One comment I hear quite often as a wedding DJ is “Why would I need to hire a DJ? I’ll just make a playlist!”. I have seen many people take this approach, sometimes with success and sometimes not. Supplying music to your own wedding can definitely save some money, but there are a few things you will want to consider before going that rout:
You will need to find, set up and manage sound gear
It’s true that there are many places where you can rent proper commercial grade sound equipment for reasonable prices. A few examples are Long & Mcquaade and Calgary Sound Rentals. But that also means you have to worry about getting the equipment to and from your event, as well setting it up, testing it, and making sure the volumes are set correctly. You will also need to keep an eye on the system during your recption so that when your cousin Gary gets a little tipsy and decides he wants to be a DJ, he doesn’t screw up your playlist, mess with the volume controls, or damage the gear.
Making playlists for weddings is hard
I have friends and acquaintances ask me all the time for a wedding playlist. I have tried to accommodate people a few times, but It’s nearly impossible to determine what kinds of music a crowd is going to best respond to before the actual event. Granted, some of the work is done for you with services like Spotify or 8Tracks, but the fact of the matter is that a static playlist is a pretty big gamble. DJing is an ongoing dialogue between a performer and an audience. The music choices I make evolve throughout an evening as I gain an understanding of the different groups at an event and what they like. This is especially true for weddings, where the guests tend to span many ages and demographics. You really can’t beat the dynamics and interactivity of someone actively managing the music and taking requests at your event.
Remember that you have the rest of your wedding to manage
Weddings can be a great time, but they are always a lot of work for the people getting married and their bridesmaids/groomsmen. Do you really want to have spend your wedding day worrying about sound gear, mic volumes, playlists, and making sure uncle Dave doesn’t hook up his phone and put on his two hour death metal jam? I don’t ever DJ weddings for close friends anymore, because I know how much work DJing is, and I have realized the hard way that you can’t really properly enjoy a wedding if you also have to worry about the music. I don’t want to deal with that stuff while trying to enjoy my fiends’ weddings, and I certainly won’t want to deal with it at my own.