So I attended a wedding where there was no DJ. The bride had a custom made wedding dress. It was held at a country club. There was a sit down four course dinner and a fancy cake. But the couple chose to use her iPhone as their DJ. It saved them a ton of money, I’m sure, but … an iPhone is not a DJ. It shouldn’t be a DJ at a wedding at a country club. Backyard barbeque? Of course! Casual wedding on the beach? Sure! Just… not here.
Top 10 Reasons Why An iPhone Is Not A DJ
10. You want people to dance, right? Unless your friends and relatives are all extras on So You Think You Can Dance, you’ll have a relatively empty dance floor. The DJ is the one who gets people out there and moving, excited about the dancing. And, yes, he leads those ubiquitous line dances that everyone claims to hate yet still somehow get people up there moving every time.
9. Welcome first the first time! Mr. and Mrs. X! Wedding parties are traditionally announced to some sort of fun music as they come in at some point during the cocktail hour. No DJ? Well, who’s going to do that for you? In this case, my husband was drafted. And yes, he had a microphone, but there were other issues.
8. Venues aren’t set up for iPhones. Venues don’t have a sound system you can simply plug your iPhone into and have it work over their speakers. Because people don’t do that. DJs have the whole gig, which makes it audible (sometimes too much so!), but the bride and groom never mentioned their plans to the venue, and they never tested the iPhone as DJ concept. The only solution – figured out during the reception – was to plug in a microphone that the venue had and place the mic as close to the iPhone as possible. Needless to say, barely anyone could hear the music.
7. iPhone run on batteries. And when the battery gives out, there goes your DJ. Because yay you found a mic to set near the iPhone, but the mic isn’t near an outlet, and your cord isn’t long enough so you can’t plug it in. Oops.
6. You aren’t a playlist expert. So great, you created a playlist of your favorite songs. But what order do you put them in? How do you mix up the fast and the slow? What if everyone is loving the slow songs and when the fast music comes on, they abandon the dance floor? It’s not easy to adjust your play list on the fly to play what people are responding to the way a good DJ can and will do.
5. Speaking of playlists, what about those Father/Daughter and other special dances? You are still going to do the first dance and the other special dances during the reception at some point, right? Who did you pick for the awkward task of stopping the music at some point during the reception, finding the right song, and starting it up when you want those dances to happen? Trust me, something will go wrong here. Plus, the DJ transitions one song into the next so that there’s no pause or break or silence that gives people a chance to think about leaving the dance floor.
4. That song just isn’t one you dance to. So you love that song. It’s one of your favorites. But oops, it doesn’t really work with those awkward pauses and beat changes. And the rhythm is weird. But you put it on your playlist because you don’t think of these things and didn’t know. That’s another thing a good DJ does. He knows what songs do and don’t work for dancing and weddings and will help you craft a good playlist.
3. Hey, can you play…. Your playlist is set. And it’s limited to the songs you own, which aren’t cheap to buy anyway. Half the fun at weddings is the songs people request (and yes, you set a blacklist of songs or artists that the DJ will not play) and seeing the reaction of people to them. It gets people talking and having fun and more involved in the wedding and dancing. And isn’t that what you want?
2. What was that noise? Yes, I heard that repeatedly that night. Generally, it was in reference to clapping. Because the bride and groom had several songs during the meal, and some even during the dancing portion, that were acoustic versions of songs. You know, where there’s mostly singing and it’s quieter than normal and then it trails off into clapping at the end. Sometimes for 10-20 seconds. It made me giggle, but it really confused a lot of people.
And the number one reason why an iPhone isn’t a DJ for a wedding?
Bring! Bring! Bring! When you get a phone call – or a text an email notification – your phone lets the whole reception know. It stops the music for a few seconds, makes the noise, then restarts the music. I’m pretty sure that isn’t the mood you’re going for at your fancy wedding.
And no. I couldn’t make any of this up if I tried. So please… don’t save your money here. I saved a ton of money on my wedding but went for it in places the guests wouldn’t notice. I made my own centerpieces that were simple but elegant. I didn’t buy many flowers because who remembers the decorations anyway. We made a CD for our favor that was all our special dances and the first 10 songs we played at the reception for each person. I have friends who still listen to that CD today, and it was far cheaper and easier to make those than other favors that people throw away or forget quickly. I spent as little as possible to get a dress I really liked.
But the food and the venue and the DJ? Those I didn’t skimp on, though it’s fine if the food is mediocre – just don’t let it be bad. Oh, and definitely not the open bar (in fact, we spent $3 extra per person to get the premium liquors in our open bar). Besides, you know you can negotiate prices with your vendors, right? Never take the first offer, especially if it’s for an iPhone as your DJ.