I recently received the following email:

“We are paying for our wedding ourselves so have to stick to a tight budget so therefore can’t afford a professional DJ = (. But was wondering if you offer a service where u can create a playlist for me on cds that I can load into my computer to play on the night. Rather than me having to download loads of songs myself?? Hope you can help.”

This is a question we DJs get asked from time to time and it’s always a difficult one to answer without offending the originator. Here was my response:

“Thank you for your enquiry. I’m sorry to say that pre-playlisting an event is something I prefer not to do and I don’t make copies of my music as that breaches New Zealand and international copyright law, unless I was to pass on the duplication fee of about $1.80 per song. You can budget about 16 songs per hour usually and in addition to that I’d have to charge for my time in ascertaining your crowd type, your own taste and style and compiling and creating CDs. Obviously you don’t want gaps between each song, so I would have to mix the compilations professionally for you.

Even if I did do this, you’d never have the same feel, flow or energy as you’d have with a live DJ who is reading the crowd live and adjusting the playlist constantly to adapt to the changing moods and atmosphere. You’ll also need to hire, set up and return some reasonable quality sound equipment and have someone in charge of controlling changing the CDs and constantly monitoring the volume.

Regardless of this, I have a couple of tools to help you plan a stress-free and seamless wedding reception. Here they are:

My Wedding Reception Planner (click on the image of the guide on the page).
My Guide to being the Master of Ceremonies.

These two items should give you some indication of the degree of confidence my clients have that their reception will run beautifully when they book my services. The reception planner helps me to prepare reception entertainment that’s uniquely your own and will also help avoid potential traps and pitfalls that sometimes occur when planning hasn’t been done properly.”

It’s clear that the copyright message clearly isn’t reaching some people.