they know. This also means a DJ will be more likely to accommodate song requests from guests.

DJs also ‘choreograph’ your reception. While a band can make necessary announcements and call attention for the cutting of the cake, most DJs are trained to do this at certain times throughout the evening.


An inexperienced DJ, or one who hasn’t been around as long, may not have as large of a music inventory as they tell you. This could mean you’re stuck listening to one genre all night.

It’s also possible that your DJ could turn off your guests. Just like a radio DJ can be annoying to some people, some guests might find your particular DJ trying. If you have any doubts about a DJ, don’t sign the contract.  

Ipod{left photo from yumsugar; right photo by mathieuthouvenin}



MP3 Players are growing in popularity as a way to get your guests on the dance floor.  
It can put a personal touch on your reception and will be a fun bonding project for you and your spouse-to-be during the days before your ceremony. 


While an MP3 player will save money, it cannot emcee the evening.  It will not be able to announce you and your wedding party nor will it be able to keep the reception activities.  If you choose to go with an MP3 Player instead of a band or DJ, consider which family member or friend will be willing to motivate people to dance and make your announcements – and where you will rent a microphone. 

Whatever option you choose, we suggest asking for recommendations from family and friends who have recently attended a wedding or large party. Sometimes the best ideas come from word of mouth!

Final Tip:

While your MP3 Player may not be a Master of Ceremonies, it can be a valuable back up plan.  Emergencies happen and having an MP3 Player or Wedding CD on hand is never a bad idea.  Just make sure your venue can play the music without any extra equipment.


By Jamie Rivera 02/05/2017 10:44:00

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