The question that every bride and groom must answer is this: Wedding DJ or wedding band? If you aren't getting married anywhere near a big city, the answer may be clear. In less densely populated areas, you'll find more wedding disc jockeys and fewer wedding bands, simply because demand for the latter won't be as high. If, on the other hand, you live in New York or Boston or some other musically inclined metropolis, you'll probably have a ton of wedding entertainment options to choose from!
Oh boy, another decision to make... To make it easier, let's lay out some pros and cons. A wedding disc jockey is less expensive, able to play selections by original artists, generally does not take up much space, and travels just as far as a wedding band. On the other hand, people who make a living studying, writing, singing, recording, and performing music are more apt to have a better foundation of music presentation.
But selecting a wedding band can be a frustrating and time consuming process -- just ask some of your married friends who opted for bands over DJs.
Videos of live performances can sometimes be helpful, but you should know that 99% of them are lip-synched and are seldom a true representation. People also tend to hear with their eyes and not focus on the music. After the fifth video the eyes can get a bit blurred from all those tuxedos. A very basic band video costs about $5,000 to produce and can quickly become outdated depending on its content of current music selections. With a CD you can really hear the care that a band puts into their product. You can listen to it in many different situations, and if it's any good, you should hear a wide range of material. If a demo has a great variety of songs sung well by different people and features decent horn playing, guitar work and strong background vocals you are headed in the right direction. Having an excellent song list is also a good indicator that can help in the selection process.
If you find a wedding band that you think is the one for you, and are having a Saturday evening reception on a popular wedding date, don't put off hiring them. There is a very high likelihood that others are inquiring about the same date, unless your wedding falls between January and the end of March. Bands generally can't "hold" these dates due to the high number of Saturday calls they get. It is very normal to book a band with a good name from a promotional package instead of risking waiting for the perfect opportunity to see them live.
Click to read more about choosing wedding entertainment