Whilst relatively new to blogging I’m very aware that I shouldn’t really turn it into a regular rant about why you need to book my services and forget everybody else. Not only does this not look good, my boasting claims would come across as arrogance along with a self inflated narcissistic ego. This is definitely not a look I’m going for.
I am however going to use this blog to educate or raise awareness of things that happen in my industry that other couples might not think about, or help people see things from a different perspective.
One of the things I’d like to write about is wedding bands offering to DJ at your wedding, as opposed to you hiring a separate DJ.
What are the real pros and cons of letting your wedding band DJ for you after they have finished the standard 2 hr band gig?
I suppose different people will place value on different things with this one. Some people may like that the band have solved two problems for them supplying the live music and also the disco afterwards. Couples may also like that it simplifies the process of the evening reception, the band sets up at the start of the evening and the stage will remain the same throughout the evening. Nobody else will be coming in to set up equipment and there won’t be a break in the music whilst the change over from band to DJ is made. The band may also be able to quote cheaper than what a DJ is charging as they are already there, with everything set up, and to DJ afterwards doesn’t involve any more work than just remaining at your wedding for a longer period of time.
No bands are supplying a DJ service for free of course, with all of them you’re paying for it included in the price you’ve been quoted. How much are you paying for their DJ service? This is a question worth asking. In my experience it can range anything from £200 – 350 extra that you will be paying as opposed to them finishing the live music, packing up and going home. What they charge is often the same or slightly less than you would pay to hire a proper wedding DJ. Many couples will want to see their band perform before booking them, of course they do: it lets them judge the quality of the band and also gives a visual of how the bands set up on stage looks. I often have couples that ask to come and see my disco in action at a wedding. A request I have no problem in accommodating providing the couple on the day in question don’t mind. Have you ever considered also asking to see how the bands DJ service afterwards is supplied? Or how it looks in comparison to their live set? My guess is not many if any couples ever do this. Why? After all it’s just somebody playing music right?
If this is your opinion of what a mobile disco is then its going to be hard to convince you otherwise. But take a moment to consider my view.
Bands supplying your disco generally don’t give the work away to an independent wedding DJ. Why would they? They’ve secured the booking, all their equipment is already there, it’s an easy extra 2 or 3 hours for only one of them to play music off an iPad.
Something else to consider is this: I can guarantee that when 99% of bands finish their live set and begin to DJ, none of their lighting on the stage will change, in fact visually there will be no difference at all except 1 or 2 band members will leave the stage and 1 will remain to play the music. In my experience watching bands at weddings, “disco” style lights are not something many of them use. Some of them uplight themselves on stage, or possibly the dance floor with simple colour wash par cans. This is generally as complicated as band lighting will go. They certainly don’t go to the trouble of adding extra lighting to the stage to give your evening reception a noticeable change, or to let all your guests see visually that the band is now finished and it’s time to start the evening disco. Bands won’t purchase “nightclub” style lighting, what I mean by that is expensive moving head beams, or lasers. Why? Because it doesn’t work or look very well with a live performance. This same rule also applies to band stage lighting being used to provide a evening disco. Simple colour washes on the dance floor just don’t have that exciting nightclub feel. They’re happy to charge you for supplying a DJ or disco for your wedding, but won’t supply the look or feel of a proper wedding disco by changing their set up on stage. Again none of this might matter to you, lights are lights and somebody playing music is the same as anybody else playing music. Right?
Another aspect is who is doing the DJing? A roadie? The bass player? Whoever is doing it, it is certainly not going to be their first profession. It will be very much a side line for that person. Are they good at interacting with the crowd on a microphone? Or even reading the crowd on the dance floor? Will they have enough music to make do for a few hours or will they have an entire music library, able to take any request your guests might throw at them?
What I’m trying to emphasize here is your evening entertainment at your wedding should have 2 clear parts: your live band and then your evening party disco and DJ. These are two very different elements for your evening reception. If keeping the two performances separate isn’t important to you, or having a physical and visual change in your evening entertainment at your wedding doesn’t really bother you then by all means let your band provide your disco for you.
However if the things I’ve mentioned here are important aspects of what you feel the biggest party of your life should be, then please book a professional DJ to perform at your wedding. There are many good wedding DJs out there and regardless of who you choose, it will beat a band trying to muddle through it every time.
Show me a band that will invest in additional equipment, change their set up on stage to allow for a professional modern disco appearance, employ a skilled and experienced DJ and treat your evening disco with the importance it should get and I’ll tell you to book them!
Again this is my own personal opinion, and experience of seeing bands provide a disco at weddings. You may agree or you may not agree, hopefully some couples reading this will be better informed and now be able to look at this from a new perspective.
If you want your day to end on a high – hire a professional DJ