All photographs are copyright ofBrent Van Auken Photography.
Since we're both music freaks, we decided that if we hired a DJ, we'd just end up telling the DJ exactly what to play. Instead, we opted to forgo the DJ and plan it all ahead of time. That way we knew we'd hear exactly what we wanted.Of all the decisions we made for the wedding, making our own iTunes playlist was one of the best (you know, right up there with deciding to get married in the first place). I hope we can help other see that it's not too scary to DJ your own wedding.
Here's the gist of how we DJed our own wedding - our ultimate DIY. We had three main playlists on iTunes: cocktail hour, dinner, and dance. Plus a playlist for the ceremony songs and all of the important moments (first dance, etc.). We spent months on our dance playlist - grouping songs that would go well together, keeping in mind the flow of the night (ex. oldies earlier on, sets of two slow songs followed by a fast up-beat song to get everyone back on the dance floor, and, at a certain point, all fast up-tempo dance songs the rest of the night). Lucas then used Audacity to edit every single song to somewhere between 2 and 4 minutes, making all of the transitions between songs smooth so we could set iTunes to play with a 2 second crossfade.
We rented high-quality sound equipment: an8-channel mixer, (2) 15-inch speakers, (2) subwoofers and (1) wireless mic. Don't worry, mom brought potted plants and notes to all the neighbors so they didn't hate us;)
Given that everyone was on the dance floor pouring their hearts out at 11:30pm, we're super happy with how it all played out.
Note: Two songs weren't as popular on our dance playlist, so we just faded them out early: You're the One That I Want & That Beep.
Below are our wedding playlists - split by important moments, dance, dinner, and cocktail hour. All of the songs are listed in order and the times show the length we cut them to, if at all.
Click hereto download a printable PDF version.To read more about our DIY backyard BBQ wedding, check out the full posts inPart 1andPart 2.
Mothers & Grandmothers Processional: What I Wouldn't Do| A Fine Frenzy
Bridal Party Processional:Home | Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros (RAC Mix)
Father & Bride Processional:All You Need it Love | The Beatles
Ceremony: You & I|Ingrid Michaelson | Sung by Lana Shea ft. Kevin
Ceremony: First Day of My Life|Bright Eyes | Sung by Sofie Christensen accompanied by Mattias Christensen
Recessional:Best Friend| Mario Matteoli
Important Moment Songs
First Dance: Gotta Have You | The Weepies | 3:14
Father Daughter Dance: Father & Daughter | Paul Simon | 3:02
Mother Son Dance: My Wish | Rascal Flatts | 2:55
Bouquet Toss: All The Pretty Girls | Fun. | 3:17
Garter Toss: Hold On | Wilson Phillips | 4:10
Dance Playlist | 3 hours 17 minutes
Marry You | Bruno Mars | 3:31
I Got A Feeling | Black Eyed Peas | 3:18
Say Hey (I Love You) | Michael Franti & Spearhead ft. Cherine Anderson | 2:24
Tutti Frutti | Little Richard | 2:22
I Want You Back | Jackson 5 | 2:49
September | Earth Wind and Fire | 2:39
Crazy In Love | Beyonce Knowles ft. Jay-Z | 2:23
Dynamite | Taio Cruz | 2:15
Hey Ya | Outkast | 3:33
Crazy Little Thing Called Love | Queen | 2:30
You're the One That I Want | John Travolta/Olivia Newton-John | 2:34
The Twist | Chubby Checker | 2:17
Jailhouse Rock | Elvis Presley | 2:14
Lets Get It On | Marvin Gaye | 2:36
I'm Yours | Jason Mraz | 3:32
Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) | Beyoncé | 2:00
Just Dance | Lady GaGa | 2:54
The Sign | Ace Of Base | 2:17
Dance With Me Tonight | Olly Murs | 2:40
Twist And Shout | Beatles | 2:29
Get Off Of My Cloud | The Rolling Stones | 2:49
Do You Wanna Dance | Cliff Richard | 2:09
Chattahoochee | Alan Jackson | 3:20
Come On Eileen | Save Ferris | 3:35
Love Shack | B-52's | 2:38
Bust a move | Young MC | 2:53
Billie Jean | Michael Jackson | 3:10
All My Life | KC and JoJo | 4:14
You and I | Wilco ft. Feist | 3:11
You Shook Me All Night Long | ACDC | 3:22
Living On A Prayer | Bon Jovi | 3:39
Jump, Jive, An' Wail | Brian Setzer Orchestra | 2:44
Good Lovin | The Rascals | 2:29
California Gurls | Katy Perry Ft. Snoop Dogg | 3:36
California love | 2 Pac | 2:40
Cupid Shuffle | Cupid | 4:04
Get Down Tonight | KC & The Sunshine Band | 2:10
I Wanna Dance With Somebody | Whitney Houston | 2:49
I Don't Feel Like Dancing | Scissor sisters | 2:52
Moves Like Jagger | Maroon 5 | 2:51
Bulletproof | LA ROUX | 2:22
Sara Smile | The Bird And The Bee | 2:59
I Love How You Love Me | Camera Obscura | 2:08
That Beep | Architecture in Helsinki | 2:50
Shout | Otis Day and The Knight | 4:33
Party Rock Anthem | LMFAO ft. Lauren Bennett & Goon Rock | 3:35
I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) | Pitbull | 2:09
Party in the USA | Miley Cyrus | 2:11
Call Me Maybe | Carly Rae Jepsen | 2:19
Love In This Club | Usher | 3:18
Ignition (Remix) | R Kelly | 2:56
Hot in Herre | Nelly | 2:37
Get Low | Florida ft. T Pain | 2:15
Jump Around | House Of Pain | 1:56
Hollaback Girl | Gwen Stefani | 2:42
Get lucky | Daft Punk | 2:54
Feels So Close | Calvin Harris | 2:25
Right Round | Flo Rida | 2:51
Scream & Shout | Will.I.Am ft Britney Spears | 3:00
Beware | Panjabi MC | 2:49
We Can't Stop | Miley Cyrus | 3:52
Raise Your Glass | P!nk | 2:09
Tik Tok | Ke$ha | 2:10
Thrift Shop (Clean) | Macklemore ft Wanz | 2:59
I Love It | Icona Pop | 1:56
Last Song: We Are Young | Fun. ft. Janelle Monae | 4:08
Forget You | Cee Lo Green | 3:41
Love On Top | Beyonce | 2:47
It Takes Two | Rob Base & Dj E-Z Rock | 2:07
Animal | Neon Trees | 2:01
Dinner Playlist | 1 hour 32 minutes
You Always Make Me Smile | Kyle Andrews | 2:44
Little Bit | Lykke Li | 4:34
Butterfly Nets | Bishop Allen | 2:59
Mushaboom | Feist | 3:47
Love Lost | The Temper Trap | 3:36
The Show | Lenka | 3:49
At Last | The Dø | 4:10
Unhidden Track: Quarter Past Wonderful | Oren Lavie | 2:13
Everybody | Ingrid Michaelson | 3:31
I'd Rather Be With You | Joshua Radin | 2:49
The Girl | City And Colour | 3:41
Sea of Love | Cat Power | 2:20
Take My Heart | Soko | 3:00
After All | Sondre Lerche | 3:06
Nothing But Our Love | Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. | 4:06
Here Comes The Sun | The Beatles | 3:06
It'll Be Better | Francis and the Lights | 2:51
California Girls | The Beach Boys | 2:40
Falling In Love At a Coffee Shop | Landon Pigg | 3:46
Lucky | Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat | 3:10
Hold You In My Arms | Ray LaMontagne | 5:06
Valentine | Kina Grannis | 2:32
If You Fall | Azure Ray | 3:04
Easy To Love | Ivan & Alyosha | 3:32
Walking Far From Home | Iron & Wine | 4:46
Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? | She and Him | 2:31
Lucky | Kat Edmondson | 2:56
Lucky | Lana Shea | 4:27
Cocktail Hour Playlist | 1 hour 27 minutes
Digital Love (Daft Punk Cover) | Alphabeat | 2:52
Sugar, Sugar | The Archies | 2:48
All I Want Is You | Barry Louis Polisar | 2:38
Eight Days A Week | The Beatles | 2:44
Be Gentle With Me | The Boy Least Likely To | 3:50
Baby I'm yours | Breakbot ft. IRFANE | 3:36
Jolie Coquine | Caravan Palace | 3:47
Brighter Than The Sun | Colbie Caillat | 3:54
Radar Detector | Darwin Deez | 3:13
Harold T. Wilkins | Fanfarlo | 4:02
Little Bitty Pretty One | Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers | 2:41
When U Love Somebody | Fruit Bats | 4:31
Walking The Dog | Fun. | 3:40
When They Fight They Fight | Generationals | 3:20
Coney Island | Good Old War | 2:46
Sleepy Tigers | Her Space Holiday | 3:28
A song about California | Hey Ocean | 3:50
Never Had Nobody Like You | M. Ward ft. Zooey Deschanel | 2:26
Stuck On You | Meiko | 2:58
Magic (Oh Oh Oh) | MoZella | 3:38
Relator | Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson | 2:34
Young Folks (Feat. Victoria Be | Peter Bjorn And John | 4:37
You Are The Best Thing | Ray LaMontagne | 3:57
The Calculation | Regina Spektor | 3:11
Many The Miles (Acoustic) | Sara Bareilles | 5:28
It creates a pleasant vibe for your big day and keeps the party in a flow. The importance of a good DJ to lift the whole event can not be overstated. However, if you are budget conscious and not exactly into events for a large number of guests, then you can definitely try to be a DJ at your own wedding.Can I play my own music at my wedding? ›
No Problem. Skipping a DJ at your wedding is one way that couples choose to save money. But before you plug in your iPod and set of speakers, see what you could be missing. As with just about everything else involved in a traditional wedding, professional DJs are expensive.What do I need to DJ a wedding? ›
All you really need is a DJ controller and a laptop running DJ software. You'll need DJ-specific programs and a controller (an external device that connects to a computer and gives you more tactile control) in order to use a laptop for wedding gigs.How many songs should I give my DJ for wedding? ›
How Many Songs Should You Pick? A good rule of thumb is 15 songs per hour. A typical wedding reception will see about 3 hours of dancing after dinner and all the formalities are over. That is just 45 songs.Is a DJ or band cheaper for a wedding? ›
Wedding DJs typically cost less than a live band, as they're only one or two people. Where you're getting married also has an impact on a DJ's price range.Who traditionally pays for the DJ at a wedding? ›
- The bride and her family pay for all professional services, including food and decorations.
- The groom's family pays for the DJ or band and liquor.
Before we got married, I read SO MANY posts about how it's just easier to hire a DJ and not worry about ceremony music on an iPod.Can you legally use Spotify to DJ? ›
So, is it legal to DJ with Spotify? Yes, you can DJ with music from Spotify without violating the law, however it violates Spotify's Terms of Service. If you are using Spotify to DJ now, you need an alternative streaming service quickly.Can I DJ with Spotify? ›
Head to your Music Feed on Home in the Spotify mobile app on your iOS or Android device. Tap Play on the DJ card. Let Spotify do the rest!How many hours does a DJ play at a wedding? ›
Obviously the amount of time for the DJing will be dependent on how coverage you've paid for. The normal, optimal length for a wedding reception is 4 hours (this includes the dinner portion). When you add in cocktail hour and the ceremony, there would be another 2 hours of music.
How much does a wedding DJ cost? The average cost of a wedding DJ is around $1,200, but this doesn't reflect the wide range of prices you're likely to see while planning your event. In reality, you'll see DJ companies charging anywhere from $600 up to $3,500.Do wedding DJs bring their own equipment? ›
Absolutely! Usually all DJ's will have their equipment and would prefer to use it. If you are bringing a DJ from interstate, then typically they would opt to hire some equipment locally for them or yourselves to pick up upon arrival.Can a wedding DJ play any song? ›
In order for a wedding DJ to legally play a song at a wedding, they must own the rights to play the song. This means the DJ must have purchased the song from a legal source such as Amazon, iTunes or a legal DJ music pool like Promo Only.Do DJs get tips at weddings? ›
Expectations & Appreciation
Generally, the range for wedding DJ tips is 10-20% of the billed amount. If your DJ was professional, worked well with you and your planner, and did a truly fantastic job as an MC and DJ at your wedding, consider tipping closer to the 20% end of the range.
A great wedding DJ acts like a professional in all manners. At your wedding, your DJ should be well-dressed and well-groomed, as well as relaxed and in control of any situation that may arise. He should not be drinking during your ceremony, or engaging in any type of inappropriate behavior with your guests.How do DJs save money for weddings? ›
By only hiring your DJ during the reception, you are cutting down the timeline which of course, decreases the price. To save further, make a playlist/CD to play of your own at the ceremony and cocktail hour, leaving room for your DJ to pump up your reception!When should a DJ set up for a wedding? ›
If you're booking a wedding band or DJ, you can expect them to offer a standard arrival time of around 5:30pm to 6:00pm, giving them plenty of time to be set up before your evening guests arrive.Why are wedding DJs so expensive? ›
The equipment needed for a wedding DJ is another expense that's calculated into the overall cost. A basic wedding DJ setup can cost several thousand dollars. If a wedding changes locations from the ceremony to the reception, this requires extra equipment to make the transition, which also raises the cost.What not to do at your wedding? ›
- Get plastered. ...
- Skip meals or dehydrate. ...
- Wear killer heels. ...
- Miss the cocktail hour if you don't want to. ...
- Host too much and party too little. ...
- Lose your husband. ...
- Have it out with a vendor in front of your guests. ...
- Complain about your in-laws.
What Does the Groom's Family Pay For, Traditionally? The groom's family is responsible for corsages and boutonnieres for immediate members of both families, the lodging of the groom's attendants (if you have offered to help pay for this expense), and sometimes the costs of the rehearsal dinner.
Typically, the maid of honor pays for smaller-ticket items, like a bachelorette sash or tiara, decorations, and swag for the other party guests. If you, as the bride, don't want to pay for these smaller items, our advice is to give your friends space to take the reins.Do you really need a wedding DJ? ›
With all those events on the timeline, you will definitely need a DJ that can maneuver the crowd. Aside from the music aspect of things, the wedding DJ hypes up the crowd and gets them energized and ready for your grand entrance.Do wedding DJs have to pay royalties? ›
There are many music royalties that one can pay depending on how they intend to use the music in question. As a Dj, you must pay performance royalties for the music on my playlists. Performance royalties allow you to mix, store and play the musical assets of others in public events or gigs.Do you have to list songs in wedding program? ›
Like the prelude, you can list the song title, composer and performer. These are optional; however, your formatting for the prelude and processional should match.Where do DJs get their music? ›
- Amazon – Yup, the ubiquitous Amazon is a great place to buy your music. ...
- iTunes store – Of course Apple started all of this, and just like Amazon, its mainstream download store is still a “player”, offering the same wide selection and competitive prices.
A public performance license grants DJs specific permission to play an artists' song (or use their beats) in public. In fact, it's not just DJs who need this license—a retail store would also need permission to play a song. A public performance license also guarantees that the artists you're playing receive royalties.How do DJs get around copyright? ›
When the venue has the public-performance license, it means that DJs can play recorded music registered with the PRO, KJs are able to perform, background music is allowed, and bands can cover songs. Radio stations pretty much work the same way. The difference is the radio station's license is for broadcast.Is there an app that automatically mixes songs? ›
- Virtual DJ.
- CuteDJ Mix.
- Zulu DJ Software.
- Blaze Free DJ.
- Serato DJ Intro.
- Cross DJ.
What DJ software is the industry standard? Ableton Live, Virtual DJ, Rekordbox, Serato and Traktor all offer software solutions that cater for DJs ranging from beginners to professionals. However, the most commonly used DJ software is Serato, with over 100 million downloads.Does DJ play music during dinner at wedding? ›
During Dinner Hour
As you and your guests are eating dinner, you can expect the DJ to play background music, but don't expect the music to be too loud because the DJ understands that guests will likely be talking to one another. If they were playing music too loudly, then people wouldn't be able to hear each other.
The average club DJ makes between $100-$200 per night. Pay can depend on the DJ's level of fame, club location, or club fame. Higher-end DJs make over 6-figures. Some club DJs can make six-figure sums!How long should each song be for a wedding? ›
The average song is 3 minutes long. It can take 20 seconds for a couple to prepare and get from the entrance to their seats or the dance floor. As you increase the number of introductions, add on another song.What is a good budget for a wedding? ›
The average cost of a wedding in 2021 was $28,000 (including the ceremony and reception), according to The Knot's 2021 Real Weddings Study.How much should I charge per hour as a DJ? ›
How much Does It Cost For A DJ Per Hour? The average wedding DJ's cost per hour is around $150. However, a DJ may charge less if they are performing at an event that is not a wedding. Most DJs charge around $100 per hour for “non-wedding” events.Does DJ come to rehearsal? ›
With more and more couples opting for additional audio support for their wedding ceremonies, it has become apparent that they be given the option to include DJs in the rehearsal.Should a wedding have a band and a DJ? ›
Yes! Booking both a wedding band and DJ if it's an option is highly recommended. It's the best of both worlds. I find that a top DJ can complement a live wedding band perfectly and when done right, it can add real quality, big party atmosphere, and musical consistency to your wedding.Is it rude not to tip wedding vendors? ›
And even though service charges may be spelled out in your contract, tipping—although not mandatory—is always appreciated for a job well done, not to mention a kind and thoughtful gesture. So don't forget to factor in tips when making your wedding budget.What do DJs talk about before wedding? ›
- Is the DJ available on the date you need them?
- How long have they been in business?
- How many events/weddings have they provided music for per year?
- Are weddings their main events or do they play at other events or clubs?
- Do they have another event the same day or weekend?
Owners are not tipped. Self-employed vendors or business owners are typically not given gratuity. Bands or DJs not booked through an entertainment agency are also not tipped.How many songs should you give your wedding DJ? ›
Try not to request too many songs
“You've got to trust their judgment,” Groh says. “Give them 10 or 20 of your favorite songs and let them do the rest of the work. And if you want to see dancing, make sure the songs are danceable.
A good rule of thumb is 15 songs per hour. A typical wedding reception will see about 3 hours of dancing after dinner and all the formalities are over. That is just 45 songs.Why a DJ is better than a band wedding? ›
[Wedding DJs] are a better option if you consider variety the spice of reception life. They can simply provide a much wider breadth of music genre options and can essentially play any song you request. Bands typically come prepared with a previously agreed upon set list—requests aren't always on the table.How many hours should a DJ play at a wedding? ›
Obviously the amount of time for the DJing will be dependent on how coverage you've paid for. The normal, optimal length for a wedding reception is 4 hours (this includes the dinner portion). When you add in cocktail hour and the ceremony, there would be another 2 hours of music.How important is a DJ at a wedding? ›
A professional DJ does so much more than playing music. They make proper announcements, coordinate, and organize your wedding with you. They keep track of the timelines created and make sure that all the other vendors are ready for each specific formality such as the first dance and so on.Can you have a band and a DJ at your wedding? ›
Music and entertainment play a large part in making your wedding day exciting for your guests. Plenty of couples choose to have both a live band and a DJ at their wedding.How far in advance should you book a DJ for a wedding? ›
You're likely reading to find out when you should book your wedding DJ, so here it is; you should ideally book your wedding DJ approximately 9-12 months before your wedding date.How many songs can a DJ play in 4 hours? ›
During a 4 hour reception, a DJ will probably play around 100-120 songs, depending on the type of reception event it is.What are the disadvantages of DJ? ›
THE CONS: It can be detrimental to your health – You can spend countless hours breathing in dust bunnies while crate digging in some off-the-grid basement, damage your eyesight by staring at a computer screen until you are bloodshot & bleary eyed, or throw out your back lugging your gig bag across town and country.What is better at a wedding band or DJ? ›
[Wedding DJs] are a better option if you consider variety the spice of reception life. They can simply provide a much wider breadth of music genre options and can essentially play any song you request. Bands typically come prepared with a previously agreed upon set list—requests aren't always on the table.Can a wedding DJ use Spotify? ›
Before we got married, I read SO MANY posts about how it's just easier to hire a DJ and not worry about ceremony music on an iPod.
The master of ceremonies (also known as emcee) may be the most important role your wedding DJ plays. Think of your DJ as the host, cruise director, and point person for the evening, making announcements and ensuring that your guests are aware of what's going on and what's next.