Creating Your Own Wedding DJ
Keep in mind this professional advice if you’re considering serving as your own wedding DJ to be well-prepared and ensure a full dance floor all night.
The obvious place for couples to save money on their wedding is on the wedding entertainment. When you have access to all the songs you could possible want, there is no reason to pay for a costly DJ (or an even more expensive wedding band).
DIYing your own wedding music seems reasonably doable—even simple—thanks to the simple spread of mp3 files, music streaming services, and the cutting-edge sound quality available in small, affordable speakers these days. But if you decide to DJ your own wedding, there are certain important factors to take into account as well as some rules to follow to make sure everyone has a good time (see what we did there?).
Read on for our professional advice on how to DJ your own wedding so that you and your guests may dance the night away.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Your Own Wedding DJ
Consider carefully whether DJing your own wedding is the correct choice for you before browsing the aisles at Best Buy. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of acting as your own wedding DJ:
- much money is saved.
- gives you complete control over the music for your dinner, dance, and cocktail hours.
- enables you to manage the atmosphere and vibe (and avoid cheesy DJ antics).
- Possibly required to “work” at own wedding.
- Possible audio quality issues or amplification issues.
- A guest could want to take over the playlist or provide a lot of input on it.
- There is no expert available to handle any technical issues.
- You must understand how to create a playlist for a wedding that flows, inspires dancing, and fits the appropriate moods.
How to DJ your own wedding: What You’ll Need
Don’t assume that you can simply plug your phone into a speaker on the day of your wedding and be set to go, even while you don’t need a truckload of professional A/V equipment to DJ your own wedding. Similar to any DIY wedding project, the more planning you do, the better the outcome.
After deciding to self-dj, inquire about the setup for playing music at your wedding location by visiting or speaking with them:
- Do they already have a completely functional system in place for playing and amplification of music, or will you have to bring one (or pieces of one) in?
- Can someone show you where the equipment, cables, outlets, and other important factors are located so you will understand exactly how to set up on your own?
If you plan to bring your own equipment, think about renting amplification of a professional caliber. Unrealizing how much volume you’ll need is one of the worst DIY DJ mistakes you can make. While your Bluetooth speaker seems loud enough in your home, you’ll need strong amplification to transmit sound over hundreds of people, their talk, and the background noise of the party. In addition, nothing makes it more difficult to fill the dance floor than music that is simply too soft. Renting a basic pair of speakers and an amp will run you $75 to $100; an additional $100 to $200 will get you a mixer and a wireless microphone.
The following is a list of the tools you’ll need to buy, borrow from, or rent in order to properly DJ your own wedding:
- A laptop, an iPod, or another type of digital music player
- A sound speaker setup that includes:
- Two 12 to 15-inch speakers with supports
- Subwoofer (optional)
- A mixing board, Like this one
- A cord to link the player and mixer (most likely a mini-stereo to a male dual RCA)
- A microphone with an extremely long cable or that is wireless
- Personalized Wedding DJ Plan
To effortlessly pull off the ideal evening of thoughtfully chosen, entertaining music, follow these steps.
- Amass Your Resources
Look through the list above and start acquiring or locating the equipment you need to self-DJ like a pro. Ask your venue if any of the required supplies are already present there.
- Hire Amplifiers
Powerful speakers may make or break your party, as we’ve already discussed. Consider renting speakers, an amp, and possibly a subwoofer and a mixer from a nearby music or A/V store. To ensure that you and your guests can hear your carefully curated playlist, it will cost you far less than hiring a professional DJ.
- Create Playlists
Make a list of your favorite songs as you sit down with your companion. Throw everything on the list at once, then start to pare it down. Consider the songs that have special meaning for you two as a couple, the music you enjoy dancing to, and the tunes you are confident will be well-liked by your audience. You can buy new music from iTunes or create playlists on streaming music services like Apple Music or Spotify. You avoid relying on a wifi connection for access, make sure to download your playlists to your computer so you may make several copies of them.
There is more to the music on your wedding day than just the reception, even if you may be totally focused on the dance party. It will be simpler for anyone helping to press the play button at the appropriate moment if you create distinct playlists for each period of the day. The following are ideas for the many wedding playlists you should create:
Pre-ceremony: This is the time when guests are coming and settling in.
Include (and clearly name) the recessional song, the bride’s processional song (if different), any songs that are played during the service, and any other music that may be played.
Cocktails: You want some soft background music playing during your cocktail hour, but nothing that takes over the space or makes it difficult for guests to talk to one another. Consider lively, mellow music from the jazz, bluegrass, classical, standards, and folk genres.
Introductions at the reception: As you and/or your wedding party are welcomed into the reception, you could like some upbeat music to accompany you.
Dinner: Much like cocktail hour, your dinner playlist should primarily consist of calming instrumental music that is easy to converse over. Start preparing people for what’s to come by introducing more lively, danceable music toward the finish.
Special Dances: These include the first dance, the father-daughter dance, and the mother-son dance, all of which feature specially selected songs. Each of these should be clearly labeled and arranged in the order that they appear in the event chronology.
The dance party playlist, which should take up the most of your attention, is where the wedding song selection should really shine. Play a range of music that will appeal to everyone of your wedding guests, young and old, as well as music that you and your partner like.
After-Party: If your after-party includes dancing, make sure to play plenty of deep, energetic cuts to keep the party going. The majority of the older population will have left by this point, so you can bias the playlist toward the younger crowd.
- Seek advice from visitors
A laptop or iPod left alone often invites certain “empowered” visitors to take control and modify the song selection. Allowing visitors to submit music suggestions or other preferences beforehand is one method to prevent this unwelcome engagement. Your wedding website is the simplest method to do this, and it can be entertaining way to engage visitors and get them excited for your impending celebration.
- Refine and Edit
Take the time to thoroughly listen through your playlists once you’ve assembled them and make any required adjustments. Pay attention to the overall energy flow, especially when choosing the music for the dance party. You want to have some quiet and romantic moments, some more upbeat times, and to build to a crescendo as the celebration comes to a finish. Rearrange tracks to produce smooth transitions and remove any that seem abrupt or out of place.
Additionally, we strongly advise that you edit the song length in iTunes to 2-3 minutes and remove any draggy or protracted entrances. Applying the cross-fading feature to your playlists will help you seamlessly transition between tracks, so make sure to do so.
- Give it a try
It is essential to conduct numerous testing before the event if you don’t want to regret your self-DJing efforts. Check your venue’s equipment to run through your playlists and listen for any audio feedback, shoddy sound quality, and excessive volume. If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, practice your setup in both the outdoor and indoor settings in case of bad weather.
- Designate an MC or music captain
DIY wedding music is one thing, but being your own DJ is quite another. By hiring a “music captain,” you can avoid worrying about musical details when you should be concentrating on the joy of being married. This individual will be in charge of the following on the day of your wedding:
ensuring that the audio equipment is prepared.
Moving the sound system as needed during the event.
putting your different playlists in queue and using the play, pause, and skip buttons as needed.
defending the playing gadget all night long from mischievous guest DJs.
Your music captain should ideally be tech-savvy and/or have a solid understanding of music and sound technologies.
If this person is up to the role, it would be even better to have them serve as the event’s emcee. This entails using a microphone to announce significant dances or moments that will occur throughout the celebration, such as toasts, cake cutting, bouquet tosses, or shuttle departures, and making sure the microphone is in the correct hands at the appropriate time. The event timeline should be available to the emcee and he or she should be familiar with it beforehand.
There is no harm in having two people fill these positions if your music captain is not a suitable candidate to serve as the emcee. Together, they will ensure that your wedding sounds fantastic and flows flawlessly.
- Create a Plan B
Wedding DJing is no different from other excellent DIY wedding ideas in having a backup strategy. Even the best-laid musical plans can go awry for a variety of reasons, including inclement weather, low battery power, broken equipment, and falling objects. For piece of mind, have a backup plan in place that you can ideally not use, such the number of a nearby expert you can call at the last minute. In case you need to send someone for last-minute shopping, it’s a good idea to note the locations of a few nearby electrical retailers.
- Perform one last sound check
You should aim to arrive at the venue early on the day of the event to perform one last sound check before guests arrive because you can never be too prepared. It will be challenging to change the location or settings of the equipment after the party is underway without causing a disruption.
For more expert wedding planning advice in tips follow our other posts here on Only For Bridal