How to DIY Your Wedding Reception Music with an iPod Playlist

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A recent trend is for brides to avoid the costly expense of hiring a professional DJ and having an iPod playlist instead. This can save couples a significant amount of money and also means the music will truly reflect their taste. However brides need to understand that it requires more planning than simply pressing play. Below are some useful tips on how to pull off the DIY iPod wedding reception.

The first thing you're going to need is obviously an iPod or mp3 player. The second thing you'll need to pull it off successfully is a laptop. It's easier to switch between playlists on a laptop than it is on an iPod. It's really important to use the right equipment.

The next thing you're going to need to source are two large speakers, a mixing board and a microphone (preferably wireless). These can be hired from audio equipment stores and warehouses, but make sure you find out what their opening hours, when the equipment needs to be returned, whether there is an additional fee if equipment is damaged or returned late, nominate who will be in charge of picking up the equipment from the store on the wedding day and setting it up at the reception venue.

When hiring the speakers you should ask the sales staff whether the speakers are the right size to be able to fill your reception venue. There's nothing worse than a wedding where none of the guests can hear the speeches because the PA system is not powerful enough. If you know a friend or family member that you can borrow this equipment from that's even better, and if they can setup the equipment for you on the day that'd be an even bigger bonus and money saver. They will need to arrive early to the reception venue to set up the equipment and also stay late afterwards to pack everything away. This can be a time consuming process so make sure to buy them a nice thank you gift!

When preparing the iPod playlists make sure you have enough music to fill up the entire reception length, and that you have a good mix of different songs for the different parts of the reception. For example you might want slower, more relaxed music during canapés, and faster dance music for the end of the evening. Try and select songs that the majority of your guests can enjoy, from a variety of different genres and decades. You want to make sure the play settings in iTunes have no breaks between songs. If there's a 3 second pause between every song guests will be standing around on the dancefloor waiting for the music to start up again. In iTunes go to Preferences>Playback>Crossfade to make sure there is a seamless flow between songs.

It's a really good idea to test out the equipment before the actual wedding day. That way you know you have all the right cables and adapters. And you might want to have a backup CD or CD player just in case the something goes wrong with the equipment on the night.

Having a DIY iPod wedding reception, when done well, can not only save couples a considerable amount of money, but be a unique and memorable way to entertain the wedding guests.

Scott Simpkins is the Musical Director of Jazz Fever, Sydney's most successful and sought after live wedding band.

Jazz Fever

Weddings are a day of love, laughter and celebration, but the planning stages can also be very stressful. With Jazz Fever you can be assured that you are being looked after by an experienced wedding professional. As music is such an important part of a wedding, you can select as much or as little of the music as you like. We are more than happy for couples to go through our repertoire list and select their favorite songs.

So make your wedding a sophisticated, personalized affair with the sounds of classic jazz.


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