Wedding Savings: How to DIY DJ Your Big Day

Introducing DJ You!

So many things about weddings are so expensive and you really have to prioritize what is most important to you. I knew a few things were not important to me, one of which was a DJ. Of course, I wanted people to dance, but I knew that our wedding had a Photo Booth, bowling, and arcade games, so dancing was not crucial.

I turned to the Internet and came up with the best wedding DJ of all: DJ Spotify!

Yes, with just a Spotify Premium subscription and painstaking hours of playlist crafting, you can avoid hiring a wedding DJ. I admit that this choice is not for everyone. If your biggest priority is having a giant dance party, don’t do this. That said, people did dance at my wedding, I have pictures to prove it!

Our first dance.

Practice Spotify.

I clearly used Spotify because it allowed me to use a wide range of music without having to spend hundred of dollars. However, Spotify is not perfect. Not all artists allow their music on Spotify (looking at you Taylor Swift), but there is a way to add the local files from your computer to your playlist.


You have to turn on the crossfade setting in Spotify or your songs will have awkward silence in between them. This will be on your Spotify advanced setting. Experiment with the length of the crossfade, but longer is probably better.

Have an emcee. 

You need someone to run the music and protect it from any persistent song requesters. Our emcee was Josh, a family friend, and professional actor. He also helped facilitate our Quaker ceremony (more on that in another post) and he was amazing!

Make sure your venue has a good music set up.

Our venue provided a DJ booth, speaker system, microphone, and all the necessary wires. You also need a laptop; you don’t want to be doing this on your smartphone.

Cater to the crowd. 

Most weddings are an eclectic mix of people with everyone from your grandmother to your college friends. So you need to play music that will appeal to everyone in that range. For your grandmother, maybe some Frank Sinatra? For your college friends, the latest dance tunes?

Pick some music you like. 

But do play some music that is just for you and your partner. It is your day and not everything needs to be a crowd pleaser. We played “First Date” by Blink-182, a song we both listened to before our first date. You can’t dance to it, but it was a special moment for us.

Separate you music into categories. 

We had a pre-ceremony playlist, a dinner playlist, a playlist for the special dances, and a dancing playlist. The length of these playlists will depend on the length of your wedding reception. We went with 40 minutes of pre-ceremony music, 45 minutes of dinner music and 2 hours and 30 minutes of dancing music. You want to make each of these longer than you think because the worst thing you could do is run out early.

Make sure the categories make sense. Dinner music should be more mellow than dance music.

Go a little bit cheesy. 

I drew the line at “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang. But I did play the “Conga” and “Happy”.

Do your research.

I am not an expert of popular music. I did a lot of Googling about “Songs People Love” and “Songs People Dance To”. Take those as suggestions and figure out what works for you.


I listened to this playlist almost non-stop for months to make sure that the song list and order were perfect. I also made other people listen to it. Everyone was sick of this playlist, but on the wedding day, it was perfect.

TLDR; If dancing is not your main concern, use Spotify as your wedding DJ. Be sure to play a range of music and not just your favorite Gregorian chants.

P.S. I will share the exact playlist that I used at my wedding in a later post.

Would you consider DJing your own wedding? Did you? What songs would you be sure to play? Which songs would you avoid like the plague?

  • OMG! Spotify is perfect! I was totally looking for something like this when I got married in 2014!
    I am gong to share it with my sister– She is getting married this year! 🙂

  • Hanna J Smith

    Great tips!!!! We had a less than stellar DJ at our wedding, and it really makes a difference!

  • Ayanna

    This is great tip for parties! I had a destination wedding, so I wouldn’t have wanted to leave getting a good mix of local songs and my favorites up to chance. But I would totally do this for any party I would have now.