(Closed) Playlist instead of a DJ? Any lessons learned?

posted 5 years ago in Music
  • poll: DJ or Spotify?

    Get a DJ for sure.

    A playlist is just fine

  • Post # 2
    Member
    1789 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    I have been to small weddings with about 35-40 people and bigger weddings with playlists. I can’t think of one situation where this worked well. Friends mean well, but you want them to enjoy the wedding and not have to worry about technical glitches. The dancing though… I would hire a DJ for sure. If you want the evening to move smoothly and seamlessly, hire a professional to help you out. Honestly, at our wedding, it was the best money we spent out of EVERYTHING. Food, dress, decorations, cake… DJ was the best money we spent. He knew how to keep the crowd happy and was able to respond quickly to switch up the song without people realizing if a choice wasn’t working.

    I also think that you’re going to have a lot of moving parts with your wedding due to the surprise aspect. Why not take the music stress out of the equation so you can focus on other things?

    ETA: Something to think about is the perspective of your guests. Someone who has done this likely didn’t have any guests come up to them and say, “What a bad choice having a playlist!”, so they wouldn’t really know how successful or not it was. Ask guests who have been at weddings like this what they thought. Because you ultimately want your guests to have a great time. 

    Post # 3
    Member
    125 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2018

    Following for advice!

    Post # 4
    Member
    345 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    I had a formal wedding of around 80 guests and I used a playlist. I personally chose each song and set them in a specific order so the mood changes would be smooth. I also had a seperate dinner playlist. It worked wonderfully! For our first dance etc, we had someone ready to push play and I gave a nonverbal cue. There was a moment or 2 when someone requested a specific song which was fine, I just rearranged the playlist accordingly. My DW’s dad really wanted a certain song played that I didn’t have, but my sister had it on her phone so we just plugged in the AUX cord and played it from her phone. It was seriously the easiest thing to do and the whole arrangement cost us less than $100 for the speakers and equipment.

    I will note, my Destination Wedding and I have very specific/eclectic musical tastes, so hiring a DJ really wouldn’t work for us.

    Post # 5
    Member
    52 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: July 2016

    I used a playlist on spotify premium (no ads) which worked wonderfully! I also had a dinner playlist and dance playlist with a mix of songs. I also assigned a groomsman to add requests to the playlist

    Post # 6
    Member
    494 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: January 2017

    Personally I would opt for the DJ. Not only does it take away the the stress of planning the music yourself, but they know how to read the room and prompt people to dance. They are experienced with weddings and know what kind of songs get people dancing.

    I’ve been to one wedding where there was a playlist instead of DJ and there was hardly any dancing, I think the B&G were a bit bummed. The wedding was still really nice but it was more low key and felt a little less ‘fun’ without dancing. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    1156 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I’d opt for a DJ or a live band. We had 45 guests and had a small 3-piece band – it really sets the tone of the event. Who is going to watch the playlist or be in charge of it during the reception? I know you said the event was low-key so I guess a playlist could work. 

    Post # 8
    Member
    6311 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    View original reply
    surprisebride :  if you envision a party with lots of dancing – spring for the DJ or a band. In my experience as a wedding photographer, DIY music usually never works out like a couple plans. Sure the playlist might be fine, but part of a good DJ’s job is to read the crowd and help keep the party going with music selection. 

    Post # 9
    Member
    481 posts
    Helper bee

     A dj is a professional and I think it’s insulting to that profession when people think that they can just use a playlist.

    Post # 11
    Member
    2260 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    We did a playlist for our wedding of 50 guests and it worked very well.  We got a lot of positive feedback on the music, even now, months later.

    I think it depends on your crowd.  We wanted music, but if it flopped and no dancing really happened, I would have been fine with that.  We really just wanted to have our first dance.  It turned out very well, and dancing went on for a couple hours.  It worked way better than I could have imagined.  We made a playlist and just let it run.  We rented the speakers from our venue, and just had the playlist on a laptop that got plugged in.  I also had the playlist on two back up devices just in case.

    Post # 12
    Member
    736 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2018

    View original reply
    starfish0116 :  I like the way you stated this.  I am looking into using a DJ and just one of the reasons is so he can ‘guide’ the crowd from the ceremony, to the cocktail area, to dinner and then to the dance floor – all in separate locations at our farm (home) 

    Post # 13
    Member
    869 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2016

     I would get a DJ for announcements especially if you’re having a first dance with your husband a dance with your dad and if your significant other is having a dance with his mother it would be nice if their names were announced.   Also who will be introducing the bridal party best man and maid of honor?   It would be best to leave this to a professional. Also if you’re having open bar within the first two hours people may be drunk and may not be able to function your playlist LOL…. best of luck 🙂 

    Post # 14
    Member
    869 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2016

    View original reply
    starfish0116 :   Your advice is the best I’ve seen on the 🐝 

    Post # 15
    Member
    125 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: May 2018

    I will say that I went to an engagement party that just did a playlist and people danced for HOURS! The engagement party was for a destination wedding, so it was mostly to help people celebrate that wouldn’t be able to go to Hawaii. 

    However, this crowd is FULL of dance lovers. All of us bridesmaids grew up dancing, and some still do so proffesionally, so that probably makes a difference :p

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