In just four steps, you can learn how to DJ your own wedding. We’ll also chat about wedding music expectations.
You can also check out our blog for more wedding etiquette information. Do you know what a receiving line at a wedding is, for example?
What does a wedding DJ do?
Music Prep & Planning
It’s more difficult than it appears to select music for your wedding reception.
When you know what kind of music your friends and you enjoy, how do you fit your mom’s favorite song and Ginuwine’s “Pony” together?
DJs who specialize in weddings typically have some kind of planning tool at their disposal to ensure that your special day goes precisely as you see it. Using Mint’s #MyMint capabilities, you may select which songs you want to listen and which ones you don’t. Isn’t it time you stopped doing the Chicken Dance?) We’re not mad with you.)
We acquire a better sense of what genres you like by knowing your dance music tastes, so we can surprise you!
If you have any further queries, we’ll be here to help.
- Do you want a song dedicated to you or someone else?
- Is there a blessing in store?
- Are there a lot of folks making a toast today?
- Do you want your centerpieces to be taken home by guests?
- Is there any particular genre of music that your parents enjoy?
- Your DJ should be able to take requests.
Your DJ has already begun working on your wedding day!
Staying On Schedule
Your ceremony and reception should have a timeframe, whether or not you’re working with a wedding planner. An excellent wedding DJ is a priceless asset in this situation.
We’ll design a timeline for your wedding day once we’ve worked out all the details with you and your other vendors. Additionally, your timeline will include any special song dedications and/or toasts and/or prayers you’d like included.
We keep to our schedule as soon as it’s determined (while still allowing everything to flow organically)
Arriving 1-2 hours before our scheduled start time ensures that everything is in place and ready to go when the “I Do” moment comes around. You won’t have to scramble to finish the soundcheck at the last minute when you choose Mint DJ Events. Everything will go smoothly for the rest of the day.
Being A True Event Host
You can’t simply rely on the music to make your wedding day go smoothly. Your Event Host is also a member of this team.
We were just talking about how cool of a timeline that was earlier. Being able to keep to the timeframe includes making those all-important announcements like introducing you and your spouse for the first time as husband and wife.
Of course, not every wedding DJ has previous experience as an MC, which is something to keep in mind when hiring. The personality of a DJ might be just as important as their professional skills when it comes to hiring one. Having an MC at the helm of your event will establish the tone for the night!
We’d want to ask you, “How are your guests going to hear the officiant during the ceremony?” When was the last time you utilized a sound board? The iPad won’t operate, do you know how to fix it?”
To ensure that the vows, toasts, and music all sound great from beginning to end, a lot of specialized equipment and technical know-how is required. What else can a DJ do but make everything appear (and sound) seamless?
When it comes to wedding DJs, setting the proper mood and atmosphere is what sets them apart from other DJs.
There will be people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds at your wedding, as opposed to a nightclub, which tends to attract a younger population. It can be difficult to maintain all of these folks dancing at the same time. This is when the Mint crew really shines, fluidly switching between genres to keep the audience engaged and grooving along!
That Little Bit of “Extra”
When asked, “What can a DJ accomplish that I can’t, ”
In the end, it all comes down to one thing: professionalism. Without it, everything else is nothing.
More than a good set of speakers distinguishes a professional wedding DJ from a layperson. Only a professional can seamlessly transition between songs, announce the cake cutting, and figure out which ’70s song will send Grandma twirling around the dance floor.
Throughout the year, we attend conferences, seminars, and one-on-one tutorials to stay on top of our game as DJs at Mint. Even if it’s not a wedding, we bring a fun, yet professional attitude to any occasion!
Tips for Being Your Own Wedding DJ
1. Think Through The Whole Day
Beyond the reception, you’ll need wedding music for various areas of your big day. A sound system for your ceremony and cocktail hour is an excellent idea, but you need plan ahead of time for who will set it up, operate it, and transfer it from one area to the next if you’re going to supply your own music (if necessary). You should test your playlists and equipment at every area before the event.
2. Play Dance Hits
Creating a reception playlist that includes a wide range of popular dance music will ensure that your guests will be able to dance the night away. If you’ve ever attended a full wedding dance floor where you had a great time, what were the most popular songs? No need to perform “The Electric Slide” or the chicken dance, but make sure you include enough crowd-pleasing tunes to keep everyone entertained.
3. Play a Variety
Consider playing a selection of songs from different genres and time periods if you want everyone from your small cousin to your granny to appreciate the music. Even if you’re a die-hard fan of ’90s hip hop, EDM, and obscure indie artists, the majority of your wedding guests aren’t likely to be. The best way to keep the party going is to play an eclectic mix of popular music that builds in intensity and time. This should include anything from slow-dance standards to upbeat funk or Motown numbers to current chart-toppers.
4. Do a Trial Run
Make sure you test out your equipment and play through your most crucial playlists at your venue before the big day arrives. When it comes to your big day, you don’t want any surprises to pop up.
5. Don’t Rely on The Internet
Your playlists should be saved to your music player so that they can be played even if you don’t have internet access. In general, online music services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Apple Music are great for listening to music, but if you’re planning a wedding, it’s best to have your wedding music stored locally on your devices so you can access it from anywhere.
6. Assign a Music Captain
In order to allow you to be as present as possible on your wedding day, your music captain will handle some of the music logistics for you. Wedding guests who want to take control of the dance music playlist will also be protected by this person. Assign this responsibility to a person who is responsible and, ideally, also well-versed in music and technology.
7. Cross-Fade and Cut Your Songs
It’s the gaps or awkward periods between songs that separate a professional playlist from a clearly DIY one. Crossfade between tracks and use iTunes to reduce song lengths to meet the attention spans of your dancers, or your crowd might lose momentum.
8. Use a Wedding DJ App
If you’d want to be your own wedding DJ, there are a number of useful apps available for you to use. If you’d want to see how the MyWeddingDJ app can speed things up even more, have a look at the app.
9. Read The Room
It’s okay for you two to screw about with your carefully curated music, but don’t let anyone else! Please feel free to move forward or adjust the song order if you observe that people aren’t dancing to specific types of music at a certain time. The joy of DJing your own wedding is that you have the opportunity to make it your own (without obsessing, of course).
10. Pad Your Playlist By 2 Hours
Music running out is a no-no, and other parts of the wedding itinerary may take longer than expected. You should have a backup plan in place if things go on for too long, or if you need to change the tone, or if you’re at a venue that allows you to keep going until the end time.
How Do You Set Up Music For A Wedding Ceremony?
- As guests begin to arrive at the wedding site, play an instrumental to set the mood.
- Music from classical or your favorite love song might be used to welcome the bride and her bridal party.
- When determining where to place the music during the ceremony, keep the couple’s religious and cultural backgrounds in mind (e.g., the vow exchange must be quiet)
- When the newlyweds exit the ceremony, choose a joyful soundtrack to accompany them.
- You can use a vibrant but non-distracting music throughout the receiving line because that is when the bride and groom express their gratitude to each guest swiftly
- It is up to you to choose the music for the post-wedding party; however, make sure to select tunes that will keep everyone’s spirits up!
How Many Songs Are Usually Played At A Wedding?
The length of a wedding reception affects the amount of songs that can be performed. Three-hour events necessitate preparation of about 150 songs.
You can always make a longer playlist to make sure you have enough music. Make sure to think about how your music will be played, as not every element of the event will need it.
How do I pick the music for my wedding?
- Take time to choose your wedding music with your significant other, so you may include songs that express your feelings for one another while also being danceable.
- Additionally, include a few songs that are more appropriate for the guests to relax and converse with one other throughout specific sections of the ceremony.
- Requests from your friends and family are a good idea, but be aware of some song selections that may be unsuitable or offensive to some visitors.
- If necessary, rearrange the music on your wedding playlist.
What songs should you not play at a wedding?
Despite the fact that the bride and groom should not feel constrained in their choice of music for their big day, it is important to show some restraint. Some songs, for example, can have a message that’s incongruous with a celebration of love and unity, such as the one above.
To avoid offending your young and old guests, stay away from obscene songs. In the end, of course, you may always seek the advice of those you trust to help you make a decision.
Pros and Cons of DJing Your Own Wedding
Do your homework before you hit the aisles of Best Buy to see if DJing your own wedding is a good idea. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a wedding DJ:
- It saves you a lot of money in the long run.
- Playlists for the ceremony, cocktail, dinner, and dance are all under your control.
- Allows you to set the tone and atmosphere in the room (and avoid cheesy DJ antics).
- It’s possible that you’ll have to put in a few hours of work during your own wedding.
- Inadequate or non-existent amplification could be to blame.
- It’s possible that guests will want to take over the playlist (or provide a lot of criticism).
- There’s no one to help you with any technical issues you may be having.
- A good wedding playlist must be able to flow, promote dancing, and match the moods of the guests.
What You’ll Need to DJ Your Own Wedding
To DJ your own wedding, you don’t need a ton of expensive A/V gear. However, don’t expect to be able to start playing music as soon as you connect your phone to a speaker on wedding day! Preparation is key to a successful do-it-yourself wedding endeavor. Visit or speak with your wedding venue to learn more about their setup for playing music once you have decided to self-DJ:
- Is there currently a system for playing and amplifying music on-site, or will you have to bring your own?
- Would it be possible for someone to show you exactly where everything is located so that you can set it up on your own?
Unless you plan on renting professional-quality amplification, you may want to bring your own equipment. It is one of the most common DIY DJ blunders to underestimate how much volume you’ll need: even if your Bluetooth speaker seems loud enough in your house, you’ll need powerful amplification to project sound over hundreds of bodies, their chatter, and the general party noise. In addition, it’s far more difficult to get people on the dance floor when the music isn’t loud enough. An amplifier and speakers will put you back $75-100, while a mixer and cordless microphone will cost you between $100 and $200.
For a successful wedding DJ, here is a list of the equipment you will need to buy, borrow, or rent:
- A digital music player such as an iPod, laptop, or other device
- Included in a good speaker system are:
- (2) Speakers, 12-15 inches in diameter, mounted on stands
- Bass-reflex (optional)
- mixing board
- Playback device and mixer are connected by a cable (most likely a mini-stereo to a male dual RCA)
- a microphone connected to a long cable, or one that is wireless.
DIY Wedding DJ Gameplan
The key to a successful evening of carefully selected, meaningful, and crowd-pleasing music is to follow these simple procedures.
1. Gather Your Equipment
The list above has everything you need to get started as a self-professed DJ. Determine if any of the necessary equipment is available at your venue.
2. Rent Amplification
Powerful speakers may make or break your party, as we’ve already discussed. If you don’t have access to any of these items, consider renting them from a local music or A/V shop. For a fraction of the cost of a professional DJ, you can play your carefully created playlist to everyone at the event.
3. Build Your Playlists
Make a list of your favorite songs with your spouse. Initially, put everything on the list, and then narrow it down afterwards. Consider songs that have special importance to you and your partner, music that you enjoy dancing to, and tunes that you are confident will be well-received by your intended audience. It’s possible to download new music from iTunes or to create playlists on services like Spotify or Apple Music. Do not rely on a wifi connection for access; instead, save your playlists to your computer so that you can make several copies.
Even if you’re only thinking about the reception, there’s more to your wedding day’s music than just the dance party. Having a playlist for each section of the day will make it much easier for anyone helping you to push the play button at the appropriate time. Here are a few ideas for wedding playlists to get your creative juices flowing:
- When the visitors are arriving and finding their seats, now is the time to use this app.
- Processional, bride’s processional (if different), service music, and the recessional should all be included (and clearly labeled).
- Cocktails: During your cocktail hour, you want some ambient music to be playing, but nothing that overpowers the room or impedes conversation. Think jazz, bluegrass, classical, standards, and folk music, among others.
- The introduction of you and/or your wedding party into the reception may necessitate the use of a humorous song or two.
- As with cocktail hour, your dinner playlist should be primarily composed of relaxing background music that doesn’t interfere with the conversation taking place in the dining room. Get people in the mood for what’s to follow by gradually increasing the tempo of the music towards the finish.
- The first dance, the father/daughter dance, and the mother/son dance are all examples of “Special Dances,” which comprise tunes that have been carefully selected for each occasion. Each of them should be labeled and arranged according to their chronological order in the event chronology.
- The dance party playlist is where your wedding music should really shine, and it should take up the majority of your time and effort. You should play a mix of songs that appeal to everyone in your wedding party—young and old, as well as those with different musical preferences.
- For an after-party when dancing is involved, make sure to play a lot of deep, danceable cuts. Most of the older population will have left by the time you play your music, so you can cater it to their tastes.
4. Ask for Guest Input
Certain “empowered” guests are more likely to play around with the song selection if there is a laptop or iPod sitting on a table by itself. Allowing visitors to suggest music or submit preferences ahead of time can help prevent this kind of unwanted involvement. When it comes to getting your guests excited about your big day, the best place to start is with your wedding website.
5. Edit and Fine-Tune
Once you’ve put together your playlists, take the time to listen to them thoroughly and make any required changes. It is important to keep an eye out for the general flow of energy, particularly in the dancing playlist, which should include quiet and romantic moments, as well as more energetic ones. Remove any tracks that feel out of place or harsh, then re-arrange songs to create a smoother flow.
The length of songs should be reduced to roughly 2-3 minutes, and any extended introductions or dragged-out sections should be edited out, which may be done through the iTunes app. The cross-fading option can be applied to your playlists to make the transition between songs a little easier for you.
6. Test It Out
To prevent being dissatisfied with your attempts at self-djing, it is critical that you perform numerous testing before to the big day. Try out your playlists at your location to see if there is any audio feedback, poor sound quality, or general volume issues. For an outdoor wedding, test your setup in both the outside sites and the rain-plan areas in case of bad weather.
7. Assign Music Captain/Emcee
When it comes to wedding music, there’s a fine line between doing everything yourself and being your own DJ. By hiring a “music captain,” you can avoid having to worry about the details of your wedding ceremony while focusing on the joy of the occasion. This individual will be in charge of the following tasks on your wedding day:
- Assuring that the sound system is up and running.
- During the event, sound equipment will be moved around as needed.
- Playing, pausing, and skipping through your multiple playlists.
- Throughout the night, keeping an eye out for renegade guest DJs to protect the playing device.
- Having a music captain who is technologically smart and/or knowledgeable about music and sound technologies is ideal.
Consider having this person serve as emcee for your event if he or she is up to the challenge. A microphone is used to announce significant dances or occasions (such as toasts, cake cutting, bouquet throwing or shuttle departures) during the celebration and the microphone must be in the right hands at the right time.. at the.. correct… Preparation is essential for the emcee, who should have a copy of the event’s schedule and be familiar with it.
Having two emcees is perfectly acceptable if your music captain isn’t up to the task. They will work together to ensure that your wedding is both stunning and sounding fantastic.
8. Have a Backup Plan
DJing for a wedding is no different; it’s always wise to have a back-up plan. Even the best-laid musical arrangements might go awry due to inclement weather, a lack of battery life, or a broken instrument. Make sure you have a backup plan in place, such as the phone number of a local specialist you may call in an emergency. Consider noting down the addresses of a few close-by electrical retailers in case you need to send someone out to make a last-minute acquisition.
9. Do a Final Sound Check
As a last-minute precaution, you and your sound captain should be to the venue an hour or two early on the day of the event to perform one final sound check. As soon as the party starts, it will be difficult to move equipment or change its settings without interfering with the party atmosphere.
It’s done! Once you’ve planned and prepared the equipment and built a playlist for every aspect of the event, you’ve just learnt how to DJ your own wedding.
You can also ask your loved ones for song suggestions or select songs that are special to the two of you. Do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any more questions or comments.