Desktop and Tablet header image Mobile header image

helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

*This post contains affliate links. When you purchase items via our affiliate links, there is no additional cost to you, but The Budget Savvy Bride receives a small percentage of the sale as a thank you for making the introduction. You get a great product *and* you help support our website + the free resources that we share with our readers!

This post is part of a recurring series here on BSB – we share a wedding budget tip every Tuesday to help you save money on your wedding! You can also see past posts (and a sneak peek at what's ahead) on this wedding budget tips page for your convenience and future reference.

Be your own DIY wedding dj with these tips from The Budget Savvy Bride!

Wedding Budget Tip #18:

Be your own DJ or appoint a friend to do the job!


Have you looked into the cost of hiring a band or DJ for your wedding? If you have, you've probably realized that they don't come cheap!

If you're on a SUPER tight budget, the wedding reception music is something you can easily do yourself. There are so many AMAZING tools out there to use to help make the process simpler, too!

Now, it is definitely true that a good emcee or DJ can impact the tone and fun level of your reception, but perhaps when you crunch the numbers, the entertainment falls lower on your list of wedding priorities.

If that's the case, (like it was for me) then I totally recommend going the DIY DJ route. Yes, you can become your own DIY wedding DJ with just your iPod / laptop and a speaker system.

Learn how to be a DIY wedding DJ

In fact, that's what we did at our own wedding. And to make it even more budget savvy, we just borrowed a speaker and the necessary cables from a friend, so our wedding entertainment was totally free.

My hubby and I spent time pruning the perfect playlist prior to the big day, and when the big day came, we just plugged it in and let it loose! For the few moments that we needed to get everyone's attention or give speeches, we had a microphone in order to speak over the music.

Overall, I was thrilled to not have to pay for something that I so easily did myself. I'll be the first to admit I was a low-maintenance bride, so maybe this idea isn't for you if you'd rather pass it off to someone else. You can still get a friend to run your playlist and make introductions and save yourself a ton of money. (Most DJ services start at $500!!)

When it comes to selecting the music, you can either use songs you already own, purchase new music from iTunes, or try out a site like Slacker Radio or Spotify to build the perfect playlist from a nearly unlimited library of songs. Thanks to the new Apple Music subscription, you could easily use that service as well to run your wedding playlist.

There's also a few great apps worth checking out, including the Wedding DJ App that can help you manage your reception music.

Wedding Budget Tip #18: Be your own DJ

So tell us:

would you consider being your own wedding dj?

Leave a comment below and let us know!




Want more wedding budget tips? Come back next Tuesday for the next post in this series.

Share this post:

About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

Connect with Jessica
  • Brian Cook

    This is a horrible idea. Sure, you know what music you love. But what if the vibe just doesn’t have the people dancing. Do you want to keep listening to music that has no one on the dance floor, or would you rather have a person up there, who can change it on a moments notice, and get the crowd out on the dance floor enjoying themselves.

    I have been to 4 different weddings where friends followed advice like this, and did their own music, or a friend who had no experience doing this. All of them were dead, and all the guests had left within 30 minutes of the cake cut, as it’s typically the last “event” of the night.

    Most of these tips are pretty awesome, but this one, should you choose to follow this, you do so at your own risk in my opinion.

    • As I said in this post, it’s all a matter of personal preference. As a bride who was on a budget, music and entertainment was low on my list of priorities.

      You can share “horror stories” to warn DIY brides against doing things themselves to save money, but I know plenty of brides can share their own horror stories about working with vendors who were less than professional. There are risks involved in either scenario, in my opinion.

      As I stated already– this approach may not be for a bride who isn’t super laid-back. Every bride has their own priorities, and none of my advice is meant to be one-size-fits-all, but rather ideas to help brides think outside of the box if they don’t have a fortune to spend on their wedding day!

    • DirtyRobot

      I once went to a wedding of a good friend whose DJ did not give a crap about what people wanted to hear and the dance floor was empty all night. So DJs are not infallible and your anecdotes are not evidence.

  • Tara

    As long as you have the time to dedicate to creating an amazing playlist, this is an amazing idea! I helped organize 2 formals with my sorority–one we went with a DJ and he was terrible. Random music, gaps between songs, no one danced and everyone wanted to leave. The following year we decided to just create our own playlists since the venue had a speaker system. We created a dinner playlist and a dance playlist and it was an amazing time!
    I’ve been to quite a few parties and wedding where the DJ was so bad that I didn’t even consider a DJ for our wedding! (we’re going with a solo guitarist instead, way more chill).

  • A DIY DJ can be tricky but these are great tips to navigate it if entertainment just doesn’t figure into your budget – so glad that you had an awesome wedding day and such a personal mix to play!

  • katrina

    As the owner of a diy wedding venue – you certainly have had some amazing tips! This one can certainly play out either way – but is always another alternative for brides to consider! With only a year under our belt – we’ve already had numerous weddings here – all have used dj’s or bands – however – it truly is very difficult to find a true professional in this field! Many like to play what they want, and not the requested songs by those who hired them. Many are on air radio personalities and seem to always want to take over the mic and play things their way. We’ve even had some karaoke bar owners who also dj – and the entire night was about them, their own personal renditions of every song and the dancing moves to go with it! We’ve already seen way more than our share of events that were nightmarish from the entertainment end! This could be a good option for those really on a limited budget, who know exactly what type of music they want played, and know their guests all well enough to know the music selection would work… That being said – you do have things to consider such as introductions, table calling, and being able to switch things up last second if their are hiccups in schedules or last second changes during your event. A good dj can really make the event a total success – just finding the right one can be the challenge. I would personally be very nervous about not having that vendor involved – just knowing how smooth they can help make the entire event run….

  • Rebecca Carpenter

    I love this idea. I was in a wedding this last summer where they did it and it went just fine. If we were doing more of a reception than dinner out with our families, we’d probably be doing this too. I could see it being an issue if you were throwing a huge shindig that needed an emcee or where the dance party was a huge part of the reception, but other than that, this is a great idea.

  • Thank you for sharing information about another options for couples looking to save money! I had a great DJ at my wedding, but we’re considering a vow renewal and would probably go the iPod route. For us it’s a day to celebrate the relationship and family and friends, not the dancing – that’s just an extra bonus!

  • Claire

    This is such an interesting one. Personally I think it’s always better to hire a DJ as they can read the room and the crowd, and also make it a million times more interesting for the bride and groom as they won’t know what’s playing next. Re. Dirtyrobot’s comment, it’s obviously very important to choose the right DJ and to know what questions to ask. I’ll be referring to this blog post when choosing one. Hope it helps –

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!