I mentioned that we hooked up the iPod to the portable PA (using an auxiliary cable), but that was for music before, during, and after our ceremony. We played music while the guests arrived. Since it was an outdoor reception and there wasn't really a place for us to hide before the ceremony started, we decided to mingle with the guests instead. At first I was hesitant about this aspect of the ceremony because it's very non-traditional and I didn't want to freak out the guests too much, but it was wonderful. It was a very relaxing way to lead into the ceremony. I got to hug my friends and laugh with them.
When it was time to start, someone in the wedding party pressed play on the iPod and all of us walked to the front and assumed our positions. The song was "Arms Around Me" by Jens Lekman. This approach really calmed my nerves because everyone had already seen me. There was none of that all-eyes-on-me-at-the-same-time. Every couple needs to do what works for them, but it really helped me relax. I was surprisingly not nervous!
For our reception music, we assigned our friend, Nick, the job of borrowing equipment from some of his band friends. He set it all up on the flagstone patio. (Note: the iPod was our DJ, but Nick did announce our first dance.)
It was awesome! My friend, Jamie, said, "I tried to take my son to watch the live music, but we realized it was only an iPod!"
The iPod was a great system for us because we got to determine the entire play list. On the down side, a few of our friends did try to commandeer the thing. We just had to set limits and literally say: "Don't touch the iPod." We should have made a sign, too (with more polite wordage, of course).
We did use the portable PA for a little music on Friday night (our friend, David, taught a swing dancing lesson). But I don't know if I feel comfortable recommending it for dancing receptions. I feel like the sound needs to be deep, resonant, and loud(!) for a good dance party.
Because we skimped on the music by not having a band or a DJ, I felt like it was important for us to have a high-quality sound system for the iPod. We were lucky we thought about tapping into our friends' resources. But I tried not to stress about any of it too much. The reception is just a fun party, after all.
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