We've have quite a few of our friends and family comment on how personal and intimate they felt our wedding was. We've also had a lot of great compliments on how much fun our guests had at our wedding. I think the personal details, including sharing some of our favorite tunes, really helped everyone have a great time. It was either that or all the whiskey, but I'm going to go with the music...ha!
So how did we go about planning our own music. First Rick and I started by discussing what types of music we wanted at our wedding. We decided we wanted a nice mix of dinner music for the first half, and then dance tunes for the second half. Rick has a ton of music on his laptop, and I burned some of my favorites from my music library on CDs and transferred to his laptop. We also purchased a few newer songs that we liked but didn't own yet.
We ended up developing 3 playlists in iTunes on Rick's laptop, since he had the larger music library. We developed 1 playlist for dinner, 1 playlist for dancing, and then 1 playlist with the songs for our entrance, our first dance and our father/bride and mother/groom dance. It was nice to keep those songs separate so we could quickly go to them when we were ready.
The music for our dinner portion of the evening was a little more low-key and was music you might listen to at a dinner party, or if you were just hanging with some friends maybe at a happy hour bar or around a campfire. This included some 80's favorites, country and some of the slower pop music. It really was just some of our favorite songs. Some of our favorite artists we included were Michael Buble, Florida Georgia Line, O.A.R., Mumford & Sons and Weezer. We also included a Rick Roll just to see if anyone was paying attention (example if you aren't familiar). Unfortunatly I don't think anyone noticed, but we crack up every time we talk about our wedding music.
For the dancing portion, we included some of our favorite dance hits. We included a lot of Usher, Justin Timberlake, LMFAO, a little DJ Jazzy and 50 Cent. We also included the Cupid Shuffle, because what wedding doesn't have some sort of line dance right.
All together we had about 46 dinner music songs (which equaled 3 hours) and 38 dancing songs (which equaled 2.5 hours). Our reception was about 5 hours long, so it was the perfect amount of music. We still have the playlists on Rick's laptop, so every once in a while we will start up iTunes and have a little dance party in our living room.
To play our music we used an auxiliary cable plugged into the headphone jack on the laptop. We are lucky because my parents own a music store, so they were able to provide the sound system at no cost to us. But you can rent a sound system from a local music store for anywhere around $150 - $300 (this is a ballpark based on what my parents charge), or you can work with your venue to see if you can hook up to their existing sound system.
If you are looking to rent a sound system, you will need to tell your vendor the approximate size of the room so they can make sure to provide you with the appropriate types of speakers. I believe we just needed 1 speaker and an audio controller box. They should include as part of the price their time to set up, tear down and give you a quick tutorial on how to use the sound system. At the very least make sure they give you and your sound person a tutorial on everything, although it's not too hard to figure out. Also make sure you get a microphone so you can have someone to announce your entrance and make other announcements throughout the evening.
A few other things to keep in mind, it will be important to put someone in charge of the music. There won't be much to do, but we had a few technical issues where the music accidentally stopped at one point, and we just needed someone to go over and get it going again. It's also important to have someone to make sure no one messes with your computer or your music. Once the drinks start flowing, you never know what might happen. You can also have this person responsible for announcing your entrance, and making other announcements throughout the evening.
It's also important to put together a schedule for the evening, and either have your sound person keep track of the schedule, or have one of the members of the wedding party keep track of time and make sure things like cutting the cake, toasts and first dances take place. We planned for about an hour for everyone to eat, and then we did the toasts and cake cutting, followed by the first dances, and then turned on our dancing playlist.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some people may want to request songs. We did have a few requests and my brother, who was running our sound, just downloaded them on his iPhone and then hooked the auxiliary cable up to his iPhone to play the songs. It cost him a few bucks, but he loves me so he didn't mind.
Another option for requests is to include a "Song Request" on your RSVP cards. April from A Liz Adventures shared this idea on her Instagram account last week and I thought this was an amazing idea. Perfect if you are making a DIY Wedding Playlist because you can incorporate some of your guests' favorite songs into your playlist and make it even more personal.
If you are looking for some inspiration to get your DIY wedding playlist started, check out this Wedding Music Tool from The Wedding Paper Divas. They have gathered 900 songs in their database perfect for every stage of a wedding: ceremony music, entrance song, first dances, cake cutting, dancing and more. You can also search by genre and decade. I totally wish I had access to this when we were planning our wedding as we just did a bunch of Google and YouTube searches to figure things out.
Has anyone else DIY'd their Wedding Music? I'd love to hear how that went and if you have any additional tips to add.
Linking up with Wedding Wednesday.