(Closed) ipod DJ, honest opinions

posted 10 years ago in Music
Post # 3
183 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We did this for our engagement party and we got so many compliments on the music! It was great because we chose a list of stuff we knew everyone would love. The only thing was, not too many people danced and I don’t know if that was to do with not having an actual DJ there to get the crowd going or people just preferred to sit and chat at their tables…. I don ‘t think it’s tacky at all though. We’re considering it for our wedding too.

Post # 4
13095 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

I don’t think it is tacky at all but I also don’t think it is anywhere near as effective entertainment as a real DJ.  There is a lot more to a DJ than just “playing songs”.  DJs blend songs together so there isn’t stops/breaks between each song, they can read the energy of the crowd and get a feel for what type of songs to play to get people on their feet and moving – things you can’t do with an Ipod.

I think is you’re looking for background music for your wedding, an Ipod is fine.  But personally, I think if you want entertainment, hire a real DJ.

EDIT – If cost is a concern, look at a college nearby (lots of college guys will DJ parties at fraternities, etc to get their start – they may be willing to work for cheaper than an established DJ).

Post # 5
1426 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I’ve been to an ipod wedding and it was great.  However, you have to be willing to put the work in regarding choosing songs.  The worst thing you can do is choose a bunch of songs that are your favorites but that aren’t really songs that people know really well or can dance to.  Don’t be afraid to embrace the cheese factor!  There’s a reason certain songs are always played at weddings: because they are familiar and people are comfortable dancing to them, not necessarily because they are the best songs ever written.  And I’m not even talking about group dances either, just the more typical, expected dance music.

The wedding I went to had the best man acting as the MC as well, so he was able to announce the cake cutting, coordinate the special dances, etc.  That really helped, so you might want to think about whether you have someone who would be comfortable filling that role.

I think you can pull it off and have a great time.  You just have to be really careful with how you go about it…

Post # 6
96 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

We went to a wedding where the couple uses iPod and although they played good music, very few people danced. Then last month we went to another wedding and they hired an old dj that used an old fashioned turntable and it was a blast. People were dancing til it was time to go home. I don’t think that dj is expensive, I didn’t even hear him say a thing. He just kept on playing good music and he is using CDs, not the real turntable where the dj do the scratching and stuffs. 

I agree with FutureKMM, Dj’s read the energy of the crowd and play the type of songs that the crowd likes. Maybe you can find a really inexpensive dj somewhere in your neighborhood. Goodluck on your wedding planning!


Post # 7
2475 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’ve been to so many weddings, and have never seen an iPod reception!  I don’t know why… maybe it’s a regional thing??

Anyway, I agree that a DJ/MC’s role is much more than just pressing play.  You definitely need someone to make announcements too.  I agree with trying to find an “up and coming” DJ in your area. 

Post # 8
19 posts
  • Wedding: January 2010

I had an ipod wedding and it worked really well. People danced the entire night.

HOWEVER! we spent ages choosing and arranging the songs (i’m not convinced that random/shuffle would be a good idea). We started off with modern floor fillers, moved on to mowtown back to more modern songs, then 60s and 70s classics, back to modern, then some (light) rock, sexy songs, and end songs. We compiled over 4 hours of music (better safe than sorry!) and used around 3 hours. The only thing i’d do differenly is save a copy of our last dance as a seperate file so when the party ended we could play the song we’d chosen.

My husband is a sound engineer so he had a programme on his mac where we mixed all the songs properly, cutting them down to around the 3 – 4 minute max and removing any profanity so no guest was offended. My job was to choose which songs would go well next to each other (good rhythms, mixing male & female vocalists etc) Husband mixed them so there were no gaps and ensured they were the correct tempo.

This took HOURS! It seriously took days to do, but was well worth it, We saved a fortune and i was over the moon with how it turned out. Everyone loved it and it’s now on my ipod forever, i use it when i run, such a good memory.

We’re super lucky that OH had some specialised software, but i have a feeling there’s a crude blend tool on i-tunes which might make your disco flow slightly better.

Good luck!

Post # 9
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I’ve been to two iPod receptions, and they were both terrible.  At the first reception it felt like they just loaded all of their music onto an iPod and hit shuffle.  The music was undanceable.  It was really terrible.  The second one was somewhat better, although still not great.  At that wedding the groom had at least chosen songs that people could dance to.  The problem there was that the iPod would play a couple of good songs where people were out on the dancefloor, and then a slow song would play that cleared the floor.  I think a good DJ would know what music was and wasn’t working and could read the crowd to know when to play what.  Plus, at both receptions, there was the awkward silent pause between songs, which you don’t usually get with a DJ.

I think an iPod reception could work if you put a TON of work into it upfront, figuring out what songs people actually dance to at weddings and listening to the flow.  But it would take a lot of work.

Post # 10
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: August 2010 - Family Ranch outside Glenrock, WY

I’m having an iPod wedding 🙂  I think it’ll go swimmingly!

Post # 11
11324 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I’m considering this too and here are the factors I’m thinking about: 

1- if we do it, we HAVE to have an MC. We need someone to step up and do the announcing, keep things moving, and be in charge of the ipod. 

2- we need to spend a LOT of time compiling the music so that it is widely known and very dance-able. I love james taylor, but is he dance-able? not so much. 

3- We will need to keep all the playlists separate (cake cutting, first dances, dinner music, reception/dance music, and last song) and make sure we have very detailed instructions for our MC

Honestly I’m not sure we’re going to do it. I do believe that it would work if we put in the time, but I’m not sure either of us wants to put the energy into making sure the music is right. 

Post # 12
4122 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

DJ’s – Pro’s

  • keep the party moving – real life feedback
  • guests can request songs
  • MC of events, announce dinner, dancing, your first dance, events, keeps the crowed motivated to have a good time
  • can read and judge crowd. Most DJ’s have to make changes to their playlists depending on the people. Maybe you like certain songs but your guests only want to dance to line dances? He/She can keep the blend up to maximize people on the floor.

DJ’s – Cons

  • You have to pay them

Personally, I think they are worth EVERY penny. I’ve never been a smooth iPod DJ wedding. Also, there are usually issues with the sound systems. Song Levels change and your guests get quiet or too loud… every one I’ve seen has been a mess and did not keep people on the dance floor… 

Post # 13
2820 posts
Sugar bee

I’ve only been to one and it worked pretty well but I’ve heard not so great things from other weddings.  I think why it worked at the wedding we went to is because they spent a lot of time on it, had a bunch of different lists, had someone ‘in charge’ so they’d take requests and kinda move stuff around if it wasn’t working – I guess they guy acted a lot like a DJ.  So you might need to designate an in charge of the IPod man. 

Post # 14
761 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Hmm. I am doing an i-pod reception. We decided to do it because it’s cheaper and we actually don’t want a lot of announcing. We are not doing a first dance persay, or family dances, cutting the cake or bouquet/garter toss. Our reception is going to be only 3 hours long. Then we are having an “afterparty” for the younger crowd.

Choose danceable music, make sure there are not long gaps and that everything plays at the same volume. I think/hope it will be just fine!

Post # 15
5976 posts
Bee Keeper

I think DJs are worth it. I know it’s a big money saver to do the iPod DJ, but i just don’t feel like it’s as effective as a DJ. The presence of a DJ just makes people feel more comfortable.

If you do an iPod DJ, make sure you have someone who can facilitate the music rather than just pressing play.

Hope that was honest enough :o)

Post # 16
295 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We are still going back and forth on this. We put a playlist together last weekend, but are only going that route if we can figure out someone who will “man” the iPod during the wedding. And we’d actually use a MacBook, not an iPod—I don’t think I’d even consider doing it using an actual iPod, since you need the flexibility to be able to shift between sets easily. It takes a lot of time to collect and organize the music, set transitions, set the order, etc., as someone said above. Fiance has full sound equipment, too (used to play in a band) or we wouldn’t even be considering it, since if you have to rent good equipment, that’s half of the cost right there. We also priced DJs, and the cheapest were $800 or so (up to $3K) so it is a big budget issue. (I’m sure that varies regionally, though.) Notably, we aren’t doing announcements or toasts or first/last dance or any of that stuff, so there’s much less to program. If we had more going on, I would also want someone MC’ing it.

Generally, I think a good DJ is well worth the cost. But I’ve also been to weddings with TERRIBLE DJs—and I’m guessing they don’t cost any less. We don’t really know any DJs, good or bad, in our area—if we knew a good one, I’d use him or her in a heartbeat, but I’m not super excited about shelling out that much cash for someone who might make things worse. I think it can go either way.

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