Planning the wedding of your dreams can be costly. That's why it's important to cut costs where you possibly can. However, because you only want the best for your wedding, it can be hard to determine which part of it can do with the utmost minimal cash spent.
A good place to start is in wedding music. Hiring a live band or a DJ is common practice. It can also be very expensive. In this day and age, however, you have a lot more options than these - and it doesn't include your great uncle playing the harmonica. Consider having your wedding music DIY style with an iPod, laptop, or any portable music player.
How Does It Work?
Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past few years, you've probably heard of the very popular Apple iPod and its many variations (e.g. Video, Nano, Touch, Shuffle, etc.). The iPod offers the functionality of customized play lists, meaning you can set up iTunes (the program that runs with it) to create your own personal play list with the songs you want played at your wedding
Of course, you want the music to play loud enough for all your guests to hear and enjoy, not to mention dance to. In this case, you can hook up your iPod to a PA system. Simply connect it right and you've got a whole cache of tunes ready to be played throughout your wedding reception
. This also works the same way with laptops and other portable music players.
What Are The Advantages?
When opting for this kind of wedding entertainment
, the biggest advantage is cost. A DJ will set you back at least $1200 for a 2 to 3-hour reception. A live band will cost roughly twice as much. An iPod, on the other hand, will cost you no more than $400, if you don't have one already. Furthermore, it's something that you can certainly use even after your wedding. It's also something you can easily borrow. With its popularity, you're sure to know somebody who has one.
Though you would need to rent or borrow a PA system for your guests to enjoy the music, this also wouldn't cost much. A lot of companies rent out sound systems already complete with the speakers, amplifiers, cables, and microphones that you would need for your reception.
Another distinct advantage that you can expect when going for this option is flexibility. A DJ or a live band normally has their own repertoire to follow and may not know or have certain tunes that you may have in mind. With an iPod (or any other media, for that matter), you can easily download the tunes that you want, organize them, and easily play them at your wedding. You can also set the pace of the party by changing songs, effectively altering the mood. By not relying on a DJ or live band, you'll be giving your wedding entertainment your own personal stamp as a couple.
Are There Disadvantages?
Like everything else, this option would have its disadvantages. There are few, however, and ones that can be easily avoided with the right preparation.
A disadvantage would be that an iPod, laptop, or any portable music player is still, in essence, a machine. This means that it is still susceptible to technical glitches and mechanical errors. Also, since it's easy enough to rely on your iPod to work on its own, it could be sometimes overlooked; therefore, any problem might not be remedied right away.
How Do You Get Your DIY Wedding Entertainment Running Smoothly?
In order to get the most out of your DIY wedding music efforts, you have to be ready for every inevitable and every possible problems that may occur. In this case, the "better safe than sorry" philosophy still applies. Here are some things you should consider beforehand:
- When amplified over a sound system, iPods and most music players do very well. It is important, however, to test the whole system's integrity beforehand. It's a good idea to rent the equipment for a few extra hours, or even an extra day, in order to have a practice session. This applies, regardless if you're having your reception indoors or outdoors. Also, it's a good idea to have a professional or somebody with enough know-how to set up the system instead of a novice.
- On the reception itself, keep the iPod in one place. Moving it around increases the risk of a technical glitch. Also, keep it on a surface with minimum vibrations as tracks played with iPods and most music players have the tendency to "jump".
- To ensure that your wedding music runs smoothly, put a trusted family member or friend in charge. He or she can be tasked to make announcements and switch music sequences to various parts of the programme such as cutting the cake
, the first dance, bouquet or garter toss, etc., as well as to keep an eye on the music in general in case it gets awry. He or she should also practice switching between the iPod and microphone beforehand in order to make sure that things go smoothly. Because this is a big responsibility, make sure that he or she doesn't have other responsibilities to take care of during the celebration to keep his or her focus entirely on the wedding music
- Though it’s your special day, you also have to consider your guests. Play music that is appropriate for the occasion. Vary your playlist somewhat to accommodate the different tastes and preferences of your guests.
- Most importantly, make a backup of your playlist so you won't be caught empty-handed in case of a technical malfunction. You can also have a backup iPod, laptop, or any portable music player on hand. This way, you can ensure that the music will keep on playing.
Indeed, an iPod, or any other digital media device, is a very good and modern alternative to the more traditional - and expensive - wedding entertainment methods. It's not just the entertainment of choice for budget-conscious folks, as well. It's an option that piqued the interest of singer Alanis Morissette because of its flexibility and novelty. It's definitely an option worth considering.