Preparation of DIY wedding DJ

Can You DJ Your Own Wedding?

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    Having a talented DJ for your wedding will ensure that the party never slows down. However, you may spend $1,000 or more to hire one. For much less money, you may save money and still have a great time by DJing your own wedding. A set list, a decent sound system, and some planning are all that are required.

    Brian and Amy Zimmerman planned the music for their wedding in a few of days in December 2013. "Since listening to music is such a common occurrence, most of the selection process was straightforward. This is something that we already devote a lot of work to "Consequently, Brian Zimmerman claims. You don't like music, do you? No one likes to be downloading and organising music the night before the wedding, so give yourself a few weeks to do the legwork. Do your own wedding DJ-ing by following these guidelines.

    Reducing the cost of the reception's entertainment is a frequent strategy for couples to save costs throughout the wedding planning process. You may save money on a DJ by doing it yourself or a wedding band, why not just listen to whatever music you want? The widespread availability of high-quality portable speakers at cheap prices, together with music streaming services and mp3 players, makes creating your own wedding playlist a realistic, even appealing, option. However, before you book your wedding's DJ, there are a few things to think about and rules to follow to make sure the big day goes off without a hitch. Keep reading for our professional advice on how to DJ your own wedding and keep the party going all night long.

    What Equipment Do You Need for a Homemade Wedding DJ?

    For this, you'll need a dependable digital player, like an iPod, with adequate storage space for all your tunes. If you want to start the music before guests arrive and have backup tracks, you should make a playlist that is an hour or two longer than the length of your reception. In addition to the MP3 player, speakers, mixing console, microphone (wireless or with a lengthy connection), and cable (likely a mini-stereo to dual RCA (male) chord) will be required.

    Just to See

    While it may seem apparent, you should schedule ample time to ensure that your system and speakers are functioning properly. Sometimes various digital players don't get along, or you require a specific type of connection. It's not uncommon for rented machinery to break down, so make sure to factor in some extra time for delivery of a replacement. There might be problems with feedback, a lack of volume, an imbalanced sound, or static. It's possible that the staff at your venue will be able to help you set up a DJ if you're doing your wedding there, but it's best to ask just in case.

    Prepare for the worst by making preparations for the worst.

    Bring your primary digital player and its charging cord, as well as a backup digital player or laptop preloaded with your music. You should also be prepared with the contact details of a firm that rents out equipment and offers expedited delivery services. In case no one is dancing and you need to change directions, have an extra hour or two of music ready. Most likely, none of your backups will be called into action, but in this situation, the old adage "Be cautious rather than sorry." rings especially true.

    Stay away from "Guest Djs"

    Someone in the audience usually complains about the music and wants to alter it. She'll be trying to shuffle your music or even move the wire to her own device instead of assaulting a real DJ with demands. But you can prepare for this awful wedding guest. First, ask for music recommendations, either on your wedding website or on your reply cards with a line like "Name some artists or songs you're hoping to hear at our reception" or "What songs are guaranteed to get you dancing?" The presence of a sound manager or "freejay" to keep an eye out for any unique requests and press play is recommended in case a guest DJ isn't satisfied by the standard set of music. Hide your gadget behind a piece of taped-down paper that says, "Freejay Please Excuse Me While I Take a Break," for those times when the freejay unavoidably needs a break "Our wedding music was painstakingly curated. Don't touch my iPod or you'll be sorry."

    Plan and inventory your musical needs.

    From the first dance to the last, you'll want to have the perfect song to commemorate the occasion. Here is a wedding reception music schedule to help you keep track of when to play each song. Put these songs on a separate playlist that can be cued up quickly, or utilise a wedding DJ tool like My Wedding DJ.

    Create Individual Playlists

    There are a number of little and significant events that you'll want to commemorate with music on your wedding day. To guarantee that your MC plays the proper music at the right time, create individual playlists for each of these events, name them explicitly, and arrange them in chronological order.

    How Should the Songs on the Wedding Playlist Flow?

    Some of these times may be so great that they need their own playlist:

    • Ceremony prelude tunes
    • Processional (parents, bridal party)
    • Processional (bride)
    • Recessional
    • Mixers and supper
    • The introductory dance
    • Parent-child dances (and vice versa)

    And keep in mind that since you're a couple, the song selection during your wedding should be treated as a democratic process. If the person you love tells you, "There's no fucking way we're playing Frankie Smith's 'Double Dutch Bus' at our reception," you will have to reluctantly comply with their request. Here are some suggestions for the wedding's music, as well as playlists of the most suggested songs (excluding those that aren't available on Spotify, of course).


    The aisle walk is an ideal time for a more well-known love song, but remember that everything during your wedding should have personal significance. The options are limitless, so choose a song to which you and your partner have previously made moon eyes and run with it. Currently, we are performing an instrumental cover of "In My Life" by The Beatles, with Morgan's uncle, who is a phenomenal guitarist, at the helm.

    Recommended Alternative: A gleeful interpretation of "Oh Oh I Love Her So" by the Ramones, sung by a children's choir. Ram On, played on ukulele, but with only the whistling section, no actual singing. "Love Satellite" The point is made.


    Consider a word or phrase that conveys joy or contentment. The officiant's duties are complete, and you two may now enjoy some upbeat music as you leave the ceremony together with a kiss. In the beginning of our relationship, the album All Things Must Pass had a significant role, therefore we considered playing George Harrison's cover of "If Not For You." As the event progressed, we realised we didn't want it to focus so much on The Beatles.

    We're doing this to the tune of "Burning Airlines" by Brian Eno. Definitely an odd choice; the music in question isn't exactly upbeat, joyful, or romantic. The narrator's ex-lover is described in the song's lyrics as having left him for a new life in China, where she eventually got married. But the tune is happy and weird, and it reminds me of the years ahead when you will be sitting in the living room, listening to Taking Tiger Mountain. This is how we both independently arrived at this conclusion. For us, that's what this celebration is all about: anticipating something amazing in the future.


    The music you play during cocktail hour, the time between the wedding ceremony and supper, may or may not incorporate alcoholic beverages. Any mood, from elation to calmness, is within your reach. You're putting together a mixtape to express your range of emotions following the wedding. You could want some Jock Jams to get you in the mood before dinner, or you might prefer some peace and quiet.

    What We're Doing: Playing a Random Assortment of Songs That Make Us Feel Good. The Raincoats' rendition of "Lola" is an example of a song that is not universally appropriate for a wedding, nor is Mutual Benefit's "Golden Wake" strictly about positive themes. They are, nevertheless, cosy tunes that we quite appreciate, and they should be suitable for a gathering when people are strolling around and munching cheese and crackers.

    Songs for the Table

    It's best to be subtle and low-key. Because you'll probably be conversing with your guests, you might not even need any background music. Think soft jazz or ambient.

    What We Did: We Made a Step-by-Step Progression. Nico, Lou Reed, Marc Bolan, and Roxy Music are the logical culmination of a wide range of musical styles, including early jazz, old French songs, pleasant instrumentals, old country/bluegrass ballads, soul ballads, and instrumental pieces. The suggestion offered was "moonlit/smells like a record shop," which may or may not work as written.

    The First Dance

    Clichés abound when it comes to the first dance, but what matters most is that you and your partner choose a song with sentimental value to you both. Take a look at the section of your shared record collection that isn't as highly regarded by everyone. Think back on the amazing performances you've seen together. Pick a tune that has special meaning for the two of you.

    Because we had just seen Bill Callahan perform in Detroit a week or two earlier, we had suggested early on that he play "Small Plane" for our first dance. However, I was more affected by that song than Morgan was. We both have a strong connection to the music we chose.

    • What We're Doing: Listening to Dum Dum Girls' "Rest of Our Lives"

    With Parents, You Can Dance

    Have a discussion with your loved ones. Perhaps there's a soothing ballad that might work. (According to my cousin Marc, Carole King is a safe bet in this situation.)

    • What We're Doing: Neither my parents nor Morgan's do not place much value on this tradition, so we're going to forego it.

    Reception (Dancing)

    If you're in charge of the music for your wedding, you've undoubtedly already looked over a large number of example playlists. In awe-inspiring fashion, authors will defend the exclusion of such songs as "Live Like You Were Dying" and "What the Hell Is Going On?" The Cupid Shuffle, the Cha-Cha Slide, "Don't Stop Believin'," and other dances will all be represented. This is because certain tunes are guaranteed to draw a huge audience.

    This Is The Night's Final Song

    It's not necessary, but it's great to have a breather after the dancing and let everyone know it's over and they should leave. The last wedding I DJed, the bride and groom danced the night away to "California Stars" by Wilco and Billy Bragg.

    • The Barbaras' "Annual Botanical" is one of the best (and most underappreciated) examples of Memphis garage music, and it's our current soundtrack.

    Communal Reaction

    Choose Entertaining Items

    Although you and your significant other may enjoy thrash music, not everyone shares your enthusiasm for Slayer. Don't play "Raining Blood" at the reception—save it for the after-party. According to Stiles, "traditional wedding music" like "Motown" and "Stevie Wonder" are so popular because "they have international appeal." No matter how loud your heavy metal music is, not everyone will get up and dance to it.

    Lost for words? To keep everyone entertained, young and old alike, Stiles suggests looking up the top 100 dance music and picking ones from different decades. But it doesn't mean you can't sneak in some of your secret favourites, too! The Zimmermans' reception play list featured indie and folk music like Spoon, Cloud Cult, and David Gray.

    Get the Full Premium Download Now

    You wouldn't want a Target ad or a glitchy internet connection to ruin your first dance. To avoid interruptions when listening offline, subscribe to a paid music service. Once you've found something you like, just download it to your music player.

    Apple Music and Spotify Premium both cost $10 per month, but offer substantial discounts to new customers. Crossfading between songs is a DJ technique available on both sites. With Apple Music, you may remove the almost minute-long guitar solo from Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" by editing the song in iTunes.

    The Scene Cuts And Fades Between Scenes

    A DJ's ability to craft seamless segues between songs is a crucial skill. It doesn't take long for a dance floor to clear after a six-second pause, despite the fact that it may not seem like much. Also, you can have a favourite song that you can't listen to because of the lengthy introduction or climax. It's a good thing that there are do-it-yourself DJ strategies for fixing these issues. Some iPods have the capability to play music without interruptions. iTunes also has the ability to cut and crossfade songs, and DJ apps like Virtual DJ and My Wedding DJ can teach you more advanced methods.

    Raise the Volume

    When competing with a hundred people talking and laughing, music that sounds loud in a deserted room will be hardly audible. They can absorb sound with just their bodies even if they don't speak a word. Even if a speaker system is already installed in your room, you should give it a try. Many people are still using older speakers that distort or crackle at high levels, or that need to be supplemented with newer woofers and speakers. The cost to hire an amplifier and some speakers in many parts of Australia is around AU$100.

    To Appease the Audience, Play Fun Music

    There are better and less tacky methods to get your guests dancing, but the Chicken Dance and the Electric Slide might bring out some shy people. We can all agree that your wedding is not the place for solely death metal or emo music, which is one of the main reasons to DIY DJ: control what is played and prevent the cheese. You owe it not just to yourself, but to your visitors, to plan accordingly.

    Don't Put Your Trust In Your Internet

    While services like Spotify and MOG may be convenient for private listening, they may be a major headache at a wedding reception. Without a constant internet connection, you will be unable to listen to music. Consider utilising non-online music resources instead.

    How Should I Be Prepared to DJ My Own Wedding?

    Get A Sound System On Rent

    If you're planning on having your wedding outside, your Bluetooth speaker won't be able to provide loud enough of an audio signal. Your event will need a sound system, and if the location doesn't have one, you may always hire one. Atlanta-based Uptown Down Entertainment co-founder and "How to DJ Your Own Wedding" author Brandon Stiles recommends the following setup for a wedding party:

    • A pair of 12-inch speakers with brackets
    • The use of a microphone
    • A portable electronic device, such as a laptop or music player (your own)

    It will cost you $90-$180 per day, including a refundable deposit, to rent gear from a music retailer like Guitar Center or Sam Ash.

    Hire an emcee

    Get someone you know and trust to be in charge of the music and making important announcements, such as when dinner is served and the first dance begins. Get your main character on the right track. Acquaint them with your wedding day songs and sound system in advance so that they are prepared.

    Make a Mock Run

    A severed cable. A faulty microphone. Reactions audibly. Your musical aspirations may be derailed by any one of these problems. It might be preferable to run into them a day or two before the wedding, as opposed to the night before. A practise run is useful for this purpose. You should prepare for the ceremony as if it were the main event, and practise the music, readings, and other aspects of the ceremony. Your officiant and emcee will get an opportunity to go through the ceremony and run through any potential issues that may occur.

    wedding dj

    The Downside of Being Your Own Wedding DJ and What You Can Do Instead.

    When it comes to your wedding, we at BrideBox are huge fans of the do-it-yourself (DIY) movement as a means to cut costs and unleash individuality. However, it's best to let experts handle some issues. To economise, you may consider designing and installing your own lighting system, but in reality, you'll get much better results by hiring a professional.

    It might be clear that you need a professional lighting firm, but what about other aspects, like music? At your reception, your guests may kick back and have fun on the dance floor. And, come on, we've all been to a show or a party with a DJ and wondered, "I can see how it would be simple. That's something I'm capable of." More and more individuals nowadays are going the do-it-yourself music route, stocking an iPod or other music player with their favourites and listening to it while they go to sleep. While most guests won't know it, there are a plethora of concerns that can arise when you put your faith in a small gadget to handle such a crucial aspect of your special day. A few of the many, many reasons why you shouldn't serve as your own wedding's DJ are listed below.

    Problems with Technology

    Djing your own wedding might be challenging because to technical issues. Speakers, wires, the sound mixer, and the music player itself are just a handful of the many essential parts of a well-functioning sound system. Having no music for the ceremony or reception is a real possibility if any of these devices has a technological glitch. Electronics are infamous for not just not working at all, but also for not operating as they should. If there were technical difficulties during your reception, such as bad sound quality, loud feedback, or drastic volume changes from song to song, the atmosphere would be ruined. A broken iPod or bad cable may completely derail your day.

    Music Becomes Forgotten to You

    Imagine you're on the dance floor with your best friends from high school, college, and beyond, when suddenly your sorority sister shrieks and asks if you remember the time you all went to a dive bar and did karaoke to that one Michael Jackson song. You had a great time remembering that night and laughing about it together. The problem is that you don't have the track in your collection. It would have been far more exciting and enjoyable for you and your guests if you had engaged a professional DJ or band to play at your wedding.

    You Should Think Twice Before Hiring an Amateur DJ

    With any luck, you now feel more equipped after reading all these advice. However, they have the potential to be too much; all of a sudden, being a DIY DJ isn't as easy as you thought it would be. You may decide that it's worthwhile to become pro after factoring in the time and money required to rent equipment, buy music, and prepare. For the cocktail hour, you may do it yourself and hire a professional for the reception to save money.


    If you hire a great DJ, the celebration during your wedding won't ever die down. Doing the DJing yourself at a wedding may save you a tonne of money without sacrificing the fun factor. All you need is a playlist, a good sound system, and some preparation. Equipment rentals frequently experience unexpected breakdowns, so always leave some wiggle room in your schedule for the arrival of a replacement piece of equipment. Possible issues include feedback, low loudness, or an unbalanced audio signal.

    But you may be ready for anything by soliciting suggestions for wedding music on your website. To what extent should you sequence your wedding playlist? Music for the wedding has been offered below, along with playlists featuring the most often mentioned tunes. Popular love songs work great for the walk down the aisle, but keep in mind that every aspect of your wedding should have special meaning to you and your partner. What We're Doing: Listening to a Miscellany of Uplifting Music

    The music of Nico, Lou Reed, Marc Bolan, and Roxy Music is the natural progression from many other genres. When selecting a music for the first dance, it is extremely important that you and your partner select a song that has special meaning to both of you. Authors will explain why they didn't include songs like "Live Like You Were Dying" and "What the Hell Is Going On?" on the official reception playlist. The ability to seamlessly transition from one song to the next is a must-have talent for every DJ. DIY DJ techniques exist for addressing these concerns.

    iTunes can chop songs up and crossfade them, and some iPods can play music without interruptions. Brandon Stiles, author of "How to DJ Your Own Wedding," suggests the following arrangement for the big day. Gear rentals from music stores like Guitar Center or Sam Ash will set you back $90-$180 a day, not counting the deposit, which will be returned to you upon return of the rented equipment. You can always hire a sound system if your venue doesn't have one. Your own wedding DJing may be difficult to pull off due to technological difficulties.

    If any of these devices experience a technical problem, there may be no music for the ceremony or reception. If something as simple as a malfunctioning iPod or cable manages to throw off your entire day, you might decide to take things into your own hands and learn to do it for real.

    Content Summary

    • If you hire a great DJ, the celebration during your wedding won't ever die down.
    • However, hiring one may cost you $1,000 or more.
    • All you need is a playlist, a good sound system, and some preparation.
    • Brian and Amy Zimmerman, who wed in December 2013, only had a few days to arrange the music for their reception.
    • Follow these steps to DJ your own wedding.
    • Saving money on the reception's entertainment is a common tactic for newlyweds.
    • If you want to DJ your own wedding and keep the dance floor packed all night long, read on for some expert tips.
    • Equipment rentals frequently experience unexpected breakdowns, so always leave some wiggle room in your schedule for the arrival of a replacement piece of equipment.
    • Whether you're having your wedding at a certain location, ask if the employees there can assist you in setting up a DJ.
    • Make contingency plans in case the worst happens.
    • Please bring your primary digital player, its charging cable, and an other digital player or laptop with your music already put into it.
    • First, include a phrase like, "Name some artists or songs you're hoping to hear at our reception" or "What songs are certain to get you dancing?" on your wedding website or reply cards to get musical suggestions.
    • If a guest DJ isn't happy with the predetermined playlist, it's a good idea to have a sound manager or "freejay" on hand to keep an eye out for any special requests and push play.
    • Get organised and make a list of the songs you'll need.
    • Construct Your Own Personal Playlists On your wedding day, there are a number of moments big and little that you'll want to mark with music.
    • Make separate playlists for each of these occasions; give them descriptive names; and organise them in order of occurrence to ensure that your MC plays the correct music at the right moment.
    • Included here are some wedding music choices, as well as playlists of the most frequently mentioned songs.
    • It's a pleasant, odd music that makes me think of you in your latter years, relaxing in the living room while listening to Taking Tiger Mountain.
    • After the wedding, you're feeling a wide range of emotions, so you decide to make a mixtape to document the experience.
    • Singing at the Dinner Table Keeping things low-key and understated is preferable.
    • You may not even need music as ambience if you want to have lengthy conversations with your visitors.
    • Official Start of the First Dance There are many cliches associated with the first dance, but what really counts is that you and your partner chose a song that means something to both of you.
    • Check out the part of the shared record collection that doesn't get as much love.
    • Recall the incredible shows you've seen together.
    • In the midst of Dum Dum Girls' "Rest of Our Lives" Parental Permission Required for Dance Parties Engage in a conversation with your family and friends.
    • Reception (Dancing) You've probably already looked at a tonne of sample wedding playlists if you're in control of the music.
    • There will be a variety of dances taught, from the Cupid Shuffle to the Cha-Cha-Slide to the "Don't Stop Believin'" dance.
    • It's inappropriate to play "Raining Blood" at the reception; keep it for the after-party.
    • It is because of their "universal appeal," says Stiles, that "traditional wedding music" like "Motown" and "Stevie Wonder" are so well-liked.
    • If you play heavy metal really loud, not everyone will start dancing.
    • If you want to make sure that people of all ages have a good time, Stiles proposes that you check out the top 100 dance songs and choose a few from each decade.
    • Both platforms support the DJ technique of crossfading between tracks.
    • Irrelevant of whether or not a speaker system is already placed in your space, you should test it out.
    • One of the biggest reasons to DIY DJ is because no one wants to hear only death metal or emo at your wedding. Manage the playlist and stop the cheese.
    • You can't stream music continuously without an internet connection.
    • If the venue doesn't have a sound system and you need one for your event, you may always rent one.
    • Brandon Stiles, co-founder of Uptown Down Entertainment in Atlanta and author of "How to DJ Your Own Wedding," suggests the following arrangement for a wedding celebration: An arranged pair of 12" speakers Mic'ing up a situation A small, easily transportable computer, media player, etc (your own) Gear rentals from music stores like Guitar Center or Sam Ash will set you back $90-$180 a day, not counting the deposit, which will be returned to you upon return of the rented equipment.
    • Find a host or MC. Have a reliable friend or family member take responsibility of the music and the announcements (such as the start of supper and the first dance).
    • Set your protagonist's course correctly.
    • They should be familiar with the music and sound system you want to use for the event.
    • You should practise the music, readings, and other parts of the ceremony as though they were the major attraction.
    • Creating and installing your own lighting system is an option if you're trying to save money, but hiring a professional will provide superior results.
    • Here are just a few of the many, many reasons why you shouldn't be the DJ at your own wedding.
    • Disadvantages of New Technology Your own wedding DJing may be difficult to pull off due to technological difficulties.
    • A well-functioning sound system requires various components, including speakers, wiring, the sound mixer, and the music player.
    • If any of these devices experience a technical problem, there may be no music for the ceremony or reception.
    • You should have hired a professional DJ or band to play during your wedding so that everyone has a great time.
    • However, they might prove to be too much; suddenly, DIY djing isn't as simple as it seems.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    While there are certain risks and inconveniences associated with DJing your own wedding, if you do it right, you can ensure everyone has a great time while also saving yourself a lot of money. It's a perfectly feasible solution, and you might prefer a reception without a cheesy wedding DJ anyway.

    There are many reasons that people want to have a wedding without dancing. ... By not having dancing, you are being more inclusive and not having people who feel left out. Ultimately, you want a focus for your wedding which can bring all your guests together and make a lasting memory for all.

    iTunes is the biggest and for DJs we have Beatport is one of the most popular digital download services for DJs to buy and download tracks. Others include Juno, Bandcamp and Apple Music (Formerly iTunes). Bandcamp is the best online retailer of music to support because they support the artist.

    Music sets the tone for your ceremony-whether it's religious, traditional, or informal-and it's typically played during three segments: the prelude, when guests are being seated; the processional, when the family, bridal party and bride walk down the aisle; and the recessional, when the newly married couple walks back 

    How much does a DJ cost for 4 hours? The average DJ cost for a wedding reception that lasts about 4 hours runs around $600 to $1,200 with most DJ companies charging $200 per hour.

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