11/26 iPod Weddings: Bring The Noise, Bring The Savings?

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Photo: Persimmon IMages

Photo: Persimmon Images

It’s up there on the list of typical wedding saving tips:

– Book off-season (November – March/April) – CHECK!

– Cut down the guest list – CHECK!

– Limit the Bar – CHECK!

– Pre-owned wedding gown – Check!

– iPod your wedding music – hmmm…

It would definitely be cheaper, but maybe a little bit more work on your part. Okay, a lot more work, but that is why we  DIY … and in order to save money, time often has to take the place of it. It may be worth saving the $1000 – $2000+ that you’d spend on a DJ. And, of course, it’s also a great way to control all the music that’s played during your wedding.

But like everything else, if you want to pull it off and not drive yourself nuts, there are rules. First of all, check with your venue about their sound system, before you do anything. Find out what kind of equipment you’ll need to tap speakers into it, and whether you can get the speakers from them, or if you have to rent them. And after you get the speaker system, test it out at your venue!! And not during your rehearsal, either, because you need plenty of time to make changes if you have to. And figure out the logistics, if you have to move the system from the ceremony area to the cocktail hour to the reception. Don’t forget about extension cords.

Then, and this is very important: Pick someone to monitor the music. It could be either of you, or a friend, but someone has to do it. Since you’re going to be a little busy during the ceremony, you’re going to need backup! Make sure they have a list of all the songs that are in your playlist(s), and that they’ve physically seen it either on your computer or on the iPod itself. That, you can do during your rehearsal.

Now it’s on to the music:

I know you’re all fired up about the tunes you’ll be popping during the dance time at your reception, but first things first, and that means your ceremony. Is everyone (parents, wedding party) going to walk in on the same music? What are you walking into? This is a good time to remember that cross-fading is your friend, so you’re not being jolted from one song to another. Make a separate playlist for each segment of your wedding — ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, reception events (first dance, cake cutting, bouquet throw, etc.), and open dance floor music, in order.

Cocktail hour: One hour is about 18-20 songs, depending on the length. If you look at the bottom of each playlist in iTunes, it will tell you how long it is. Maybe throw a few more in there, just in case you’re not feeling whatever’s playing at the time.

Dinner: When you’re building this playlist, think about whether you want to play it straight through, or shuffle it. I’ve found that my ipod and itunes playlists tend to shuffle in the same order. Anyone else notice that? It’s not really a shuffle, but it can be helpful when you’re deciding which route to take. Make sure you have a good mix of fast/medium/ slow songs — you don’t want all your songs in any one category. Look for the happy medium between getting the heart pumping and putting everyone to sleep.

Reception events: I’m a big fan of keeping each in a different playlist, instead of throwing them all together, just in case the timing is off. It means a lot less running around to pause the music if you have to. One should do as little running around at one’s own wedding as possible. Shouldn’t one?

Open dance floor: Knock yourself out! Now’s the time to make sure that everyone gets a chance to get on the dance floor, so think about your crowd. Hip-hop? Country? Sinatra and the Rat Pack? Heck, show tunes? Throw in a little somethin’ somethin’ for everyone.

So, are any of you considering and iPod wedding? Either way, what was more important to you, the cost or the control?

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith is the owner of Silver Charm Events, a wedding planning service in Los Angeles. She's also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the author of "DIY Your DOC: Do-it Yourself Wedding Day Coordination." Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.