Hiring a DJ or live band for your wedding aren’t the only options for great music. If you’re even the tiniest bit DIY-prone, then the thought of creating your own playlists has you more than a little excited right now. And there are two major bonuses to going this route: you will save (a lot of) money and it would make your wedding that much more special and unique. For some ideas on how to make it work and how to create those playlists, read on…
The first order of (play)list-making business is to figure out how many hours of music you will need. And then add at least an hour of additional music. There’s no point in conservative estimates here, because it is better to have more songs lined up than you need than to have to put your music on replay.
Second, figure out a theme for each hour or half-hour. This will help you find songs and keep things organized, even if your guests don’t notice it. Make sure there is a good mix of fun, upbeat songs and sweet slow dance songs. And remember: not all songs are danceable, but all the songs you include on your playlist must have dance potential. And more than that, people like to dance to music they already know. Keep that in mind. Some theme ideas: 70s, 80s, soul, soundtracks, favorite songs, songs with personal meaning for you and your significant other.
Third, test the sound system. If the venue doesn’t provide equipment, then you can rent it. And whether you burn the tracks to CDs or use an iPod or stream directly from your laptop, make sure all the cables and speakers work well. Unless you are in a small space and having a small, casual wedding, you will also need a microphone for announcements and such during the reception. The bride and/or groom can assume responsibility for announcements or designate a reliable friend for this task (but make sure all that is arranged in advance!). Whoever is in charge of managing the playlist should do a practice run with the equipment to make sure all the kinks are worked out.
That’s the core of what you need to do, but here are a few additional tips:
Try to finish your play list two months in advance to allow time to get everything in order and so you don’t have to worry about the music when dealing with important last-minute wedding details. (This should also be the deadline for other playlist contributions.)
Maybe you don’t want to shoulder the full responsibility of creating the playlist. In that case, here are some fun ideas for collecting the tracklist:
–Ask each member of your wedding party to contribute a 30-60 minute playlist.
–Ask the bride and groom’s parents to contribute a playlist.
–If one or more of the wedding guests is known for their fun parties or great taste in music, ask them to craft an hour-long playlist. They’ll probably be honored!
–Or feel free to use some Bridebird playlists. You know we’ve got some great ones, with more to come!
And do cross-fade! Dead quiet between songs is not good. The only time for that is when it’s time for an announcement.
If you DJ’d your own wedding with an iPod, we’d love to hear your tips and tricks in the comments below!