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Pros and Cons of Creating Your Own Wedding Playlist

If you're on the fence about hiring a pro or going the DIY route, these points might help you decide.

Contributing Writer
vasthy mason wedding couple affection music shop
Photography by: Emma Mead

Wedding entertainment is one of those budget line items that can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousands. The pricing varies from vendor to vendor and also depends on the type of professional you hire. There's typically a price difference between a DJ and a band, and if you're looking to lock in several different groups (say, a string quartet for the ceremony and cocktail hour, then a band for the reception, and a DJ for the after-party), you could be looking at a pretty high price tag. That's why some brides and grooms see the appeal of forgoing professional musicians altogether and curating a playlist of their own favorite tunes instead. While this method of entertainment certainly works for some couples and their events, it may not be for everyone. Here, we discuss the pros and cons of creating your own wedding playlist.

 

Related: A DJ Tells All: 5 First Dance Songs That Should Be Retired

 

Pro: You'll hear all the songs you really want to hear during your reception.

Having full control over what's played at your wedding is appealing to many couples. After all, you know your own music taste best and you know the types of songs that will have the two of you on the dance floor all night. Want to listen to those Taylor Swift songs that remind you of your high school buddies, then the old-school Motown tunes that your mom and dad both love? You're calling the shots, so it's all in your hands.

 

Con: You won't be able to cater to the crowd.

While your eclectic taste in music may be something you take great pride in, it's a bit of a gamble in terms of what your guests will respond to. The last thing you'd want is a totally empty dance floor because the playlist just isn't hitting the right tune with your loved ones. When you have an experienced DJ selecting songs, they're reading the crowd at all times and making adjustments as necessary.

 

Pro: It's an easy way to save money.

Affordability is probably the most common reason couples opt to make their own wedding playlist. If your venue has a sound system and a microphone you can use without paying an additional fee, this is usually the most cost effective way to manage entertainment for a wedding.

 

Related: 7 Things Wedding DJs Wish They Could Tell You

 

Con: You may need additional equipment.

Sound equipment runs the gamut in pricing, depending on the venue, the equipment type, and the size of your group. If you're looking to rent one speaker that you can plug a tablet or mobile device into, it'll likely cost a few hundred dollars, plus delivery and pickup fees.

 

Pro: Today's technology makes it easy.

Between SoundCloud, Spotify, and Pandora, there are a lot of options for creating playlists. Not sure where to start? Check out playlists by some of your favorite artists and DJs, then build on their song flow.

 

Con: It'll be hard to wrangle guests back to the dance floor if there's a lull in songs.

If you want your wedding to feel like a big crazy dance party, a wedding playlist is probably going to feel pretty limiting. As any experienced DJ will tell you, the only way to get guests back on the dance floor during a lull is by playing something that appeals to the whole, eclectic group. The odds of your playlist predicting that are significantly slimmer than a live DJ's expertise.

 

Pro: You can create a playlist for other parts of the wedding.

The dancing portion of your wedding reception isn't the only time you'll want to have music playing. So, rather than focusing all your attention on creating a playlist for that, you might opt to make a pre-ceremony playlist, a cocktail hour and dinner playlist, and a separate playlist for your rehearsal dinner or day-after brunch.