In this economy, why spend money to hire a professional DJ when you can do-it-yourself with a portable music player?

Seems tempting, but before you decide to forego hiring a DJ for your wedding, beware—an “iPod wedding” can be a lot more costly than you may think.

A professional DJ brings a lot more to your event than just music—they get the party started and know how to work the crowd.

They know how to play music that will be fun and appeal to a crowd consisting of everyone from small children to grandparents and everyone in between.

After renting everything you need to DJ your wedding with an iPod, you likely will have spent just as much as it would cost to hire a reasonably priced DJ.

Still want an “iPod wedding?” Do-it-yourself DJing is more complicated and costly than you might think. Here’s why:


– You may already have an iPod but do you have also own a great PA system? You might think that you’re saving money by using your iPod, but unless you already own a great sound system, you’re going to have to rent one. Some of the equipment you will need to rent includes speakers, speaker stands, amplifiers, a subwoofer, cables and a mixer. In addition to the iPod you should have at least one backup iPod and probably a person to run the iPod and make sure no one messes with the equipment.

– Lighting equipment is another important part to any reception—without it you will have no ambience on the dance floor!

– You will also need wireless microphones for toasts and speeches, otherwise the guests will be unable to hear these things and that will be very awkward. It’s hard to grab the attention of a crowd when your voice isn’t amplified.

– There’s no guarantee that the gear you rent will be reliable or that it has been kept in good condition and properly maintained. What will you do if it breaks down? Do you know what kind of high-quality gear to get in the first place?

– When you do-it-yourself as a DJ, you will be responsible for moving all the equipment, setting it up, taking it down, and it is a lot of work! Do you know how to set up and take down DJ equipment and a PA system?

– You could ask a friend or family member to be in charge of the music and deal with any technical difficulties that may arise. However, this will detract from them having a good time and also you might have to pay them.

– In the event that the equipment catches on fire and burns the venue you rented to the ground—you are liable and responsible for covering the damages. However, if you hire a DJ, they should have their own liability insurance so if something happens, they have it covered.


– Do you own all of the music that you intend to play? Purchasing music that you want to play but don’t already own is another thing you’ll have to factor into the costs. You probably don’t have the most-requested songs that the guests want to hear—you’ll have to pay to purchase them from iTunes. Bottom line is that you will usually get a greater selection of music with a professional DJ.

– With an iPod, you don’t get the timing or beat-mixing and fading that a professional DJ does. This can lead to awkward moments on the dance floor as people have to stop dancing to wait for the next song. A professional DJ fades the songs together and makes sure the beat and the energy keeps going no matter what. An iPod can’t tell the mood of the crowd or know how to create atmosphere.

Introductions, Toasts, and Announcements

– The DJ serves as a master of ceremonies of sorts—who are you going to get to fill this role? Without it, your wedding reception will be a disorganized mess. Some other things you get with a DJ are timing of different parts of the night—DJs coordinate with other vendors to ensure that things run smoothly throughout your entire event.

If you’re worried that a DJ is going to do something you won’t like or play songs you don’t want to hear, tell them! You are paying them for your service, so if they refuse to comply with your instructions, hire someone else! The reception is one area of your wedding that you don’t want to skimp on. Don’t risk ruining it with an iPod.