Post # 1
I was wondering if anyone had any advice about the iPod vs. DJ debate. We are looking to cut costs wherever we can (350 people!! yikes!!!), but also want to make sure the music is great, transitions are good, etc.
Has anyone ever worked with Just Press Play Productions? It looks like they offer a variety of services–you can get just a sound system, a sound system and an MC (you provide the music), or all of the above.
Any input? Do you think a DJ is invaluable? Have you been to weddings where it was just an iPod and a sound system? Was it weird? Did you have a backup?
Or does anyone have any referrels for decent DJs at a super-reasonable price in the Chicagoland area (on a Saturday)?
Thanks so much!
Post # 3
I went to a wedding that was an ipod wedding and unfortuntly it did not turn out well. If you do go the ipod route I would recommend doing a trial run at the venue if possible and assigning a person who knows about soundsystems to be in charge of it!
Post # 4
We’re doing our own music–laptop with pre-made playlists (e.g., ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, special songs, reception) plus our own speaker system. We chose this route not because of budget but because we don’t care for live music or DJs.
I do have to admit, though, that I’m a little nervous about how this will all turn out! I’ve heard of many people that have had great experiences and many horror stories. Fortunately, though, we’re not a “dancing” couple, so I’m not going to be remotely heartbroken if the dance floor isn’t packed.
I think it can work well if you put in the time and effort ahead of time and have someone to man the equipment and make sure things go relatively smoothly.
Post # 5
I wish I had the patience to compile a play list to do an iPod reception. That would save us some money. I am curious to find out from those that have done it what they did for an emcee or host?
Also, for those who have done it, what did you do about the eerie silence in between songs? Was your playlist one very long single?
Post # 6
Before I didn’t have an opinion on the ipod vs. DJ debate but as of this weekend I have first hand experiences.
I was the Maid/Matron of Honor in the wedding and let me preface this by saying the bride and groom did NOT put any time or effort into the reception playlist!
They gave me a list for cocktail, dinner and reception music on the wednesday before the wedding and so I spent 7 hours putting together the playlists.
I thought there was a good mix of young vs. old songs. However, the reception did not go so well.
The older generation kept bugging me to play older songs EVERY TIME a young song came on. Which was OH SO FUN FOR ME!!!! Random guests kept going up to the ipod because it was un-manned and would change songs at will. In the middle of songs and everything. Additionally because it was an ipod playlist the songs didn’t mix into each other at ALL!
By the end of the night I was a DJ – I was picking and choosing the songs to make sure the dance floor would stay packed. So I was at the ipod at the end of every song to make sure that I would start the next appropriate song at the right time. And you don’t even want to know the bitching I heard about the music from the guests which made me feel so bad and guilty. I must be honest and say I had a minor breakdown outside the venue, but I collected myself and went back to DJing!!!!!
All I can say is I REALLY respect DJs as a profession. They read the crowd and get the dance floor bumping. They mix the songs and make sure there is good flow to the music. And most importantly they take a lot of slack from the guests… and prevent it from being placed on the Maid/Matron of Honor LOL!
If my experience can help anyone please get a DJ!
Post # 7
@baldor1: The eerie silence between the songs sucked and was quite awkward! It almost cleared the dance floor EVERY TIME!
– I, the Maid/Matron of Honor, and the Bridesmaid or Best Man were the MCs for the night so that was not an issue at this wedding. But if you do go the ipod route you will need to assign someone to be your MC.
Post # 8
We had also considered that company, and when we were telling our now DJ about it he made a good point: the DJ controls the vibe and flow of the evening. They know when to keep playing fast songs, and when to slow it down and play slower songs. They can “play” the room more. If there are any announcements they can also make those.
So that’s my advice!
Post # 9
My DJ was one of the favorite parts of my wedding so I voted for that! It makes for a nice intro for speeches/etc and you can relax and enjoy yourself.
That being said, I’ve heard some success stories with a iPod wedding so if you planned it to a T it might work
Post # 10
We’re doing iPod for cost and because we’ve been to weddings with pretty horrific DJs. We are asking two friends to man it so they can alternate and compiling the playlists ourselves. Our venue is letting us rent the speakers for $150. However, we are spending a lot of time on playlists and were advised to buy higher quality-sound music rather than burning poor quality stuff that wouldn’t translate well to speakers.
Post # 11
We are using Just Press Play’s DIY setup. We met with Jeff from JPP and he advised us to use a laptop instead of an ipod. I put a note our wedding site telling people we are not having a DJ and they need to request songs before the wedding. I’m going to use a screensaver that tells people not to touch the computer but designate a few people as “safe” to adjust the playlist.
Post # 12
Thanks for all the feedback! This is all really helpful! 🙂
Post # 13
We are using an Ipod for the ceremony and Cocktail hour. Then using a DJ for the reception. I need someone that can adapt to the audience during the reception. During the other parts, the guests don’t have a choice in songs.
Post # 14
We are so torn on this issue. We were going to use a laptop because:
1. We are really picky about music (we are both musicians, heh) and know exactly what we want played.
2. We are trying to save money.
3. We want control over the music.
We are in the process of compiling playlists for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner background music, and the dancing music for the reception. This is going really well!
However, we just realized we do not have an MC so we are considering hiring a DJ. But we are really worried that a DJ would be cheesy or just not fit in with what we want. Also, we are planning this wedding long distance and this is going to be one more vendor to coordinate with from afar. Ahhh! LOL
I guess since I have plenty of time I just need to do more research and explore all of my options.
Post # 15
We had an iPod wedding, and couldn’t recommend it enough if you’re okay with not having a DJ. I personally hate DJs. So for us, it was either a band or an iPod, and we couldn’t afford the band.
We set-up playlists in iTunes, and ran everything from our laptop. Everything was fine. We did have a DOC, though, so she made the transitions smooth. We used a feature in iTunes that allowed the songs to flow right into each other without any overlap, so it was like a DJ was manning the station. We have different family members make announcements (cake cutting, first dance, etc.) during the evening for a special touch.
For emergencies, we added lots of extra music so we didn’t run out. And we saved at least $300 doing it this way. Yeah, it’s a lot of prep work to download good quality MP3s and we did have to buy some of the more rare songs on iTunes rather than finding them for free on Limewire or whatever. But overall, it was a huge savings, and we were happy with our decision.
Post # 16
We are using our Ipod as well, we are not doing traditional wedding stuff, like announcing family, cake cutting and such and the ipod will save us money. We are going to pay someone we know to run the ipod from my laptop, that way he can adjust the tunes as necessary. Here are the instructions for fading the songs together on the ipod, itunes
You can fade songs in and out, without gaps of silence between them.
To fade songs in and out:
Choose Edit > Preferences and click Playback.
Select Crossfade Songs.
To decrease or increase the amount of time it takes for the current song to fade out at the end and the new song to fade in, drag the “seconds” slider left or right.