Poll: Do we really need a Wedding DJ? Post a comment.

Today, the trendy topic is DIY receptions which uses an ipod and a rented sound system instead of a professional wedding DJ. This idea is fraught with peril, because a great event is more than simply gear and music. It is the talent that a qualified professional brings to the event which matters most.

A professional DJ that is a member of the ADJA allows for a smooth flow to the event, with no embarrassing surprises. A Professional DJ from the ADJA can provide you with confidence that your event will flow smoothly and will be an event that you, your family and guests will never forget, instead of one they would like to.

No : (24 votes) 37 %

YES!! : (39 votes) 60 %

Originally my FI and I were planning on having an iPod reception with my brother (who is also a groomsman) largely managing the music. We didn’t think it would take THAT much management since we would have pre-made playlists etc. Then we are planning on asking one of my older second cousins to be the Wedding MC.

But reading through the wedding forums is making me second-guess these decisions! Sounds like a good Wedding DJ is pretty important when it comes to having a fun reception, which we definitely want to have! At the same time, our budget is getting tight and I’m not sure what I’d wiggle around to make room for the DJ…

Do we really need a Wedding DJ? Anyone else out there have an iPod/playlist wedding and have some good tips and/ success stories?


1. We had major success with our playlist wedding. We had about 50 guests and all enjoyed and complimented us on the music choice. I did not have an ipod but we used grooveshark and it was up and loud and clear through our whole reception.

It takes time, a little bit of careful planning to have dance beats amid slow, happy songs people can tune out during the meal if they wish. But since it was free… for us it was totally worth it. People danced, had a good time.

If you really want a Wedding DJ go for it, or if you feel your guests won’t dance without one … go for it. It really depends on you and your hubby and your guests, I think. But for us, it worked quite well.

2. You absolutely do not need a Wedding DJ! DH and I had an iPod wedding, and it was perfect! We chose all the songs ourselves, had a some help with a more musically-minded friend in arranging them in a great way, and only spent $200 to rent a sound system. I’d definitely do it all over again in a heartbeat!

3. I never really understood the point to a Wedding DJ… until we had one. Ours really made our reception memorable. He also took lots of stress away from me because he made the playlists– and they were perfect! I just didn’t have the time, and I really trusted him.

Also, our Wedding DJ threw in extras… like lighting that would have cost $600, had we gone through our venue.

He was so professional but kind and understanding that I couldn’t imagine our wedding without him.

All that said, all that’s necessary for a wedding are the bride, groom, (or bride and bride or groom and groom… just two concenting adults) and a couple I dos.

Don’t second guess yourself because of other people. If you’re happy with your playlists, but all means, let the iPod play on!

4. Is your brother a super peppy person? Could he be an Wedding MC-too? It doesn’t cost much to rent a microphone, but I think a Wedding DJ or Wedding MC is needed to do introductions, announce special dances or events, and to keep the speeches going. But, anyone with a great voice and fun personality could do it!

We are not having a Wedding DJ and doing an IPod playlist instead. Our MC is our officiant/groomsman. He’s got an infectious personality and knows us so well. He also has some MC experience working at a bar.

5. I did an ipod wedding and it turned out really well. We set up the playlists in advance, which took some work, but everything went smoothly day of

6. If you aren’t having a Wedding DJ, you’ll need someone to MC…to announce you, to get the crowd dancing, etc.

7. I voted yes. Not having a DJ never even crossed my mind. I genuinely feel that entertainment can make or break an event and I didn’t want to gamble with the possibilities that something would malfunction. I know that DJ’s can have issues as well but at least you’re dealing with a professional who should have some kind of backup in place.

I know someone who had an iPod reception and it didn’t go as planned. The sound system malfunctioned during the cocktail hour so they got about 20 minutes of music in before it crapped out. It took the FOB & multiple GM over 2 hours to fix it and this was after they had to make a Radio Shack run to get a replacement part. After the sound system was fixed the music played flawlessly for about an hour or so until it was time for the specialty dances. Apparently the songs weren’t in the correct order so the couple danced their first dance to the song that they chose for their cake cutting. The person who was designated to MC for the evening got hammered and screwed up pretty much everything that he was supposed to do. He even pronounced their last name wrong. The bride was none too pleased.

I didn’t post this to scare you out of having an iPod wedding, I just think you should hear some stories from the other side. I’m sure an iPod wedding can be awesome but when you’re relying on a playlist and non professionals, it is a gamble.

8. I agree we looked into a Wedding DJ and there were some nice ‘perks’ if you were willing or wanting to pay for it, lighting , etc being one of them. So if you’re into that and want a nice easy all in one sort of deal, try to find a DJ who does all that, it’s worth the price esp if you are doing lighting on your own.

9. I’ve been to both – a wedding without a DJ and many that have had a DJ. Honestly, I wouldn’t consider not having one – they really do make or break the party. The one we went to without a DJ was just kind of boring – nobody really felt like getting up to dance. DJs are able to mix music, keep the party going, they can read the crowd to see what people are doing and the appropriate music to play.

I’ve in love with the DJ we chose for our wedding – I’ve been to 3 other weddings that have used him and he is fantastic! He’s also serving as sort of our wedding coordinator – he got married at the same venue as me which is a HUGE plus – he’s handling all our music for the ceremony, the cocktail hour, and for the reception – he’s bringing special lighting and doing all the announcements to keep the party rolling – introductions, cake cutting, etc. He will help coordinate with the videographer (also from his company) and our photographer (different vendor) to make sure everyone knows what’s happening when it’s happening which is really important to me as I want to make sure all the important parts get captured.

I can’t imagine having the stress of all of that to deal with and it’s so nice to not have to worry about it on the day of. If you can spare the extra money, I’d really recommend having a DJ/MC that knows what they’re doing – they usually bring all their own equipment as well as microphones for the ceremony, toasts, etc.

Do we really need a Wedding DJ?

10. We did not have a DJ for our wedding and it went really well.

Here are some things that I think made things go so smoothly for us:

We used a laptop instead of an ipod to make it easier to switch between playlists.

We had a great sound system.

We made each segment (cocktails, dinner, cake cutting, first dance, dancing etc) its own playlist and had a backup computer. We also chose additional slow and fast songs that we could speed things up or slow things down anytime we wanted.

Having a great MC is crucial. We had a groomsman who was perfect for this. (If we didn’t have him as MC the night would not have gone as well)

We also had someone to keep an eye on the laptop to make sure things ran smoothly and to switch between playlists.

We made a detailed timeline for our friends who MC’d and ran the sound system so that they knew when things were happening, what we wanted said and what songs/list should be played.

That being said, I have seen an ipod wedding that did not work well, mainly due to a bad sound system (we could barely hear the music) and no MC. Both ipod and DJ have ther advantages and disadvantages. If you go with a Dj be sure to find a good one, not just the cheapest.

11. I think it totally depends on the size of / ambiance at your wedding. If it’s fairly small and not massively formal then you could get away with an ipod reception!

12. I have never been to a wedding without a DJ but I did hear a horror story about one. My cousin attended an iPod wedding and said that the sound system kept malfunctioning, there was too much of a gap between songs, and the playlist just didn’t flow right. She said that her and her husband along with many other guests ended up leaving way early because they were bored. Personally, I would want a Wedding DJ there as one less thing I had to worry about on a day that I will have a ton of crap to worry about.

DJ’s can flop too though, and so can bands so it really just depends. Every wedding is different. I believe it can be pulled off though. The last wedding I went to I kind of wished it was an iPod wedding. The DJ sucked!!

13. I think depending on how many guests you plan to have and the vibe you’re trying to go for, it’s fine to have one or not.

14. I have mixed feelings about iPod weddings. We are not having a dance, so you bet all our background music will be on iPod – why would I hire someone to put together background music? But often it is useful to have someone coordinate the dance – I can’t imagine trying to pick the popular songs and sort that out.

15. It sounds very similar to my wedding and we have got a DJ just for acoustics really. Of all the things that cost a lot in weddings, I think DJ’s aren’t one of the bigger expenses so if you think you may look back and regret it, maybe find one that’s in your budget 🙂

16. girl you have to get a DJ! its entertainment for your guests i would say yes only because I’m the type of girl who loves music and the DJ can have your schedule and take some worries off your back and it’s nice to let a professional take care of things. If you are in really tight budget yes you can do ipod wedding or Pandora just make sure its well organized!

17. My MOH opted for a Ipod and playlist and it was just chaotic. No one knew where to be, when to do what etc. She really needed someone with a microphone to take charge and tell the guests what to do etc. Her wedding was about 40 people and even then it was awkward without directions.

You don’t necessarily need a DJ if you can find someone to take this role. It is just a huge help especially if you are having a large wedding.

18. For me, yes, I can’t imagine NOT having one. It’s just one less thing to stress about on the big day – I don’t want to have to worry about who’s announcing what, the music or speakers malfunctioning, etc.

19. Yes!!! Wedding DJ is a Must!!! For U that is!! I’m a firm believer in enjoying ur day to the MAX! Ive heard a few horror stories too for IPod weddings, but someone very close to me had a successful IPod wedding! but for me, I’m def having a DJ, it’ll help U not stress about making sure the songs are right, and that way ur brother can enjoy ur wedding too! He’s someone very close to u, so i think he should be enjoying and making sure others are having a good time, instead of at some corner manning the music… With a Wedding DJ/MC it helps U concentrate on all the other things that will be going thru ur mind that day… One less thing to worry about!! and will give u more time to enjoy all the other beautiful things about ur wedding!!


After talking to a lot of people and reading through all the responses to this thread I just thought I’d let you all know we’ve decided to go with a DJ. More for the peace of mind than anything else!

Read the entire Wedding Bee thread


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