Wedding Band, DJ... or Dueling Pianos? - 8/25/2016
YES! You have options! That is the good news!
Now, you have to decide. Why not just hire them all? That could get pricey and might exceed your budget. So let's compare the options of each in case you must decide.
First, dueling pianos. Dueling Pianos is an entertainment option that is becoming popular for Weddings due to its versatility and fun and lively nature. The piano entertainers should be able to perform the guests' song requests and be able to create the dancing energy usually preferred at Weddings. The piano entertainers can also provide ceremony music and cocktail hour music. For versatility and "something for everyone", dueling pianos entertainment is the way to go. For longer receptions, you might be able to contract the entertainers to perform some DJ service as well. Just make sure your dueling pianos vendor does not sell you dueling "keyboards", unless you agree on that - you'll want a nicer visual presentation at the reception than just keyboards on simple stands.
Next, the Wedding Band. Live music is often preferred at weddings because, well, it's LIVE! There is a more personable feel to live music. Unlike dueling pianos, a live Wedding Band will be less versatile, not because they will not be good musicians, but more likely because it's harder for a multi-piece band to improvise a show - it needs to be more scripted. Some bands might cover a wide range of styles and eras, and other bands might be more of a specialty act performing just one style or even a tribute band that covers only one artist's songs. Or they may be an original band! In any case, you may need to plan a playlist with the band so you know what they'll be playing and that it suits the type of experience you're hoping to create.
Lastly, DJ's. Some people see DJ's as more of a safe bet and a more economical choice. Of course, DJ's are hired very commonly for Weddings for these reasons. Perhaps most importantly, a good DJ will play all of the music you want played. DJ's might vary in price, but they will usually be less expensive than live entertainment, most typically because there are fewer entertainers involved.
For any of these options, you should be as familiar as possible with what experience the entertainer has with entertaining at Weddings. Weddings come with details and responsibilities that are unique from other types of events, including MC'ing duties and agenda planning. You should probably also expect to compensate entertainers for their experience with Weddings - or you could take a chance with an entertainer with little Wedding experience and save some money in the process.