So I figured I'd kick off more recaps by talking about something that will not be aided by any photos: reception music.
Back when we started planning, we knew we would not be hiring someone to play music at our wedding. From day one of the engagement, we had a giant sheet of butcher paper hanging up our kitchen where we could jot down notes about which songs we would like to play at the party. We spent months adding to the list, JT sequenced and edited them on Itunes (equalizing the volume on each song, making sure all transitions between songs flowed, etc.), and then we loaded the two playlists (one that comprised the cocktail hour and lunch, and one for dancing) onto two Ipods (his, plus his brother's as a back-up in case something went wrong).
A few weeks before the wedding, JT sent me this link in an email:
I thought it was so freaking funny that I made a note that I wanted to go back and blog about it after the wedding. I wanted to wait until after the wedding just so that I could be certain that having an Ipod as our DJ did not, in fact, ruin our wedding. And it didn't. That said, it didn't go perfectly.
There was basically one real problem with the Ipod DJ set up: the restaurant's speakers weren't capable of playing the music loud enough for every song to be heard over our friends and family that were boisterously, and loudly, enjoying themselves. I find it funny that they have music playing every night over hundreds of diners, yet our two families together were louder than all of that. And the soundsystem, which our Ipod was plugged directly into, carried throughout the entire restaurant except for the one corner that we had chosen as the dance floor. This was clearly our bad. This could have been easily rectified with a rented PA system. We just didn't think we'd need it. It really wasn't a big deal though -- most of the songs were heard reasonably clearly.
As far as the cues go, the above video would lead you to believe that a missed cue is the end of the entire world. Believe me, it's not. When we were getting ready to do our first dance, we announced it to our guests and hit 'play' on the dance playlist. The first song was actually a buffer song, meant to give the guests enough time to get up from the dining room and make their way to the dance floor. It ended up being more time than we needed, and we spent a minute or so just waiting for the song to end so we could start our first dance. This was NOT a problem. In fact, it was kind of cute, because some of our guests starting "counting down" to the start of our first dance.
The best part about the Ipod DJ set up is that you have complete creative control. If you want something louder, you can turn it up. If you want to play something again, you can. If you want to pause for toasts, you can. And since you created the playlist and know what's on it, you can use certain songs to cue your activities, so you know that when Ed Harcourt* comes on, it's time to cut the cake without even having to check your watch.
In summary, having an Ipod as my DJ did not, as the video would warn, ruin my wedding. Frankly, paying some cheesy DJ play a song that a family member requested even though I specifically didn't want to hear it would have ruined my wedding. Having to listen to his inane babble in between songs ("this one's for all the laaaddiieees...") would have ruined my wedding. And having to pay someone hundreds of dollars for that would have made it even worse.
*Yes, I will post the whole playlist in the coming days. I know you are dying to know!