In recent years, more and more couples are opting for a DJ-only experience for their wedding receptions. One of the reasons behind this trend may be that almost all wedding bands tend to play the same set of music. If the band play a waltz, you can put money on hearing "Delilah", "Amore" and "Red Rose Café". Yet, the majority of those hoping for the unlikely chance of a real Irish waltz would prefer to hear "Galway Bay" or "The Mountains of Mourne".
It gets worse; wait for "Freed From Desire" or "Maniac 2000". WHY??? These are dance classics that the DJ will have to play again and may show the band in a poor light as only the original can transport you back to your youth (you had to be there). Furthermore, as the band tries to get a good finish with these songs and the DJ has maybe just 90 minutes playing time, they're going to be repeated within a short time. Bands offering a "Free" DJ will tell couples that one of the benefits of booking a band and DJ together is you won't get songs being repeated. Maybe that's why couples are then disappointed with their choice of DJ. As a wedding DJ, you MUST play certain dance classics as the guests want the original, whether the band have attempted them or not.
Rather than imitating everybody else, bands could focus on developing a unique sound and playlist, and adding an entertainment element to their performance. This approach was popular amongst big dance hall bands in the 70s & 80s, who all had different sets and distinctive sounds. The "Frontman/woman" was vital and was always a great showman/woman. I know a few wedding bands who have mastered this and they are the bands who rock any wedding.
While some couples still appreciate the energy and live performance of a wedding band, many are choosing the reliability and variety of a skilled wedding DJ, playing all the originals. With a DJ, the music is curated to the couple's taste and can be adjusted to fit the mood of the reception.
As a wedding DJ myself, I still think a good wedding band followed by a separate professional wedding DJ, is a great way to celebrate your special day. Ultimately, the decision between a band or DJ will depend on the couple's preferences, but it's clear that a DJ-only experience has become an increasingly popular choice for modern weddings. All I'm saying is look for uniqueness!