Wedding Wire’s View:
We here at Weddings, Inc. completely understand the need for brides to save money. We have built our entire business model around saving brides money on their wedding day and have successfully worked with brides with all kinds of budget issues.
With that being said, however, the one thing we BEG brides NOT to do is use an I-pod instead of a DJ.
The DJ does so much more than play music! He or she is the BACKBONE of the entire reception!!!!!!!!!!! An I-pod cannot announce your bridal party, walk you through the cake cutting or know how to change up the music if what is playing isn’t working. They give life to your party. Have you ever been to a wedding where the DJ did a bad job and all you could think was, “this wedding stinks!”? What do you think your guests will say with no Master of Ceremonies at all????
Ladies, PLEASE talk to perspective DJ’s and explain your budget concerns. In this economic climate almost everyone is willing to make a deal. I am sure you can economical
On a side note, their business is run by advertising which DJs pay for, so of course they are going to support their fellow advertisers! Let’s call this a biased view or opinion.
We are using an iPod, which I normally strongly recommend against! Ours is simply because we are having such a small ceremony, no dancing, none of the traditions type stuff…
We will play instrumental music while everyone enters, then have a BIL who will be manning the music. As soon as the ceremony is over, we’ll do our exit with everyone for pictures.
While we are outside, our caterer has agreed to change the music to a playlist that will be our background music during the luncheon.
I’ve done some MCing and stuff- so I’m familiar with how things work and our event is really laid back. If we were doing a ‘real’ reception type event- I would NEVER use an iPod!
With proper training, we believe that you can successfully have your ipod wedding reception and have it well organized and it to be successful.
I had a friend that used an i-pod, an to be honest it made her wedding horrible. People kept going over to it if they did not like the song and changing it right in the middle of things and then all you hear is that click, click, click, noise that the i-pod makes. Hardly anyone danced at her wedding i think becuase of this… just a thou
One of our modules is assigning a family member to be in charge of the ipod or the Music.
We will be using our ipod, mainly b/c we don’t see the need to shell out thousands of dollars on a DJ, for our smaller wedding. We will be having someone working the ipod, I have made different playlists for our first dance, special dances, background music and some dancing music. We aren’t planning to have a lot of dancing but the music will be there if anyone does. The reception will be starting at 9:30-1pm so I’m not sure how many people will want to dance that early. Our venue has specific speakers for ipods/mp3 players/cds so the sound quality is really good, and our reception area isn’t that big, we’re only having 30 people or so. Our coordinator does ipod weddings all the time there and she said she’s only had a problem when the couple doesn’t create an easy playlist to follow. So I guess it would depend on a few different factors.
Here is a bride who states that her coordinator even encourages ipod weddings, a real professional event planner… Believe me, the have seen the worst of the worst, and for a coordinator to recommend an ipod as a viable source of entertainment, it means that it can actually be worse than a DJ.
We rented sound equipment and hooked up my laptop to it. I had made playlists in itunes for the first dance, bouquet toss, etc. I had a close friend announce the bridal party in since the BIL that was in charge of manning the music was also part of the bridal party. Then BIL made sure the correct music played when it was supposed to and made some of the announcements along with the day of coordinator. The day of coordinator made sure everything moved along and happened. It was really low maintenance because for the dinner and dance music he just had to let the playlists run and only go up there for the special ones which we only did for the 1st dance, the 1st slow song to open up open dancing and have everyone join us on the dance floor, the bouquet toss, & the garter toss. Oh and the last song.
Successful if done correctly!!!
Before you make your decision, take a look at the following video: http://adja.org/general/ipodwedding.asp
One of the biggest mistakes people make is defining a DJ as “just the music” for their wedding. A professional wedding DJ can help coordinate (especially if you don’t have a coordinator), organize and make your reception flow smoothly from the moment your guests arrive until they leave.
Here are some of the downfalls (in my opinion) for an iPod wedding:
1) No Continuity in the music – You can’t beat-mix to keep your guests on the floor and you cannot “rotate the floor” to engage all your guests since no one is there to read the crowd
2) Without professional announcements, your grand entrance, cake cutting, first dance and other activities will be simply anti-climactic
3) A DJ will create the memories that your photographer will capture.
4) Equipment will not be set up professionally. It will look bad and sound even worse.
I can refer you to a couple of DJ’s in PA.
Here is another link to a DJ against ipod weddings…
For our wedding since it was in a house we ended up making playlists on itunes. Originally we were going to use the IPOD but because of the system we ended up burning the music to discs. We had a playlist printed out and everything labled out. Our wedding wasn’t to large and was super intimate, this idea worked for us but will depend on your wedding. 🙂 Good luck!
Again, more reasons to use ipods or even a laptop at your wedding for the music.
I made backups of my playlists for mine just in case. 😉
We rented equipment for our ceremony too and the sound was really good and the mic was very small and not noticeable! It was from the same company as the DIY DJ equipment and the guy stayed and manned it and I gave him the CDs for the ceremony music. Of course there was some miscommunication between him and the coordinator because my girls started walking with no music and then he just started their song when the last girl was half way down the aisle then skipped to my song since I was already coming out. :-p At least he got my song and our exit song! He stayed and showed BIL the DIY DJ equipment up through the first dance then left and came back when the wedding ended to break it down.
Having total control of your timeline and a “GOOD” coordinator will eliminate this.. Most coordinators don’t really know what a DJ does, most people don’t really know all that a DJ has to go through.
That is true. I spent HOURS upon HOURS perfecting my playlists and worried what everyone would think about the music. I actually got quite a few compliments on the music though. 🙂 And I am glad that I had complete control over the music too.
Believe it or not, this is one of the top reasons why brides use ipods for music.. They want the music played that they like…
Why do you consider an I-pod over DJ?
What is your underlying reason? Is it really about money or mundane performances with DJ’s?
Imagine going to a concert and rather have the artists come out and perform…they play prerecorded music. They audience sits and watches an empty stage.
Since the band is not there, they can’t see the audience reaction to gauge whether or not the crowd is enjoying. There’s no connection. An I-pod is nothing more than interrupted music.
Is this the feel you want for your wedding?
continued from above…
If all you’ve seen is the typical wedding DJ…I can understand your frustration. Why would you want to shell out money if you don’t see the value? The typical DJ introduces “things” not people. Says things like “everybody make some noise!” “I wanna hear you scream!!!!
The best MC’s are typically not on the mic all night, Wedding DJs typically are. The best MC gets applause by the DELIVERY of the line not by requesting it.
The best MC can move an audience with Tone, Inflection & pacing. They can get any emotion desired, including laughter, applause & even tears all in HOW they deliver the prepared lines.
Sadly…most brides rarely see a great performance and don’t expect much in the planning process. How do I know? 90% of all brides book their entertainment last or next to last.
Hopefully I’ve painted a clearer picture for you.
He makes a great point, about 85% to 95% (almost all djs) DJs fall into this category.
You will save a lot of money. The good thing is you get to choose the music you want to hear. Better make a playlist before the wedding. You’ll need a lot of music…it might not be a bad idea to ask your fiancee and others songs they’d like to hear
Don’t know if your question is soley for ipod only or those that still did DIY like me with the laptop. But I’ll answer.
“can you give all of us some articulate details on how your iPod wedding turned out, and if the dance floor was full or not.”
The reception was fine. The dance floor was full for the first song (a slow one) to start off the open dancing. We had our MC/DJ whatever you call them, DH’s brother basically, make an announcement for everyone to join the bride & groom on the dance floor. No one did at first but then my parents did and everyone followed.
Tell us about the “energy” of the event and how the music affected the guests. Did your guests talk about the event or if they had “fun”.
It was a tough crowd, not really into dancing except for that one slow song. But that’s ok, I kind of expected that and it was a small (about 50 people) daytime wedding. A few people did get out and dance to the faster songs and the kids had a blast.
I received several compliments on the music.
“Did the person(s) who operated the iPod talk about their “duties”. Did anyone have to stop songs, or were there multiple operators who wanted “their” style of music over others?”
DH’s brother who was in charge of the laptop and music said it was very easy and no one complained about the music or tried to change it.
Here is a person who answered those questions posed earlier by a fellow DJ.
My wedding ceremony was outdoors and they ran on an i-pod system with Bose speakers. I sat down with the owner of the venue and picked my songs out and her assistant ran the music- it was beautiful and it ran smoothly. For my “reception” being it was a destination wedding we had no music. We were more concerned about eating and then going tour the area and doing our own thing. I am trying to plan an at home reception after the holidays, and I don’t plan on hiring a band or a DJ (alot of people around here will get a band). I see nothing wrong with having an iPod.
Ipod Music Based wedding receptions are the wave of the future, done correctly EVERYONE will have a great time!
@MCDJCarlos: You raise alot of good points. For brides doing a more traditional event, those are certainly concerns to address. We are not among those. So let me answer your questions in my particular case.
@Meghan: Let’s say you set up your iPhones. How will you get the sound to the PA? We are actually using a small sound system to plug the iPod directly into. We may use laptops, which I can plug directly into my personal sound system. The room is small enough, it’s not an issue.
Who is going to be liable if something is not taped down properly and one of your guests trips on a cable? There will be no cables laying on the ground.
Who’s going to “man” the iPod and resolve conflicts? My BIL, who (as well as myself) does MCing for events.
and if your dinner runs long/short, what happens to your playlist? I’m making a 3 hour playlist for a 1-1 1/2 hour luncheon.
Most playlists… Complete silence will make your wedding guests uncomfortable and will probably result in them leaving early. -All our guests are immediate family, or people who are even closer. Our event itself will only be about 3 hours long. No one will leave early, and a major snafu would only give us something to laugh at later. Nothing will be programmed on the fly- it will be very well planned out.
Before you decide on an iPod wedding… you can understand that a Wedding DJ does more than “just play music. -I certainly understand that a DJ does ALOT more than just play music. For most events- they need a DJ. Announcements, flow from events and preparing guests for the traditional items- first dances, garter toss, etc. We are not doing any of those things. All we really want is some background music playing.
I would never recommend the iPod route to someone who isn’t doing the type of event we are or have the experience and equipment that I do.
Even Brides know that these questions, these scare tactics, they are just because DJs are afraid to lose their work? If you are a good DJ to begin with, you should have nothing to be afraid of. It is not hard to run a wedding reception right, you just need the right training and the right guidance and anyone can do it. It’s really easy.
My iPod will be DJing my wedding, for the following reasons:
1. I do DJ for dance events, I know what music I want.
2. I have lovely speakers that will fill the smaller space that I have just fine.
3. Every professional DJ at a wedding I’ve wanted to strangle. I *HATE* them, and their music selections are crap and they never get off the mic. The only weddings that have had music I enjoyed and actually had people dancing did not include any professional DJs or MCs.
4. On the topic of needed announcements: my father is a professional speaker, he (unlike every MC I’ve ever met) knows how to shut up.
5. Guests will be informed about the pain of death if they touch the iPod (friend will be manning it).
This person is the reason this course is being created… Like him, there are thousands and thousands of people who HATE, JUST HATE, the traditional DJ with a passion… maybe you have not had the pleasure to deal with one of these, but the DJs are very ego driven and customer service is NOT at the top of their list of things to learn to do well.
I used an ipod and it worked out great. We had a family friend who ran the music, transitioned into the bouquet and garter stuff etc. I think that is where it makes the difference. We also had only like 50 people and the room we were in was great for carrying the sound. You also should have a good Ipod player. We did dancing and all that jazz too and I actually got a ton of compliments on the music we had…I had actually not expected many people to dance at our wedding, but everyone was up and dancing and enjoying themselves. I picked songs that complimented eachother and paid attention to the order of songs so they made sense (like not having slow songs bunched to close together etc.)
Oh, and I had playlists created so the person running the music could easily go to whatever event was next. I had a dinner playlist, a playlist for each event (bouquet, garter etc.) and a playlist for dancing. I had a small wedding so I knew what music to play that would be appropriate and fun for everyone. This also prevents lag time between choosing a song or having someone choose a song you wouldn’t want playing.
I think the DJ is what makes the reception fun and people really enjoy themselves..I went to a wedding a few months ago were they only used an ipod it was boring!!! You could tell that people were bored and ready to leave. If you shop around you may find a DJ at a reasonable price. My DJ is charging $450.00 I gave him a $90 deposit and we have a contract. I checked other DJ’s out they wanted $750-$1000 so I think we are getting a pretty good deal! Good luck to you!
I hate to be rude, but no, Good luck to you… DJs charging less than $600 have a very very very bad reputation for ditching their clients last minute… Why, because they DO find someone who will pay their higher rate.