Can you use a Spotify list, instead of a wedding or event DJ? This is a very popular question that we see asked, nearly every month, all year, on different wedding forums, wedding websites, etc. The short answer is: Yes, you can. The better answer is, it depends.
Things to Consider When Using Spotify For Your Wedding
Create a Playlist for Every Part of the Wedding
Every month, we get clients who choose to send us their Spotify playlist, so that we get a better idea of their music preferences. Some clients may even ask us to play exactly what's on the list, in the exact order, for moments such as the ceremony, pre-ceremony music, cocktail hour, dinner, etc. In this case, if you want the DJ to play exactly what's on your list, in the exact order, then perhaps using a Spotify list would be a great choice. Just be sure to create separate playlists for each part of your wedding or event. You'll need a playlist for the prelude, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, and the dance.
Purchase Spotify Premium
Be sure to get Spotify Premium, in order to avoid commercials, during your wedding or event. Right now, Spotify even has a current promotion that lets you try their premium version, free for 30 days! If you only need it for this one event, you can sign up just before your wedding or event, and then cancel, 30 days later! Although it is only $9.99 per month, after, which is a great deal! :) Also, be sure to download your entire playlist and put it in the correct order, so you don't have to worry about having WiFi at your event.
Rent the Right PA System
You will need to rent the appropriate PA system for your wedding ceremony or reception, or both, and be sure to have the appropriate cords to hook up your laptop or tablet. Your needs will vary, depending on the size of the venue, the number of people attending, if you'll need a separate system for an outdoor ceremony or cocktail hour, how loud you want/need the music, the quality of the PA system, do you want uplighting, dance floor lights, etc.
If you're having an event in the Austin area, we often refer clients to Rock n Roll Rentals for their rental needs. We've rented equipment from them, hundreds of times, over the years. They have great prices for great equipment. Be sure to tell them what you're using the equipment for and they should be able to get you all the cords you need. I believe they now offer setup, too. This will save you from having to do it yourself, or asking friends/family to do it.
Designate an MC
Additionally, you'll need to designate someone to act as the MC for all your key moments, and to give your guests guidance and direction, on what's happening, where, and when. This will have to be someone who is willing to work a little, and obviously not drink too much, to keep track of what's happening throughout the night. Be sure this person is comfortable speaking in front of people and comfortable on a microphone.
Reasons to Book a DJ Instead of a Spotify List
Although we're a DJ and photo booth company, we always do our best to write our articles objectively. If you're willing to do all of the above, then yes, Spotify may be a great alternative for you. You can really save money by doing this. If you think it may be a bit too much work, then here are some reasons to consider a DJ.
DJs Should Have All the Necessary Equipment
Any great, reputable DJ company should have all the necessary equipment for your wedding. Whether you're having 30 guests, or 300, the DJ should have exactly what's necessary for your wedding or event. This saves you from having to go to your local rental place, worry about renting everything, picking up all the equipment, setting it up, breaking it down, taking back the equipment, etc. Leave the setting up and breaking down, to your DJ. Your job is to simply show up and have fun!
Leave the Music Selection to the Pros
DJs should have thousands of songs in their database and a good DJ will know how to keep the dance floor packed, all night! You won't have to worry about creating a playlist. Simply tell you DJ what you want, and leave it to him/her to create the list and he/she should know when to play everything, when to change the tempo, etc. Anyone can play a line dance and get everyone dancing. What song will they play after that to keep everyone dancing? There are only so many line dances you can play, so this won't work all night. :) A DJ should be able to play the best 100 songs from your genre preferences that will keep everyone dancing, all night.
Additionally, your DJ should be able to fulfill your vision of your perfect wedding. Want a fun wedding where everyone is dancing, from your youngest family members to your great grandparents? Your DJ should know how to do this. Want your wedding to be like the upscale Country bar you like to go to? Your DJ should be able to do that, too. Perhaps you want it like a downtown club? Again, your DJ should be able to do that, too.
The DJ Should Also Act as MC
The MC for any event is very important. Being a great Mc is more than just announcing what is happening. The MC should also be able to guide the flow for the entire evening. If the DJ/MC notices that perhaps people are leaving early, that DJ should be able to determine what to do to keep the guests there. Should they move the timeline? Is dinner taking too long? Is the music not getting people dancing? A great DJ/MC will know exactly what to do to solve this problem.
Let Your DJ Create Your Fun, Memorable Night
A great DJ will be able to check in with you, if perhaps your preferred playlist isn't working. Not only should he/she check in with you, they should know exactly what to play, to get your guests dancing and keep them dancing, all night. We've had brides and grooms who created playlists which we knew were probably not going to be very fun for their guests. We had a bride tell us "We want our wedding to be different. We don't want to play all the usual songs that you hear at most weddings. We want to play all the songs that nobody plays. We want to play all the 'B' sides." We KNEW it would not work as well as they imagined, but we also give our clients total control over what we play at their wedding, because it's their wedding.
On the day of the wedding, we played all the "B sides" of the artists they wanted and nobody danced. After about 30 minutes, we checked in with the bride and said "no one seems to be dancing to your playlist. What would you like us to do? We can stick to your list, or change it." She said "forget the playlist, just play whatever you think will get this party going." We did just that and everyone had a blast, dancing all night. Not every DJ will have the experience or expertise to be able to ditch the playlist and read the crowd, to know exactly what to play.
These are just a few great reasons of why choosing a DJ may be best for your wedding or event. Obviously, the choice is yours. Depending on your budget and circumstances, a Spotify list may be better for you. Your wedding should be fun, stress free, and one of the best times of your life. Hiring the right professionals can cost you a little more, but having a fun, memorable, stress-free event is truly priceless! :)
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We've taken our decades of experience and compiled it into a few helpful articles, to help you plan your wedding or event!