It is becoming an increasingly common view from couples planning their own wedding on a budget that one of the main moneysaving options is to opt for DIY music rather than hiring a band or wedding DJ. More and more budget conscious brides and grooms are cutting costs of expensive weddings by forgoing the traditional wedding DJ and master of ceremonies, and instead using an Apple iPod. Could this new digital technology make wedding DJs obsolete?
A lot of wedding DJ's really help to create an atmosphere and do offer you the benefit of their many years experience of wedding entertainment. However a lot of couples’ confidence in wedding DJs is waning nowadays as DJs are prone to sitting at a laptop pushing a few buttons and get paid vast amounts of money for doing so. Most couples rightly believe that they could do exactly the same thing themselves and save money.
However, it is not just budget-conscious couples who are opting for iPod music at their weddings, rock star Alanis Morissette, who is engaged to actor Ryan Reynolds, has said during recent interviews that she is interested in using an iPod at her wedding which is due to take place this year. She is amongst a growing number of couples making personal music players a central part of their wedding day.
The way it is done is for the couple to make a playlist of music they would like to hear at their wedding reception and then download it to the iPod. The iPod can then be connected to a PA system. A sound system will need to be rented or borrowed including speakers, amplifiers, cables and a microphone. These sound systems are inexpensive to rent comparative to the cost of hiring a DJ or live band. If you don't own an iPod or know of anyone with one an MP3 DJ program on your laptop can work just as well.
Advantages of using an iPod for your wedding music entertainment:
♫ As mentioned you will be saving money. DJs charge an average of £500 per wedding and a live band can cost up to double this amount. If you already own an iPod then your only cost will be hiring a PA system to play the iPod through. If you don’t already own an iPod or laptop you can spend the money you budgeted for a DJ on treating yourself to a new one.
♫ By being in complete control of the musical entertainment at your wedding reception this allows you to put your own personal stamp on the event. You can choose every song that is played and express yourselves through your choice of music.
♫ As a couple you might well have different taste in music. By using an iPod you can both download your preferred songs so that you can get greater variety than might possibly be available through a DJ.
♫ Choosing to select the music yourself will allow you to control the pace of the evening. Sometimes wedding DJs can make the event seem staged and not so relaxing. You can select different playlists to alter the mood of the evening.
♫ Organising the wedding music yourself is an exciting and innovative idea. By using an iPod you can set a trend and bring a uniqueness to your wedding. Your guests will be sure to be impressed by the novelty of a wedding without a DJ.
Things to consider when using an iPod:
♫ An iPod sound when amplified over large sound systems is usually fine but it is important for you to have a practice session beforehand. If you are renting the sound system equipment ensure that you rent it prior to the wedding date so that you can pre proof the audio setup. This is even more important if you are having your wedding reception outdoors.
♫ Using an iPod can be a money-saving idea as long as you are organised and have some committed friends to help. You will need to arrange who will set up and dismantle the sound system on the wedding day. You will also need to nominate someone to be in charge of the music that can change songs in the event something is not working.
♫ To ensure that the sound system runs smoothly and to keep an eye on the playlist you could perhaps ask a musical or technical whiz amongst your friends, family or wedding attendants to be the unofficial music-watcher. Sometimes there can be a couple of seconds pause between songs so it is important to have someone supervise.
♫ In order to keep the reception flowing smoothly you should consider nominating someone to make announcements and quickly switch the music to enhance various events at the reception (e.g. cutting of the cake, tossing of the bouquet/garter, the first dance, serving of the buffet etc.).
♫ Another point to note is that it will take a little bit of practice to switch between the iPod and a microphone when acting as MC and making announcements and speeches during the dancing. Ensure that whoever has offered to do this task on the wedding day has a practice in advance.
♫ Something to bear in mind is that the person you choose to operate the iPod and thus "DJ" your wedding reception will not be able to undertake any other responsibilities during your wedding. It is a big responsibility and one that might best be shared between a few of your wedding attendants, family members or friends to ease pressure on any one guest. You might well want to release your inner DJ/MC and take on these tasks yourself!
♫ Ensure that you offer your guests choice with your music playlists. There might also be special songs that you should ensure are downloaded prior to the wedding. Select appropriate music for the guests and respond to their requests. You should be prepared to deal with guest’s music requests. If you do not choose to take requests but would prefer to stick to a playlist then this can be left to run with minimum supervision.
♫ An important recommendation is to back up your playlists in case of a technical malfunction. Another idea is to have a backup iPod or laptop or other musical device whereby if the iPod fails to work for some reason (they have been known to freeze) on the actual day then you do have an altnerative source of music rather than reverting to Uncle Tommy playing tunes on the spoons to entertain your guests!
♫ Make sure that you leave the iPod in one place and do not move it around as this can increase the risk of it failing to work.
♫ If you are concerned with the visibility restrictions of an iPod then try a powerbook laptop as its screen is larger and it allows for more audio options.
♫ If you are not having dancing at your wedding event and simply want background music you can simply use an iPod and speakers without having to rent a larger sound system.
♫ If you are at all worried that if you eliminate the DJ the musical entertainment may not go so smoothly look at positive feedback on the internet. You can start to read up about another bride-to-be’s opinions on iPod music at weddings here.
Further Reading On Wedding Music and Songs:
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