Should you Have a Live Band, DJ, or Spotify Playlist?

By Find A Band and

Should you book a band, DJ or just use Spotify for your wedding reception? A DJ can cover every musical genre - pop, dance, hip hop and more. Nothing beats the atmosphere of a live band, but they can be costly. And if your budget is already stretched, you might consider using Spotify through a sound system – but is it really worth the risk?

The Live Band

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Image sourced from Findaband

The magic of a great live band is difficult to overstate. A band with a great song list and experience with weddings will get the guests dancing from the very first song, and will make for an unforgettable night. While it's true that a really great DJ can fill a dance floor and they can play every style, there's nothing quite like having the musicians right there in the room rocking the house. A great band can cost anywhere from $1500 to $5000 and can add significant expense to your wedding but will also ensure your big day ends with a bang. Other options such as string quartets or acoustic guitarists during your ceremony can make for a truly magical moment you will remember forever.

If you decide to go with a great live band, we recommend checking out the following artists:

Kid Radio

If you love those 80s, 90s, and 2000s jams, Kid Radio is the band. With dual vocalists Sam and Mal, you'll have non-stop dancefloor filling action all night.


For a mix of pop, funk, and soul, Pepperjacks could be the right band for you. Lead vocalist Clo Chaperon is a force to be reckoned with on stage and is ably backed by a stonking 7 piece band.


Blue Steel

If you need solid gold, you need Blue Steel. We're talking Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, and The Eagles played by a rocking 5 piece band with 10+ years together.


Mister Speaker

NZ's closest thing to James Brown is Mister Speaker frontman Tane Tari. If you can't imagine your wedding day as anything less than a 9 piece funk and soul experience, then get Tane and his massive, devastating gang of funk disciples 


The Pickups

If Prince, Bowie, and Michael Jackson are more what you want from your band, you need to check out The Pickups.

The DJ

A DJ is a great 'in-between' option - generally speaking, they will be cheaper than a band but a bit more expensive than an iPod playing through a hired sound system. The benefits of a great DJ are that they have thousands of songs at their fingertips, will mix the songs together (no quiet bits between songs) will maintain a good tempo (speed of the beat) for dancing and will read the room and the guests to ensure the songs being played fit the mood and style of the wedding party.  DJs range in price from $600 - $2000.

If a DJ is the right choice for your wedding, check out our recommended artists below.


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Images sourced for Empire Agency

Andy’s extensive DJ experience over the past 15 years means nothing fazes him. Andy’s genres of choice are hip hop, pop, classics, house, soul, and funk but he’ll do whatever it takes to make the dancefloor work. Andy has performed at countless weddings as well as many late night bookings at clubs in New Zealand, Australia, and Bali.


dj, entertainment, wedding, reception

DIMPRI (aka sisters Dimple & Priya) are originally from the UK, and hold an eclectic taste that is inspired by the music their parents used to play at family gatherings and social events. Expect a healthy dose of 90’s UK house & garage, disco classics, and an injection of 90’s RnB & hip-hop. If you're looking for something completely different to the usual wedding DJ thing, these are your girls.


wedding, reception, entertainment, dj

Performing since 2008, Cade has a deep love of classic old school songs from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. At the same time, he is adept at moving between genres as diverse as top 40 house, disco, RnB, and hip-hop but he is flexible enough for any event. Cade’s 10 years experience in weddings means he is highly professional, well presented and experienced.


dj, wedding, reception, entertainment, music, playlist

DJ Kieran Bell is a highly experienced DJ across multiple genres. He offers state of the art sound systems & custom lighting systems. Kieran is a highly enthusiastic, skilled, client-focused DJ. He can also MC if required. Kieran is passionate about creating incredible nights for wedding clients and uses his experience to play the right music at the right time.

DJ ZACH martin

live, wedding, entertainment, dj, reception

With a library spanning everything from hip-hop to house to 70s and 80s bangers, Zach will make your dancefloor pump. With regular sets at Auckland's top bars and clubs, as well as countless bookings at weddings, private functions, and events Zach is constantly working to provide the best possible experience for his audience.


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Image by Raw Pixel

Spotify has meant that it's now simple enough for a couple getting married to put together playlists, hire some speakers and have their favourite music playing all day and night long. While this is the cheapest option, it can be a bit hit and miss. The music you love may not be an ideal fit for your wedding party, and more importantly, your guests may feel inclined to choose their own favourites after they've had a few drinks (or maybe a lot of drinks).  It's common at "Spotify weddings" to hear 20 seconds of a song before the skip button gets pushed and a new song starts. Hiring speakers will typically set you back $200 - $500.

What works for one wedding may not be quite right for another, and of course, one must also consider the budget. Think carefully about your personal style and the "image" you want for your big day. In any case, think carefully, because along with the food and alcohol, the music can make or break your wedding day. Dancing the night away at your reception is a memory you and your guests will treasure forever and it is a great way to bring you special day to a close. 

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