it's taken me a while to want to post about the wedding. the planning went fine, the day of the wedding had the most awesome non-humid weather, and i had a blast that night, but i needed a mental break.
it was all wedding (almost) all the time for about a year and a half, and i wanted to take a breather and not launch right into wedding post after wedding post. also, it's super personal and i didn't know if i was ready to share it with the internets.
but i'm ready now, and i thought i'd start off by sharing the music we played.
first off, we didn't have a dj. i'd been to a few weddings that opted to use an ipod instead of hiring one, and after seeing how smooth those events went, i was sold. and not having to pay for another vendor was awesome too.
i'm not gonna post the full playlist here, but finding songs to play during the reception was something the boy and i did together. and it ended up being my favorite part of planning.
it took a while to get that list together though. i mean, it's hard to think of five hours of music -- good music -- in a short period of time. so we worked on this throughout the engagement to make it easier on us.
if we were in the car and heard a song we liked? we added it to the list. we kept a note on our iphones handy and slowly added to the music, song by song, until it felt like we had enough.
then, we downloaded all the songs from itunes, and assigned them 1 (cocktail hour) 2 (first part of reception) or 3 stars (party time). this made sorting the music a breeze, and it was easy to tell our friend who was operating the ipod what "star" playlist to play.
the flow of the night was important to me -- you don't need nicki minaj blabbering about starships during cocktail hour and nat king cole might feel a little too slow for the end of the night -- so having these different lists helped keep the night going smoothly.
i'd also mapped out how long each portion of the event would take, so we knew, for example, that the cocktail playlist had to be AT LEAST 45 minutes, the second playlist had to be at least an hour, and so on.
so let's move on to the music we played before the reception, starting with the pre-ceremony set. we also made playlists for each of these categories (and named them accordingly) so our friend would have no trouble knowing when to play each playlist.
this first set below is what we played while people were arriving, signing the guestbook, filing into their seats and waiting for things to start. we didn't know how early people would arrive, so i tried to err on the side of "they might arrive early as shit" and made this extra long. dead air was the enemy and my worst nightmare.
listen here: (today i met)the boy i'm gonna marry - darlene love
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then it was time for the bridal party entrance. here's what we played.
hard to concentrate - red hot chili peppers (groomsmen entrance)
only you - joshua radin (bridesmaid entrance)
songbird (instrumental) - fleetwood mac (bridal entrance)
i can't find the exact version of songbird we used, but that one is pretty close. and, this is going a little out of order here, but our first dance song was you are the best thing by ray lamontagne.
so what did we play during the actual ceremony?
do you believe in love? - huey lewis & the news (exit song)
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i love music and having it play during the ceremony really added something special. my best friend from college did that during her ceremony and man! it really adds a new level to an already-emotional event.
if you're considering ditching the dj to spend money on other things, just remember to start as early as possible. it's tough to come up with enough songs to get you through the night (and have a well-rounded playlist you feel good about) at the last minute.
but most importantly, there's a lot of boring parts to wedding planning and this was fun for me. having a custom playlist makes your wedding so personal, and that was important to both of us.