(Closed) Yet Another DJ vs. iPod Reception Debate

posted 6 years ago in Music
Post # 3
Member
1659 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I didn’t have a DJ – I hate DJs, and my venue being a barn on a bluff, it just didn’t seem appropriate.  We had a celtic band for ceremony music who did music for cocktail hour and dinner too, and I should have just kept them for the rest of the night too.  We tried to do the iPod thing for later, but the sound system at the venue blew up and we had an hour without music.

With the size of the wedding and the feel you’re going for, I’d investigate live music — the band that we hired was a friend of my mom’s, but their regular rate was only $75/hr!  They learned the songs that I wanted for the ceremony and certain songs that I wanted during cocktail hour.  They did all kinds of music, from traditional celtic to classic rock…they aren’t a “wedding band”, like their usual gigs are bars and dinner parties, so maybe that’s why they were so cheap. 

Post # 4
Member
1038 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We did the ipod dj for our reception.  But our reception was a very laid back type thing.  We got married on the beach and had the reception under a covered pavillion on the beach.  I used the app “WeddingDJ” and had my brother act as the “DJ”.  He made important announcements for us and just made sure my playlist kept going.  I did spends hours and hours making a playlist for while everyone was eating and for when we wanted to start dancing. 

 

It didn’t go as smoothly as I would have liked, but by that point, I didn’t care.  My guests were having a great time, me and my husband were having a great time as well.  We had less than 30 people total so a DJ in that environment might have been a lil weird anyways. 

 

If you are gonna do this….make separate playlists and have the songs in the order you want.  Makes it easier for whoever you designate to be in charge of it.  You want them to enjoy the wedding, not have to pick songs.  I had a playlist named “dinner” for the music to play while everyone was eating and mingling and one for “first dance”, “father-daughter dance”, and then dance music.  Granted some of those playlists only had one song on it, it made it easier for my brother to find.  Plus, if you use that app I mentioned….they do all that for you(you upload various playlists, it fades from one song to the next, etc). 

Post # 5
Member
125 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We are planning on doing an ipod reception.  Our venue has in house sound system that we are using for cocktail hour and dinner, and then we are renting larger speakers for the dance portion! We are actually going to be using a laptop instead of an ipod (better to control the playlists), having a relative do the MCing, and then a friend who will be in control of the playlists.  We were at a friends wedding just recently and they had an ipod reception, it worked really well and everyone was dancing!

 

That being said, if it is in your budget, I love the idea of live music!!

Post # 6
Member
1423 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

It sounds like you don’t need a DJ and it would be silly to hire one (small gathering, there is a sound system, etc.).  Make a great playlist and call it a day.  I’ve been to a few weddings without DJs.  As long as you put some thought into your playlist(s) — have one for dinner, and maybe one for early in the evening, one for later you should be fine.  It’s a bit of work, but it will save you a good chunk of change. 

 

Post # 7
Member
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Our DJ is the only vendor disappointment in our wedding.  We could have saved money and avoided disappointment if we’d just used an ipod.  I went to a wedding that started with a DJ, and then moved to an ipod, and we were dancing so much we never realized the switch.  For such an intimate affair, I think you’ll be fine, so long as you are willing to make a playlist.

Post # 8
Member
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I did an “ipod” wedding, it was actually my computer and that was probably the worst part of the wedding.  During the rehersal the night before we found out the program I picked had to have internet connection to work (our place we got married had very little signal).  So I spent hours the night before the wedding trying to come up with a back up plan.  Missed out on most of my rehersal dinner.  Plus I spent hours on end making playlists for when people are seating themselves, for important songs, for while people are eating, and for when people were dancing.  By the time we got to the dancing the sun had gone down and it was FREEZING!  So everyone left.  Nobody really heard my dance list.  So all that time I spent working on it was wasted.  It was just way too much of a hassel and I would have been so much more relaxed if I had just hired someone to do it.  You can still have a small intimate affair with a dj.  Im sure you can find a small sound system with a dj who can be discreat about things.  If I could do one thing about my wedding over it would have been that.

 

Post # 9
Member
2385 posts
Buzzing bee

If the innkeeper has offered to do traditionally “Dj” tasks, I think you’re okay without one. 

@hollykirsten:  I’m so sorry; that sounds horrible!

Post # 10
Member
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We hired a string quartet for the ceremony and cocktail hour and switched to an iPod (actually, the WeddingDJ app on an iPhone plus backup) for dinner and dancing for 120 guests.  I was super worried about this in advance, but Fiance wanted total control over the music and it worked great!

We used our venue staff, family and friends to control the flow of the reception.  Our event captain announced the start of the ceremony, my mother invited everyone to dinner, and the last toast also announced our first dance.  Oh, and we had a friend announce the after party at the end of the reception.  That was it.  We didn’t do an entrance, exit, father-daughter dance, bouquet toss, or anything else that needed an announcement or explanation.  We used the existing sound system at our venue, and our DOC was in charge of changing the playlists.

I will say that making the playlists was a lot more work than we anticipated.  We had four (dinner, first dance, party dancing, and last 10 minutes of party).  Even with the automatic cross-fade on the WeddingDJ app, most songs were too long, so Fiance ended up editing each song on iTunes to cut out long intros or other awkward sections.

HTH!

Post # 11
Member
353 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

We had an ipod reception – with 140 people – but had a friend MC for us (which is super important).  It went so well, and we saved lottttts of money.  We got so many compliments on the playlist because it was so “us” and we had thrown in songs we knew were meaningful for some of our guests too.

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