What ever happened to live music? These days, wedding receptions seem to be dominated by DJs and MP3s. There are benefits from each of these methods of providing music for guests, but depending on the size of your venue and the number of people attending, a live band may be a significantly better fit. If you're currently planning your wedding, consider these top ten reasons for hiring a live band.

10. Entertainment. A live performance by talented musicians definitely provides a higher level of entertainment than a man playing the "chicken dance" behind a set of speakers.

8. Family oriented. It is fairly easy to find a group that will play a set list of songs specified by the bride and groom. This allows for family input, and a wide array of music can be listed. Furthermore, relatives that grew up listening to live bands at dances and weddings will thoroughly enjoy once again seeing this type of entertainment.

7. Personal interaction. Bands can make songs much more interactive than DJs by repeating or lengthening choruses, cutting or adding verses, and asking for audience participation. This is a great way to keep guests involved and enjoying the reception.

6. Atmosphere. Overall, the atmosphere is more enjoyable with live performers. People tend to loosen up and enjoy themselves. Many individuals despise the newer music that DJs play, and by hiring a live band, hip-hop can easily be eliminated from the evening's repertoire.

5. Sound quality. Bands that play for weddings have experience in the music industry and therefore know how to sound great. If any problems with the sound levels occur, they know how to instantly fix it. Live music tends to sound better than many recordings, and with adequate notice bands can learn and provide unique songs that some DJs may not have in their music bank.

4. Variability. If you hire a DJ, you cannot have the characteristics that a live band presents; however, if you hire a live band, you can always request that they bring a set-up which will allow for MP3 players to be plugged in. This way, you can have the band play a set of songs, and then play MP3s while they take a break. You can also have the "first" dances for the bride and groom etc. played by an MP3 if you'd prefer, giving you the best of both worlds.

3.Value. Many DJs these days charge a significant fee to provide music for a reception. Oftentimes, if you search carefully you can find live bands that are extremely talented and cost nearly the same amount! With live performers you're definitely getting more value per dollar.

2. Authenticity. Let's face it, hiring a DJ to provide music for a wedding reception is the norm in today's society. If you find a talented live band, the reception will suddenly become unique, and even better, memorable. Hiring a band to play for your event will set you apart from other receptions, causing guests to remember your special day for years to come.

1. Fun. The number one reason, which is obviously important, is fun! Guests tend to have more fun at events where there is an exciting, authentic, family oriented (drawing on the previous benefits of a live band) atmosphere. Who doesn't want their wedding to be remembered as one of the most fun that people have attended?

The decision is ultimately a personal preference. It is certain that some individuals will always prefer DJs to live bands, but if these characteristics of a wedding reception with a live band sound intriguing and desirable to you, consider hiring one for your big day!