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Michelle
Just Said Yes May 2022

dj my own reception?

Michelle, on December 7, 2021 at 11:31 AM Posted in Wedding Reception 0 10
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I’m considering not hiring a DJ for a couple of reason, just wondering how disastrous this could be… we aren’t doing a ceremony and are hoping to have an early dinner at our barn reception, followed by a mixture of dancing and live performances…


My husband and I are amateur (but pretty decent) musicians, I was a professional dancer and we have a lot of friends that perform which we would like to incorporate into the festivities.
We’d also like to include some Bollywood music (and potentially performances) since my husbands family is Indian. Since so much of this will be live entertainment we didn’t know how necessary a dj is. The barn required DJS to use their speaker system etc… so we wouldn’t need any of that equipment.
Has anyone DJ’d their own wedding, or have any advice?

10 Comments

Latest activity by Ashley, on December 15, 2021 at 10:59 AM
  • Samantha
    Rockstar May 2022
    Samantha ·
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    As long as you don't mind being pulled away to announce/ organize things, sounds manageable. You'll just have to be aware of the timeline at all times!

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  • Heather
    Super November 2021
    Heather ·
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    We didn't hire a DJ. Instead we designated two people to control the music. And we rented speakers. Our wedding planner/coordinator (who was my husband's cousin) played from my playlist on certain ceremony songs to play. She also played our wedding entrances for the reception. Then we designated one of the groomsmen to play his songs from his music playlist because we (me and my husband) have the same music taste as him.

    Make sure to designate someone to control the music if you do not have a DJ. Also have someone MC as well. We had our wedding officiant (husband's other cousin) MC for the night.

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  • Cece
    Master November 2022
    Cece ·
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    Personally, I think that would be more than I would want to be responsible for during my wedding/reception. I wouldn’t want to organize everyone and make sure each performer was where they need to be at the time they needed to be there, or that each performance was running on time, or that whoever was in charge of making announcements knew what was going on, etc. DJs don’t just play music, they also make sure your wedding flows properly. If you are doing things like cake cutting, spotlight dances, bouquet toss, etc. they are the ones to make the announcement so people are aware these things are happening. They would also be the ones to make the announcement that guests should sit for dinner (or should Make their way to the buffet, if you are doing a buffet instead of a seated meal). They would also be the ones to organize and announce your live performances. Having someone in charge of all these things just makes your evening go more smoothly and takes the stress off you. Also, what will you be doing between performances? Will you want to have music playing? A DJ would be able to play the appropriate music in between events. If you don’t hire a DJ, it sounds like you are going to have to put multiple people in charge of organizing and executing all these things, which could be a recipe for disaster, and a lot of stress for you. Are you hiring a wedding coordinator? If so, maybe they could handle these items in lieu of a DJ.
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar December 2022
    Michelle ·
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    I have been a guest at weddings where the couple DIY’ed the music and it went badly to say the least. The music chosen was great to listen to but it was not danceable and there was no way to switch it up to something else. Also the speakers were not great quality for a large room. The brides were upset that hardly anyone danced as a result. Many guests mentioned at the weddings (not to the couples) and afterwards that the music selection/setup killed the mood. In those circles, MCs are not a thing so no need for announcements.


    Personally, I have yet to attend a wedding where the hired dj was crap or over the top. With the recent trend of announcements, choreographed entrances and other Monday Night Football-esque hype, that’s where some djs forget why they were hired. But not all are like that, which is why you interview them before you book them. Make sure you both are on the same page as far as vibe, etc.
    There are a couple djs I’ve been very impressed with at past weddings because they are subdued and only play music without any unnecessary announcements or other hype. But we don’t live in those areas. If we were only limited to the djs who advertise solely on YouTube, we would skip music entirely because those are the worst of the worst for over the top hype that is better suited at a party that is not a wedding. Luckily the djs we came across on Instagram are more out style: play great music the crowd responds to, no announcements, no MCs, just music. In our families and social circles, those things would confuse more than help guests through the reception.

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  • Michelle
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Yes this is what I was wondering… we are keeping things pretty casual and don’t have a lot of events planned (no bouquet, probably no first dance, we’ve been married for a year so a lot of traditional things we just don’t find necessary).


    We don’t have a coordinator, but my family is planning on helping run and coordinate a lot. I feel pretty confident I would be able to make a danceable playlist, but I’m also not sure if I want to hover nearby and have that aspect of the event hanging over me.
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  • Michelle
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Michelle ·
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    This is really helpful, thanks!
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  • Michelle
    Just Said Yes May 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Yeah having a little team put together seems like the most manageable way to do it…
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  • Cece
    Master November 2022
    Cece ·
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    Definitely something to think about! I think the most important thing would be to determine what kind of experience you would like to have at your reception, and what kind of experience you would like your guests to have. It was really important to us that we and our guests be able to just relax and enjoy the party. We didn’t want to work or make our guests work our event- we want everyone to just relax, eat, drink, dance… and not worry about anything else.
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  • S
    Savvy October 2019
    Stephanie ·
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    Every DIY DJ'd wedding I've been to, it has turned out bad in some way, so i would definitely hire one.

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  • Ashley
    Savvy November 2022
    Ashley ·
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    I have a DJ but she is also married to my cousin. She will be setting all of her equipment up and will have a playlist ready to go for the night. I told her she does not have to "man" the station all night long but I requested she be there for all of the first dances. This way she can also enjoy our big day.

    If you have someone who is reliable to watch the music and change it if needed, it will work out. I've been to some weddings that don't have a DJ that went terribly and some that went perfectly fine. Many people will step up to help if you ask so don't be afraid to ask!

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