Thinking of an iPod Wedding?

September 10th, 2014 pulsedj

Technology is everywhere.  Brides and grooms are making so many decisions on how to budget their wedding and reception.  What components of your reception are really important?   When it comes to entertainment, can an iPod or other music player (or even a laptop) take the place of a DJ?  What other elements of your Wedding could suffer from this decision? 

When iPods and similar technologies first became mainstream they became a popular choice for entertainment.  It didn’t take long before the industry started to seriously weigh the Pros and Cons of this approach.  The conclusion?  While you might be able to save a few hundred dollars (when all is said and done) the Cons in most cases heavily outweigh the Pros.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Equipment Unless you have someone that you can borrow professional equipment from (mixers, amplifiers, speakers, etc.) you will need to rent.  Rental costs alone can be $300-$500 or more.  Along with this equipment you will need to have someone that can understand how to set it up and operate it (I guess Uncle John could do it as long as he doesn’t drink too much!).  Most rental companies do not offer these services.  Also, keep in mind that using even a higher end home stereo will most likely NOT give you the volume and quality of sound as you might expect.  This equipment is not designed to “project” music in larger rooms filled with people and other objects that will absorb your sound.  There is a reason why there are systems sold for your home and much higher end systems (with different technologies) sold for professional entertainment.
  • Volume Levels Attaining appropriate volume levels is a chore in itself.  When listening to music in your home, your car or from a portable device you really don’t notice that songs actually have very different volume levels.  A professional Disc-Jockey is constantly monitoring and adjusting for this especially during cocktail and dinner.
  • Back-Up Equipment Most DJs have back-up equipment and/or the experience to get around technical “glitches” that might come up.  A full set of back-up equipment can cost you an additional $300-$500
  • Someone To Do The Announcements Preferably someone who knows their way around a microphone.  Most people grab the microphone and walk directly in front of the speakers, setting off an ear-piercing squeal of feedback.  And they think the way to stop it is to put their hand over the microphone — causing even more feedback.  People also usually hold the microphone either too close or too far away from their mouth causing other issues.  An MC with some professional experience would be a real plus.  An MC is constantly adjusting levels for different individuals as they are speaking to assure they are heard and to reduce feedback and other noises that may be present, especially when using wireless technology.
  • Someone to Coordinate Your Formalities Even when you hire a Wedding Coordinator or think you are going to rely on your facility coordinator there are still many things these individuals are not experienced in coordinating because a DJ usually does it!  Your DJ will typically coordinate and lead off introductions, formal dances, cake cutting, tosses, centerpiece giveaways and many of the other formalities.  Most people do not understand what goes on behind the curtains to assure these formalities run smoothly.   Even the small things make a difference!  Assuring the photographer is in the room or that Mom or Dad are actually present when dances are announced and coaching your best man and maid of honor before their big toasts (and showing them how to use the microphones!).  Even the smallest of details… you would be surprised how many times I have “inspected” the Wedding cake before calling the couple up to find that the the plate and utensils had not been placed.
  • Where’d Everybody Go? – Also, an iPod doesn’t take requests, and it doesn’t automatically change music when it senses an empty dance floor.  And a song that can fill a dance floor at 11pm may leave it completely empty at 9pm, or vice-versa.  A professional DJ has the experience to know what songs to play, and when.  A random selection of iPod songs can’t read a crowd and respond.  So if your guests don’t like the music you’ve pre-programmed, the dancing will last only a few minutes, and the party will die.  But if all you’re looking for during your entire wedding is some nice background music for quiet conversation, an iPod may serve you well.
  • Dancing vs. Listening If you plan to use an iPod, and ask your guests in advance for their requests, remember to ask them what songs they would actually dance to, not just what songs they like to listen to.  There’s an awful lot of great concert music that can empty a dance floor in a split-second.  An experienced professional DJ knows the difference between a dance song and a listening song.  Even with all the music planning done in advance it is difficult to predict the actual mood and chemistry that will play out during your event.  An experienced DJ knows how to read you and your guests and when to play certain songs (and in what order) to keep the dance floor properly rotating and moving.

I could actually go on and on sharing the Cons and telling horror stories I have heard resulting from this practice.  Bottom line… don’t shortcut your entertainment on your wedding day!  You shouldn’t need to worry about all these details that you can hire a professional to take care of!  And of course you and your family and friends deserve a great party on the most important day of your life.

– Pulse Entertainment has over 20 years’ experience in performing at family oriented events throughout Smithfield, Clayton, Garner, and Raleigh North Carolina and surrounding areas . Call or inquire for a quote for your next event. For more information visit

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