did you regret not having a dj at your wedding?
May 28, 2016 9:15 PM   Subscribe

I am in the early stages of planning my wedding for next spring, and starting to look into who I would hire to play some tunes for the ceremony and party. I have a pretty good grasp of how insanely expensive wedding stuff is, but I'd sorely underestimated the going rate for a dj. Can I skip it, or is that a terrible mistake? Snowflakes within.

We've already booked our wedding to be held at a hotel, this is going to be a pretty standard issue affair as far as general expectations for a wedding go, so I'm kind of nervous about the idea of just plugging in an iPod and winging it. People keep telling me that the value of the dj is having an emcee to move things along and herd the masses. I could maybe recruit a friend to do this, but they'd obviously not be a pro, or have ever done this before.

My fiancée feels strongly that we don't need to drop two grand on this, and that we could do it ourselves. Having it at a hotel means that a lot of wedding shit is being completely taken care of for us, so perhaps this could be our big DIY project?

Tell me what you did. Preferably you had a medium-fancy wedding, stories about plugging in a boombox at the reception you had in your backyard aren't as useful.
posted by cakelite to Society & Culture (44 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My spouse and I had a medium fancy wedding under duress. (We wanted jeans-and-a-t-shirt-at-the-justice-of-the-peace, but we were told that we'd be given a $10,000 budget and could keep anything left over if we agreed to have a "real" wedding. We are bribable.)

Anyway, the DJ was easily the most awful part of the whole thing. He did not actually follow any of our requests for music, instead playing some kind of techno/country playlist, and when the time came to cut the cake, he played some kind of horrifying rap sting that went "Cut cut c-c-c-c-cut the cake" over and over, and he mangled everyone's names, including calling my spouse by the nickname they hate and that we explicitly said not to use.

So really, a boombox plugged into the wall would have been an improvement in almost every possible metric. If your guests are way into having some random jerkwad play awful "party games" and attempt to "create fun," you might miss a DJ, but I really don't think one is actually necessary.
posted by Scattercat at 9:27 PM on May 28, 2016 [24 favorites]

We had a small wedding where we hired a few musicians for the ceremony and then played our own playlist. Then the playlist ran out and we started repeating. Oops.

I felt it went well. Our wedding was nice but not super formal (tea length wedding dress, buffet style dinner) and we only invited guests we liked so I didn't really feel the pressure of making it absolutely perfect (though it was perfect for us). We made sure to practice dancing to the songs at the top, but then it got pretty free form.

Some of the weddings we went to had DJs, but it seems like hiring a wedding DJ is a crap shoot. Some of them were not good with the sound system (repeated screeching noises) or were too into being the star. I would definitely be careful if hiring a DJ.
posted by ethidda at 9:31 PM on May 28, 2016

This depends how much your family and friends are into dancing. If your people are not expecting or hoping for a big dance party and you're not expecting that to be a major aspect of your reception (versus people talking and eating), go for the iPod. Make sure you buy the songs versus poor bitrates downloaded illegally.
But if in your friend group(s) dancing together at weddings is a thing or (maybe more less important to you) in either of your extended families, dancing is a thing, and if dancing is something that matters to either of those getting married, consider having a DJ.
posted by k8t at 9:32 PM on May 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

At my first wedding we DIY'd the music, using an iPod and a decent stereo. His dad bought a stereo just for that night and returned it a few days after the wedding. Lots of people were dancing, it was great.
posted by lizbunny at 9:33 PM on May 28, 2016

Didn't have music at all for my wedding (we FORGOT) during the wedding people hummed the wedding match. The venue after didn't have a dance floor but the place was filed with charter and fun. No one complained :)
posted by AlexiaSky at 9:33 PM on May 28, 2016 [9 favorites]

No music at the private ceremony, and a handpicked playlist for the reception. Suited us just fine, but then I was not at all trying to have a fancy anything wedding related, and Mr. Potato didn't care either.
posted by crunchy potato at 9:36 PM on May 28, 2016

Regrets? I've had a few. Not hiring a dj is definitely not one of them.
posted by infinite joy at 9:45 PM on May 28, 2016 [6 favorites]

I had my favorite singer/songwriter play in a corner while guests mingled. It was an afternoon wedding and no one was expected to dance. It was very nice.

Don't pay $1000 for a DJ. DJs are the boil on the butt of humanity. The majority of them suck. You can get a wedding band for between $800 and $2500, depending on what you want. These people make their living moving things along properly and giving people exactly what they want. The hotel that you are using may even be able to recommend their favorites. I know about this because I used to work for a music booking agent who booked both DJs (the better ones, not the boils), regular musicians, and wedding bands.

Now, all that being said, you are fine with setting up your own music. You probably have a cousin who would love to DJ for you for free. I would not pay someone to do it. It is not a service that I have ever found value in. You could give the cousin $50 is you wanted to or you could accept it as a wedding gift.
posted by myselfasme at 9:48 PM on May 28, 2016 [5 favorites]

More anecdata: at our (medium-fancy) wedding we had a laptop and we put all our favorite dancing music in a playlist, and played that, and had a great time. As far as having somebody to emcee, we just asked my aunt to do that and it was totally fine. I think two grand is way too much to pay for that sort of thing.
posted by number9dream at 9:48 PM on May 28, 2016

Anecdata from the outside (we did not have a wedding): I've been to a fair few weddings as a guest, and not once have I ever thought, "Wow, this DJ they hired is totally not a complete twatwaffle and shouldn't go play in traffic."
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 10:11 PM on May 28, 2016 [9 favorites]

October last year, medium fancy wedding in the afternoon. iPod plugged into the venue's soundsytem with a carefully handpicked bunch of songs we both liked. No DJ. At least 20% of my friends are musicians and one or two offered to deploy their bands for the afternoon but I said I would rather they mingle and enjoy themselves.

The iPod (along with its backup, an iPhone with the same playlist) worked just fine, and several guests commented favourably on the music.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:28 PM on May 28, 2016

We booked our DJ immediately following the booking of the church, almost 18 months in advance of said wedding. My family nearly revolted because they wanted live music, but we had been to two weddings where this DJ had operated and he was THE BEST. He easily maneuvered our crowd of 200+, including high school aged kids to the 80+ crowd. He followed our instructions (no chicken dance, no garter throw, no dollar dance, play the hustle, the hokey pokey and some ODB, Etta James, and Bruce Springsteen). People filled the dance floor all night, with the right mix of party music and slow songs. I think he cost $1500.

We also had a harp during dinner. So, maybe you could hire the dj for just part of the night instead of the whole thing to save music.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:36 PM on May 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I have only ever attended playlist weddings and it has been totally fine.

One couple asked for favorite songs with their RSVPs (they may have been more specific, I don't remember) and then played those.
posted by aniola at 10:38 PM on May 28, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Maybe this also depends on the length of the reception. Our reception was quite long and the DJ was able to handle the ebb and flow of the music and sort of feel out the crowd. If it had only been a couple hours I might have felt okay with bringing a playlist. The other problem for us was that we were completely out of the loop on what the kids these days were listening to, so having someone who could pull that off was really helpful. So, in the end, it depends on the size and length of the reception and the type of crowd you've got.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:45 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

We hired a band. They were terrific. Even let my drunk friends jam with them at the end of the night. They played different music at different times to get the old folks up, the younguns and low key music during the meal. Our reception was held in the Temple's hall. It was medium fancy.
posted by AugustWest at 10:48 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you asked me about my top 5 satisfying wedding decisions, easily on that list would be "doing my own music." My venue let me use their speaker setup with a laptop and I painstakingly curated a playlist. It was awesome, people complimented it profusely, I saved a ton of money and stress of dealing with yet another moving part in the whole thing. As far as moving things along, the venue gave me a "day-of assistant" who cheerfully made announcements whenever I asked him to.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 10:55 PM on May 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Just to add: there was TON of dancing. So if you do your playlist right, you can definitely get people dancing even DIY-ing it.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 10:58 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

The best wedding music we've heard in recent memory was a chamber quartet that snuck in some Jimi Hendrix.

There may be good DJs in the world somewhere, but my experience is that they'll do their own thing, LOUDLY.
posted by dws at 11:00 PM on May 28, 2016

A bad DJ is so much worse than a bad band. If I were you, I'd start looking at bands. Or jazz quartets, or string ensembles, or whatever type of musical group you feel would be most in tune (ha!) with what you want. Live musicians are at least confined, usually, by their own competencies.
posted by lazuli at 11:05 PM on May 28, 2016 [3 favorites]

And I had a jazz trio at my (semi-formal, pretty planned) wedding, who handled everything after the ceremony (we did recorded music for the ceremony). They did instrumental stuff for the cocktail hour and standard jazz vocal hits for the reception. I thought it was awesome, but I love swing dancing and was happy to dance with guests who felt the same. Guests (and, I learned later, our wedding planner) who wanted full-on over-the-top contemporary dancing were a bit disappointed. What are your guests likely to expect?
posted by lazuli at 11:09 PM on May 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Go for it. Medium-fancy Indian-Wasp wedding, plugged computer with Spotify offline into some kind of sound system. Spent a few months on he playlists which paid off ten-fold: everybody from my stiff British aunt to little kids to the randomly-invited-aunties from Mumbai killed it on the floor. This was our dream and we still talk about it. Self DJ.

I had it broken down into five mini playlists which helped and looked at a lot of the other wedding self DJ playlists and info. Two friends ended up dancing in the corner keeping am eye on the computer and fielding (good) requests which was easy enough for them, I think they liked the power.
posted by athirstforsalt at 12:24 AM on May 29, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Oh yeah: we also got a friend to handle announcements: not nearly as successful as the music (two guests convinced the announcer to change the order of events at the very end of the evening and stressed my in-laws out like crazy, which is a bummer since we aren't even close to this pair: I was too exhausted to really push back and wish the announcer had on my behalf). Get a pro or someone very firm to handle this part.

On preview, we did solicit music requests with the RSVPs which was a lot of fun, would recommend.
posted by athirstforsalt at 12:32 AM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Medium-fancy evening reception in an open-air pavilion. We made our own playlists. It was about to be awful until a friend who is a sometimes-DJ jumped in and saved us from ourselves. There is something majorly different between having a preset playlist ready to go and having a live human being who can work the crowd and make choices on the fly. I know a DJ has the potential for problems but with a big crowd, the best you can hope for DIY is that it doesn't suck and the goal you can aim for with a DJ is that it majorly rocks.
posted by whitewall at 12:34 AM on May 29, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wedding of two halves: First half, semi-formal reception in hotel in Ireland. Hotel had a set of speakers we could plug an iPod into, plus a microphone. My best man MC'd for the night (which was pretty straightforward as with a semi-formal deal there's a pretty set format) and we pre-programmed the playlist with our favourite music. We'd worked it so our first dance together immediately segued into a big danceable indie-pop thing we knew everyone would know so we each broke away at the end of the dance and grabbed a random member of the watching crowd. That got the party started immediately and things sort of ebbed and flowed naturally after that. No regrets about not hiring a DJ.

Second half, very informal ceilidh in England, with live band. We turned up in our wedding outfits and had a (second) first dance but beyond that, the band and the caller led everything. If you want someone to MC your wedding properly, I cannot recommend a ceilidh band highly enough - their caller is used to herding groups of people around with gusto and enthusiasm over an extended period of time. A good caller will also be aware of the riotous ridiculousness of ceilidh dancing and be very good at making sure everyone has a good natured good time - I mean, half the point of a ceilidh is that at some point everyone will end up out of step with each other, colliding, being flung across the room...

So yeah, no regrets about not having a DJ. Would definitely recommend a ceilidh band.
posted by parm at 2:01 AM on May 29, 2016

Best answer: I have been in charge of the ipod-dj setup for a medium fancy wedding and it went excellently. It definitely needed babysitting - I spent quite a while making playlists, including ones targeted at the various different generations and ones for gentle background music and ones for dancing, and I was actively looking after it for a lot of the evening. Apparently the feedback was positive and somebody commented that they had enjoyed sitting listening to the music, unlike at "normal weddings". I think because I knew the bride and groom and a lot of the other guests, that made it much easier to concoct playlists that would go down well, and because I wasn't being paid and feeling like I had to earn my fee by DOING THINGS I was more able to keep it low key and not get in the way of what was going on.
posted by emilyw at 3:32 AM on May 29, 2016

We had a small, unfancy wedding at my dad's house and used an iPod. My brother volunteered to manage starting/stopping the music when needed for emceeing, and moving around the playlist if needed. It was awesome, people danced and had a fantastic time. The benefit of the playlist wedding is you know your friends and family and what music they like. My brother and I are both music-obsessed people, and I spent four years doing a radio show, so we did have the benefit of having a sort of innate ability to flow music pretty well.

The only fight we had about wedding stuff was a single blow out about the inclusion of a Daniel Johnston song on the wedding playlist. Hilariously, the power at my dad's house cut out for a minute during the reception, and it was exactly when that Daniel Johnston song started playing. So we both kind of won that fight, in the end. (For the record, I like Daniel Johnston but all of his songs sound like they were recorded from the back of a chicken coop and I thought it sounded too tinny to make for a good party song.... my husband disagreed. We have since seen D.J. live and have a soft spot for that stupid song).
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:05 AM on May 29, 2016

Response by poster: These suggestions are great. Popping in to quickly say:

The wedding is going to be small(60 people, maybe), but we will definitely want to boogie.

Reception is usual five hour cocktails/dinner/dancing thing.

We super are not interested in a live band.

Bonus question: we like music and want to jam out to some Giorgio Moroder on our special day, but I also recognize a need for some more classic fare. If you did your own music, was this pretty easy to balance?
posted by cakelite at 4:10 AM on May 29, 2016

Best answer: We had a medium-fancy wedding with about 85 people. We chose to do the music ourselves, both for monetary reasons and because we'd been unimpressed with DJs at weddings we'd attended.

On the minus side, it's more work than you think to put together that big of a playlist. It's easy to pull together a bunch of songs, and then be like "wait, this is only 1 hour?!". So, it was a fair bit of work.

On the plus side, literally every time a new song started during our wedding, my reaction was, "I love this song!" -- because seriously, the playlists ended up being super great. For years afterwards, I would start them back up driving around or hanging around the house (they were just playlists on and old iPod).

One tip I would give for balancing is, make a few different playlists with music appropriate to certain parts of the wedding. We had it organized something like:

- Pre-ceremony
- Ceremony
- Cocktail hour
- Dinner
- Dancing

We then deputized a good friend to switch playlists at the right time. Not only did we not regret it, it was one of the best decisions we made for the wedding.
posted by tocts at 4:41 AM on May 29, 2016 [4 favorites]

Another DJ-less wedding reception here. I created all the playlists ahead of time and just let them go. I will say, we had a friend who let us borrow some DJ equipment (lights, speakers), which made things feel a little more finished. The only minor regret I have is that we weren't able to handle requests, as our reception was out in the middle of the woods with no internet and terrible cell reception. If I could go back and change anything it would be, as someone mentioned above, soliciting requests ahead of time.
posted by obfuscation at 4:46 AM on May 29, 2016

I think it depends on how elaborate you're getting with reception events, how much you like dancing, how much you like music, and how familiar you are with dance music in particular.

I've been to weddings with a terrible, cheesy DJ. I've been to weddings with a self-curated playlist, and the only difficulty there was that as wedding guests got drunk they'd start trying to put their own songs on (one got drunk before the first dance and tried to stop the couple's first dance to put her own music on). I've also been to weddings with a great DJ who definitely enhanced the proceedings. In that case the bride and groom were playing a little prank for their first dance, and the DJ helped with that. He also made sure more dinner-type music was played during dinner, and dance-type music when it was time to party, and then keyed things back for different events like cake-cutting.

If you are the sort of person who has no idea of the specific type of music you want to listen to, then things can go south if your playlist doesn't blend easily together or if shuffle brings up a song incongruous to the event going on (say "S&M" while the best man is making a toast).
posted by schroedinger at 5:13 AM on May 29, 2016

Medium-fancy wedding here too. We did hire a DJ and thankfully they did their job unobtrusively. It depends on the role you want music to fill. It's good to have the ambiance, and it's definitely good to have someone paying attention to making sure it plays as plans. But if you don't need music to be the center of the show, if you have a friend who can handle the speakers/technology to play it and is willing to make sure it all goes, and if you have another friend who is good speaking publicly to handle any announcements, then by all means put in the effort rather than the money. Consider having it all just classical background music during cocktails/dinner, with a dance set to manually start when you're ready. (I'm an amateur party planner, and plan small scale events as part of my job. My saying is that you can pull anything off with either time or money, you have to have one but you don't have to have both.)
posted by AliceBlue at 6:27 AM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Pro wedding DJ here, based in NYC. Sorry to hear that so many MeFites has negative wedding DJ experiences, but there is no shortage of chumps in this industry.

If you can't find a DJ excited to both learn about and honor your music tastes on your wedding day, then you should go with DIY playlists. I personally would be thrilled to get to play some of Moroder's best tunes at a reception.

A (good) DJ's responsibilities extend beyond managing the music. As DJ and MC, much of the wedding timeline and management is handled by me. If you're not hiring a DJ or wedding coordinator, you will need to enlist help to make sure:
-sound equipment is rented, picked up, set up and sound checked.
-anyone giving a speech or toast is ready to speak before being introduced.
-any traditions (first dance, parent dances, cake cutting, etc) you are including are announced so there is no awkwardness for your guests.
-music playlists (for each part of day: prelude, ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, traditions) are set up and ready to be managed.

Part of the music management is making sure someone can both protect the music design (guarding against a nephew hijacking the system since he wants to dance the NaeNae) as well as adjusting on the fly if things fall flat. As you make your playlists, remember the breakdown of your guest list. If more than half of your 30 guests are older, you may have to skew to more classics/motown/70s songs as they likely are not familiar with European synth-disco pioneers.

A final point of advice: your guests will follow your lead. If you are on the dance floor having fun, they will join you. If you sit down, so will they.
posted by stachemaster at 6:31 AM on May 29, 2016 [13 favorites]

I hired a DJ for my wedding and provided him with a playlist of songs we definitely wanted played. He also played his own choices, which were all songs I hated. I barely noticed though because I was bouncing around dancing with my friends.

I was the wedding planner for my brother-in-law's wedding last year and I made a playlist for them. We did their reception 100% iPod playlist plug-and-play style and it worked out great. I put the playlist in a specific order so that the music tempo would change throughout the evening, getting more popular dance songs in later in the evening to correspond with booze consumption. It was easy and the bride & groom were super happy with it.
posted by bedhead at 8:20 AM on May 29, 2016

Don't assume your venue has a music-friendly sound system, or won't change you a big fee for rental, set up and monitoring of the system they have. Many "wedding" DJs are terrible. You could probably find an awesome house party or club DJ who will supply the gear and do the dance session for a fraction of the price while a friend of yours who has some public speaking or performance experience MCs.
posted by MattD at 8:51 AM on May 29, 2016

Ask the venue about the sound/PA etc and do your own playlist. For playlist operation, nominate the cousin who's good at time management; make it a big honour, buy them maybe a watch for the favour. Ask one or more responsible members of the bridal party to keep tabs on the clock and help move things along (also recognize this effort).

Speaking as a guest: I could go my whole life without hearing Sweet Caroline or the chicken dance ever again. (Or that "the groom eats the cake... the groom eats the cake" song that's supposed to cue you to do the cake-in-the-face pantomime, oh god it's all just embarrassing for everyone :/)

Maybe plan in a few songs that the grandmas and grandpas present might appreciate and want to move to earlier in the evening. But do it all your way. (Please. The wedding industrial complex needs to be shut down for everyone's health and sanity.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:18 AM on May 29, 2016

I've been a wedding DJ twice for friends (they paid me a modest amount because I was really poor, couple hundo as I recall). This was before Spotify so all Ipod. It's actually a very tough job. You may be fine with folk rock but there will be some portion of the guests who will be drunk and rude about the fact that the DJ doesn't have enough Lady Gaga, or Bob Seger, and they'll badger him or her into playing songs which nobody else wants and they don't even show up for and the dance floor will periodically clear and people will mutter to you about "This terrible DJ" and you'll have to go er that's just my friend Riley and it may get annoying.

Professional DJs know how to deal with stuff like this and have a decent sense of which current pop hits and classics still get a variety of people moving. It's a funny kind of art that I wouldn't regret paying for, if "Having a 3 hour fun dance party that multiple generations participate in" is a big facet of what you need from your wedding.

Now weirdly enough people don't do this to quirky little bands. If you don't mind original songs or a very set playlist of covers in a specific genre, you can definitely find a band that will play for $500 or something. Friend of mine hired a bunch of friends to practice for 3 months and play jangley 60s covers (Kinks, Small Faces, Hang on Sloopy etc) at his wedding and everyone lost their shit in a good way. Guests are much more willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a talented band working hard and making music they like, even if it isn't the Bobby Gagger (I just mashed that up) they want RIGHT NOW.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:13 AM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As a guest, the weddings I have been to without DJs almost never end with dancing - the music plays but the spirit is missing and the energy isn't there.

I also appreciate a good DJ as they tell me, the guest, what to expect next. Oh, they're walking up now and even though we saw them get married, this is a good time to give the bride & groom an official hurrah! Oh, it's time for their first dance, I'll watch instead of continuing to sit and chat. Oh, the bar is closing, shit get another drink. Dear god, the last shuttle is leaving in 5 minutes - get your jacket or you're paying for the über!
posted by samthemander at 10:20 AM on May 29, 2016

A relative had a fancy reception a few years ago. No DJ, just a friend, laptop, and microphone. It was great.
posted by jpe at 10:20 AM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm such an idiot for not reading your follow up about no bands, sorry. So, gist of my experience, friend works fine for a DJ, but they have to be ready to deal with a lot of nonsense AND be pretty knowledgeable about music. But you do need someone manning the music and mic, guests have a lot of expectations (and conflicting ones!)about weddings and while you are under ZERO obligation to care, they will interfere if you aren't prepared.

Of the two weddings I DJ'd one worked really well because the Bride and Groom said "Play anything you want from this [genre/time period], but keep around these [X] songs for our special dance moments which will occur at [time time and time]. And drop these [X] songs from your target [genre/time period], whenever you want but definitely play them." So when I got dumb requests the B/G didn't want to hear I could say "Sorry I'm only the friend playing a [genre/time period] playlist" but the couple didn't have to actually make huge playlists, I got to be creative dropping appropriate songs in at the right moments, and the guests just got into it like a crowd does at 80s Night at the Lucky Lemon or whatever.

The other wedding I had long long lists of stuff like Pulp and The Misfits to get through and the guests thought I was some hipster asshole, but when I tried to bust out Beat It or something it just didn't flow right because I didn't know what I was doing. If you trust your friends and family to throw down no matter what, don't worry about it though!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:24 AM on May 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We rented a nice speaker setup and played premade playlists for different parts of the wedding.

We asked for requests on our RSVP and included any that people had. Drunk friends started messing with and choosing dance music for themselves at like 11:30pm because our "friend who was in charge of the ipad" had left by then, but it was funny and everyone enjoyed it and everyone who was left was partying by that point anyways, so no harm no foul.

I don't regret not having a DJ at all. There are so many associated costs with a wedding, and I've had some friends whose DJs turned out pretty lousy in the end anyways.
posted by euphoria066 at 12:32 PM on May 30, 2016

> We rented a nice speaker setup and played premade playlists for different parts of the wedding.

This is exactly what my wife and I did, and it worked out just fine.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:37 PM on May 30, 2016

We did DIY music. We had a form on our wedding website to collect requests and recommendations, and we had iTunes with $25 credit to cover other requests.

It was awesome. No regrets and we still use the playlists.

Funny story, after the wedding, some friends asked us to give us the name of our DJ because they liked our music.
posted by KevCed at 8:20 AM on May 31, 2016

True story.
The first DJ I ever saw was at a quinceanera, a coming out party for a 15-year-old girl.
He arrived an hour late, and threw a random disc on to play while he finished setting up. The verse was unintelligible but the chorus was loud and clear, "I wanna fuck you in the ass! I wanna fuck you in the ass!" over and over again.

I've been to four or five DJ'd parties since then. Only one was really good. Really good. He made the party. But the bride gave him the playlist to use.
I'd be really careful about hiring a DJ.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:56 AM on May 31, 2016

To follow up about the balance of "your taste vs popular taste": I put the music I really love that might not fill a dance floor during the dinner and cocktail hour. I didn't think clearing out the dance floor so I could get down to brass band covers, for example, was really worth it. +1 to the DJ who says people will follow your lead if you are dancing and having a great time.
posted by athirstforsalt at 1:41 AM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

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