Hiring a DJ might seem like a normal thing to do for a wedding reception, however it can be quite costly. Being your own DJ allows you to save money and allows you and your guests to hear the songs you actually want to dance to.
The most important part of being the DJ is picking the music. Take into consideration how long your reception will be and then add a couple of hours for stragglers. About 125 songs equals 6.5 hours. Pick a wide variety of different genres of music from different eras to cater to everyones tastes. If you really love electronic dance music, and that is all that you have on the playlist, grandma might not appreciate that you skipped out on her favourite Elvis song. This doesn’t mean that you can’t play the music that you like, just make sure that you follow it up with something a little bit different. Having a nice mixture of fast and slow songs is nice as well. For every 3 fast songs there should be 1 slow song; this gives people time to relax from all the dancing, unwind a bit, eat some food, drink some beer and chat with the bride and groom. Remember to not group certain genres together at the same time. If you play an 80's pop song, follow it up with a current country song. Music sets the mood for your entire evening. If there is a good selection of music playing, people are more apt to get up and dance.
The internet will become your new best friend as you search for the best songs to add to the playlist. There are literally millions, maybe even billions of songs to choose from so making the decisions by yourself can be a daunting task. Take a quick look at some examples of actual DJ's playlists to get some ideas. Search online for the best wedding dance songs to give yourself some ideas. This will also be the most helpful tool when trying to find music from other eras.
The easiest way to DJ your own wedding is to use a laptop or iPod hooked up to a speaker system, this way it is easy for you to see what songs are coming up next and you can easily hit the pause button for speeches and announcements. Another great reason for doing it this way is because your guests can have easy accessibility to the playlists so if they see their favourite song on the list they can just hit play. Also if you have access to WIFI in the venue and you really want to hear a certain song not available on your list, just search it and play it on Youtube. If you know someone with a good speaker system and/or a sound board, ask if you can borrow it. This will make a huge difference!
One major thing to watch out for is that all of the songs are at the same volume level. Sometimes if you take music from a CD and music from the internet, the volume difference is insanely different. You don't want to blast anyones eardrums out. It's just a little extra step to making your night absolutely perfect and it will make a world of difference.
Making a huge lengthy playlist with songs for every age, gender, taste and personality can be a time consuming, sometimes frustrating task. Always keep telling yourself that it will all be worth it once it is complete. Plus, just keep reminding yourself about the amount of money you are saving. Hiring a DJ can cost upwards of $1500.00 for the night. When you see your guests dancing their butts off on that dance floor, it will be reward enough for all the handwork.