iPod Wedding

I had heard of people using iPods as their DJ for their wedding reception, but I had never seen it in practice until the wedding Mr Corn and I attended in Seattle last weekend. (pictures courtesy of Google Images)


When we arrived at the reception, I noticed right away that there wasn’t a DJ or a band, but it didn’t dawn on me that it was an iPod until after dinner was halfway over. Since the music during dinner is traditionally low key, I assumed that it was being piped through the sound system at the venue.

Once the party got into gear, however, it was pretty evident that the biggest downfall from an iPod DJ is that the songs all play all the way until the very last second, which sometimes leads to some awkward timing on the dance floor. But I would say, considering how much money the couple saved by doing this, I really think the benefits outweighed the cons.

However, there is one caveat to that statement. This couple was pretty young, lower to mid 20’s, and their friends were all young. The iPod fit in perfectly with the young crowd’s vibe and none of them seemed to give the awkward silences between selections much thought. I would think that if an older couple tried this, or if the wedding was considerably more formal, than it wouldn’t be so easy to get away with. Which basically means that like so many things with wedding planning, it really should be decided on a case by case basis.

What are your thoughts on the iPod wedding reception trend?


Mrs. Corn

Newport, RI
Wedding Date:
September 2015
I Want Candy!
Mucho, Gusto!
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  1. Member
    amysue 1492 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:22 pm

    We’re going to do it. I’ve been to a few weddings now where it’s worked out well and many, many more where awful DJs have ruined the atmosphere. (There’s actually a way to format iTunes playback so one song fades into another; that will eliminate those awkward pauses).

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    rzblna, Guest @ 5:30 pm

    I want to do it, but can’t quite figure out how. If someone wants to do a tutorial (hint, hint)…

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    nashgirl, Guest @ 5:30 pm

    We used a laptop with itunes… basically the same idea as using the ipod. We loved it…. people could put together their own playlists, music could easily be changed to suit the mood/what was going on at the time, and best of all…. FREEEEE!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    kgr, Guest @ 5:39 pm

    We used an ipod and formatted the songs to fade into one another. We rented speakers from a local company and it worked out great. We had playlists for everything – pre-ceremony, processional, recessional, cocktails and dancing. We had people on the dance floor all night and we are ancient at the ripe old age of 33. We also rented a microphone for the toasts. I cannot recommend this highly enough. It was a huge savings, we didn’t have to worry about an out of control DJ, we chose all of our songs and there wasn’t one song I didn’t like. One recommendation – set aside a LARGE amount of time to put these playlists together. We spent almost every night for a week working on them – but then again, we were pretty OCD. :-) Good grief, three comments on three posts in one day. I’m not getting any work done today!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Laura S, Guest @ 5:40 pm

    We were going to do this until finally after watching us agonize over where to cut in our budget to allow for a DJ or just DIY the whole thing, my fiance’s parents decided to pay for a DJ for us. I was having some major control issues and wanted a DJ because I was terrified one of my fiance’s friends who was charged with taking care of the playlist would screw up at some vital moment like play the wrong song for our first dance. But my fiance had finally convinced me to go the iPod (or actually, laptop) route… but I was still a little bit reluctant and was very glad when we got some more money to cover the DJ cost.

    Has anyone who has done a DIY music reception had any problems? Or was I just being paranoid?

  6. Member
    annieoakley 9 posts, Newbee @ 5:41 pm

    I got married a month ago and while I’m not an ‘old lady’ I’m certainly not your fresh twenty something bride (more like late thirtysomething). We opted for no DJ or band and went with the iPod and the Groom’s brother as an Emcee and it was a great decision for us. My now husband and I are obsessed with music and he spent most of his wedding planning time cleverly crafting what had to be one of the best dance lists of all time, especially if you grew up in the 80’s and enjoy everything from punk to electronica to old U2 and REM. Actually, all of our guests, young and old, were kicking it on the dance floor and so many people have begged him for the playlist as a result. It takes some work, but if you are motivated, it can be a great way to personalize the party. His brother was hilarious, especially when right before we cut the cake he did a Bob Saget style segment with the kids asking them how they felt about cake.

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    ChicagoSarah, Guest @ 5:43 pm

    Mrs. Corn, I’m so glad you posted about this! My fiance and I are planning on using an iPod for reception music, and every now and then I get a little nervous about it. kgr, many thanks for your comments too!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    Rebecca, Guest @ 5:46 pm

    I’m going to have to be the odd (wo)man out on this one. I recently attended a wedding where a friend of the bride and groom served as a DJ. He used his iTunes playlist and the song sets had been agreed upon before-hand.

    To me, I just felt like something was missing. I have been to weddings with great DJs that really get people involved and have tons of experience reading people’s moods at the time. In addition to not knowing the “fade” technique, whenever iTunes boy tried to announce something through the mic, he sounded muffled & was difficult to understand.

    I thought the whole thing looked a little out of place in such an otherwise elegant evening.

    Just my two cents.

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Rebecca, Guest @ 5:47 pm

    for some reason, my mom is adamant about not having an ipod wedding, but frankly i don’t really see the diff. like amysue said, weddings with a bad or obnoxious DJ really ruin the vibe. and being a control freak, i love the fact that i can pick every single song.

    maybe it is a younger generation thing…

  10. Guest Icon Guest
    GG, Guest @ 5:49 pm

    We also used a itunes via a laptop. It was one of the BEST wedding decisions we made. We even had wi-fi access so we could purchase and download requests right there. We made three playlists, one each for cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing, each with way more music than was needed for that time. We also created a playlist with all the “special” songs, like first dance, father/daughter, our parents’ wedding songs etc. The dancing part was great. We gathered seven hours of songs from all our friends (we thought that would be way too much, but since we danced until 3 am it was just right) and could move songs up and down on the playlist depending on the mood of the crowd.

    No annoying DJ. All songs hand picked by us. No “Celebrate”. Not paying a DJ (only about $24 in itunes downloads the night of). What’s not to love? And now I have a ton of great music on my computer that reminds me of the wedding!

  11. corn Member
    corn 1130 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:57 pm

    Hmmmm…I didn’t realize how much focus the age aspect of my post was going to be. I certainly don’t think I am anything less than young myself, and I am 32 and Mr Corn is almost 34. It really is a personal decision based on the formality of your wedding and the people who will be attending.

    We avoided the whole dj/iPod issue and got a band :)

  12. Member
    Angel 1263 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:58 pm

    At my boss’s wedding in 2004, a two-piece jazz band played for the first part of the reception and then his brother brought out an ipod for the rest of it. He had a playlist he made just for the event and the sound came through the venue’s speakers. It was pretty cool. It also seemed to signal the end of the formal reception and get things going for the party.

  13. onion Member
    onion 711 posts, Busy bee @ 6:11 pm

    We had a solo guitarist for the first hour of the reception and then switched to the iPod for the rest of the night. We also had put together a play list for the occasion. It worked really well for us, but we didn’t have much of a focus on dancing. If people felt like it they did, but it wasn’t the focus of the evening.

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Sarah, Guest @ 6:15 pm

    If I had someone in the family or wedding party who could have served as a decent MC, I probably would have gone with an iPod (and we’re 34! Ancient!). DJ’s are more than just suppliers of music, and we relied on ours not only for the tunes and equipment, but also for pacing and MC-ing the event.

    I’ve been to two iPod-only events, and they were both very successful, because the hosts had rented professional-quality speakers and a microphone, and someone who’d be comfortable with it was the designated MC.

    If, on the other hand, we’re talking about your average portable speakers and having your best man standing on a chair to shout announcements, probably not the image you want to project.

  15. Guest Icon Guest
    mtyf, Guest @ 6:28 pm

    We are considering using iTunes as well – my fiance is convinced that, with some time and effort, we can make a good playlist with awesome songs but without awkward pauses. One benefit – you can edit songs down to a shorter length, rather than dancing awkwardly to the end of the-song-that-goes-on-forever.

    Fiance’s major motivation for this is that he really dislikes DJs, part of his hating having anyone who doesn’t know us speak on our behalf (e.g. our ceremony officiant is basically limited to saying just what is legally required). The other motivation is $$, but we are finding that rental costs for A/V equipment at our hotel are really high, possibly comparable to just hiring a DJ anyway.

    There is also the consideration of lighting – many of the DJ packages that we are looking at include some sort of lighting set up, something that I otherwise will not be planning for, but would be a nice plus.

  16. Member
    stargazerlily 943 posts, Busy bee @ 6:29 pm

    Great post! I never considered the “time gap” that an ipod lends…although i know on I-tunes there is a feature that “blends” music at the end of a tune to the beginning of a new one, so if you are able to get real fancy schmancy, perhaps you can hook up your computer itunes list to a sound system and get rid of the awkward silence.

  17. Member
    stargazerlily 943 posts, Busy bee @ 6:31 pm

    Oh yes, and I’ve been to an Itunes/Ipod wedding and it was probably the funnest wedding Ive ever attended–music wise. They literally had to KICK people off of the dance floor at midnight. “ITS OVER! GO TO THE BAR!” Is what i think they said. It was SO much fun. It helped that the brides family was very irish and down to party, but WOW. What a great night!

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    cindee, Guest @ 7:07 pm

    we’re definitely doing the ipod thing. so many djs end up playing AWFUL songs anyways. it saves us from having to make a list of “do not play” songs and handing it to the dj =)

    oh and it’s free free free =D

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    Christine, Guest @ 7:58 pm

    Well, this is long but I hope helpful. We (me 37, DH 35) used itunes on my laptop (laptop screen is much larger than an actual ipod – easier for us old folks to see). During the ceremony and cocktail hour we had a harpist and classical guitarist. Our 1pm garden ceremony and reception were small but still formal! We didn’t expect much dancing during the late afternoon reception as the majority of our guests were older but still prepared a reception music list that had an average pattern of 2-3 slow, 2 mid-tempo and 2 fast songs.

    Itunes allows you to manipulate playlist preferences – we used a 10-second crossfade playback, sound check {keeps all songs on same volume level regardless of recording quality} and sound enhancer. Playlist titles were as follows:

    Bridal party entrance
    Bride & Groom First Dance
    Mother & Son Dance
    Dinner (lunch, really)
    Cake Cutting

    Our facility already had a sweet upgraded sound system that was literally “plug n play” for this very purpose. Wireless lav mike was included. My brother-in-law was the emcee; he announced certain situations (bridal party entrance, first dance, etc.) that had been clearly marked by title of song & ppl involved in my super-anal day of itinerary.

    Best advice for an ipod wedding? Plan, plan and plan some more. Spend LOTS of time putting together your Playlists and actually listen to the first few & last seconds of each song to make sure they fade smoothly into each other. Depending on where you download your music, play through each and every song carefully listening to the quality – no skips, jumps or gaps. It helped us to put the songs in an excel spreadsheet with three columns: artist, song and occasion (reception, dinner, etc.). This allowed each of us to review each other additions and make the all important *veto* on certain songs – also allowed me to literally check off songs once I had downloaded or ripped them. Also, make sure you designate one person to emcee and that person has an opp’y to play around with the mike volumes, overall sound levels, etc. at the actual rehearsal or prior to the reception. Include the titles of songs, what to actually announce, etc. in your day of itinerary and make sure your emcee is clear on what he/she is to say – and how to pronounce ppl’s names.

    For us the ipod music was perfect – we got TONS of compliments on our music choices. Which reminds me, I still need to share certain Playlists with those guests who requested them!

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    welshie, Guest @ 8:13 pm

    We’re having a digital music system which, I guess, is basically an “industrial” iPod. We’re telling the hire people what to put on the playlist, they come in and set it up and you have it for the rest of the night. I have designated a friend to look after it, and you can plug an iPod into it also so that’s what we’re doing for music during dinner

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    Jaime, Guest @ 8:16 pm

    I got married 3 months ago and we went with the labtop route, mainly to save money, but it worked out great because of our small venue ( we had 75 guests ) it didn’t over power everything and everyone like a DJ would have.

  22. Member
    CharlestonBride 54 posts, Worker bee @ 8:56 pm

    We are seriously considering this–I have seen so many lame DJs and my do-not-play list will be miles long! We are thinking we’d hire live music (quartet maybe?) for the ceremony and cocktail hour, then switch to ipod for dinner. For an MC we’ll probably use one of my BM’s husbands and our officiant (my best friend). Thanks for this post, it was great to hear the tips to pull this off!
    any chance i can get a copy of that playlist? 😉

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Jilian, Guest @ 9:21 pm

    We used an IPOD. Granted ours was very small and didn’t have a big ‘dance’ party. I had a bunch of play lists created with a legend for the wedding coordinator. 1 – Pre Wedding 2 – Procession 3 – Unity Song 4 – Post Ceremony 5 – First Dance 6 – Dinner 7 – Cake Song 8 – Dance Songs.

    It was great. Hubby and I have somewhat different tastes in music so we were able to ‘theme’ the different longer sets – they flowed well – and we both got to listen to songs we love!

    Plus whenever I want I can listen to music from my wedding – that may be the best part. Cause you know I’m a dork and love to relive every part of our day!

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    rzblna, Guest @ 9:31 pm

    I was going to ask more questions, but I think I’ll post in the boards instead. Please respond in the boards, Ipod diyers!

  25. radish Member
    radish 402 posts, Helper bee @ 9:40 pm

    I’ve been to 2 different weddings that did iPod receptions. One went very smoothly, and one didn’t.

    I think the difference was how much planning they put into it. One couple had clearly organized a very detailed playlist and put a lot of thought into the order of the songs, while the other couple didn’t seem to have it as well set up.

    We were originally going to do it, but we would’ve had to rent a PA system (our venue didn’t have one) and we were going to try and find a friend to be the “MC.” It was hard to think of anyone to do it, though, because then they wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy the wedding… so then we were going to pay one of our friends boyfriends $100, at which point it seemed worth it to just hire a DJ.

    In our wedding area (Syracuse, NY) it isn’t that expensive for a DJ anyway. So we found one for $400 on ours and he ended up being great.

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Emma, Guest @ 1:08 am

    I agree, Mrs. Radish. I think if you’re going to go the IPod route, you really have to plan ahead. I was recently the MC at my friend’s wedding reception. I ended up frantically trying to download songs halfway through the dance because their playlist wasn’t long enough. The songs were also not all “danceable” –there would be a 10-minute stretch where everyone would be busting a move, then a bunch of mid-tempo songs would scare everyone off. I think the keys to using an IPod are to plan for more music than you need and make sure the songs are clearly fast or slow.

  27. Member
    NatalieL 73 posts, Worker bee @ 2:30 am

    In all honesty, I’m in agreement with Rebecca (sorry everybody). Not including our own wedding this year, we went to 3 weddings. We had a band at our reception and EVERYbody (and I mean everybody, from 1-year-olds to 80-something-year-olds) danced a LOT. It was very different at each of the other three weddings we attended… at least 2 used iTunes from a laptop, and I’m not sure what the other did, but they didn’t hire a band or DJ. The biggest problem I saw with all of them (I’m not trying to criticize) was that there wasn’t a good-enough person, or person at all, emceeing it music… the music just kind of played, and very few people danced at any of them. My biggest suggestion if using an iPod or laptop to be to have an energetic people-person emcee… I really think it could make a big difference!

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    Bridediy, Guest @ 4:47 am

    While I think this is a neat idea for some people, especially if you are way into music or on a strict budget I can see some big problems with it for me personally.

    Like all things DIY the key words are planning, time and research. A lot of people assume “hey all I need is my Ipod or laptop to do this,” but really it is potentially a huge investment of time and money depending on your venue etc. I have learned through the wedding planning process that there are somethings that I dont mind DIYing and there are others that are just not worth my sanity. For me the IPod wedding idea would be the later. I look at this and go ok great if you really do have the time to do as Christine mentioned and work out the all the details and still check into the rentals (cost and availablity) of things like the mic and speakers.

    For me I felt more comfortable asking around to friends, who had been to recent weddings, who the best DJ they had seen was. Then doing the research and interviewing them, than I did dealing with one more time consuming task that would worry me the day of the wedding. Yes DJ’s can suck, but like all the vendors we all use for our weddings it really depends on the research you do. For me I need the piece of mind to know that I hired this guy and frankly if he screws up I can hold him accountable vs. “oh crap the Ipod ______ (you fill in the blank): broke, lost our songs, died, got lost or was forgotten” or that one of my family members totally screws up the MC duties or DJ duties. I cant exactly yell at someone who just did me a favor in the first place but I sure can yell like a banshee if I pay you good money for your DJ service :). So again while I think this maybe a great idea for some brides I think you would definatly need to go into it with your eyes wide open to the time it’s going to take and ultimatly that just isnt for me, let me sit and watch Grey’s Anatomy anytime over this. 😛

  29. Member
    bonniebelle101 366 posts, Helper bee @ 8:47 am

    Thank you so much for posting about this! We’re planning on DJing our own wedding with our laptop but thought I was the only one with this idea! It’s great to hear that this has been successful and with all the comments it sounds like it will work perfectly with the type of reception we are planning. Thank you again!

  30. hummingbird Member
    hummingbird 192 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:15 am

    Love this post! We are kind of doing a little of both. I’ve been to a couple of weddings with DJs and was not impressed enough to want to put out that kind of money (one obviously didn’t check the music after he downloaded it because some important songs just turned out to be sample clips!)
    What we’re doing is crafting the playlist ourselves and having an MC and then an unofficial DJ to monitor the sound system and to switch songs when we need it.
    I don’t need more stuff so I asked both of these people to help me out in lieu of a wedding gift and they happily agreed. :)

  31. Member
    christigpa 169 posts, Blushing bee @ 10:10 am

    Regardless whether you DJ or ipod your wedding (bands I have no experience with), I still feel it’s important you and your fiance sit down and really think about your song list.

    With a simple google search, you’ll be able to find many “top” lists for slow, dance, mother/son, father/daughter songs, etc. Use these as a basis to decide which songs you really want played (or not played) at your wedding. Also, check out itunes searching for “wedding”, “dinner”, “reception”, etc. songs – you’ll find compilation cds as well as playlists that regular ‘ole ppl have uploaded for their own wedding receptions!

    Last but not least, if you ipod your wedding, have a backup. Bring both your ipod and laptop. ‘nuf said on that one. 😉

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    Weddingbee » Blog Archive » More On The iPod Wedding, Guest @ 2:27 pm

    […] my post about iPod receptions garnered lots of feedback; mostly from people who support using an iPod over using a DJ. I figured […]

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    Michelle, Guest @ 9:23 am


    OMG annieoakley!!! …your wedding song list sounds exactly like what we want to play for our wedding. My fiance is in his late thirties and I’m in my early thirties and we have decided to go the ipod route (mostly because of budget) but I’m totally perplexed in how to begin. Do you think you could send me your songlist? My fiance has so much music on his computer that I’m sure we’ll have all or most of what’s on yours. It would be a big help for us in starting our music project.


  34. Guest Icon Guest
    April Bride, Guest @ 9:21 am

    My fiance and I decided to be very realistic about spending my parents hard earned money on a 6 hour party and are really trying to keep wedding costs in perspective. That said, we have enlisted the abilities of many of our friends for the big day. For the music we have asked the cousin of a good friend of ours to play the guitar and sing (he does this as a side gig) He does a ton of acoustic songs, as well as pairing with a MIDI to play the songs that need a “bigger” feel since he doesn’t play with a band. Since we know he will not be able to play everything we want to hear, and he will need to take breaks, we will also be using our laptop (or iPod – we haven’t made that decision yet) Which he will run. Trey will play some instrumental music while guests are arriving, we will do the iPod for the processional/ceremony, and cocktail hour, and then Trey will play the First Dance, Father/Daughter song and parts of the reception….This is a great balance for us, because it saves us a TON of money, but also gives the feel of live music that we wanted. We are paying him a nominal amount and of course the iPod is free…. Compared to the price tags of the bands I was looking into – this is a NO-Brainer! Sure I may have to spend $20 – $40 to purchase songs that we just have to have, but big deal…There is no way I could secure a quality band for the money we will be spending! If you are nervous about an all iPod wedding definitely consider a mix!

  35. Guest Icon Guest
    One Year Ago… » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 6:41 pm

    […] iPod Wedding, More on the iPod Wedding by Mrs. Corn […]

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    Anette, Guest @ 5:58 pm

    Interesting to see the iPod wedding trend. I’m getting married and seriously thinking about using an iPod/Laptop. All of your suggestions, experiences and tips have been very helpful. I have a couple of questions. What sort of quality speakers and microphones can be used with an iPod? Any suggestions so I know what to buy?

  37. Member
    dmitchell08 296 posts, Helper bee @ 9:00 pm

    For those using the ipod setup, what other equipment did you have to invest in? speakers, sound systems, mixers, etc…

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    gigi, Guest @ 1:29 pm

    We did an ipod at our wedding and it was a huge hit.

    There was no need to MC (but we had a fairly casual wedding with no formal first dances), but we did have someone “Man” the ipod in case someone tried to mess with the mix.

    Getting the right combination of songs was time consuming (and the research on how was even more time consuming), but I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

    Our location had a “mixing board” and speakers so all we had to do was plug in and press play!

  39. Guest Icon Guest
    Erin, Guest @ 1:15 pm

    What do you guys know about the legality of this? Do DJs buy the music (royalties included) so that they have the right to play them to a large crowd? I know we aren’t making money on our wedding, but the only loop hole I know in copyright is if it is reproduced only for educational purposes. Just read about a lady that was sued for putting music to a graduation slideshow for graduation. Ipod would be so great for our dance. Wonder if anyone has done this research already? Will make things easier for me.

  40. Guest Icon Guest
    Amy, Guest @ 2:00 am

    Where do you rent speakers from? The nearest big cities (Columbus/Toledo) are an hour and a half away and I’m not even sure where to start looking for rentals around here (Lima, OH area). Any ideas?

  41. corn Member
    corn 1130 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:19 am

    I don’t have an answer for you, Amy…my best guess would be to contact your venue and see if they have a recommendation. That failing, you could try to look up local bands and/or DJs and don’t even tell them you’re having a wedding but just request they either rent theirs to you or let you in on the secret of where to get them from.

    Best of luck!

  42. Guest Icon Guest
    Del Sol, Guest @ 9:39 am

    @Erin: @Erin: @Erin: @Erin:

    Aloha Erin,
    I am a professional wedding DJ on the island of Maui, Hawaii. As far as the research I’ve done, it is up to the venue to become a member of the World Music Group and pay a hefty fee for any DJ/Performer to broadcast rights reserved music of any kind. I do, however believe that it is a thin line involved with this issue as we (as DJ’s) broadcast rights reserved music on a daily basis. For us, our DJ insurance covers our music so long as you can prove that you have purchased said music from a reputable music source such as iTunes or Amazon mp3. Check out World Music Group or google music licenses for more info.

  43. Member
    DJBrooklyn 1 posts, Wannabee @ 2:07 pm

    I’m so glad you wrote about this. In reading the comments there is definitely a mix of sentiments. Here’s the deal, yes you can program your iPod to play songs faster. Yes you can program you iPod to shuffle a playlist so that songs play randomly. Yes your iPod will play music. That is all the iPod is designed to do play music.

    Unfortunately I have to agree with some of the post about the awful DJs out there who do not really know what they are doing. Or worse, think they know and truly are making a fool of themselves.

    What is different about a true professional is their talent. A good DJ will not only play music they will help direct the entire reception. They will guide guests to know what to expect of the evening. Then when the party gets underway they will use public speaking skills to engage your guests and motivate them to dance. It takes true entertainer skill to do it well. An iPod is not as talented. Although in some cases I can see how an iPod can beat a bad DJ hands down…and that’s sad. But it does not have to be that way.

  44. Guest Icon Guest
    Brooke, Guest @ 2:30 pm

    I am getting married in September and using an Ipod for my reception. This is because it’s cheap and I’m paying for the wedding. My feance’s friend will be the mc and he already has all of the equipment. I have a fun family/friends all they need to have fun are good food, drinks, company and music coming from somewhere. Weddings are ridiculously expensive these days and it’s good to cut costs wherever you can.

  45. Member
    JonM 12 posts, Newbee @ 12:42 pm

    From working in the business, I think I may have some helpful hidden points to keep in mind to improve your wedding day.

    DJ or Ipod???

    Depends – If you’re talking a cheesy DJ, or a Good DJ?

    I assume you’re smart enough to steer clear of Cheesy DJs. Yet, Im constantly surprised at how many brides KEEP hiring these guys! Amazing, when, if you just asked your facility manager, planner, or photographers WHO are the good ones, there are so many NON cheesy DJ’s. Most of all, don’t get adrenalin-bamboozled at bridal shows by flashy lights and “Emcee/Deejays” with tacky sequin vests and outdated euro-tacky collar-studs.

    The overarching moral of the “ipod / DIY/Laptop/ Ipad wedding” story is that couples honesty “don’t know what they don’t know” – and then its too late. I will share just some of the “make or break” nuances that no one discovers until it�s too late, and they could have had a MUCH better wedding day.

    So to your point – no – a Non Cheesy, Classy, Professional DJ is not a “must”, if you don’t want:

    1) correctly done introductions, with no muffled sound/mic levels, and with crucial volume-riding between couples

    2) photographs of people with their eyes open, smiling, not looking away. (guess what the DJ has to do with this??) Same goes for video moments captured�or MISSED forever – what could the DJ possibly have to do with this?

    3) perfectly executing your custom music-drops for each couple as they enter

    4) awkward dead air. embarrassing timing miscuesmissed momentsimportant events remembered

    5) “atmosphere” – to keep people from leaving, and bring together the rest of all your hard work

    6) to not have to spend literally several days collecting, assembling, going back and forth, collecting random requests, deciding about music, creating playlists upon playlists – especially when “next song timing” cant be decided until you SEE what is working to the songs that is PLAYING! Even with the most rowdy crowds (and maybe more so) — Bottom line: Song -by-song crowd reading / human decision-making is the KEY to keeping people on the floor

    7) If you don’t get the right size speaker s and place them specifically, your hip hop & 80’s songs will sound like an AM radio – NO dancing vibe. If you don’t want to begin learning about standing-waves, floor coupling, and time alignment and you want sound complaints and poor audio dance impact, mid-high arrays that are steerable, backup equipment. picking up, delivering, setting up, taping down, relocating extra systems for different locations, packing up, worrying is there a tech on-call if there�s a failure?, worrying about people with hangovers returning it all on time before additional day charges are posted, back injuries – and then paying for all this. Proper research, rentals, time and stress are have a way of going way over budget all MONEY.

    smooth, experience-tested, human-operated segues of YOUR custom personally chosen/playlist songs. Thats what makes the difference between keeping people on the floor, or clearing it with blind, no crowd-read-of-the moment-based, blind “next-song” choices – and annoying trainwreck dead air *& crash and burn segues.

    9) to not unpleasantly surprise your best man/ Usher/”friend” – to not only miss the fun – but by realizing that to prevent your reception from becoming a disaster, they end up stuck being the full-time music chooser, volume-correcter, playlist glitch apologizer, system rebooter, Audio system overheating failure head-scratcher, dancefloor clearer, smooth segue fail-er, red-faced mic interference causer, complaint/suggestion/request fielder, song by song graphic EQ correction engineer, event announcer MC, old people pleaser, young people pleaser – ALL WHILE being the event/timing liason between the catering staff, wedding planner, photographer/videographer and guests.

    10) WARNING!! Anyone who says “the hall has speakers” is likely to have terribly distorted sound, and will be paying for a huge repair bill to fix blown speakers you caused. Talk about sounding like you know what. ONE pop song with ANY bass, and your event is HISTORY. Fair warning.

    Heres a good analogy:

    Youve paid through the nose for the most expensive imported ingredients for a tricky dessert recipe – to be made live on TV. Youve got ONE shot to get in right – in front of a live audience watching.You need a chef.Do you put the ingredients in the hands of:1) a cheesy, “i saved money on him” chef 2) a friend who “assures you” they can do it3) someone who has done it thousands of times and already knows the hidden pitfalls and tricks of the trade to guarantee success.

    People: Yes, there are 2 kinds of DJ: Cheesy ones, chosen by couples who either didn’t do basic research, accepted an offer of a gift or friend of a friend “deal”, or went by “price”(or actually liked the DJ they chose, and are cheesy people themselves!!)

    And then there are: Sophisticated, elegant, “less is more” Wedding DJ’s – who actually know YOUR eclectic music, and can mix, segue and time your choices artfully, with authority, and assemble them song by song, in the moment, in way that a playlist can NEVER predict, and will amaze you and your guests.

    Bottom line: There is nothing that has LESS atmosphere, makes people feel less appreciated and feel more tacky or awkward than trying to be polite by reacting to an unmanned “box” for the biggest day in your life. If they say they loved it, its because most don’t want to hurt your feelings. This isn’t a biker bar. A TASTEFUL DJ is the backbone of everything going n in front of the stage, AND of all the things you DONT see behind the scenes at a wedding, and it is what puts a “cant afford to fail” celebration over the TOP.After spending MONTHS to guarantee the most beautiful and fun event, and when there ARE experienced, insured, musically tasteful, upscale wedding-expert DJ’s that your guests HAVE seen and raved about, NOTHING says low rent or “cheesy” to your guests more than dancing to an inanimate box like the one in their TV room.

    The DIY idea seems like a cool idea on first blush. For less important weddings or low-dancing focus, there are couples that were “fine” with it. But what are they going to say, that they blew their own wedding day? If you or I were there at weddings where the bride said it “rocked”, the GUESTS very well could have been looking at each other “these poor guys, lets get outa here”. You know what I mean.

    For important weddings, with a lot on the line, the more you understand that the DJ’s role is actually the most complex of all on the wedding day, the more you see what a gamble you are taking with something that you have your heart set on being PERFECT.Is a laptop or “friend DJ” worth trading the success of what your day “COULD” have been? A NON-Cheesy DJ is the BEST investment you will spend for your wedding day.

    Without hyperbole: After seeing it all – it is truly the glue, the backbone, and the make-or-break vendor of all.

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