It’s very popular for people who are on a budget today to try and save some money by having an “iPod” wedding reception.  Now, don’t get us wrong.  We think the iPod is an amazing piece of technology that enables you to carry a library of music around in your pocket.  For the gym, getting out and about or potentially for some music at a basic house party these things are well worth the price tag they ask.  But when it comes to using them for a wedding … it’s a completely different story.

Here are the top 8 reasons why you shouldn’t try and DJ your own wedding.

1. An iPod can’t create atmosphere.
When the dance floor is starting to wain, and iPod is not going to get onto it by getting on the mic and keeping the energy up encouraging people to stay on the dance floor.  A good DJ will use the microphone sparingly, but effectively to keep everyone having a great time and gently encouraging people to keep on partying.

2. An iPod can’t discriminate the good requests from the bad
One of the crucial roles of a DJ is to work with guests when they come up and request a song.  Quite often we get songs that are great songs, but requested at completely the wrong time.  (Such as a REALLY slow song when everyone is really getting into dancing to upbeat stuff).  Other times we save the day by ensuring completely inappropriate music isn’t played.  (Yes, we have had requests for death metal from guests at weddings!  We politely decline).

3. An iPod won’t read the crowd.
“Reading the crowd” is what we excel at.  We quickly assess the current situation.  We look at who is currently on the floor dancing and who isn’t.  We consider the songs we have just played and take into consideration factors such as the ages of the people, their hair-styles, what they are drinking … even the type of shoes they are wearing into what the next song we are going to play will be.  Don’t laugh!  You might think we are joking.  There is a real science to playing detective and very closely studying people to determine what will get your dance floor hopping.  This is something an iPod just can’t do.

4. An iPod doesn’t know how to transition.
Transitions are so important to keeping everyone having a great time.  As DJs we see songs as a flow of energy.  Some songs will bring the energy down but turn the romance up, whilst others will have the energy high and having people just want to party.  Consider all the different types of songs and how they effect people.  A good DJ can work out songs to gradually ease people into either state, whereas an iPod will just play what it is given in it’s playlist.  It can definitely be playing the wrong songs at that wrong time.  Even setting up a playlist with good transitions ahead of time won’t work because you can’t tell what the people’s moods are going to be like from song to song.  You need a live person with this experience to know what to play and when to play it.

5. Technical Difficulties
Do you really want to deal with potential technical difficulties on your wedding night?  Don’t you have better things to do?  What if it all goes wrong?  What if the sound doesn’t sound “balanced”.  Do you know how to effectively EQ based on the number of people in the room and the size of the room to achieve a good sound?  What if the PA stops working?  Do you know how to fix it?   Which brings us to …

6. Poor Quality Equipment
It is common to hear of people that hire cheap (and often damaged from overuse) sound systems for their “iPod wedding”.  Hiring a poor quality system is a false economy.  If the sound is terrible, people are going to leave your wedding at the first chance they get.  People do NOT like bad sound quality.  A decent sound system (like we use) would cost about $1000 per night to hire.  You would also have to set it up, know how to operate it, pack it up and drop it back the next day.  By the time you do all this, you could have just hired a professional to do it all for you.

7. Extremely Limited Playlist
Yes, I know that an iPod these days can hold a LOT of music.  But … it is STILL going to pale in comparison to what most DJs would have.  Another issue to consider is the sound quality of the music you have.  Is it a high quality encoding or a cheap and nasty sound.  It might sound fine through headphones, but when you run it through a descent sound system it comes out with a hiss and high pitched “tinny” sound.  Is it even legal?  Have you actually (like any good DJ) paid for the music you are using?

Hiring a professional DJ is not expensive.  If you really believe you can’t afford to pay what a professional DJ is asking, consider how much benefit and value a professional DJ will bring to your day.  Can you find other ways of saving some money to ensure your night is a success.  Music is THE factor that will either have your guests having a great time and partying well into the night, or leaving as soon as they can!

Do you REALLY need those chair covers more than you need quality music?
Do you REALLY need that big swan ice sculpture (which is actually just a mold)?
Do you REALLY need such an expensive cake?

A wedding reception is an entertainment event.  People are there to celebrate your wedding and party.  Without good entertainment the wedding reception will come to a very abrupt ending.

Warmest wishes,
Nik Edser
Entertainment Director