Ipod weddings are simply disastrous. I spent some time up in North Carolina where I was witness to not one, not two, but three beach weddings. Yes, three weddings. Two of which decided to go the Ipod route and both of those weddings were disastrous from an audio perspective, but Wedding 3 opted for a ceremony guitarist and live DJ through a PA and it went flawlessly. I understand the desire for brides to cut corners and save money on their weddings, but the beach brings additional elements that people just don’t understand and seem to be oblivious to.
The first thing to know about a beach wedding is that it’s the one place in the world that can be loud and relaxing at the same time. You will almost never use those two words in the same sentence and the beach is the only place where it certainly rings true. The waves crashing on the beach can be very loud, very relaxing, but also create an audio nightmare.
The bride decided to use an Ipod and instead of a PA to patch it through, she used one of those bedside units that you put your Ipod into and set on your nightstand for your listening pleasure. She expected to bring that to a beach and have a crowd of 50 people hear it over the crashing waves and also the additional element of playing it against the wind. Yes, that happened. I watched it. To make matters worse, the bride gave the responsibility of running it to someone who had no idea how to operate an Ipod. As you can imagine, it went badly and the rest of the ceremony went without music. The death of wedding number one. Beautiful couple, nice as can be, but I’m sure she would want you to learn from her bad experience.
For Wedding Two, a hired DJ who goes by the name of a farm animal thought enough to make sure that there was a PA for the Ipod to play through. However, it stopped working mere minutes before the ceremony was to start, but then magically started working again seconds before the wedding party proceeded down the beach path. There were 3 songs to play during the ceremony entrances; one for the parents/grandparents, one for the bridal party, and one for the bride.
Once the Ipod started working again, the DJ began the song for the parents/grandparents entrance, but neither he (or the wedding planner) accounted for the fact that a couple of the grandparents had to trudge through 15 feet of soft white sand with canes and walkers to get to their seats. So as their song came to an end, the bridal party song began to play before the grandparents were even seated. The DJ then proceeded to holler (no joke) up to the bride on the dune to ask what he should do and the bride hollered back (no joke) that he should play the parent song again. The DJ clicked the back button once which then started to play the bridal party song from the beginning again (and not the parent song which was the track before it). Three seconds in, the DJ realized it was still the bridal party song and, yet again, clicked the back button only one time which again started the bridal party track over. He then realized that he must click the button twice and on that third try, the parents song started again. Less than 10 seconds later, the parents and grandparents were all seated. And there was yet one more instance as the wedding came to a close and the newly married bride and groom walked back down the aisle…to the bridal party entrance song. The death of wedding #2.
Forget The Ipods
When I first heard the ramblings of wedding DJ’s and bands discussing how bad Ipod weddings were, your first gut reaction is to assume monetary reasons. And while that may be true, I personally watched 2 out of 3 weddings die a very painful and embarrassing death at the hands of Ipods and quickly realized that out of all of the corners you can cut, this should not be one of them. Most people will say to themselves, “Oh, but I’ll make sure that the person running it knows what they’re doing.” and I can guarantee that little to almost no thought was put into the music at the first two weddings I attended. People who opt for an Ipod wedding not only expect to save money, but also time in their wedding planning when the exact opposite is true. If you opt for an Ipod wedding, expect the worst, because it’s much better to have a band or DJ thinking about the music and not you as the bride. While there was a DJ involved in the second wedding, his utter lack of professionalism created an audio fiasco and great embarrassment for the bride.
If you’re a bride planning a wedding, please opt for a wedding DJ or band instead of an Ipod. There are ALWAYS mistakes that happen and it’s just a matter of how noticeable they are. And if you hire a DJ, find out what he/she will be doing for each moment of the event and how they’ll be doing it. A professional wedding DJ will know how to handle a difficult situation as it occurs and won’t need to involve you or your guests in doing their job. Just stay away from Ipods in your weddings, because they are simply an awful choice. This is your big day, so don’t leave it in the hands of technology that’s designed for personal use.