Wedding music is the most important ambiance creator for your celebration. The wedding songs you choose and the music you choose at the reception sets the stage for the entire mood of the day or night. Yes, you can do it yourself when it comes to wedding music and wedding songs. Don’t spend $$$$ on a cheesy band that isn’t great or on a DJ that doesn’t play the music you want. Who can choose the songs better than you? Nobody!
The two easiest and by far the cheapest ways to DIY with music are mix CDs or an Ipod. Nearly everyone these days has a CD burner or knows someone who does. You can simply burn all the songs you want on a few mix CDs and have them play on a stereo system during your reception. Speaking of mix CDs, be sure to read the Wedding CD Favors Article if you are considering doing those. Wedding music and wedding songs during the ceremony can also be done with a stereo all by yourself! Here is an article on Choosing Wedding Songs for the Ceremony that is a must read. If you have an Ipod, even better! Just program all the songs you want played during the reception and play them randomly through the night, or have a set play list and play it in order. Hook the Ipod up through a stereo and you have your very own virtual DJ that fits in a pocket.
I still recommend having someone be in charge of the stereo though! This can be one of your friends who is familiar with stereos and/or Ipods. Pick the person you know who would be thrilled to be the sound guy/girl. This person will be in charge of simple tasks like making sure the stereo is turned down during speeches if you are doing those, and they can cue up any special songs at specific times as needed. If you will want specific songs played at certain times (a first dance song, Mother and Groom Wedding Song selection, Daughter and Father Wedding Song selection, the hora, etc) then simply burn those songs on their own CD that is clearly labeled so your sound helper can play those when needed. If using an Ipod, simply make different playlists on the Ipod with the special songs in their own playlist. You may also want to choose separate genres of music for the dinner part and the dancing part. More mellow music during dinner and upbeat music for dancing, for example. However, it is your wedding, so there is no reason you can’t eat dinner with James Brown in the background.
Again, separate playlists on the Ipod (dinner/dancing) or separate mix CDs work perfectly here and your music helper just has to switch the genres in between. At my own wedding reception we used an Ipod hooked up to a stereo and several speakers that we borrowed from friends. We hid the speakers and stereo behind plants and flowers so they weren’t seen by guests. My brother-in-law was in charge of music. Right after the ceremony he went to the reception area and turned on the stereo and started the “dinner playlist” on the Ipod. After dinner he changed the playlist to the “dancing playlist” and turned down the music while a few people gave toasts. That was it! We only had songs personally selected by us all night (no chicken dance or Macarena) and best of all, it was free!