Working with an iPod

Dance floor Miranda Marrs Photography

Photo by Miranda Marrs Photography

Using an iPod for your reception?  We see many couples contemplating this option during the planning stages, either as a money-saving idea or because they have capital-O Opinions about music and what should play when.  There are some definite plusses and minuses to this strategy, but there are a lot of factors to consider!

1. Start Early

Don’t wait until the week of the wedding to sit down and slam a list together.  Give yourself and your partner enough time to disagree and reassess and create backups.  Start with music you already own, and work from there to fill in the holes.  Also, we suggest creating different playlists for the different portions of your reception – pre-ceremony, processional, recessional, cocktail/dinner hour, special dances, and dance party.

2. Amplification

Make sure your venue has speakers that work with your device! Additionally, if you’ll be using an emcee or using the venue’s sound system for your ceremony, make sure you have microphones.  Be sure there is a second microphone, in case the primary one fails.

3. Mix It Up

Play music people know!  Also, include a mix of songs from different generations, so as to appeal to the cross-section of your guests.  When you’re putting your songs in order, think about your flow for the evening. Build your dance floor up, then drop it down for a couple of songs, then up, down, and crescendo.  This will keep your guests from tuning out the music when it all starts to sound too similar.

4. Technical Bits and Pieces

Cross-fade your songs.  Blank air time makes people sit down.  You want your songs to flow one into another, so that those blank spaces go away! Also, backups.  Definitely bring a backup device, power cords, etc., just in case someone tips a drink on your laptop or steps on your iPod.  Finally, whoever is running your music will be forever grateful if the wedding day playlists are the *only* playlists available to them.

5. To Emcee or Not to Emcee?

When we have couples doing their own music, we really, strongly suggest that they appoint a family member or a friend as the emcee for the event.  Just having someone on a microphone explaining what’s happening will keep your reception moving on track.  Give that person an agenda and a script that they can customize to make their own.  The script may seem superfluous to you, but there’s a world of difference between “Announce the cake cutting” and “We’re going to take a short break from the dancing to watch Billy and Sue cut their cake!  Please direct your attention towards the stage, and let’s see if Sue plays nice or smears frosting in Billy’s hair.”

6. Using Streaming Providers

If you’re thinking of using Spotify or another streaming provider, be sure to take precautions, as beautifully summed up on this blog from A Practical Wedding.

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