Dancing the night away with DJ… or a Band!

Coffee With Calluna

Thursday, May 27

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As we’re turning the corner in pandemic relief and subsequent lifting of restrictions of gathering and festivities, our hearts and spirits are in one place… on the dance floor. With the recent county-by-county improvements that get us closer to a pre-pandemic dance floor, we’re always chatting about what goes into the dance party of your dreams.

A big decision surrounding your big day can be whether to go with a live band or a DJ for your reception. We know everyone  wants their guests to have the best time possible and dance the night away, so the right music will play a big part of that! It really becomes the focal point of a reception!

Photos by Alp & Isle

This decision is totally personal and either route will be right for you and your partner on your special day. We’d encourage you to think about the vibe you are going for and what fits your personalities best! Are you and your guests more of an  energetic open-air performance kind of people or are you looking forward to a night of dancing to a mix of all your favorite songs? Here at team Calluna we believe that there are no rules or wrong answers (it’s YOUR wedding after all!), so we’re here to help break down some of the decision makers of either option.

Live Band 
An easy first win for this option – how can you be anything but happy listening to live music!?! A band will bring a personality and energy to an evening and they are experts in getting the party started. A band also looks really great in a reception space and can help tie together the whole room while also being really engaging for your guests. When considering a band, you will always want to make sure your reception space can hold a band as they can take up a decent amount of room. Especially as we’ve navigated a new world with social distancing, table counts, dance floor, stage and bars can quickly add up and fill the space. You can typically customize the size of your band to accomodate both space and budget (if a 12 piece second line doesn’t fit the bill, maybe a 6 piece group will!). Although bands might not have the same range of songs as a DJ, we can assure you, they know plenty. You band can perform everything from the classic oldies to some of recent favorites – many giving the option to their couples that they will learn 1-2 songs if it’s not already on their song list. We caution our clients to take an honest look at their budget when opting between these two musical options as a band will likely be a larger investment. Consider the true number of people, typically 6-10 musicians and at least one sound tech. Accounting for things like vendor meals, accommodations and travel are all costs to consider before signing your contract. That said, if entertainment is one of your wedding priorities, it’ll be a decision you’ll never regret!
The biggest plus with a DJ is there are really no limitations with songs they can play. From country to techno, a DJ has you covered. The breadth of music they can play is really limitless. Do you have a specific version of your first dance that you just can’t stop playing? There’s absolutely no guesswork in song selections and music curation with a DJ since they are playing the original tracks of the tunes you know and love! Extra points when a DJ starts mixing some classic favorites into a new mashup you’ve never heard, but with a nostalgia laced throughout. DJs are known to go longer without a formal break since their performance is more mixing and less of a dance and singing set – a pro for you because this allows for the party to really keep rolling on! This musical option is typically seen as more cost conscious as well – less let up, less people, smaller footprint etc. Your DJ most likely will take any song requests, or – pro tip – you can select the option to forgo requests or play certain genres or songs (if Cupid Shuffle is your jam, or isn’t!). We want to be sure both your Top-40-loving friends and rhythm-and-blues-singing family have the night of their lives. At the end of the day, the ease and versatility of a DJ is an argument for this option.

So what’s it going to be?! Tell us your feedback of where you’re leaning and why, and can’t wait to see you on the dance floor!!

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