No DJ?

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  • Posted: 12 Aug 2019 11:03

    No DJ?

    We could afford a DJ if we stretch our budget, but we both do not want to spend extra money on unneccessary things. (We are both frugal, especially H2B). We are hoping to come under our budget, you see.

    We are thinking to use our own speakers (hired or existing) instead of a DJ. The venue is okay with this, but I am a bit of a worrier and am worried about many things going wrong, from no one dancing to people taking over the playlist and having an evening of interrupted songs. We've been to a birthday party recently that used a playlist well, but a bigger wedding (ca. 90 people) might be different? H2B is especially keen on this idea as he is very fugal (we are currently on two ends of should we hire photographer) and he likes to play the DJ/playlist maker at house parties (tbf he is somehow pretty good at doing it!).

    Has anyone been to a wedding that did this? Did it work well? Any tips on the execution?


    ((To give you an idea, the dancing space is in a village hall, with a front part for DJ/sound equipment. There will be chairs against the wall with space to dance in the middle. So its fairly relaxed space. We would buy lights to give the room a soft glow - no light machines/flashing bc H2B's mum has epilepsy. See or if you need to picture it!))


    Thank you all for your help!

  • Posted: 12 Aug 2019 19:09

    Re: No DJ?

    I think that sounds like a great idea :-) 

    I’m sure people will dance too, especially after some vino. Nothing wrong with trying to keep within budget :-)

    I would say it would be a good idea to get a photographer though . 

    the place looks lovely too 😁 xx

  • Posted: 13 Aug 2019 8:42

    Re: No DJ?

    If you can afford a DJ, personally I would go for it. For me, a DJ or band were one of my must haves for the evening.

    My H2B is putting together a playlist for during the meal and in between band sets/end of the night, but the thing to bear in mind is that when you have a DJ, they can completely change the vibe of the room. They can see if people are dancing, and play the songs to get people up, slow it down when needed, as well as take requests and such. You also get the mixing / fade in/out with a DJ rather than that pause between songs where everyone does the awkward 'do we go and sit back down' shuffle.

    If anything goes wrong with the playlist, you don't want your H2B spending ages tinkering with it trying to get i working again. And as you said, you don't want people trying to skip songs or cutting them off halfway through - I'd say if you do go down the playlist route, put the phone or laptop somewhere where people can't tamper! 

    My H2B is very frugal too, and I totally get the whole thing of not wanting to beggar yourselves for one day, but I genuinely feel that some sort of live music helps create a great atmosphere. 

    Also, re your comment on the photographer I would just say that the rings and the photos are all you have after the day is gone. If you don't want to splurge on a whole day photographer, (I get it, it's really expensive!) at least get one for the ceremony and group/couple shots afterwards, so you have some memories. 

    I hope this helps! X

  • Posted: 13 Aug 2019 17:31

    Re: No DJ?

    I personally feel, from the many weddings I have attended, that a dance floor without a DJ is like a sandwich without a filling.  I've seen it done with a sound system and a play list, but if the next song does not work, you will lose the floor in a second!  A good DJ will keep the dance floor going, if you are there or not. 

    It really all depends if dancing is high on your list.  if its not, then definitely stick with a play list, but at the end of the day, your guests will follow what you do so if you are up on that floor all night, so will a handful of your closest buddies! 

  • Posted: 13 Aug 2019 21:44

    Re: No DJ?

    When I look back at the weddings I've been to, one of the biggest things for me that has made them amazing is the evening entertainment. Obviously your friends and family are there to share your special day with you, but ultimately they are probably also looking forward to a bit of a party! And I think the evening entertainment is a big part of the party.

    One of my friends did something to what you have suggested and if I'm totally honest it just really didn't work. She is gutted in hindsight she didn't invest a little more in the evening entertainment too. I would say if you can find room in the budget, go for it. But to play devil's advocate, there are probably things we have cut corners on which others wouldn't! It's your day so your choice, and I'm sure it will be the most amazing day either way. 

  • Posted: 14 Aug 2019 9:56

    Re: No DJ?

    Hire a DJ. Have_you_met_Mrs_Jones2019 is bang on. We've seen it so many times in the past where people think a DJ is just playing a playlist (which, sometimes they are). But a good DJ will read the room. See what gets people on and what turns them off. Their job is to keep the dance floor filled.

    Playlists often dont work and we've seen an empty floor with music playing. In that situation where you've hired a set of decent speakers you end up feeling like your money has been wasted. And you will need to hire speakers. No computer speakers or sound pods will ever be loud enough to fill a room AND overrule people speaking.

    There is also the fact that things go wrong technically. Just the other day. The bride had this big entrance planned, the song all on the iPhone, the moment she walks in picked as the song hits the right note and... nothing. Someone lost the lightning to headphone dongle you need with iPhones now and they couldnt use the speakers. They ended up playing it off the phone on full volume and.... The bride kept asking why isnt the music playing, the planner telling them it is but off the phone which you couldnt hear. She, like everyone else here had planned her day to the smallest of details. 

    A lot of wedding planning isnt about "What if things go perfectly to plan, the weather is good, people dance to the playlist and it will be magical". Its a whole lot of planning for when things dont go right and the suppliers you choose actually take a huge part of this worry away from you. Photographers have spare cameras and backups of everything. DJ's have spare everything too and when a fuse blows they will replace it and you wont even know. Instead of everyone quickly googling the nearest B and Q :)

  • Posted: 14 Aug 2019 15:33

    Re: No DJ?

    I would definitely hire a DJ. A good DJ is worth every penny, like a previous reply said-a badly timed song can throw off the whole atmosphere and really ruin the vibe.

    I've been to a lot of weddings and lets be real, the party is the best bit and is what really makes a wedding a good time. I can't think of anything worse than drunken friends trying to change the songs half way through or no one really dancing because the music is all over the shop.

  • Posted: 14 Aug 2019 20:16

    Re: No DJ?

    Another option. Hire a Jukebox. Like the old Wurlitzer ones. Although the new ones use cd's or are digital.  

    People can select songs and it will play to the end 

  • Posted: 14 Aug 2019 21:46

    Re: No DJ?

    i've been to one wedding that did this... it didn't work well for the, they couldn't get the music to play and everyone left early

  • Posted: 20 Aug 2019 9:18

    Re: No DJ?

    I'm doing something similar to you, in our village hall wedding, and I would say don't feel pressured into hiring a DJ if you don't want to.

    However, I am a playlist maker, lol. I absolutely love pulling parties off and making playlists that keep people dancing. I have never been to a wedding or occasion where I have not felt immensely disappointed by the DJ, and not thought I could do it better myself. So, we have made our own Spotify playlist which we will download, and it is banging, hahaha.

    We will have a great PA/sound system though - my H2B is a music engineer and knows a bit about that, and my cousin is sorting and providing all the PA and lighting for us on the night. He also will be at hand to oversee the music and if there are changes needed, or any technical glitches, he will be able to step in with a plan B.

    So - my advice would be have your plan A, but have a plan B if needed and something goes wrong. Make sure there is someone who can sort the music for you on the night, and work out any hitches.

  • Posted: 20 Aug 2019 9:42

    Re: No DJ?

    Always have a backup plan and make sure it's someones job to get it working and keep it working. There have been several weddings this year where I have had to step in and 'sort' the sound system because the person responsible would rather be drinking or no one was assigned. On a few occasions we've only got it working because I pulled some equipment out of my videographer bag.

    No one knew we did it, no one thanked us because they all assumed their day went off as to plan. But if it wasnt for us then yeah, they would have had no audio during the vows and no music in the evening. 

    The point being make sure someone is assigned and if it goes wrong it's their responsibility. Visits to the bar come second.

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