Wedding Reception Forum

DIY Music by "DJ iPod"?

FH and I hate DJs with a fiery passion, but we can't seem to find a band that will do what we want for the reception, and will be within our budget.  Since we're trying to keep the wedding fairly casual, we're thinking of just making a wedding playlist, setting up some sound equipment, and letting the iPod do all the work.  Has anyone else done this with any success, or is it a really bad idea?

Re: DIY Music by "DJ iPod"?

  • I also want to do this so I look forward to some feedback from other brides!
  • I know several brides who have done and it worked well.   Sometimes people have worries that rogue guests will start changing the songs or fiddling with the playlist, but you should know your group and plan accordingly.

    The only thing I'd suggest is to either hire someone to bring, setup, do a soundcheck and take down the speakers & mics or assign someone responsible to do it.  I recently organized a holiday party for my work and the sound system was the worst part - we did an iPod playlist and couldn't get the mics to work, they sounded funny, and carrying them around in peoples' cars was a pain in the butt.

  • FH is a musician so we've got tons of sound equipment on hand, but that's a good point!
  • I see a handful of votes against it on the poll, but no one's really speaking up as to why.  Anyone with good reasons against it that I maybe forgot to consider, please speak up!
  • I don't hate it, but wouldn't do it. Just do not have the equipment to do it. But we are cutting corners where we can too. So, go for it!!
  • I am thinking about it because we want a whole lot of songs during the evening, so we have to set up a playlist in any case. And we are short of budget.
    These two things keep me away from iPod-DJ-ing (until now):
    1. We would have to hire the speakers etc., our living room stereo would be fairly ridiculous at a 100-person-party.
    2. You don't know how the party is going to be before it starts. So how can you possibly set up a playlist that will meet the atmosphere at any moment? I am sure people will unexpectedly want to hear certain songs and they would normally turn to the DJ then to ask him whether he could play it. If there is no DJ, you will have to do that! Or one of your best friends, but they also want to party, not to switch playlists all night! Or, most chaotic scenario, nobody is really responsible for the iPod, anyone walks around and switches music on and off... Argh!
    Solutions to that? ;)
  • We will do this for the first 2 hours. DI's good friend has a PA we can use. Fir the last hour or two we intend to have a brass band.
  • freind's of ours did this for their budget wedding.  It didn't turn out well.  She had made a play list that was supposed to be put on and let run; with certain songs at certain times for the dances, and cake cutting and what not

    However, someone who was hired for the catering for the event hijacked the iPod and started playing stuff randomly; TOTALLY killed the energy since there would be long pauses.
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  • i voted to not do this, and i may sound like a pro dj person, which i'm not, i'm a bride, a financial analyst actually. but i truely beleive that a dj is more than a person to push the play button. i really want my wedding to be a party, i want my guest to be thoroughly entertained and my dj will do that. keep the party going.
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  • I went to a wedding last year where they did this - it started out fine, but about 45 minutes into the dancing part of the reception a song came on that was sort of an indie rock number that most didn't know, then another... and another.  The party sort of dwindled to an awkward standstill. 

    I guess I'm just saying - be careful what you pick, and have a back-up plan if your guests aren't feeling it.....
  • I would not do an iPod.  I am a DIY budget bride, but not when it comes to the big things such as music, food, photography.  I am fine with the diy for decor or invites.  It is hard to predict the dance mood, and that is what the dj or band does.  Plus I probably would not be as willing to get up and dance to the iPod (lacks energy).  Will you be able to have fun at your reception and not worry about the playlist if you did this?
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  • I wouldn't do this. My sister set up a laptop for her wedding with a playlist and one of the groomsmen was meant to take care of it but he ended up getting caught up in the party. There was a chunk of time when the dance floor was completely empty.

    I wanted to cut costs but I decided to go with a DJ anyways because now I have the peace of mind knowing that it's someone else's job to worry about the music and sound equipment.
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  • We're doing this.  FI is a musician so we already have the needed equipment.  Neither one of us are into dancing and as for the majority of our guests ... we doubt they are into dancing either.  (But they'll still have the option if they want, plus we'll do the traditional dances).  We're having an intimate wedding with about 50 people.   It just didn't make sense for us to spend the money on a DJ.

    I think it all depends on what kind of reception you want to have...  this is a party you are throwing with your FH... the first party you are hosting together as a married couple.  If you are wanting to throw a dance, maybe hire a DJ.  Especially if youre worried about the dance floor being empty. If you want to host a more intimate gathering with background music and some dancing, an ipod works just fine for that imo.
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  • We are planning to do this for our wedding reception. My fiance and his family are musicians and they have the equipment like you do. My suggestion is to find someone who is willing to run the music though do not leave it to play by itself, and I would also suggest that it is someone NOT in the bridal party, and someone who is not going to be easily distracted by socializing. We are having two of our friends do the music kind of like DJ's but they are doing it the way we want it done. They are only in charge of the music, they are not in the bridal party and they do not know a ton of people at the wedding so they won't get distracted by socializing too much. The only other suggestion I would give from my own personal finding is make sure you have a wide range of music on the playlist. I say this because at our wedding we have an extremely broad range of ages at the wedding, I do not know if this is the case with you but I know my grandmother does not want to listen to the rap that my friends like. SO I just suggest that you really plan out the playlist. 

    I hope that this works out well for you both!!!! 
  • I voted against it.  If its not in your budget to hire a dj, you will need to have somebody responsible for playing the special songs and making announcements.  That doesn't seem like a fun job for any of your guests.

    You'd need a dj (or someone) to do the following:
    1. Play the processional
    2. Play any music you may have during the ceremony
    3. Start the music for your walk back up the aisle
    4. Make an announcement after the cocktail hour that its time to be seated for dinner
    5. Play the song for you, fiance, parents, bridal party etc. to be announced into the room
    6. Make the announcement that its time for the first dance.
    7. Play your first dance song
    8. Make the announcement that the parent dances will begin
    9. Play the father / daughter and mother / son dance songs
    10. Announce when its time to cut the cake
    11. Play the song you want for the cake cutting
    12. Announce the last dance and thank your guests for coming
    13. Play the song you want for the last dance

    One other important service a dj provides is that they can "feel the room" and change the music style as necessary.  You don't want to be watching an empty dance floor and need to run up and change the playlist yourself.

    I'd rethink this if I were you.  If you really don't have the money to get a basic dj package, maybe you can pay someone you know (not a guest) a couple hundred bucks to cover the basics.  I'm thinking someone like your mother's business partner's college aged kid that wouldn't be invited to the wedding anyway.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
  • We are having a ceremony musician, so the ceremony stuff isn't relevant.  I've also never heard of anyone using a DJ for their ceremony music, but maybe that's just me...  And the Maitre d' at the catering hall is supposed to go around and tell people when it's cocktail hour, so none of that is relevant.  As for the rest of it, we are considering bringing in someone to just man the equipment, but probably not much as an emcee.  The option for the reception isn't "iPod or DJ"... it's "iPod or no music at all" because we actually dislike DJs that much.
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