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September 2012 Weddings

Do we need a DJ?

Ok, this is going to sound nuts but my fiance and I are trying to keep from hiring too many people for our wedding because we want to keep things nice and calm. So, we thought it would be a good idea to just have playlists set up with breaks where someone from our wedding party or family could just pop up to the mic and announce dinner, cake cutting, etc. We're having a fairly small (about 40-45 people), laid back, beach wedding. To get a better idea of what our wedding is going to be like, the reception will be a buffet dinner. I'm wearing blue, sequined converse sneakers for my reception. I'm going barefoot for the ceremony. The reception is ending at 10:30pm. That's how laid back we're talking. So, DJ? No DJ?

Re: Do we need a DJ?

  • If it's that small, I think you'll be ok with playlists, but it would be a good idea to have a music- & tech-saavy person to keep an eye on the setup. I've seen iPod playlists work both ways- one couple, the guy had been a DJ and really knew how to put it together, plus they had a lot of friends who were into dancing, and the dance floor stayed relatively full. They only did a first dance and a parents dance, and the rest was just dancing. Another couple, they also only did a first dance, but that was pretty much the only dancing that happened. They just didn't have a knack for the playlist, and if I recall, the playlist kept stopping periodically so someone had to go mess with it (they hadn't specifically asked anyone to do that, so there was no music at times). There were a few college-age cousins who were out there dancing toward the end, but otherwise, nothing.
  • Good to know. My brother is a musician by trade so I'm pretty sure he would be more than happy to keep an eye on things.
  • We seriously considered forgoing a DJ, but then we realized that a DJ really does control the flow of the reception.  If you're having a laid back reception and it's not terribly important if people are up and dancing, I'd say it's all right.  But if you want a dance party or have announcements, special games, etc, that you want someone in charge of, I'd recommend getting a DJ.

    So In Love

    Josh and Renata's Wedding

    Planning Bio

  • We just can't afford a DJ and we are having a far larger wedding (hoping to keep it under 140 ppl).  FFIL insisted we needed one at first and they are giving us a lump sum and when we said a DJ would cost $1400 for our area, he said "Oh no I'll do it!" haha.  One thing I recently read about that we are 100% going to buy is an app called My Wedding DJ or something from Apple.  It has really good reviews.  It does seamless transistions and you can set up all the appropriate play lists (first dance, father/daughter, regular dancing, cake cutting etc) and transition to the next one just by sliding across the screen like you would to unlock an iphone or ipod touch.  You can also apparently insert pauses into it and have it start back up at the end of the pause.  It's only $5 or $6 so worth looking into! 
  • I think it depends on how important it is to you for everyone to be up and dancing. If that isn't a high priority then I would skip the DJ. Are your guests big dancers or would they rather relax and talk to friends?
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  • I think half of our quests would be content to just kick back and chat while the other half would like to dance. But the half that would dance would be more than happy to just get up and dance to whatever is playing.

    I heard about that app and we are looking into it!
  • In Response to Re: Do we need a DJ?:
    I think it depends on how important it is to you for everyone to be up and dancing. If that isn't a high priority then I would skip the DJ. Are your guests big dancers or would they rather relax and talk to friends?
    Posted by celticmyss
    This. If you plan on wanting people to dance, I'd hire a DJ. 

    The downside with putting a friend or family member in charge of wedding stuff, is that they usually drop the ball. It's not intentional, but they get to talking/dancing/having fun and they just forget or lose interest. 

    I'm so jaded...lol. This is why it's hard for me to plan my wedding. As a wedding photographer, I see it ALL. Because I'm a photographer in a resort area, 95% of my weddings are laid back beach weddings. Some do use iPods, but those are the weddings where there really isn't any dancing. Even the really casual weddings that have dancing have DJ's.
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