Hey there! Does anyone have suggestions on alternatives to a DJ? This isn’t very high on our priority list, so I’d rather not spend money on it, but I would like the usual first dance and such. Anyone having the same thoughts?
There's really only three other options: live band, rent speakers and use a playlist off your phone, or not have music. A DJ wasn't high on our priority list either at first, but it's definitely a necessity for us now after reconsidering. The DJ will make all announcements (like introducing you and announcing the first dance) and maintain the flow of the event by playing appropriate music for the feel of the room. A live band will probably cost more, using a playlist will require you to put someone in charge of it (if not yourself) and then they couldn't enjoy your wedding, and not having music would feel very awkward in my opinion lol
We planned on doing that too initially! We both thought "I mean our venue has speakers and bluetooth, why would we pay someone when we can do it ourselves?". But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I didn't want to have to worry about what music was playing or who to put in charge of it, let alone make allllll the playlists for the ceremony, introduction, special dances, cocktail hour music, dinner music, dancing music... made me want to rip my hair out just thinking about it! We ended up finding a very affordable DJ and I told him about how we considered not having one at all, to which he responded with "I know this is going to sound biased, but that's one of the biggest mistakes you can make in planning a wedding, I've been to a lot without a DJ/band and they were either a disaster or super awkward". After booking with him, I felt so relieved that we weren't going to have to worry about any of it!
We didn't have all the announcements, special dances (other than our first dance), and various reception events that a DJ would need to cut in for. I worked for months on our playlists and everyone commented on how great the music was. We had dancing and other than going from cocktail/dinner playlist to the rest of our reception, we never worried about the music at all. It's not right for everyone but it did work out for us.
We hired a friend who does DJing on the side to basically be our emcee. H has a PA system and big speakers already and a ton of music so he put together all of our playlists. Our emcee just had to play the right playlist at the right time and make announcements. I do think it's helpful to have someone like that to help keep things going. We probably wouldn't have gone that route though if H didn't already have the equipment since PA systems and good speakers that will fill a room are really expensive.
My younger brother is our "DJ". We are making multiple Spotify playlists and giving him a list of songs for specific moments (such as First Dances). The majority of the time there will be a playlist on shuffle just for background noise, so he will still get to enjoy the event as well. He is also 16, so he would rather be being a DJ than socializing with a bunch of adults lol
Also, if you know some High School kids or if any of your friends have older children, you might consider hiring them at a flat rate to DJ throughout the night. Kids love making easy money like that!
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