The iPod vs. The DJ for the Wedding Reception

I just finished an interesting two-part article written by Elizabeth Oakes at titled “An iPod Wedding: Should I Or Shouldn’t I” (See article here – Part One and Part Two).

I must say I agree with much (but not all) of what she says, as I have had first hand experience helping out a few iPod brides, where in nine out of ten cases, the bride ended up hiring our DJ service.

Now don’t get me wrong, as I can certainly see the merit of an iPod being the music source at a wedding reception that is more of a cocktail party with fewer guests at a smaller facility, but at a larger reception I see obstacles which just cannot be overcome by an iPod.  What I hope to do in this article is to paint a bigger picture, without using scare tactics.

Scenario One: A bride calls me and explains that her wedding is three weeks away.  She and her groom have put together a play list on their iPod, but just realized they hadn’t thought of how they would amplify it so that their one hundred and fifty plus guests could hear the music, as well as a microphone so their best man could make the necessary announcements.  I gave her our price to rent such a system, including drop off, set up, break down and pick up, and she then asked how much it would be to just hire a DJ with all of that included… the difference was nominal.  She then asked what it would cost for her to buy the same equipment, and I explained that the powered speakers (powerful enough to handle that size crowd), speaker poles and decent cordless microphone would run her in the ballpark of $2,000.00, but she quickly nixed that idea, not just for cost but because she didn’t want to deal with shopping for sound equipment much less the set-up and break down.  She called the next day and hired a DJ.

Scenario Two: A bride calls me, and in this scenario decides to contract us to provide the amplification system for her iPod wedding.  Afterward, she phones me and asks what it would have cost for her to have just hired a DJ. My curiosity getting the best of me, I ask why and she goes on to explain that although the cocktail hour and dinner went well, when it came time for dancing she felt that she could have used a DJ to help play the right selections in a better order, and that she, the groom, and several of the bridal party ended up fielding requests and having to play DJ, and that she would have preferred just enjoying the evening.  She then went on to say that the best man, who had agreed to make the needed announcements and essentially play ‘MC’ for the night got a little inappropriate after he had had several drinks.  When I told her what a DJ would have cost, she was quiet at first, and then said she should have just spent the extra money.

Scenario Three: A bride and groom have a small dinner party at a restaurant and have no expectations for dancing as there isn’t a dance floor.  The facility has a house system that allows them to hook in their iPod and play music through the ceiling speakers.  No fuss, no cost, everyone wins.

There are certainly many more scenario possibilities, as these are just three that stand out in my mind.  Like any other decision regarding your wedding I think this just requires careful thought and consideration.   In regards to Ms. Oakes reference to DJs struggling to compete with iPods and technology, we certainly haven’t felt that pinch at Cutting Edge Entertainment, and nor have any of the other DJs I speak to.  What I fail to grasp is the hype of the iPod.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my iPod, but I don’t see how it differs from a bride and groom choosing CDs they burned themselves for a wedding four years ago, or cassette tapes they made themselves for a wedding ten to fifteen years ago.  In each case it amounts to a ‘do it yourself’ music program, which has its pros and cons no matter what the technology.


1 Response

  1. Brandon Callenius

    Having read only 2 of your blog postings I have to give you props. I was very entertained as well as informed at the same time. You have done an excellent job and I applaud you at your skills. I unfortuneatly do not have what it takes to do a good blog lol. Again, excellent work!!

Leave a Reply