The Truth about iPod Weddings and DIY or Family Friend Wedding DJs

Considering asking a friend or family member to provide music at your wedding?  Has a friend or family member offered to DJ your wedding for little or no cost as their gift to you?  Or, are you considering the prospect of DJing your own wedding?

Are you concerned that no DJ can provide the music you truly want at your wedding?  Are you thinking of renting equipment, using your computer, iPad, or iPod, and becoming your own DIY DJ on your wedding day?

iPod Wedding

If your friend or family member truly is a professional wedding DJ, you will most likely have a fantastic wedding with them.  Asking a few simple questions (found on numerous “How to Hire a DJ” websites) will help you to determine whether or not this is the case.

However, if he or she is simply someone who “has a lot of music” on their computer with little or no experience as a professional wedding vendor, you could be headed for a real problem on your wedding day.  Trying to direct the people and events and attempting to coordinate the music on your wedding day can be a very challenging task for someone who is not a trained, professional DJ.  Wedding ceremony and reception timelines move very quickly and your other vendors will expect to be working with a trained professional who can keep pace with them on your big day.

DJing your own wedding is next to impossible.  With the multiple demands placed on your time during your wedding day–visiting with your guests, taking photos, simply *being* a bride or a groom–there’s little time to add in being your own DJ as well.  As the owner of DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style I always tell my couples that their main jobs on their wedding day should be to eat, drink, dance, and celebrate.  Hire experienced vendors, create a plan with them in advance that reflects your unique style as a couple, and you can leave the worry and the work to the professionals.

Here are three big reasons why you should hire a professional wedding DJ to play music and MC your once-in-a-lifetime event:

1. Organization

While many couples are looking for less “talk” or crowd motivation from their DJ, these are concerns that can be easily addressed with a professional wedding DJ.  An experienced DJ will listen to your ideas and tailor their MC work to fit the overall style of your event.

However, there are times when you do need a professional DJ to act as your MC at your wedding.  Who will make introductions?  Who will announce events?  How will your guests know that you are transitioning from dinner to dancing?  Who will coordinate with your other vendors?

With the amount of time and money you’re investing in your wedding day, you want to make sure that your carefully planned event comes together with perfection.  A highly trained wedding DJ will serve as your MC, coordinating with your team of vendors, organizing your wedding party, and directing you and your guests from one event to the next–all while playing the right songs at the right time!  From your first dance to your toasts and from dinner to your last dance, a professional wedding DJ will use your timeline, input from your vendor team, and his or her own training as a public speaker to create a natural flow of events for you and your guests.

2.  Reading the Crowd

Certainly, wanting to avoid typical wedding music and looking to have a “non-cheesy wedding DJ” experience is very important.  However, it doesn’t mean that you have to try to Do It Yourself or ask a family friend to be your DJ or MC.  In fact, you could end up having an even worse experience on your wedding day by trying to take on too much yourself.

Having a solid Must Play List and Do Not Play List the reflect your personal style is a great first step to a successful party on the day of your wedding.  However, an experienced DJ will also be able to “read the crowd,” paying attention to what is going on both on and off of the dance floor.  Sometimes your guests need one extra song–or one less.  Sometimes the mood on the dance floor changes and a planned song request needs to be moved up, moved back, or switched out for a different one.  Years of training and experience lead a DJ to knowing when to play the perfect song that fits that moment on your big day.

3.  The Back-Up Plan

Most couples either have or have access to a computer, iPad, or iPod full of music. Renting a speaker system and a microphone (or using equipment provided by a venue) is relatively easy as well. However, when it comes to DJ gear, having the equipment is only half the battle. Knowing how to use it and what to do when something goes wrong is where hiring an experienced DJ makes all the difference.

Each venue space is unique and requires a professional sound check and constant adjustments throughout your wedding to make sure the that music isn’t too loud and that the microphone is crystal clear.

In addition, having back-up gear and a back-up plan is a must on your wedding day. DJ equipment can fail for a number of reasons and there is little to no time during a wedding to try to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. A professional wedding DJ will bring a complete back-up system to your weddding and have multiple “what-if” back-up plans (built on years of experience) to keep the music going at your once-in-a-lifetime event.

Hudson Valley Wedding DJ Bri Swatek in the Mix Courtesy of Owl's Eye Studios

Asking a friend or family member to help you with a Do It Yourself / iPod Wedding could end up costing you much more than the little bit of money you might be saving–there’s no reason to ruin your big day over concerns about the playlist or customizing the music to fit your style as a couple.  In fact, any truly professional wedding DJ will agree that your Must Play and Do Not Play Lists should reflect your personal style and the type of wedding you want your guests to enjoy.  A truly professional DJ will make these lists of songs an essential part of your unique wedding day, using professional MCing to keep a careful balance between food, photos, dancing, special moments, and everything in between!




DJ Bri Swatek, Spinning with Style
Your DJ for Your Unique Style
in the Hudson Valley of New York

Phone:   845.235.0080

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