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Reception Ideas

Skipping DJ and Band, iPod playlist instead?

I have been reading about the trend of creating your own iPod playlist for the reception instead of having a DJ or band.  I've never been a fan of DJs or any local bands, so I really like this idea.  My reception site has speakers hardwired throughout that would make this possible.  My question is, has anyone else done this or been to a reception where it was done? I'm afraid its one of those things that sounds good until you actually do it and then it's not so great.


Re: Skipping DJ and Band, iPod playlist instead?

  • Are you having dancing?  We're doing an iPod, but we're also just using it for background music, because there won't be any dancing.  A DJ can read the floor and change up the music on the fly to keep things going, and you don't really have that kind of flexibility with an iPod.

    The other thing to consider is that a DJ plays a large part in keeping the wedding moving and announcing specific moments.  So if you go the iPod route, you probably still want to designate someone as the MC (my BIL is doing this for us).
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  • Like aerin said, the keys to the success of your iPod wedding reception are whether or not you want dancing and whether or not you can find a good MC.  We did the iPod reception and our guests only probably danced because I was dancing.  I did a lot of research to pick out the right songs and it worked really well for the most part.  The only glitch we had was that our MC (DH's friend who used to DJ) wanted to leave the reception early and told us that well before the cake was to be cut.  We moved up the cake cutting which probably shortened the reception but I guess it worked out ok.  

    So if you don't really care about keeping the crowd going and you have a good MC in mind, it is completely do-able.
  • In Response to Re: Skipping DJ and Band, iPod playlist instead?:
    [QUOTE]My cousin used c.d's instead of a comp. or ipod. They come 2 her just b4 their 1st dance 2 tell her the song was skipping. so she had 2 pik a different song right then & there. Now i have her helping me plan my wedding so nothing that bad happens 2 me. Lol! I am going with the ipod as well.
    Posted by Jayd25[/QUOTE]

    Wow.  What is wrong with you to type a message such as this?  Be a big girl and use full words!!

    Anyway, I used an ipod and it was fine.  But it was also just background music.  You can find my playlist in my bio if you want some ideas.
  • We are having a destination wedding in Bali, Indonesia in July.  We are splurging on the venue but since most of the guests are not dancing type folks, we decided to do an iPod wedding too.  Handpicked songs that reflect our taste and personalities!  Our wedding is small though around 50 people coming.
  • Honestly, while bands and DJs are not that great, I would think it was cheesy if I went to a wedding with an IPod playlist instead of DJ or band.  The only exception would be if this was a small low budget wedding, in which case it would seem to "fit" the rest of the ceremony/reception.  And as other knotties have mentioned, the DJ does do a lot like announce the wedding party and cake cutting, speeches; can time the dinner with softer music and dancing with more up beat stuff which would be very difficult to do with an IPod.  If your budget doesn't allow for band or dj then go for it (or consider hiring DJ for part of the reception??) but otherwise, I say get a DJ.
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  • I've been to weddings where the couple chose an Ipod instead of a dj and it was a disaster. I have yet to see this work out successfully. The problems of DIY music are that you have to make sure the music is danceable, you also have to be sure that the guests will dance to what you have chosen. You also need to make sure that you have a backup plan that you can quickly change to if a certain song or genre does not work for the guests. This is why djs have 10x the amount of music on hand than the average Ipod. If you choose to have someone in charge of it the whole time, they won't be able to enjoy themselves like the rest of the guests.

    It's not worth the hassle and headache, considering that djs are not expensive if you shop around. Your local board can help you find someone within your budget who knows what they are doing.
  • We are planning to use an iPod playlist for our destination wedding in May because our reception is small enough to be more like a dinner party. We are asking a family member to make introductions, cue up a couple songs for first dances, then we just want background music. Later in the summer though, when we have a big reception back home, we're hiring a DJ.

    I'm wondering the same thing as you... whether or not this will flop. But a lot of guests are older relatives who won't have a good time if there is a loud DJ playing dance music the whole time. The reception ends fairly early, so I know some of the younger people are already planning to go out to party after the low-key reception.

    Good Luck!
  • I've never actually been to a wedding where this was done, so feel free take my comments with a grain of salt. That said, we were seriously considering this for our wedding until someone pointed out to us how much the DJ is involved in getting people moving on the dance floor. With just music and nobody saying 'come on, get up here' or organizing stuff I'm not sure people would dance much. If that's fine with you then, I don't see any other downside. I do agree with pps about considering an MC though, because it is true that the DJ helps keep the reception moving along.
  • My FI was in a wedding where the bride and groom used CDs and an iPod for the music.....when the bride and groom went to have their first dance, and the paren'ts dance, NO ONE knew it was going on because there was no DJ or MC to announce it. No one knew they were cutting the cake either. Also, YMCA was played about 6 times.....no joke. We hired a DJ for our reception after seeing that catatastrophe! Our main focus tho for the reception is that everyone walks away going "Wow, that was a GREAT time!" It really depends on the type of reception you want and your budget. However, to me hiring a DJ was alittle worth the added cost to not have to be worried about ONE more thing. Good luck!

  • edited May 2013
    Thanks for the insights, people.  I found this board because we're trying to weigh the pros/cons of DIY/iPod, and I'm starting to think it's not worth the hassle of researching and putting together a playlist, and then trying to find a friend to be an MC on top of everything.  Problem is, I find most DJs so darn tacky, too flashy, too much bells and whistles, just looking at the websites and company names turns me off - we're young enough to like going out to party to booming music at a nightclub, but old enough (40s) to want a fun, but tasteful and mature wedding that does not at all resemble that kind of thing.  No flashing lights, no cheesy "is everybody having a goooood time!" for our Sunday afternoon event.  Where on earth do you find more reserved, low key, no-nonsense yet still personable professional DJs? :)
  • I have been reading about the trend of creating your own iPod playlist for the reception instead of having a DJ or band.  I've never been a fan of DJs or any local bands, so I really like this idea.  My reception site has speakers hardwired throughout that would make this possible.  My question is, has anyone else done this or been to a reception where it was done? I'm afraid its one of those things that sounds good until you actually do it and then it's not so great.


    Its not something I'd ever consider nor is it very common where I live. You'd be surprised how cheap DJ's can be if you shop around.
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  • kipnuskipnus
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    We used an ipod and it worked fine for us. It was quite a bit of work picking all of the songs, but I'm such a control freak, I probably would have picked out all of the songs for a DJ too. We had a friend as our MC to announce all of the important stuff and another friend took charge of the ipod, just to find the right songs for the spotlight dances and adjust the volume for dinner vs. dancing.
  • @leojbramble you might want to post on your local board (on the left) for DJ recommendations.  We met several DJs at a wedding expo that were cringe-worthy, but there was one at the expo that seemed serious, respectful, professional, etc., so I hope you can find someone if that is the direction you want to go in.

  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    The one thing about a good DJ is that s/he can offer a mix of music that has appeal to everyone at the reception....an iPod or a band might be limited to one type of music. 

    I personally would hate a reception that's all slow couple dancing, or all rock, country, hip-hop, etc....especially if I have guests from varying backgrounds who don't all like the same kind of music.
  • I was at a wedding where the groom played his music from his ipod.  they spent $40,000 for there wedding. It was beautiful, but the one thing we remember from that wedding two years ago, is that nobody danced.  My fiance thinks a DJ is one of the most important things to get right at your wedding, we dont want people leaving early and remembering what a dull party we had.

  • edited June 2013
    @jessicabessica: As it turns out, we decided on a jazz combo (with iPod during their breaks), but thanks!
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