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 2016
I Want Candy!
Mucho, Gusto!
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  1. corn Bee
    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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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