Your wedding can feel like the most important day of your life, but it can come with a need for some serious planning. One of those things you may mull over is whether you want a DJ at your wedding. The cost of a wedding can skyrocket pretty quickly, and you may already be wondering if you can get away with not spending money on a DJ.
So, do you need a DJ at a wedding? Although many decide to hire a professional DJ for their wedding reception, it’s not actually something you have to do. Not only is this your day, and it should represent you and your partner, but there are so many other alternatives to a wedding DJ. A live band, Spotify playlist, or a Jukebox are just some examples.
Think of it this way, your DJ is the entertainment you decide upon for your guests, but there are so many different types of entertainment.
Just because Jenny next door swears the excellence of her wedding was hinged upon the DJ, they paid for doesn’t mean there might be something else you would prefer.
Read on to find out why a DJ is important at a wedding and some alternative ideas if you don’t want to go that route.
How Important Is A DJ At A Wedding?
A DJ is only important if they are your only form of entertainment.
Weddings, aside from the vows and ring giving, are really just one massive party for your family and friends.
So it’s safe to say that your entertainment choices can really make or break how everyone remembers the day.
If you decide that a DJ is something you want, the DJ you choose can be very important, especially if there is nothing else going on to keep the party hopping.
How you choose your DJ is ultimately affected by your budget and the kind of DJ you are hoping for, i.e., music choices, length of sets, etc.
Different DJs may specialize in different kinds of music or even musical eras.
The DJ is only as important as you make it.
If it’s your sole source of entertainment for your friends and family, you are going to want to spend time making sure they are the perfect professional for your wedding.
However, if you have lots of other things going on, you may not be as tied up with what kind of DJ you get.
Is It OK To Not Have A DJ At A Wedding?
It’s totally OK not to have a DJ at a wedding. With so many different types of wedding entertainment out there now, you may opt for something completely different. This is your day, and you can plan it however you like.
You don’t need to follow what family or friends have done for their weddings if it doesn’t feel like something you would enjoy, and this goes for whether you have a DJ at your wedding as well.
In fact, there is no wedding rule book.
If you don’t want music at all, you don’t have to play any.
Your wedding should be about what you and your partner want, how you two want to experience the day.
As much as you want your guests to have fun.
First and foremost, you and your partner need to enjoy the day.
Why You May Want To Have A DJ At Your Wedding
There are many reasons why you may want to have a DJ at your wedding.
Not only is it their job to pick the best music to get the crowds going, but there are also a lot of other reasons why employing a professional DJ might be a good idea.
Wedding DJs have professional experience when it comes to elevating a couple’s big day using music.
They are comfortable interacting with a wedding crowd, know all about when music is appropriate and when it isn’t – for example, you don’t want Tina Turner blasting the minute you try to get into the Best Man’s speech – They also know exactly how to curate the best kind of playlist for the entire wedding evening.
DJs also come with all the equipment they need.
This means no tinny songs playing, music cutting because someone gets a text – Spotify playlist we’re looking at you – and they may even have a fantastic set of disco lights to really set the mood.
The bottom line is if you decide to hire a wedding DJ professional, you won’t have to worry about the music.
That money is peace of mind because someone who knows what they’re doing has taken the wheel.
This gives you more time to just enjoy your day.
Alternatives To A DJ At A Wedding
Now, the above being said, you may still decide that you don’t want a wedding DJ, and that is totally fine. Your wedding, your choices. So what now?
Thankfully there are lots of other alternative entertainment choices for your wedding depending on what kind of day you are hoping for.
There’s nothing quite like the atmosphere a live band can bring to your wedding.
Even better, there’s such a variety of live bands out there you’re bound to find one that plays music that is more your taste than the regular disco bangers a DJ may play.
Rock, pop, country, classical, and even Irish traditional, just to name a few.
It can feel like your very own personal concert, especially if it’s a band that you already love.
Some live bands are quite happy to play covers, whereas others may only offer their own music.
They definitely will cost you more than a DJ, but if you’re a real music fiend, this may be a purchase Wirth its weight in gold.
The Spotify playlist has become one of the best options if you want music but are trying to watch that budget.
You can curate your very own playlist with exactly the kind of music you want to hear on your big day.
This can also be a fantastic way of avoiding the dreaded song request that comes with a live DJ.
The only drawback to using a Spotify playlist is needing someone to keep an eye on the music.
If the internet of wifi connection is a little spotty, you may need to consider paying for premium Spotify so you can play your music offline.
You’ll also need to know whether your venue has speakers that will work with a Spotify playlist, and you’ll want to make sure your phone is in airplane mode for the entire evening, or that romantic first dance could be ruined by a phone call or a text notification.
Rent A Jukebox
We know from wedding DJs that wedding guests love to make song requests.
A jukebox can be a fantastic option to quell both your guests’ needs and your own.
Hand over the music to your guests, and you could end up with a really eclectic mix that everyone can enjoy.
The setup for a jukebox is pretty simple, and they can be programmed with 1000s of different songs, so there won’t be a music-free moment all night.
You can also be in full control of the volume when it comes to some jukeboxes.
This gives you the option to lower the volume during speeches and the meal while ramping up that volume for a loud and out party evening.
This one is a really fun option.
Although signing waiters won’t perform all night long, they are more of a during or post-dinner entertainment; they can really turn the meal portion of your wedding into a moment to remember.
All types of music can be found when it comes to singing waiters, but opera is one of the most popular options at weddings.
Unique, fun, and the perfect after-dinner act, singing waiters will have your guests talking about your wedding for years to come.
They also provide a great bridge of entertainment between dinner and whatever you have planned for later in the evening.
Perhaps you want the disco, but not the loud banging music.
A silent disco can be a fantastic option for a wedding, especially if you know a few of your guests may be neurodivergent.
Only those with the headphones can hear the music.
So you’ll have a portion of your guests rocking out to some serious music, who in turn will provide the rest of the guests with entertainment.
What’s more entertaining than watching a bunch of people dance to the music you can’t hear.
Your wedding is one of the most exciting days you’ll ever have, and making sure the entertainment is exactly what you want it to be, especially when it can be such a large chunk of your overall wedding budget, is incredibly important.
You don’t have to have a DJ at your wedding if it doesn’t feel right for you and your partner. Some would even argue they are not even worth it.
There are so many different music options on the market now and even non-music options if that’s not your thing.
However, you will still need to consider some type of fun entertainment for your guests to keep them excited, and so your wedding day is one to remember for all the right reasons.
And if you do opt for a DJ, just make sure you hire them for long enough!
Hey, I’m Allison – a bride-to-be and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I have accumulated since researching for my wedding over two years ago. I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding.