Replace Your Wedding DJ With An
A popular tip circulating the net is to replace
your wedding DJ with an iPod and DJ your reception yourself. Here's
how to do it.
Whether itís true or not, most everyone agrees that wedding DJs are
expensive. A popular tip circulating the net is to replace your
wedding DJ with an iPod and DJ your reception yourself. While this
may sound like a great idea, there are some things to consider. Just
as with any do-it-yourself project, you must be aware of all facets
before you start.
The first most important job for a good DJ is to play music that the
crowd enjoys. A simple shuffle has no way of knowing who is dancing
to what. A person does need to run things, but not just any person
will do. Putting your 12 year old nephew won't do you any good. The
person in charge of the music needs a large amount of music
knowledge. A good DJ should have this knowledge. A good DJ should be
able to identify a song based on a few bars hummed out of tune or a
snippet of lyrics that are slightly incorrect. Your DJ must not have
a fear of speaking in front of a crowd, and this is not as easy as
it sounds. One simply has to think of all the Best men who have
hemmed and hawed their way through a wedding toast with the
microphone held at waist level. Also, does he/she know how to
auction off a garter or any of the other traditional reception
activities? If not, will the bride and groom want to do these things
while they should be enjoying their guests? Oh, and just like you
would give your wedding singer or officiant a tip for performing
your ceremony, don't forget a gratuity for your impromptu DJ.
"Just as with any do-it-yourself project, you must be aware of all facets before you start."
"Ipod DJ Package
Unless you're a music collector, chances are you don't have a music
library with waltzes, polkas, old country, new country, oldies,
classic rock, new rock, soft rock, hard rock, hip hop, dance, etc.
And, unless you want to subject your guests to your musical tastes,
you should probably buy a selection of these songs. If you're not up
on popular waltzes and polkas, or don't know which songs are
currently topping the country Top 40, search the web. $25 dollars
should buy you enough music on iTunes to cover enough various
musical tastes that most guests will enjoy themselves.
Another task for a good wedding DJ is one who is covered by
insurance. Sure, your homeowners policy *might* cover it, but I'd
hate to see your premiums next year if an accident does occur. Don't
think accidents will happen to you? Are you serving alcohol at your
reception? If you're telling yourself, "All the drunk people I know
never act like fools!", stop and think about that again. Besides,
many venues require proof of insurance because they don't want to
see their premiums raised because your grandma tripped on a speaker
cable and broke her hip. Searching the web for "wedding event
insurance" will yield a whole crop of insurers who will give you a
$1 million dollar policy for around $200.
Equipment is of course another important factor a good DJ brings to
your reception. Do you know where to get speakers? Or mics? Or
Mixer?? Larger cities will have rental companies that can provide
these things. You can even find many such companies by searching the
web for "dj equipment rental". Most wedding sized systems rent for
anywhere from $250 to $500 dollars per day. In most cases, you must
provide a truck or van to transport the equipment. Now, do you know
how to set these things up? If not, will the rental company give you
a tutorial? Some rental companies will give you a tutorial when you
pick the equipment up, but make sure to take notes, because if you
have to call them later they will likely charge you for a service
call. Some equipment rental companies will deliver, setup, and test
their equipment as well as pick up later, but this is extra.
"PA Package #1"
"Equipment is of course another important factor a good DJ brings to your reception."
That being said, if you KNOW your group will
interact without being prompted (or just don't care if they interact
or not), and if you've got a person with an encyclopedic knowledge
of music that will run your iPod (instead of enjoying your
reception), and you have adequate insurance to cover any accidents
that occur due to your iPod setup, and you have a large enough music
library to make sure everyone gets to hear the music they want, and
you're able to get your hands on adequate dance lights and speakers,
and will be saving money by spending $550 to $700 then by all means
use an iPod. You honestly have no need for a DJ.
If planning and organizing all this sounds like just one more
hassle, you'd probably do better to hire a professional so that you
can enjoy your reception and spend your first day as husband and
wife doing something besides returning rental equipment. For a few
dollars more you'll get professional equipment, professional
knowledge from someone who has planned and performed at hundreds of
weddings, peace of mind that any glitches will be resolved quickly,
no hassles about tearing down equipment when the reception is over,
and no worries about getting it back before you owe another day's
worth of rental fees.
About the Author: Tim and Tammy Smith own and operate By Request DJ
& Karaoke Company in Fargo, ND. They have been providing exceptional
entertainment at weddings, proms, and parties since 1991. Visit
their website at http://www.byrequest.dj
By Tim and Tammy Smith