A good entertainer is able to create an electric atmosphere and bring the whole audience together regardless of different musical tastes as everyone is “caught up in the moment”.
Some bands/singers will go out of their way to learn your favourite songs for the first dance and other moments during the evening.
Older guests will often prefer live music
DJs can play an extremely wide range of music including from other countries with no gaps between the songs.
Ego- Entertainers with oversized egos can really harm the atmosphere, especially when they think the night is about them rather than the couple getting married. DJs with an oversized ego sometimes have an attitude of only playing what they consider “cool music” and will try to “educate” your guests on what is acceptable music! and will ignore many requests they receive.
Bands that leave before the end- At weddings when there is a combination of a band and a DJ, the band will usually finish their last set an hour or so before the end of the night. They will then often start packing up the equipment while the DJ continues oblivious to the guests on the dance floor. At venues where there are doors to the side of the dancefloor that lead to the carpark/exit I have seen a few bands have the doors wide open for 30 minutes when it is freezing cold outside and completely killing the atmosphere and they’ve paid zero regard to the feelings of the guests. or they’ve carried all their equipment through the busy dance floor bumping into people. It can be a better idea to negotiate a deal with bands where they are paid to not pack up until the end of the night. This may cost extra but is often well worth the cost.
Sound check- Some bands (usually inexperienced bands or those with big egos) will do their sound check very loudly regardless of what else is happening, and sometimes this might be during speeches.
Inexperienced DJs- When an inexperienced DJ is booked (often this will be a very cheap DJ) they will not have sufficient music knowledge to entertain all the different ages that make up most weddings and they may only be knowledgeable in a very narrow area of music, which will frequently impact on the atmosphere.
Bands that have a DJ – Frequently what this actually means is that between the bands sets they play an iPod with a playlist put together. There isn’t an actual DJ playing music specifically for the guests at that wedding and/or responding to the music that is going down well/badly.
iPod Disco– A few venue owners have told me that at weddings where they didn’t have a band or DJ but instead used an iPod with a few playlists on it or playlists on Spotify that the party and atmosphere has usually been not great and sometimes terrible to the point where many guests left early because of the non-existant atmosphere (Nb: You may think that this is just a DJ trying to put people off trying such an option in order to persuade people to book a DJ! It really isn’t because any couple that was thinking of using such an option would certainly not be considering booking me)
Volume – Some bands play at very loud volume levels that can be very uncomfortable for older guests. However there are also some DJs who seem unable to play at a level appropriate to the audience they have.
Gaps between songs – There are bands that seem unaware of how long they have silence between their tracks which can really bring down the atmosphere.