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Massachusetts-Boston

DJ or not? And if so, who?

I'm a bride from CT, but my FI is from MA and we're getting married in Salem, MA.  The wedding is over a year away, but FI and I have been talking about little things (we've already booked the venue and ceremony site), and we're debating on the music.  And (naturally) the families are putting in their two cents.My mom, the queen of DIY, thinks it's best if we forego the usual DJ.  She calls it an unnecessary expense and thinks we should just make playlists on an iPod.  My FMIL (tactfully, I'll add right here) says that this is a bad idea, that nobody in either family has DJ experience, and that we run the risk of having too little music, not "the right" kind of music, and of nobody standing up and dancing if we do it wrong.Neither FI or I are the club/dancing type (I am more than he is), and I don't trust either of us to come up with a great mix of music that everyone will appreciate, especially our more outgoing friends.  We are paying for about 75% of the expenses for our wedding (my parents are chipping in a bit here and there), and we HAVE the money for a DJ if we scrape a little off other expenses.  So in short, my questions are:  Has anyone BEEN to an iPod wedding that went successfully?  Or do you think it's better (and safer) to just bite the bullet and spend the money on a DJ, and if so, can you recommend any in the  eastern MA area that are good and budget-friendly?Thanks in advance!
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Re: DJ or not? And if so, who?

  • edited December 2011
    Even if you have a huge music collection and a knack for putting together great jams, iPod'ing your wedding isn't a good idea. Sure, there is the equipment, the expertise and know-how, the fear that people won't be dancing.But above all of that, you have to remember that your DJ is more than a music station. He or she is the Master of Ceremonies for your wedding; the one who says "Please rise!" or "sit down!" or "let's have a toast!" The DJ announces your cake cutting, your first dance, introduces you and the wedding party. The DJ has the control to run the party, which is SO nice on your wedding day (when you dont want to be worrying about managing your guests). Ultimately, iPod weddings end up relying on members of your WP or your family to MC---which I think detracts from their own enjoyment of the day. I used VivaDJ for my wedding and he was great and affordable.
  • baystateapplebaystateapple member
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks, spuccio! That was really what I was thinking...I know my mom and the rest of my family have the best intentions at heart (my mom knows we're trying to save for a house), but at the same time, it's really been nagging at me that this won't go over as well as my mom thinks it will.  Mainly because I've never been to a wedding that was iPod-ed.  And you'd think that if it was such a great idea/money saver, it would be much more popular. I'll check out that DJ with FI.  Thank you so much!
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  • edited December 2011
    Hello! I have not been to a wedding where they did Ipod music, but I have definatly heard of people doing that.My thoughts on it are this:  Our DJ is also our "Master of Ceremonies".  He will be doing all introductions, transitioning from cocktail hour to meal time, organizing the cake cutting, dances, speeches, etc.  I think it just depends on if you are doing those types of things at your wedding.  It puts me at ease to know he will be organizing that all to make sure our day flows smoothly and I will not even have to think of any of it.  Another thing to remember is a good dj will play ANY music that you want, and a really good DJ will be able to understand the vibe you are going for and go from there.HTH
  • edited December 2011
    I feel the same about ipod weddings as pp... so here's my rec for a good and affordable dj. Curtis Knight dj company has tons and tons of djs at a very reasonable price. I'd check them out for sure.
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  • edited December 2011
    Agree with spuccio. My FSIL's wedding had an ipod, but no dancing, so the music was just played in the background, and even then it was a little weird. There are some really great articles out there on the pros/cons of doing an ipod wedding - you really need special mixing equipment so you don't have this awkward pause between songs, etc. We actually used an ipod for my friend's 30th birthday at the ICA, but hired pros to run sound equipment attached to it. Admittedly, I'm not a fan of DJs, I've seen so many go "rouge" on the bride and groom - taking over the spotlight, getting everyone's names wrong, not playing the music the B&G wanted, etc. Thankfully, my good friend happens to be a professional DJ, and so we've hired him at an extremely reasonable price (link in my bio under vendors if you're interested). I love music - I come from a very musical family that loves to dance - but when it comes to putting a playlist together that will get people on the floor (let's face it, Coldplay isn't exactly jam music and they are my fav band...) - that's where a DJ's expertise really comes in handy!
  • baystateapplebaystateapple member
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    edited December 2011
    Thank you, everyone!  I will definitely be checking out all of your suggestions (and passing them along to my mom). Erilou -- your gown and shoes are GORGEOUS!  And I love the tie for the groomsmen!
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  • edited December 2011
    i pretty much agree with the PPs regarding the ipod. i think that it could definitely work out and be great, but personally feel it's worth it to spend the money. we used aaron topfer for our wedding as a dj, ceremony/cocktail hour pianist, and MC and we were thrilled with him. music was the most important part of our wedding to us, and we were not disapopinted at all. I believe it was $1295 for him to play for the ceremony and cocktail hour, and DJ the entire night with no limit on hours.
  • edited December 2011
    I would penny pinch in other areas.  I agree with everything the PPs have said.  Keep in mind that you would need to rent a nice speaker system and have techies properly install them in the space.  Not cheap.
  • edited December 2011
    We were going to do an ipod DJ to save money because we have so many young friends who could have easily taken over the master of ceremonies (and probably would have been better than the one we actually had ugh).  But it ended up that the Seaport was going to charge us $1800 just to use equipment to hook up the ipod.   So it wasn't cheaper at all.  Just make sure to look into it and make sure it actually is going to be cheaper!
  • edited December 2011
    baystate - thanks :)
  • bubbleteabubbletea member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    It is definitely best to do whatever is going to relieve you of any stress or anxiety so it makes sense for you to hire a DJ - you could tell in your post that the iPod wedding was really not something you were comfortable with.But I just wanted to say for anyone else considering foregoing a dj, that my friend did it and there were plenty of people up and dancing. It is true that you have to be prepared to deal with pauses in between and different volumes but there are free programs out there that allow you to fix those things (even in iTunes, you can change how much space is in between songs). It really depends on what's right for you and if you think it will throw off your guests (or if they won't care). Our venue has all the equipment for free and FI (who deejays on the side) couldn't stand to pay someone a lot of money for a service he doesn't think is worth that amount so he's painstakingly making all the mixes. Friends have helped us by contributing music. We have a relative that would really like to be included by being the emcee so it all works out.
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