As a wedding planner, I get asked this question a lot. Isn’t it easier and cheaper for me to just let me my friend, brother, nephew, best man’s second cousin by marriage use his iPod for the music? The answer is no, no and ummmmmmm no again – and I will explain why.
So much of the success of a wedding reception is tied directly to both the music being played and the timely, appropriate, and professional announcements made by an experienced emcee – I really can’t comprehend the decision. Why would people even consider doing this?
Announcements – I know an iPod can do many things but last time I checked it can’t talk. So now who is going to do the important announcements? The single biggest drawback to not using a professional wedding DJ is the lack of a polished, capable emcee for the evening. Does your fiancé’s college buddy have the right balance of intuition and experience to make smooth transitions between the various formalities at your wedding? Does he posses the attention to detail and quick thinking to smooth over an awkward moment by gracefully diverting your guests’ attention to something else? I can tell you that it takes years of experience and hundreds of performances to acquire the confidence and competence to deliver flawless emcee work at a wedding, and chances are that your friend doesn’t have this skill set.
Flexibility - An experienced professional has the ability to “read the crowd,” to sense when it’s beneficial to extend a particular set or to put on a slow song to get the rest of your guests involved. This sense of the “flow” of the evening only comes with the knowledge gained from performing at hundreds of weddings, and is something that would be completely absent if you chose to use an iPod instead of a professional wedding disc jockey. Also, even a music expert can’t always predict in advance which songs your guests will respond favorably to, and the last thing you want to do is break up a full dance floor with an ill-timed slow song (or empty a dance floor filled with happy couples by throwing on a party song at the wrong moment).
BeatMixing and Song Gaps - Another factor to consider is an iPod’s inability to beatmix – blending songs together and keeping the beat going from one song to the next. Beatmixing is a tool used religiously by good DJs and is impossible for an iPod to accomplish (plus, it takes a bit of planning ahead to put songs with a similar tempo next to one another in a set). On top of this lack of mixing, an iPod doesn’t have the ability to remove the two-second gap between songs while it plays. Using a laptop instead of an iPod can eliminate this gap, but still doesn’t address the issue of beatmixing (or mixing in general, other than just fading songs together).
Is your new brother-in-law a sound expert? Unless you rent a sound system from a DJ familiar with your reception site and he chooses to give you good advice, chances are you aren’t going to know exactly what equipment to procure. Is a 300-Watt sound system adequate for a 60’ x 100’ ballroom with 120 guests in it? It’s more powerful than your home sound system, but is it enough? What if you are in a room with windows on two sides, a vaulted ceiling and a tile floor? Do you know how to set up the sound system so it doesn’t create an echo chamber? An experienced wedding disc jockey will know how to “tune a room” to get the best sound, and will know how much power is enough to cover your reception site.
I could go on and on and on about why this is a mistake. It ranks up there with ideas of DIY flowers and I’m going to let my cousin take our photographs. Unless you or your family or friends are Martha Stewart, David Tutera or Randy Fenoli, please use highly trained professionals.
If you have any questions regarding planning your perfect wedding contact Perfect Fairytale Endings. Remember every initial consultation is complimentary!
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Perfect Fairytale Endings
Cambridge, Ohio 43725
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