PW Guide Article: iPod vs. DJ: Which is the Best Choice for Your Wedding?

grant8la submitted an article for the Project Wedding Guide. This is a community article that you can edit too!

iPod vs. DJ: Which is the Best Choice for Your Wedding?

The music that will play during your wedding should be very special to both you and your soon-to-be groom. Once you have your songs picked out, it?s time to make another important choice. Should you hire a DJ or use an iPod to play each of your song

iPod vs. DJ: Which is the Best Choice for Your Wedding? article photo
photo by: Pen Carlson Photography


Feel free to comment on it here!
Posted on January 8, 2009 at 11:52 am
PWAmanda
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07/12/2008
PWAmanda

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(29) Comments

jackieg
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04/17/2009
jackieg

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jackieg

wow....a bit harsh....but....


i concur to some degree though....i think a dj or emcee of some sort is definitely necessary!

Posted on February 13, 2009 at 12:43 pm
Yosemitebride
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09/19/2009
Yosemitebride

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Yosemitebride

Excuse me, but not everybody has the same type of wedding reception. Depending on what you are choosing, an iPod may be the perfect choice. For example....if you are not having dancing. For example...if you do not care if you have a particular song playing during your cake cutting. Please do not assume everybody's wedding is the same.

Posted on February 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm
MommyLynda
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09/12/2009
MommyLynda

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MommyLynda

Perhaps harsh, jackieg, but jaker1234 is right.  The reception isn't just supposed to be a really expensive party.  There are things that happen during a WEDDING reception that are a part of wedding tradition


Introduction of Bride and Groom


Possibly traditional customary ethnic dances


First Dance


Father/Daughter  Mother/Son


Cake Cutting


Best Man/Maid of Honor Toast


Money Dance (if you're having one)


Bouquet Toss


Garter Toss


Send off


and anything else I forgot


The function of a good DJ isn't simply to throw music on.  The function of the DJ is to act as a Master of those Ceremonies.  A good DJ keeps your party going and moving on time.


I was recently at a wedding where they chose an Ipod over a DJ.  The Father/Daughter dance took place 2 minutes prior to the Bride and Groom leaving.  In fact, no one even knew it was happening or that the Bride and Groom left.  It was a really expensive dinner...but who cared?  No one dance and there was no program.


If the budget dictates that you MUST use an Ipod, then so be it.  But if you simply choose to use an Ipod, rather than a DJ just because, I believe it's a huge mistake.  (a band could easily be substituted because any wedding band will perform the same function.)


Your wedding is your time shine.  You've probably just spent at least 100's if not several thousands of dollars on a dress, flowers, centerpieces, invitations, photos, and so on.  It isn't a birthday party.  If you want just a big birthday party forgo the rest of the beautiful things associated with a wedding, throw on a dress, decorate with some balloons and have a great party!  Why waste money on the things that make a Wedding a "Wedding." Just have a huge bash.  That's fun too!


 


 

Posted on February 13, 2009 at 1:37 pm
MrsRaz
4
05/09/2009

MrsRaz

sounds to me like the DJ business is a little slow so they are putting out the "it's tacky to have an ipod" articles... 

Posted on February 13, 2009 at 2:08 pm
Adawn85
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06/06/2009
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Adawn85

Well looks like my ipod might suck but hey.....when you cant afford a million dollar wedding you do what you can.....Plus I love my blue IPOD my FI got it for me all by himself and it means alot to me. Now we aren't pulling the same thing that his friends did by playing it thru a radio station but we are taken our fancy satellite radio that plays our IPOD thru the attachment for it. I think an Ipod is fine. Just make sure the copy or copies of the songs you get are good quality and sound good at a high volume.Plus I just dont want a stranger there. Maybe if  I had a friend that was a DJ then this would be different.

Posted on February 13, 2009 at 2:19 pm
Yosemitebride
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09/19/2009
Yosemitebride

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Sorry, I don't buy into the fact that a wedding isn't "a wedding" if you don't have a big "party," i.e. dancing, and that it is not "a wedding" if you do not have the "traditional" items that you are "supposed" to have. Who says you are "supposed" to have it? Who says that if you choose not to have it that your reception is just a big birthday party, is not as good as a wedding reception that does have all the traditional items, and that you have wasted your money? That's a bunch of crap.

Posted on February 13, 2009 at 5:23 pm
budget
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02/15/2009
budget

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budget

I am not doing anything traditional on MommyLinda's list but the cake cutting at my wedding.  The reason is that none of those "traditions" are our traditions.  We are only doing things that are meaningful to us.  And yes, we are using an ipod with someone who knows how to use technology.  Nowadays, many people can use the equipment just fine.  And every song is meaningful for us. 


What makes it meaningful and a "wedding" is that we are getting married.  Not the flowers or the dress or the music or anything.  It is the vows we are taking in front of our family and friends.

Posted on February 14, 2009 at 2:57 am
kpn
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06/13/2009
kpn

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We are having a band and ipod!  The band to play their music and the IPOD to incorporate music that he can't play....and I think for budget brides IPOD's are totally fine.  I think in this day and age -there is a bit of a "traditional sliding scale".  I mean honestly, how many b2b & g2b live separately?  That number has decreased, how many of them have bought their house and then are getting married - a few!  For some people, spending money on a DJ vs. putting more money to the venue, or flowers, might be something that bride wants.  Its all about compromise and coming to a happy medium.

Posted on February 14, 2009 at 3:04 am
jakester
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08/09/2008
jakester

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We got married in August last year and we decided to save some money and use my ipod for the reception. Afterall everything cost so much money.  It seemed like a good idea at the time- but it was a HUGE MISTAKE.  I was very disappointed. I was stressed about what song to play and when to do the events ( 1st dance, cake , ect..).  I had a good friend in charge of the ipod with our playlist and everything - but it wasn't working- he couldn't keep our crowd dancing for any length of time.  Our reception was suppose to go till midnight- sadly everyone left by 10pm.   If I had the chance to do it over again, I would have definitely hired a DJ.  We actually met with two very good DJ companies but decided to save the money.  It wasn't worth it !

Posted on March 2, 2009 at 4:59 pm
meliss173
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08/01/2009
meliss173

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We're actually going to use a laptop and iTunes instead of an iPod, because it has DJ-type functions that allow you to transition seamlessly from one song to another, and you can actually use an iPhone (we'll use our friend's) as a remote control in case you need to change the order of songs. We're actually going to have some pretty unconventional music before the ceremony ("Love Stinks" from The Wedding Singer, etc.) because our friends and family will think it's funny, but you have to know your audience--irony is not for everyone.  This is why the iPod choice makes sense for us, we want to be able to control the music based on the vibe and save $$$ at the same time.

Posted on April 21, 2009 at 3:02 am
mikekazis
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02/12/2011
mikekazis

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I am a full time and DJ and also planning my own wedding.  As a DJ, I am still designating a professional to the task of playing music.  In my opinion, only an experienced professional will truly know what it takes to play a song or group of songs at the proper time.  There are many tasks that DJs complete that many of us take for granted.  Even something like "dead air", the amount of silence between songs, often goes unnoticed until it happens.  With an iPod there will be alot of dead air that ruins the level of maximum excitement on the dance floor. 


In addition, there are a few things in this article that the author left out.  First, in the topic of price, tangibles are easy to compare.  The iPod is obviously cheaper than the equipment purchased by a DJ. But what about the cost of the intangible factors?  For instance, how much is your time worth to you that you now need to invest hours upon hours of creating playlists?  Time that could be spent on completing other tasks or time spent on earning money to pay for other wedding vendors.  These intangibles could therefore make the iPod option more expensive after all and making the DJ the better value. 


Let's also look at this point system used in the article for I feel it is greatly inaccurate.  I personally feel that a weighted point system is required.  Why should crowd interaction and reliability get only one point when they are often a few of the most important factors to brides and grooms? 


The other question you want to ask is whether or not you want to burden a friend or loved one with handling the music for four hours or more.  Think about what you're asking that person to do.  Having to play music nonstop for 4 hours straight is stressful even to the most experienced professional.  Think of how stressful it would be to someone with little to no experiece during one of the most important days of your life.

Posted on September 7, 2009 at 5:40 pm
MESandBCL
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I agree with YosemiteBride. Are there some kind of reception police that enforce certain rules or traditions?


Not having a DJ isn't always a "budget dictates" decision.


There is something called "atmosphere". What if the couple doesn't want a party atmosphere?


DJ's are usually obnoxious, out-going, extroverted types who try to keep "the party going". What if the couple are the quiet laid back type? Would they want some over-friendly guy (usually dressed in real tacky clothes) trying to run the whole show?


What if they don't care if everyone is dancing all night, what's wrong with sitting and having a conversation without needing to scream over the music or being dragged onto the dance floor?


What if they like a certain type of music? Do most DJ's have 6 hours worth of instrumental music available? Do they have 6 hours of jazz? Do they have 6 hours of slow dancing only music?  Would they have any music at all from the 20's or 30's that our grandparents might enjoy? I bet not.


I'm not having a DJ, so I guess I should go buy some balloons.

Posted on September 7, 2009 at 10:29 pm
jonniethm
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01/02/2010
jonniethm

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thanks for this, this has been one of my biggest dilemas.

Posted on September 7, 2009 at 10:36 pm
FutureMrsCarter
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06/20/2010
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FutureMrsCarter

I guess I'm a bit of a control freak because I want to be positive that my wedding wont end up like my best friends did. She hired a DJ and he was a nice man but he was set up next to the open bar and did not eat anything that afternoon. The man was toasted and started playing the cha-cha-slide and then a bunch of hip hop and r&b from the 90's that was obnoxious. The music was too loud and he was asked to bring down the volume, which didn't happen. People left because it was not the atmosphere her and her hubby had planned and no one wanted to sit there and listen to or dance to the music a drunk DJ wanted to listen to. We're going with a laptop with preset play lists and a song request form on our website so folks can ask for things ahead of time.

Posted on January 22, 2010 at 1:04 pm
Priceless
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08/07/2010
Priceless

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I see all sides. I had planned on doing an ipod if I had an casual wedding outdoors. I have now planned on doing something a bit more formal and I am getting a DJ. I don't want to have to worry about someone playing the right song at the right time etc. In my case (any many others)I think either a dj or ipod can work, just depends on the situation, crowd, B&G preference etc. To each their own! Good luck in what ever you do, I'm sure it will be spectacular! I'm sure the Dj is not out to get on anyone's bad side, but just wants to provide more info than was in the article, good for him as I know I haven't ever worked with a DJ before and any and all info is welcomed at this point.


 

Posted on March 11, 2010 at 6:26 am
joplin8
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10/24/2010
joplin8

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We are doing an I-pod or through our computer. I personally do not nor have ever wanted a dj. If I wanted one, I would pay for it but I just don't think it's necessary. We aren't doing anything traditional and I really don't care what song is being played when we cut the cake. I have been to MANY parties where there has not been a dj and the dancing never stopped so I don't buy into the fact that dj's make or break the atmosphere. I have also heard of weddings where the dj was practically begging people to dance and have fun. It depends on the people you invite and your crowd, not the dj and if you put that much pressure on one aspect to make your wedding you will most likely be disappointed. We are having our wedding at the botanic gardens and I really can't stomach the idea of having some loud guy yelling in a microphone the whole night at such a peaceful laidback venue. Not my cup of tea at all but everyone has different priorities so I'm not sure why this is such a heated topic :)

Posted on May 31, 2010 at 8:45 am
joplin8
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10/24/2010
joplin8

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I totally agree with Budget!! Who's to say what makes my wedding a "wedding" I don't have an expensive dress $350- thank you, I'm not overspending on my wedding to keep up with everyone elses tradition or what they think a wedding should be. You can't say something so general like it will be a mistake, Im sure you haven't been to that many weddings where they used an IPOD, is it fact that it's a mistake or just your perception? I guess you've never been to a wedding where the DJ sucked, right? Come on, to each his own!


I can afford a DJ, I could also afford a much more expensive dress but can I justify it to myself, HELL NO! That is my business, no one elses and it doesn't make my wedding any less important  because of it and it is super offensive to brush off a wedding that doesn't follow your "rules" and say you should just call it a party. WOW, that's all I can say, I guess I'll be next in line to go buy some balloons cause my wedding is just a party.

Posted on May 31, 2010 at 8:54 am
jaker1234
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01/20/2009
jaker1234

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I was sent this video clip of a non professional DJ using an ipod. 


click the link below:


http://www.orlandobrides.com/localpro/the-1-reason-why-to-hire-trained-professionals.htm


That hurt to watch-didn’t it (most people don’t make it to the end). A Bride who is convinced that she is okay to save some money on a DJ and to use an ipod(as be the case in this situation) risks all the money she is going to spend on the rest of the evening (She spends let’s say $10k-25k  on the event, and tries to save some money going with El Cheapo DJ and an ipod who ruins the night-how much did she really save?)


 

Posted on June 2, 2010 at 11:20 am
joplin8
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10/24/2010
joplin8

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See, that video is exactly why I wouldn't want a DJ. We are not traditional at all and we are just going to go with the flow, we aren't even going to be introduced. Yes, we will dance and I will dance with my dad but I don't care if anyone is watching me do those things. I don't need an audience staring at me throughout my entire wedding so I would prefer it to be laid back and fun and not too planned out. I think for our wedding an Ipod will be perfect but I can certainly understand that some people are more traditional and want things done on a strict timeline and all that. We are not those people

Posted on June 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm
akbridehi
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07/05/2011
akbridehi

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I was looking into doing an iPod, but I just don't want to have to be stressed and worried about it.  In the end, we are going with a DJ and I think we will be very happy.  Everyone needs to make the right choice for themselves, no one should tell anyone what they should do. 

Posted on June 2, 2010 at 12:31 pm
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