How to Plan Music for Your Event


Dancing couples on dance floor in front of DJ booth

Function Planning 101:  How to Plan Music for Your Event …

Your choice of music can make a big impact on your event, creating an almost tangible atmosphere and even affecting the pace of proceedings.

You may even need to select music for different stages of your event. For example, softer ambient tracks for the dining side of your function, allowing people to easily converse, and then more lively and fun tunes to get people dancing and mingling.

When selecting music, consider whether you have the capacity for a live music act, in terms of both space and budget.

You can then think about the style and genre of music being played, considering your event’s audience and factors such as age group – music is obviously a very personal and individual taste, but try and find artists who will appeal to as high a percentage of your attendees as possible. Cater to your crowd!

Hiring a Band

Before you go ahead and book a band for your wedding or function, let’s first look at the pros and cons.


Having a band gives you the dynamics of a live performance. It’s a traditional choice, guaranteed to set a definite tone for your reception. Just make sure it’s the right tone for your audience.

From big band glamour to surf band funk, there’s a band out there to suit your personality and function theme.

Another huge advantage of having a band is that you can dance to a live rendition of your all-time favourite song for the first dance at your wedding.

Your guests will also be able to give requests all day or night, keeping them happy and on the dance floor. With the right people on stage, things will never get dull or boring with a band.


A band will obviously take up considerably more space than a DJ or sound system. So that 10-piece swing band you’ve been dreaming about may not be such a practical option.

The loud volume of some bands can also easily overpower a small venue. If you’re unsure, check with your venue’s event coordinator – they’ll be able to provide you with expert advice on the venue size and suitability.

A second point to consider is how your band plan to handle breaks, as some will use filler music during this time. Booking a band can be costly, so find out as much as you can about their repertoire and style, including length of set times.

Hiring a DJ

As an alternative option to a live band, you may consider hiring a DJ – someone who will set up sound equipment and play tracks through the venue’s speakers.


A good DJ can be worth every cent, if they’re experienced and artists of their craft they can keep the momentum of a function going in the same way that a good front person of a band can.

Your DJ should be able to gauge your crowd and know what style of music is working and what is not, adapting to suit their audience.

They can also take requests and may have a broader base to choose tracks from than some live musicians.


A solo DJ can lack the heart and soul of a full live band. Depending on your personal beliefs and tastes, a DJ can be considered less exciting than watching musicians on stage with their instruments.

Perhaps you can ask your venue’s event coordinator for some names of live acts and DJs that have worked well for them in the past? Whether it’s your wedding, engagement party or work function, getting the music right will be essential to the success of your special day or night.

Speak to our experienced event coordinators at Doyles Bridge Hotel today.