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Can a Wedding DJ Play Any Song?
  • DJ Ben Boylan

Can a Wedding DJ Play Any Song?

So you are getting married and have questions about what songs your DJ can play. "Is it possible for a DJ to play ANY song I can think of?" "Do have to provide my DJ with the songs?" "Do I have to pay for them? Is it normal to give your DJ a list of songs? Read on to get answers.



Can a Wedding DJ Play Any Song?


Yes, basically.


With online music stores, a wedding DJ can buy almost any song you can think of


Before iTunes and other online music stores, DJs brought CDs or records to your wedding to play. One limitation to this was that couples were limited about what songs they could choose. If the DJ didn't have it, you wouldn't hear it. DJs often provided their couples with song lists to choose from.


But now with services like iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon, it's easy for your DJ to get almost any song you want.



Who pays for the music?


The DJ, usually.


There have been a few times where couples asked me for dozens and dozens of rare songs I didn't have. But in all those cases those songs were for cocktail hour. So I made playlists on Spotify, downloaded them to my device, and played them during cocktail hour. I usually buy 5 to 10 new songs for each wedding. Which brings me to my next point.



Spotify is OK in a pinch, but most music should be downloaded


Streaming music at a wedding is risky at best. Your DJ could lose cellular service in the middle of the song, causing it to stop. Even worse, many wedding venues have bad cellular service and no WiFi. All music played should be downloaded to your DJ's computer. But when is Spotify ok in a pinch?


Spotify is handy when you think of a song you want to hear that you forgot to ask your DJ to get. This happens from time to time. If there is cell service or WiFi, your DJ can download the song on Spotify, and play it a minute or two after you ask for it.


Some songs are so rare they are only on YouTube


Many people learn of new music on YouTube. Especially remixes. Often I will have couples ask me for a version of a song that is only available on YouTube. This happens a lot when there is a singer at the wedding. Their accompanying track is often some song they heard on YouTube that isn't available anywhere else. So can you play songs off YouTube?


If a couple asks me in advance for a song that is only on YouTube, I will download it to my computer and have it ready. The audio of songs downloaded from YouTube sometimes is lower quality than others. Other than that, it will work fine. Your DJ should never stream a song from YouTube during your wedding. Besides the risk of losing connection, a commercial might start playing in the middle on the song!



Giving your DJ songs to play


Most couples provide their DJ with songs to play. The DJ will play those songs and compliment them with other tracks that are similar. And that will get you and your guests on the dance floor. Many couple also provide a do-not playlist. Read more about packing your dance floor here.


The bottom line


The bottom line is give your DJ all the songs you want to hear in advance. If you forgot to give him or her a song you want to hear, they can play it off Spotify (after they download it). Never stream off of YouTube. And if you are getting married at a beautiful farm in the country (that has no cell service), you are stuck with the music you provided your DJ in advance. Have a great wedding!


And, if you are getting married and looking for a DJ, and want to talk to me about DJing your wedding, schedule a conversation