Post # 1
My FI and I are trying to keep costs down on our wedding, and I’m wondering if a DJ is super necessary? Everyone is telling me they are, but the cheapest one I am finding is $700! Has anyone had luck using an ipod and some speakers? Thoughts, please!
Post # 3
- Wedding: July 2012 - The Gables Inn, Santa Rosa, CA
Yep– I’ve been to several weddings with a well designed ipod play list, and it’s what I’m using– save that $700 for something that matters more to you!
Post # 4
People use ipods and speakers instead of DJ’s all the time. I was at a backyard wedding last year where the couple did just that, and it was perfectly fine for their reception.
You have to make sure it’s in line with what folks expect, given your theme and level of formality. If you’re having a three-course plated meal and requesting black/white tie then you probably need a proper DJ or maybe even a band, but for a less formal event, ipod is fine.
If you go this route, I’d recommend you test out your speakers in advance, even better if you can try them out in your venue, because you don’t want to turn up on the day of the wedding and find the speakers sound crappy at high volume.
also create a couple of different playlists, like one for cocktail hour/socializing, one for dinner, one for dancing, that way when it’s time to move to the next stage of the event, you’re not fumbling around to find the right songs.
A Mr Microphone or similar wireless mic would be a good item to add so that you can ask a friend/family member to make any announcements, do toasts, etc.
Post # 5
As a PP mentioned, it may depend on the level of formality. I would also add this would be difficult to do with a larger reception, where more direction may be needed. Overall, though, I don’t think it’s needed. I’ve been to some great (albeit, smaller) weddings where a playlist was used and it worked perfectly.
Post # 6
Our DJ is more than just music. He is also our emcee and handling the ceremony music as well. With this in mind, I can’t imagine just relying on an iPod plus speakers. However, if you literally just need dance music, you probably can get away with an iPod.
Post # 7
Alright so you guys are talking about formality. It’s a mostly informal wedding, but we are having a 3 course plated meal. However, neither of our families are fancy, so I dont’ think anyone would be offended. We honestly would rather spend the money on food, since that’s really important to us as a couple (we’re huge foodies, so we chose a venue with excellent food). Also, we expect to have about 75 people in attendance. Do you guys still think an iPod would be appropriate?
Post # 8
As long as you have a set person in charge of the iPod player and a printed list of what you don’t want played, then I don’t see a problem with it. The only problem is if it’s left unattended and if it stops working and/or people hijack it and start playing any and everything under the sun that you may not like.
Post # 9
I second what @BetterSherm said and would add that whoever is in charge should have some sense of reading the crowd. In other words, good DJs tend to read the crowd well and know what kinds of music/artists are really getting people psyched and what songs/categories are duds. For example, some weddings really get a crowd going by playing traditional wedding favorites like YMCA, whereas at other weddings, people clear the floor when these songs come on. If your iPod attendant is attentive, then they can seemlessly transition from one genre to the other to keep the momentum going.
With this in mind, I worry that perhaps whoever is tending to the iPod may miss out on enjoying the wedding because they’re making sure songs are being played in the appropriate order and time and to make sure people are not hijacking the iPod and play whatever songs they want.
Post # 10
My FBIL and his Fi are having a live band at their wedding, but only for part of it. After that they will be switching over to a playlist they’ve made up on their ipod! Great way to save money I think!
Post # 11
We’re doing the ipod playlist but I’ve done a lot of research to (hopefully) help it come off without being an “ipod wedding disaster” we’ve all heard about.
First, we hired an emcee (luckily he’s working for cheap!) and I don’t recommend asking someone who would normally be a guest unless you plan on them having very minimal duties.
I also spend countless hours researching playlists and beginners DJ advice to come up with a playlist that should please the masses yet not be completely predictable. An example is that older music will be played earlier in the night, because that’s when the older crowd typically dances, and my song sets will have similar style as well as beats per minute to avoid changing up the vibe drastically from one song to the next. It also helps that we’ve attended 4 weddings that were quite similar to ours recently and got a feel for what is currently working at our style of wedding.
I also researched and bought an LED mushroom light on ebay for $70- LED is definitely the way to go because it doesn’t get hot and can be used continuously. LED’s have thousands of hours of use so hopefully I can sell it to another bride when we’re finished (or we’ll just have living room dance parties every Friday, lol… our kids would love it). We are also renting a mirrorball with 2 spots for $20. We are renting a speaker system complete with subwoofer, stands, microphone and hookups for $150, and it is designed for events and venues the size of ours. FI is an electrical engineer and my dad’s an electrician so I believe we have the on-site hookup covered :).
We are using my laptop with my ipod as a backup (don’t forget to set it to crossfade) and both will be empty of music except for what we’re using. Each part of the evening (cocktail hour, dinner, special dances and events, etc) will be in a separate playlist and I have also created “reserve” playlists in each genre (slow songs, oldies, disco, hip-hop, etc) so our emcee can change it up if it seems like the crowd wants it.
I also plan to dance as much as possible without being rude to guests, and our attendants have agreed to help keep the dance floor hopping. A lot of times people may want to dance but not want to be the first ones out there.
Our wedding is next Saturday so we’ll see how all our planning pays off! I’m excited to have an event that I truly believe my guests will love, and I will be guaranteed to love every single song! I like pretty much every style of music so it wasn’t hard for me to cover all the bases. I’ll let y’all know how it goes! We are having an outdoor ceremony at the park across the street from the reception hall, and we will be using the speaker system there as well, so if we paid someone to professionally handle all of our music it would probably cost $800-1000. Instead we should come in around $300.
Post # 12
Just bookmarking this, so it can be saved, because I plan on doing an ipod wedding too and need some advice=)
Post # 13
@rosesarefree: Wow thanks for your advice! Let us know how it turns out!