Should I use a Spotify playlist or a DJ for your wedding?

We’ll get this question a lot. People consider: “oh, I don’t know if I’ve got the budget for a wedding DJ, maybe I could just do it myself”. Maybe I should just make a Spotify playlist? I’ve got some good tunes on Spotify. I reckon my music’s pretty good. Well, hopefully this video will shed a bit of light on the pros and cons of both the differences and the considerations that you may or may not have had when making this decision.

Cost comparison of a DJ vs a Spotify Playlist

So first of all, cost, because it’s obviously the big one. Cost is probably the main and only reason why you would want to go for a Spotify playlist over booking a wedding DJ. It’s obviously cheaper to organize it yourself, to do it yourself and it’s free to make a Spotify playlist apart from the small monthly fee that you might already be paying.

With DJs obviously you’re going to have to pay for that, So I can, in this video, break down a few of those differences so that you can have a bit of a think about whether or not you actually will go with the Spotify playlist or DJ for your wedding.

the cost of a dj vs a spotify playlist
Playlist Control of a dj compared to a spotify playlist

A DJ has more Control of the Playlist

Another consideration is control over the songs and the music. Maybe you’re a little bit of a control freak and you want to make sure that the music is perfect. You know, that you have a good taste in music and you have a killer playlist of songs that you want to hear. That’s one other reason.

Guest requests is something that you may be considering and thinking, “oh, how can I incorporate my guests requests into my Spotify playlist?”.

You can do a bit of an email or a text out saying “send me top two or three songs and I’ll put them in our Spotify playlist” and you can find out where they go. But realistically, knowing when to put that request in or (knowing when to not play that request at all) is the skill that the DJs are doing on multiple times a week.

And that’s what you’re paying for: their professional knowledge and service. So when they get a guest request they can say: “Yep. Awesome. I can play that song” and they’ll write it down. Or they may say “I’m going to play that song in an hour or two when it’s going to work a little bit better” than perhaps when initially the guest has requested it.

That’s something that you can’t do whilst you’re enjoying your wedding instead of than worrying about the music on Spotify playlist.

One of the biggest considerations that you may or may not have thought of is guests changing the music halfway through a song if you give them access to your Spotify playlist during your wedding. So say you’ve got a playlist or even just an iPod and or can plug their own phone in. It’s a great idea in theory, but usually once people want to dance and differences in opinion arise, you end up getting guests that will kill the song halfway through. They think “this is average, this is not a good song. I’m going to I’m going to play what I think is better”. So they might cut a song which actually might be doing OK for the rest of the guests. And that can really impact the night negatively. They won’t get a smooth seamless transition. The song will come to a sudden stop in the song and then a second or two of silence and then a new tune. And that can be pretty detrimental to the dance floor.

And also that guest’s song choices might be a bit hit and miss. Although that guest loves this particular song, it’s not always the best song choice and usually the loudest and most obnoxious guest will end up getting their way. Not necessarily the guest with the best music taste or the guest who knows what song to play next. It’ll be the drunkest and it’ll be the one who is the most forceful. You basically just listen to their requests whilst they’re on the dance floor because they’re so forthright and intoxicated. That’s usually who’s going to depict your music on the night. So think about who you loudest and most obnoxious guest is. And that will most likely be who will change your music on you. That’s probably whose music you’re going to end up listening to if you do go with a Spotify playlist as opposed to professional DJ.

It can also create a little bit of conflict between guests. If a guest changes songs, they might say, “Why did you do that for? That’s a terrible song.” vs. “No, it’s not. It’s a great song” and it just invites a bit of conflict. Whereas the DJ is a bit more versed in handling those situations. And if there’s any conflict, it’s not directly in between your guests. You don’t want to be creating tension between guests. It’s meant to be fun day, to be full of love, full of laughter.

if Dancing is Important to you, Hire A DJ, instead of using a spotify playlist

OK Dancing! Think about dancing. Dancing might be important to you, or it might not be important to you. Maybe you’re just having a chill wedding and you don’t really care if people dance or not. Dancing isn’t the focus.

If dancing isn’t important to you, then that would be a plus to go with a Spotify playlist. If dancing is important to you, though, then I would highly recommend looking for a professional DJ because of a few of those reasons I mentioned before with the guests changing music on you (and also a few reasons that I will that I’ll mention in a second).

Dancing music for wedding by DJ vs spotify playlist

But if dancing is important to you, you really have to think about what songs are playing, when in what order, and how they mix together, because that’s what keeps the dance for flow going. And a Spotify playlist is a lot harder to do that, particularly if you’re listening to a song in its entirety, the last 10 or 15 seconds of a song is usually when you blend into the next and mix into another song and that 15 to 20 seconds plus the 15 or 20 seconds intro of the next track ends up with 40 seconds of music that you don’t really want to listen to. And it’s rather a bit of blended. But instead you just hear the intro, the outro of a track, and it’s not particularly exciting and it creates this lull. So dancing is usually not quite as encouraged during those moments.

Professional Music Choice for your wedding

Professional Music Choice

 Let’s talk a bit about professional music choice versus your music choices as well. You know your music tastes better than anyone else does. Correct. Do you know the music tastes of your group of friends, maybe your immediate friends.


But on the whole, if you’re trying to create a vibe for you and the entirety of your guests, say you’ve got fifty one hundred people there, maybe less. I guarantee you you won’t have as much knowledge about what will work best as someone like a wedding who does this two or three times a week, who knows and sees and plays music for large groups of people on a bi weekly basis. It doesn’t matter how good you think your music choice is. These DJs have tried and tested way more songs than you ever would to a large audience.

They know what has worked and know what hasn’t worked, and they know what to avoid and what to play. That’s something that I guarantee you won’t have as good of a knowledge of as a DJ with when you’re making your Spotify playlists. These artists, they’re in events every week and you’re not. Or if you are, then perhaps maybe you are wedding DJ. But I would imagine if you are wedding DJ, you’re probably not watching this video. You probably wouldn’t be deciding whether or not to use a Spotify playlist or a DJ because you’ll know you’ll know that a DJ would be the wiser choice.

Your music is never going to make everyone happy either. Every single song is not going to make everyone happy. It’s the DJ’s job to find that balance between making as many people happy as possible whilst playing as many of your requests as possible. And usually the two don’t always overlap. Some will, but sometimes they won’t. And it’s the DJs job to say, “I know that that song will work” and “I know that that song won’t work” or “I know that song will work here” or “I know that song won’t work here”. And that leads me into the next point to think about, and that is the song order, or the order of the songs in which the order in which your songs will play on the night. It doesn’t matter how many times you move a song up here or down here on your playlist in preparation thinking I’m going to plan the perfect thing. Things pop up on the night. They always do. Something pushes back by ten minutes. You pull the speeches forward because you realize that the cake’s running late. This is happening or someone needs to go to the bathroom and there’s just no way you’re going to get the order right. So you really need someone there, even if it is a playlist just to know when am I going to push pause on this part or when are we going to pause that particular playlist and play the next playlist when we move into the next one. That is something that you pay for in a wedding DJ, and it’s something that you would have to personally manage on the night. And that can be rather time consuming. And there’s nothing worse than that cringe moment when you pick the amazing background tune, maybe like a soul sixties track or something. But it’s over a dance track and it accidentally pops up mid dance floor in between some house music, which you’ve got a whole bunch of late twenties, early 30 year olds on the dance floor just enjoying himself. And then it cuts to a completely different vibe out of nowhere because the order isn’t perfect. That’s something that you just can’t do or manage yourself without being there the whole time.

Let a Professional DJ control your music in Formalities

So obviously, you will have a few formalities at your wedding. Some people will have more than others. You might have less, you might have more. You might be going for a more formal wedding. You might be going for a more chilled cocktail style wedding.

But there’s usually some things going on, whether that’s a speech, whether that’s an entrance, whether that’s a first dance. All that stuff needs to be managed with a song at the right time.

So the question is, who’s going to do that? Is it going to be you? You’d hope not. Is it going to be a friend? Is it going to be a family member?

using a spotify playlist for wedding formalities or hiring a professional dj

That’s a burden that you have to place on someone who doesn’t do this professionally to get that right. And say that maybe the phone receives a call during one of the formalities, maybe they accidentally hit play on the wrong song. And then two seconds of silence. Maybe they push play just a little bit late: all these things can create an embarrassing moment, and when you’ve spent thousands of dollars on your wedding day, you really don’t want to leave that stuff up to chance. It’s just too much of a risk to to ruin some of those most important moments of your life. So that’s another consideration to have.

Assure the sound quality of your wedding venue with a dj

A Decent Sound Quality is assured when you hire a professional dj

Most venues, even if they say they have their own speakers, most venues will only have speakers that are adequate for background music. So if you again want to come back to that dancing point, if you want to have dancing at your wedding, you have to have good quality speakers.


And when you book a DJ, they will come with that. So you can either what your choices are. If you’re going a Spotify playlist, you can go and book some speakers, usually for $100 or $200 for the night, and you’ll get some good quality speakers from a higher company, which is great.

Or if you want them to set it up, that’s great. You’ve probably been spending $3-$400, including the set up in the pack down, and you’re pushing into more of the price, getting closer to the DJ. So you’re really not saving as much money as you first thought that you were.

Then comes the added risk of worrying that the speakers are going to be looked after on the night. No one’s going to knock them over because they’re drunk. So it’s another piece of equipment that you have personally responsible for. And then also the time of having to pick up the speakers, drop them off on the day, pick them up the next day as well. So you’re talking about a couple, maybe two or three hours of your time as well. All this stuff does start to add up and it may be considerations that you haven’t thought of. And if you’re hoping to plug into the venue speakers, that could be fine if you only have dinner and you don’t need dancing. But I guarantee you that probably about 90% of venues do not have speakers that are danceable or adequate for dancing.

The Best Day of Your Life should be handled by a professional

Okay, the next point. It’s kind of a point that I’ve been into weaving into some of the other points, and that is your time on the night. This is supposed to be the best day of your life. You don’t want to be spending your time worrying about what song is playing next, in what order, why a certain song isn’t playing over another.

So you really want to make sure that you really understand the full time commitment that is involved in organizing your own music and playing stuff at the right time. And also with the speaker hire, things like that, making sure the formalities all work out, all these stuff. It’s one person’s job, really. And unless you are only requiring background music in the background and have no intention of having any specific songs for formalities or anything, and really you just having a dinner, then there’s really no reason why you wouldn’t consider quite seriously booking a professional to look after your entertainment.

the best day of your life wedding should be controlled by a dj and not a spotify playlist

Can you use Spotify as your DJ?

Yes, you absolutely can. But do consider that there’s a range of multitude of things that you will be personally responsible for that could go wrong, that usually you pay a professional to organize. And so what we’re going to do is we’re going to put a link here on how to create a Spotify playlist for the wedding. We’ll put the link in the blog below. And so you can have a bit of a look at that, because it’s definitely possible if it’s not overly difficult. Spotify is a great program and has many functions.

But in summary, if you go with Spotify: the pros are it’s always going to be cheaper. You have the complete and you have complete control of over your music. The cons are going to be that your guests can change the music halfway through and your time on the night and stress in the lead up and around specific formalities on the night.

If you go with the DJ option, the pros are you get a more professional experience. You get someone who does this two or three times a week. You know, the song choice is going to be better overall for the entirety of the guests. You probably have more people dancing and also just the time and stress. You don’t have to worry about it. So you can actually enjoy the moments with your friends, which is the whole point of the day.

The cons of getting a DJ are the cost. And also you probably might be a little bit worried that, “Oh, is this DJ going to be good? I’ve never seen them before. I’ve never met them before. They actually going to be any good?”.

But the key to that is just do some research, make sure you choose a company that you trust. Make sure you find someone with photos, videos, or bios, and mixes. Stuff that you can listen to. You might even be able have a phone call with the DJ beforehand just to make sure that you’re getting a professional who knows what they’re doing.

So I hope that sheds a bit of light on the question of whether or not you should have a Spotify playlist or a DJ for your wedding!

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