Wedding music – big bands vs DJ

A DJ at work

It’s a question as old as time itself – well, the invention of the PA system at least – whether to opt for a DJ or go all out with a big band on your big day. While bands are great for atmosphere, aesthetics and impact; DJs are included with your booking with us, so they might be a much better and more flexible option. Of course, you are welcome to book a band to play a selection of romantic tracks; before the DJ comes in and gets the party started.

With neither option standing head and shoulders over the other, it always comes down to personal preference. To help you decide whether to go for a live band in addition to a well-known DJ, here are a few things to think about before booking that all-important wedding entertainment.


First, to the practicalities. Some venues are simply not big enough to accommodate big bands and large pieces of audio equipment. If you’ve already chosen your venue, check the dimensions of the performance area to see if a live band would be possible, if not, the decision may well have been made for you. If you’re yet to decide on a venue, opt for a space with a large event area like Clearwell Castle to give yourself as many options as possible.


Next, you’ll need to decide what sort of atmosphere you want at your reception. Like Bridal Guide Magazine says, “Having a band gives you the dynamics of a live performance. It’s traditional and distinctive, and the band you choose can do wonders to set the tone for your reception”. However, a charismatic DJ coming after the band will be able to fill the dancefloor and create a great atmosphere, so make sure you meet your prospective record spinner before deciding on your entertainment.


Sometimes, the entertainment you choose is dictated by the theme and the style of your wedding. For example, if you’ve chosen a vintage or retro theme, instruct your DJ to play fitting songs, such as oldies or country. If you’ve opted for a sleek and stylish contemporary look, the DJ’s selection might have to be entirely different, perhaps including dance and the latest beach chill out hits.

A guitarist playing at a wedding


Though a big band is guaranteed to create a fantastic atmosphere and a bit of a spectacle at your wedding, they’ll often stick to just one genre throughout the evening, something that can be an issue if your guests have eclectic tastes. With us you get a DJ included with your booking, who can play any track available to them and their playlist can be carefully customised to suit your tastes. If you’re set on having a big band but want to ensure they play your favourite songs, hire a band that takes requests and send them a few ‘must plays’ in advance.


Hiring one person is always going to be more affordable than hiring a group of performers.

Booking with us, you can have a band to introduce the dances. The bride can dance with her father, and the bridegroom can dance together to a selection of classical and romantic hits. Afterwards, booking with us you will get a DJ included in the price of the venue hire, who could take over after the band have finished playing.

To find out more about large event spaces and unbeatable venues, explore our site today.

If you have any questions relating to having your wedding at Clearwell Castle, please don't hesitate to call Charlotte via the contact details below:


T: 01594 832 320

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