Wedding Music, DJs and Live Bands in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Greensboro
Music can make or break your wedding! A lot of people don’t realize how much sound plays into the flow of the day. If you hire a NC wedding DJ, they handle everything from the sound system at the ceremony – so everyone can hear your vows – to announcing the wedding party and newly-wed entrances, to cuing the first dance just at the right moment, to keeping your guests on the dance floor all night long! If you prefer live musicians for your NC wedding, they play a part in each of these moments, too. Whether it’s a band or DJ, they’ll work with your wedding planner to smoothly transition each part of the event.
But how do you even decide if you want a wedding DJ, band or string quartet – or all of the above? As the wedding guide here in the heart of North Carolina, we have some great recommendations for Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro wedding DJs, live musicians such as harpists and violinists, as well as music booking agencies. With the help of their expertise, we’re pleased to share this guide to wedding music!
When Should I Book My Wedding Music?
It’s ideal to plan your wedding music a good 8-10 months ahead of your wedding. In fact, some popular DJs book a year in advance on peak months.
How Much Do Wedding DJs and Musicians Cost?
Check out our Wedding Budget Breakdown blog for a rundown on total wedding costs.
Professional DJs in the Raleigh area start at about $2,000 and can go up to $6,000 with add-ons.
Middle-tier DJs start around $1,000 and lower-tier DJs charge about $200 to $400 per hour.
Live bands cost an average of $3,000 to $7,000.
It’s important to note that the cost of hiring a professional musician or DJ also covers the cost of equipment.
Should I Hire a DJ, a Band, or Both?
There’s no end to the advantages you’ll gain from a professional wedding DJ or band, who knows how to read the crowd and keep the party going.
The Case for the Wedding DJ
We all know what it is like to dance to a live DJ. It keeps the party going! Having a professional wedding DJ onboard for your Raleigh wedding means having someone who is able to carry the bulk of your wedding day. Often, your DJ is responsible for music during both the ceremony and the reception. Also, they typically serve as emcee of the wedding. That means making introductions, and keeping your timeline flowing. And of course, a true Raleigh DJ pro will get the guests on the dance floor, and keep them there. From the first dance to the last, we want your wedding to rock.
The Case for the Live Wedding Band
The energy of a live band is truly something special – and many couples can’t imagine their wedding without it. Sourcing a local band can be challenging and we advise doing this with care. It’s important to hire not just any band, but one that is experienced with weddings. This is especially important if you don’t also have a DJ. Professional wedding bands know how to work the crowd and have set lists that please all ages and styles. Another thing to note – bar bands are not used to making announcements. A great way to approach this task is to work with a music booking agency. They’ll be able to guide you to a perfect match for your wedding day. They can also help find live musicians for the serene parts of your wedding day!
Planning Your NC Wedding Day Music
If you hire a wedding DJ, they will have a package that includes music and sound needs for the ceremony. You’ll likely need microphones for the readings and vows.
Whether you have a DJ on hand or not, many couples choose to have live music at their wedding. This could be a stringed quartet, a harpist, or individual singers. There’s just something about live music that elevates the romance!
Cocktail Hour and Dinner Music
While the wedding party is taking photos, guests enter the reception to mix and mingle and often share a drink or light bites. Whatever music you choose for this time can continue into dinner if you’d like. Your DJ can cover the music for this time period – and they can also make announcements regarding the flow from one to the other. We always love the idea of a live band for this time. Consider a solo guitarist, string quartet, or even a bluegrass band for this part of the wedding. Since it’s only an hour it will be a reasonable add-on, and gives a great extra touch!
Reception Music – Post-Dinner Dancing
This is the main event! Whether you hire a DJ or a big wedding band, this is going to define the experience of the dance floor.
Music for the Entire Wedding Weekend
Music is one of the most important elements of not just your wedding day, but your entire wedding weekend experience. As you explore, think about ways to incorporate music into your welcome party, rehearsal dinner and welcome/farewell brunches.
There’s no reason to stop at music to entertain your guests. Visit our Entertainment Guide for more fun ideas!
Raleigh NC Wedding DJ, Live Music, Wedding Bands and Entertainment in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill & Cary, NC
We have a small but mighty list of DJs, wedding musicians and booking agencies. As the region’s local wedding planning guide, we personally know each of the vendors on this page. We experience their music and entertainment services at local wedding events in Raleigh. We work with them on our OWN parties, too! Please, check out each one of our recommended NC wedding music vendors.