This is taken from an article written on the WDJA website.
“DJ or Jukebox?
Peter Kay has a lot to answer for! His portrayal of a DJ has left many brides cringing at the thought of having a DJ entertaining at their wedding. To avoid this some brides have considered hiring in a jukebox. The good news is that a true professional wedding DJ bears no resemblance to the stereotype portrayed in Peter’s famous sketches.
A jukebox may seem like an exciting and quirky alternative to a DJ for your wedding reception. Unfortunately, the novelty can wear off very quickly as the draw backs make themselves apparent at your wedding reception.
Choices of Music
The one thing a jukebox lacks is a brain that’s able to make decisions and use reasoning. During the evening a DJ makes many calculated decisions about which songs are appropriate and suitable to the occasion, whereas a jukebox will play what is requested.
Keeping a dance floor busy and flowing doesn’t just happen by accident. A DJ has experience and skill in knowing which songs work together. They are able to link songs & genres appropriately without it seeming ‘odd’ and people leaving the dance floor. A jukebox will quite happily go from Robbie Williams ‘Angels’ to Black Eyed Peas ‘I Gotta Feeling’ then to Dean Martin’s ‘That’s Amore’, which may seem OK on paper but not when you are standing on the dance floor.
Some requests from guests may only appeal to one or two people in the room. A DJ is able to fade a song that isn’t working, or cherry pick from a list provided by one guest if that genre isn’t going down well with the rest of the guests. A jukebox will play everything and anything all the way through. It could be argued that a jukebox gives you full choice of music played at your wedding however a good wedding DJ will meet with you beforehand and ask for your musical tastes as well as offer you advice. They will also accept playlists and, on the night, take requests from the guests.
It’s a fact of human nature that some people are more dominant than others. A DJ can take control of these situations and use their experience and people skills to deal with them effectively. Unfortunately a jukebox does not yet have this capability and can result in disagreements.
Personalising the Evening
A wedding DJ prides himself/herself on providing unique entertainment with no two weddings being alike. They achieve this by getting to know your personality and tastes and delivering a service tailored especially to you. They make friendly, but professional announcements including dedications and messages from your guests. Jukeboxes need to evolve a lot further to achieve this.
Back up Equipment
All technology has the potential of failing, even brand new equipment. Wedding DJs not only carry back up equipment to ensure your evening’s entertainment is not ruined by technical issues. They also have the expertise to deal with gremlins in the system without you noticing. If you hire a jukebox, it rarely comes with back up, doesn’t have the ability to fix itself, and tends to be unmanned so no one on hand if things go wrong.
This is essential to achieve the right atmosphere at the right time. Whilst some jukeboxes do come with lighting (normally at an additional cost) it’s having the right lighting effects at the right time that’s important.
A professional wedding DJ knows how to create the right mood at the right time, be it an emotional & sentimental dance or a ‘hands in the air’ & ‘shout out loud’ photo/video opportunity. He or she can also create special & memorable moments throughout the evening that will be talked about for months, even years later.
Human or machine?
Weddings are very personal occasions and it needs people to achieve this (imagine having your food served by a vending machine). Until such time as machinery can match the thought processes of us mere mortals then I think our jobs are safe!!
The author of this article does not bear any malice to jukeboxes – in fact she thinks they are a great invention and, in the right place they have a part to play in society, however a wedding is definitely not one of them.”
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