Thinking about using a Spotify playlist, an iPhone and a speaker to reduce the costs for your wedding or event DJ? You may want to reconsider. An app is NO substitute for a DJ, band or any other live performer at an event or a wedding reception.

Apps like Spotify, Pandora, YouTube, etc. make all types of music available to millions of people. Yes, you can customize a pretty good playlist with Spotify and plenty of other apps. However, there are a lot of factors that you might be overlooking if you go this route:

The Playlists:

You determined the perfect playlist consisting of your favorite songs, and the number of hours you have the venue—four to six hours—are common. You set up a cocktail hour playlist, two-hour dinner playlist and dancing playlist. You now have all of your playlists all lined up and ready to go. There’s only one problem: 

Things don’t always go as planned.

The Timeline and Agenda:

As a DJ with more than 20 years’ experience, we can tell you that nearly 100 percent of events do not go as planned. Timelines are always being adjusted. 

The reason why can range from Cousin Barry delivering his 15 minute toast to the catering team falling behind by 30 minutes to dinner going a lot longer than expected. Once we had a bride who had to bustle her dress for 45 minutes. This is all par for the course. 

Experienced DJs are always in the moment and adjust as needed. It is extremely rare to have a “set it and forget it” playlist.

The Music:

Even when the timeline goes as planned, there’s the fact about the music selection: Most people love to be the DJ with their playlists. The reality with weddings or gatherings that consist of 75-plus or 150-plus is that the music may not appeal to all of the guests. 

A DJ does not get into this business without a love of music. They have the ability to scan a large crowd and find the music that appeals to mostly everyone in the room with varying ages, generations, and tastes.

Setting The Tone:

Let’s say you create your Spotify playlist, and it has all your favorite songs to be played throughout the cocktail, dinner, dancing and send-off. 

Maybe you picked the music according to each part of the event. Many times, the songs you like may not have the desired impact, particularly with a crowd that has people of a variety of ages. House (EDM) music or the latest Pop music might not get your uncle and aunt out on the floor. We know how to set a tone and vibe that includes everybody regardless of age and taste.

The Equipment:

A professional DJ will have professional, high quality sound equipment. Professional DJs are all very particular about sound. Things we hear the ordinary person—even those who love music—might not. That’s why we as professional DJs invest in the best equipment.

The MC or Emcee:

You’ve got the playlists and the equipment. Who’s going to make the announcements? The DJ in most cases acts as the MC or host for an event. This is an invaluable part of the DJ’s duties. 

Notifying guests that “Appetizers are now being served,” “Please go to your seats so we can welcome the happy couple,” or “Table 4 can now go to the buffet line” may seem like simple instructions. It’s a pivotal part of how a DJ will manage an event or wedding from the cocktail hour to the bridal couple’s entrance, first dances, cake-cutting, getting people out on the floor and the final send off.

Light up your Event:

Music may be the main course of an event, but lighting is the dessert. Whether it is uplighting or dance floor lights, lighting makes a massive impact on setting the atmosphere of your special event. 

Most professional DJs provide lighting for the dance floor. Multi-colored lighting, in particular, adds energy, especially if it moves to the beat of the music. It can also create a soothing effect for slow songs, first dances, etc. We have various lighting packages and options to choose from that can help to enhance your event and venue.

Handling the Crowd:

Of the many things a DJ learns over the years is how to get a crowd going and get them up on the dance floor. It’s a little more subtle and tactful than saying, “let’s dance.” It comes with years of experience in working events and weddings and knowing what works and what doesn’t. A locked-in Spotify playlist certainly doesn’t have that.


Weddings and events cost money. No doubt about that. Everybody has a budget and there certainly are areas where you can choose more affordable options and cut costs. Doing that with the music by essentially doing-it-yourself is risky. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you certainly want the music and event to be remembered for the right reasons—that it helped everyone have a great time.

If you are looking for a DJ in the Greater Boston area, get in touch with DJ Dave Entertainment. Our professional DJs will ensure that your next event is fun and memorable. Call us at or contact us so that we can discuss your upcoming event!