In this article, we address the reasons NOT to DJ at your own wedding.
Every now and again, we are told that someone we know has been to a wedding where the Bride & Groom have decided to ‘DJ’ at their own wedding.
We were recently hired by a couple to use our sound and lighting so they could use phones to play music. On this occasion, our fully experienced DJ/Presenter was utilised to control volume levels. He had nothing else to do and was idle for the whole wedding reception. What a waste, all that experience and ability falling asleep at the desk!
There are many reasons NOT to DJ your own wedding, I will address the main reasons here.
1. A wedding DJ has years of experience
With this experience a wedding DJ has developed the skill of knowing what music should be played. He/she knows which loosely structured order they can be played and can be inspired by a list of music provided. The experience to know what ‘other’ tunes will work in any particular context of what is being played right now.
In contrast, a bride & groom will know what music they like. They may even have a good idea of what party music is, however do they have the depth of knowledge to rescue the dance floor if their choices don’t work? Chances are that they will not have as much music as they think. They will be left lacking to satisfy any choices from their guests.
Thankfully, almost all couples are aware that they cannot do this so leave it to the professionals. It is extremely rare for a couples exclusive choice of favourite music to suit their guests. This is why using a professional DJ is vital to the success of a wedding reception. A very important reason not to DJ at your own wedding.
2. Playing the music at a wedding is a full event activity
A wedding DJ will plan ahead for each event. At each event, he/she will be continually aware of the changing dynamics of the audience and dance floor. With a choice of thousands of music tracks spanning almost 100 years and dozens of musical genre, there is a lot to think about.
One single guest may very well ask for something a bit different which send the DJ down a different route changing the dynamics for the better. Situations like this opens up the mind of the DJ and helps the him/her to discover new interest of the audience. Most often, this has a positive impact on the reception.
As a bride and groom, do you really want to be stressing about this instead of enjoying the best day of your life?
3. iPhone or iPad playout
To DJ at your own wedding you will need a playout medium. This is usually either an iPhone or iPad but can be any media player. Whilst these do provide reasonable quality, they are not professional systems and are liable to be problematic.
So, you have chosen your music to play. This could be via itunes, Spotify or other app you have installed. A reliable internet connection will be required to access all the music you will need. You may have already downloaded a limited playlist to your player.
Typically music played from iTunes is of varying quality. Some tracks will be clean and clear while others will be louder, quieter or of inconsistent volume levels. A professional DJ will have all tracks balanced to the same volume without clips, with a gentle warmth and pitch correction. A not so professional DJ will simply adjust every track as it plays. With no DJ, this is a tiresome task with someone having to attend to the player adjusting the volume of each track.
4. Front of house volume and quality
This refers to the volume and quality of sound heard by the guests at the reception. If you decide to DJ at your own wedding, you will still need to make sure the music is heard by your guests.
A professional DJ will provide everything required including top quality speakers and amplification. Your venue may have a sound system installed, but this will have been designed for vocals and may not handle music particularly well. Sometimes the EQ of an in-house sound system has been adjusted to suit vocals and limit the frequency range to serve this purpose best. This is not good for music reproduction.
There will be many places to hire a better sound system near to your venue but the cost of this will be higher than hiring in a professional DJ from the start. Lighting can also be hired in, however it should be remembered that positioning and correct operation of lighting is important for for the overall feel of the entertainment.
5. Your wedding day will have been planned for over a year, time to chill
After all the planning to ensure everything is just right for your wedding day, do you really want the stress and tie up your evening worrying about music and keeping your guests happy? You shouldn’t be, it is time to relax and have a ball.
To join your guests in a celebration of the most important day of your lives. To mingle and talk with your family and guests and to build a memory of your happy day which you, and your guests, will remember fondly for the rest of your lives.
Hire a professional DJ
A professional DJ will take your advanced requests as well as taking them on the night. He will care enough to make every effort to ensure everyone has a great time. A professional DJ knows exactly how to treat you and your guests so you can relax and enjoy!
There may not be 1000 reasons in this article. I have limited the advice into 5 simple categories. These categories could be expanded out to include many more detailed reasons why you should not DJ at your own wedding.
Getting back to the start of this post where I mentioned the couple who hired us for our equipment. The groom spent the whole night using his iPad at his table to control his iPhone at our desk. Music volumes and quality were all over the place.
Whenever guests were not involved, the music would abruptly end and a new track started. Unbelievably, Spotify adverts would pop up every few minutes. The choice of music was not always to the liking of the guests.
Politely, the guests joined in but many were left disappointed. This is not the lasting impression they should have had of this wedding.
It doesn’t make sense not to hire a professional DJ and to DJ at your own wedding. It may be seen as a chance to save some money but it is false economy. Your guests will remember a badly thought out reception far more than not having personalised napkins.
If you need to save a £200-£300 or so from your budget of your wedding, there are easier ways to do it.