Be Your Own Ipod Wedding DJ


Can anyone be a DJ? Yes, anyone who knows how to make a list of their favorite songs can be a DJ. Just get a free music program like iTunes or one with similar functions and start lining up songs then click “play.” If you decide you want to have even more fun with it, you may want to invest in DJ sofware and equipment.

Can anyone be a mobile disc jockey? Anyone who knows how to have fun, speaks clearly and knows how to get people’s attention and has a wide knowledge of musical genres and eras can be a mobile disc jockey. Chances are the mobile DJ has to also know something about sound equipment, which isn’t too big of a deal once you learn the basics. Even someone who does not fit all those qualifications can pull off a gig by renting the right equipment and following a safe program, which I will describe in this report.

Mobile Disc Jockeys can be the best providers of affordable music and entertainment at weddings, reunions, corporate events, house parties or any kind of function that utilizes sound for crowd enjoyment. I have done hundreds of these events over the past few decades and I still love it. I’ve also done radio shows and even though radio has a bigger audience and more industry credibility, I’ve actually had more fun doing live events.

Unlike radio, mobile sound is in direct touch with the crowd and you can see people’s reactions instantly, whereas in radio you have to wait three months to get a ratings report that doesn’t even tell you if people liked your show or not. Also unlike radio, the mobile DJ can take instant requests and isn’t bound by a strict pre-determined playlist, usually concocted by someone that looks at statistics instead of actual live crowds. While radio stations have to follow uniform playlists that repeat around the clock, the mobile DJ has much more freedom to say and play whatever seems right at a particular moment, either by reading crowd reaction or simply injecting surprises into the mix.

Mobile DJs actually make more money than radio DJs, believe it or not, if you look at average pay per hour. In big cities radio morning show hosts can command six figures but most other jocks around the clock are lucky to make $10-$15 per hour. Prior to the mid-nineties radio personalities in big cities made much more money but corporate consolidation of the industry along with cheap voice-tracking has lowered the pay scale across the board as corporations look to cut costs, in an effort to impress their shareholders. Meanwhile Mobile DJ pay has steadily gone up to the point where even in medium-sized markets they can make $100 per hour. The downside is that mobile gigs tend to be just on the weekends (mostly Saturdays), but that’s still good money for having fun.

Building a mobile dj business isn’t easy at first, unless you already know a lot of people who need one. Marketing is important to any business, but word of mouth is the best. Advertising in the yellow pages can be expensive and should not be relied upon as the only source of leads. People getting married like to know that the dj is professional and not just some kid with any kind of sound system, so they usually turn to friends for help or to someone they picked up a business card from at a wedding they attended themselves.

One big problem with the mobile sound industry is that it is flooded with lots of novice or cheesy players in every big market. When I say cheesy I mean guys who might do a decent job faking it, pretending to have a good time, who say dumb things on the microphone to pose as entertainers and happen to have a decent sound system. Some people get away with this act for years and make a good living at it. But a great DJ is someone who creates a memorable crowd-pleasing atmosphere, without forcing phony personality. Of course, it’s usually all about the music, but personality goes a long way too. If the music is great and everyone has a good time, there’s still a good chance no one will ever remember the DJ. But if the music is great and the DJ sparingly adds geniuine character to the event, that DJ will get a lot of people asking for his or her business card at the end of the event.

DJ equipment is important, but it doesn’t make or break the event, unless it’s pure garbage. All that matters is that it works and it doesn’t add noise to the content. Any speaker or mixer with a loud hum is either trash and should be replaced or needs to be fixed prior to the event. Sound problems at an event are an instant credibility-burner. The worst thing a DJ can do is allow loud feedback or noise to be heard through the system. Sometimes, though, weird stuff happens and the DJ has to turn into a technician and fix the problem right away. Usually it’s no big deal if everything was checked an hour before the event start time. But if an amplifier or speaker blows, the DJ will look like a fool to a lot of people if there is no back-up equipment ready on deck.

Music knowledge is important even though these days clients are more aware about picking their own selections or crafting their own playlists. Still, if someone knows as much about music as a mobile dj, they should think about becoming a mobile dj themselves. It used to be most djs just had to know the current hits. But since the advent of multiple musical generes that touch the mainstream djs need to be aware of a lot of styles and a lot of time periods. Unless the gig is focused on young people who want to hear just the latest dance songs, chances are a crowd characterized by a wide range of ages will want a buffet of music that includes swing from the 40s, rock and roll from the 50s, Motown and rock from the 60s, disco, funk and rock from the 70s, a little 80s new wave, pop stuff like Madonna and Prince, a few techno songs from the 90s, a certain amount of rap, hip hop and r&b, Latin music (Salsa, Merengue) spiked in and maybe even a little country from various eras. Of course, love songs are big crowd-pleasers despite what the most hyperactive djs try to dictate. This wide variety can be pulled off by the dj who understands music flow and which styles work best back to back.

Crowds need to be warmed up over time. Forcing a crowd to dance when they aren’t ready to dance is a mistake and creates an awkward embarrassing atmosphere, causing the people to get the freak out early. Very few events begin with instant dance craze, unless it’s a high school rally or some function of pre-charged up maniacs. Many mobile sound events begin with background or dinner music. Usually the best music for this period is jazz, lounge music or some form of easy listening that allows conversation level of the people to dominate the atmosphere. Then as the event progresses the tempo picks up and people become more relaxed and warmed up to dance. Many dances begin with ballads, because ballads are the easiest songs for dancing that most people can relate to. Dancing at a wedding reception tends to start with the bride and groom’s first dance as a married couple, which is always a love song.

After a few more ballads the dj breaks the ice either by gradually moving up the tempo or just jumping into a faster tune that seems right for the crowd based on demographics and energy level. Once the pulse is pumping the dj can either go the beatmix route and keep tempo steady while gradually shifting through peaks and valleys or just reading the crowd and taking requests. Whatever it takes to keep people dancing is all that matters. Sometimes everyone will clear the floor unexpectedly, but the great dj knows from experience what the good comeback songs are. For an 80s crowd it might be something like “Super Freak” by Rick James and for a swing crowd it might be “In The Mood” by Glenn Miller. Whatever the case may be, it’s up to the dj to keep the crowd on the dance floor. In cases where no one wants to dance the whole night, chances are it’s just not a dancing crowd and more of a scene where people want to socialize.

In my experience I have done a lot of gigs where everyone was screaming at the end of night for “one more song.” I love those gigs the most. But in cases where dancing is sporadic or even non-existent, I know it’s still my job to play music that people in attendance like, and everybody likes music, no matter who they are. I find out what people like by talking with them. If they don’t come up to me, I come up to them. Sometimes it turns out all they want to hear is good background music, and that’s fine with me. But it’s those raging crowds that raise the energy level to the maximum that get people talking how good of a dj you are. So always go for craze unless the situation demands otherwise, because you can always fall back on good listening music. The idea is to outdo the radio, which is just an average presentation that people become conditioned to accept as average. Be the memorable event by playing what the crowd tells you to play either with their requests or body language. But also have your own treasure of surprises that they could have only heard from your mix. And let them know you are with them, not above them. Create a scene that makes everyone feel like a star. That is a great mobile dj.

Mobile DJ Crash Course

If you have never done a mobile DJ gig before, this section will explain what to do. First of all, if the expectation level is high to make the crowd go crazy with nonstop dancing all night, it might be better to hire a professional DJ. But if the expectation is simply a good time with background music a lot of the time and occassional dancing toward the end of the event, then this crash course should be the answer and will help save you a lot of money.

First, you will need to rent a sound system, unless you already have a decent one. If the event is outdoor and there will be a lot of people in attendance, you need a powerful system (at least a 250 watt amp). But if the event is indoor for a small group, any system will do that includes either a computer system or a traditional sound system.

Computer System:

1) Computer/laptop or iPod/mp3 player
2) Music scheduling program (PC DJ for PCs, MegaSeg for Macs) unless you’re using an iPod
3) Powered speakers with cables or non-powered speakers with amplifier and mixing board
4) Microphone (unless computer has built-in mic) and other optional assessories such as headphones

Traditional Sound System:

1) CD players or turntables or iPods or a set of any other sound sources
2) Mixing board with at least 4 channels
3) Powered or non-powered speakers with cables
4) 250-500 watt amplifier
5) Microphone and other optional assessories such as headphones

Don’t worry about lights because that’s something extra that DJs throw in to make extra cash and the event will not hinge on lighting, unless the boss says so. In other words, the light show is not required to create a successful dance, but if someone demands it, you can rent affordable things like strobes, beacons and mirror balls.

The cost of renting an adequate sound system may be anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on the quality you’re looking for. The rack-mounted all in one systems are the best for last minute gigs. Sound systems are generally easy to set up and usually just involve plugging in chords. Mixing boards can look complex, but really a mixing board is just redundant knobs and sliders of multiple channels. Once you learn how one channel works, you’ve practically learned the whole mixing board.

These days the easiest way to pull off a gig is with an iPod hooked up directly to powered speakers or a mixer that feeds an amplifier that feeds speakers. If you have a laptop with iTunes on it with the songs already loaded, then all you have to do is let iTunes play the songs back in the order that you want. A more sophisticated scheduling program would be MegaSeg for Mac or PC DJ for PC. These programs would be better if you wanted to have more control on how the songs mix together and how you categorize songs for your library.

If you are using two CD players then you will not have the luxury of being able to walk away from the program unless you are just playing full-length CDs, which is fine for background music. If you want the music to be nonstop in which every song transition is a segue that overlaps the songs, then you’ll need to be conscious of song length and what you are always playing next. Even professional DJs can become easily distracted if the next song is not set up toward the end of a song that is playing.

Don’t worry about beat-mixing, which is what club DJs do to create a continuous dance beat. That’s for when you become more advanced. If the event is a wedding, reunion or birthday party and the client is not specifically requesting a beat-mix DJ, definitely don’t worry about it. Concentrate on how songs will blend together rhythmically and sonicly. The purpose of headphones for the DJ is to listen to music in cue to preview the next song’s open or compare how the songs blend. Don’t worry too much about the science of mixing as much as the feel of the music.

Musical transitions sound amazing when they flow and awkward when they don’t. It is somewhat a matter of taste, but sometimes when the mix is too random with extremes, the effect can be what is called a “trainwreck” in which out of time beats on top of each other and musical sounds turn into awful noise. One way to avoid a trainwreck is concentrate on songs that end cold, meaning no fade. A cold ending usually allows for a smooth segue into any song. When playing songs that fade, you can either let them fade all the way (which can slow down crowd momentum), use the fader on the mixer to do a gradual segue or practice your own technique that creates smooth transitions. When the next song begins with a strong drum beat, it creates an easy segue when you quickly fade the previous song.

If you absolutely don’t want to stand in front of two CD players all night and change songs every three minutes, consider making a long “mix tape” on cassette or even CD. If you don’t have the right recording gear then you can buy all kinds of dance mix CDs in record stores. The purpose of continuous music is to create continuous dancing or some kind of continuous atmosphere. If that’s not important to the event, but you still want an unpredictable mix of songs, you have some options. With an iPod or iTunes you can use the shuffle function. With two CD players you can stand there all night and switch songs, but you can also find someone else that wants to help while you go on break. It’s no big deal to hit “play” on a CD player to make the next song play, which is mostly what this type of DJ does all night.

Announcing is certainly a whole different dimension from understanding how a sound system works and how music mixes together. If you have never done announcing for a crowd before and you don’t feel comfortable, limit your talk. Some DJs only talk a few times a night and it’s still a party. If you already have an outgoing entertaining personality, let it fly. Don’t worry about little things like whether or not you have a good speaking voice, because people don’t instantly judge that. They are more likely to respond to content than style until they get familiar with your style.

In a sound system situation it’s usually better to speak slower on a microphone and to repeat things so that people get the message. Not everyone is going to be paying attention when you talk and it has nothing to do with you. They might already be engaged in a conversation and simply can’t hear you. That’s why it’s good to take into account that the crowd is not always waiting to hear you speak. A good way to get people’s attention without saying “may I have your attention” is to tap on the microphone a few times. Or you can say “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming here today” and lead into announcements that repeat a few times. Don’t be afraid to repeat announcements, because sometimes it’s the only way for everyone to get the message.

The standard distance for speaking into a microphone is about six inches. Beginners tend to forget while they are talking to hold the mic up to their mouth. You see this all the time when the mic is passed around for toasts. Someone will hold the mic to their stomach and then not only can you not hear their voice very well, it can create noise such as feedback if the mic is pointed toward the speakers. Some mics have an on/off switch, especially wireless mics. Leave the switch on while a mic is being passed around because switching it off makes a loud noise. Wireless mics usually require a battery and switching it on and off wears down the battery faster. Use the volume control on the mixing board to control the mic when others are using it. If the sound system ever starts to feedback or create loud unwanted noise, always think of “master volume” as the first thing to turn down unless you know the channel where the noise originates, in which you would turn down that channel.

Those are the basics for doing your first gig. If the gig involves a lot of requests, the simplest route is the iPod, iTunes or the programs PC DJ or MegaSeg. With a software-based system all you need to do is type in the name of the song or artist and the file will pop right up in a second, assuming the program is organized beforehand. If you are just playing CDs but the playlist is diverse and specific a little more planning will need to go into constructing the playlist. Either way, it’s never rocket science and should be a lot of fun. If it becomes too stressful, then consider letting someone else handle the presentation. Regardless of experience, never let stress dictate the event. Just relax and concentrate on the agenda. Always know what happens next at all times and everything else will fall into place.

Sample Program For Weddings

First two hours during dinner: jazz instrumentals, ballads, lounge music

After or during dinner the Best Man gives the toast then the mic is passed around for other toasts

Cake Cutting: this can be done anytime but DJs like to get as many things out of the way as possible that won’t interrupt the dancing. Also, photographers don’t always stay the whole time and like to get as many things done early on. Caterers also like to get things done as soon as possible.

First Dance: play the love song chosen by the bride and groom after announcing that the couple is doing their first dance as a married couple (this is one of the high points of the evening, so it’s very important the photographer is aware and prepared).

Wedding Party dances: these may go on for awhile that might include: father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, everyone in the wedding party dance, the money dance in which anyone can dance with the bride or groom if they donate money

All Dance: if the crowd is composed of all ages it’s a good idea to start off with oldies or mass appeal songs that everyone knows then play more for the younger people later on and toward the end of the event

Garter Toss/Bouquet Toss: This is done at more traditional receptions, but in recent years less couples are doing it. The groom removes the garter from the bride’s upper leg, hidden by her dress. All the single men line up to try to catch the garter to see who will get married next. Then the single women line up to try to catch the bouquet of flowers the bridge throws over her should to see who will marry next. The bouquet toss can go first and then the garter toss. There are no set rules to doing any of this. It’s all completely up to the couple or the wedding coordinator. The winners of the two tosses then get together for a photograph. During all of this, the DJ has a chance to shine and say funny things as long as it’s appropriate for the crowd. A typical song to play during the garter removal is “The Stripper” by David Rose or “Legs” by ZZ Top. A typical song for the bouquet toss is “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper.

Back to Music: Many times a ballad will bring a crowd back to the floor, but if you feel lots of energy in the room, a fast song is just as likely to work. If there are more events, try to combine as many at one time so that the rest of the event will just be dancing, since sometimes it can be difficult to get a crowd back out on the floor after a long break. If someone else is planning the agenda, just follow it and do the best you can.

Last Song: The last song should be memorable for everyone, especially the bride and groom. It may even be a song they picked. Many receptions end with a slow dance, but if they request a fast song as the final song, pick something very powerful and familiar. End the night by saying something to the effect of “best of luck to (groom’s name) and (bride’s name) in the future.” If the crowd responds with applause and cheers, let that be how the event ends.

Mass Appeal Dance Songs for Weddings

Kool & The Gang – Celebration
Village People – YMCA
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
Sister Sledge – We Are Family
Bob Seger – Old Time Rock and Roll
Glenn Miller – In The Mood
Beatles – Twist and Shout
Commodores – Brick House
Prince – 1999
Madonna – Holiday
Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive
AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long
B-52s – Love Shack
Frank Sinatra – Theme From New York, New York
Aretha Franklin – Respect

Love Songs for Weddings

Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole – Unforgettable
Etta James – At Last
Anne Murray – Could I Have This Dance
Barbara Streisand – Evergreen
Carpenters – We’ve Only Just Begun
Frank Sinatra – The Way You Look Tonight
Bette Midler – Wind Beneath My Wings
Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – Up Where We Belong
Chicago – You’re The Inspiration
Dido – Thank U

General Evolution of DJ Equipment

1980s thru 1990s DJ gear: Two Technics 1200 Turntables, 4 to 16 channel mixer with crossfade, Shure SM 58 microphone, two Klipsch Speakers

Early 2000s DJ gear: Mac iBook with MegaSeg software program, Numark CD Mix 2 mixer, Shure SM 58 microphone, powered JBL speakers

Later 2000s DJ gear: Macbook Pro with MegaSeg software program, Numark CD Mix 2 mixer, Shure SM 58 microphone, powered Bose L1 Model 1 sound system.

I like this innovative sound system by Bose because it keeps the speakers and amplifier in one place, eliminating the need for long chords (that someone might trip over, even taped down). Also, the longer the chord the more signal you use, so this system improves that situation as well. The L1 also is efficient in that it’s stereo even though the speakers are stacked in one tower. It’s all light-weight, easy to transport and easy to set up and tear down. On top of all that the sound quality is amazing. However, this system is best suited for smaller crowds of 200 or less. Bigger crowds require bigger, more powerful speakers on stands. Sometimes multiple speakers are necessary.

Ipod Wedding pa Rentals

ipod wedding pa rentals (in vermont)

the ipod wedding • sound and speaker rentals

This is becoming more popular as families find themselves working within a strict budget.  Also savvy music lovers can easily put together a playlist and put it on an ipod for the cocktail hour, ceremony and/or reception.  Prices are less than the DJ rate, and we are willing to work with you on a budget.  Pro setup is available, as are smaller systems.

Rentals –

Looking for a live DJ??

Pro DJ Setup, including two powered speakers, powered sub and mixer, all the cables and a mic for announcements.  750$

Mid sized rental – Two speakers, cables, mixer, mic.  500$

Small rental – a PA (public address) integrated amp and mixer.  We use the Soundcraft 600, 300 watts with Mackie speakers and stands.  300$

Smallest system –  a Kustom 80 watt mixer with small Kustom or Peavey speakers.  This is great for small gatherings, parties, background music.  150$

Bands can also rent equipment and book us to engineer your nite, just call for details.

Of course these do not include setup/transport fee.  Damage deposits covering the replacement costs are also required.  Call for details!

Ipod Wedding vs A Live Person Djing

Some Views

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:
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 below….

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.

Ipod Weddings Gone Wrong!!!

Here are some links to some Ipod Weddings Gone Wrong… This page will help you avoid these disasters.

An iPod Wedding Gone Horribly Wrong | Weddingbee

Summary: Bride on a Budget, Small Wedding of 50 people, ipod crashed during reception, had to settle for another “First Dance” song.

iPod Wedding – YouTube

Summary: video showing some of the unforeseen ipod wedding disasters..

Considering an iPod Wedding Instead of a DJ?

Summary: DJ Website showing you the real differences between Ipod Wedding and Hiring a Professional DJ

It’s a nice day for an iPod wedding

Summary: Cnet article talking about why some brides go with the ipod wedding route

What tools do you need to run your own Ipod Wedding?

  1. An Ipod, any MP3 Player or even a laptop with music
  2. A Mixer to adjust the volume and to mix more than one source of audio
  3. One or more microphones to amplify the voice of the person speaking
  4. Long Microphone cables
  5. Microphone Stand
  6. Amplifier
  7. Speakers (Can be amplified so you would eliminate the Amplifier)
  8. Speaker Cables
  9. Speaker Stands
  10. The right Music
  11. One or more people to install and run everything
  12. Tape to tape down the cables

DJ Your Own Wedding… Successfully!