Ipods Kill Two More Weddings

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.

Wedding One
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.

Wedding Two
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.

The Top 150 Wedding Songs of 2010

So how does this list differ from others you’ve seen?  For this list, we scoured the web and pulled multiple lists from tons of sources of top wedding songs (DJ’s, wedding planners, wedding bands) and then smashed them all together and see which ones were on multiple lists.  Then we repeated the process until we found the 150 most popular wedding songs as of 2010!

Some songs are a tad strange (Boom Boom Pow? Atomic Dog?), but these were the most requested songs at weddings and there are more folks at a wedding than just the bride and groom, so I imagine that’s why those are there.  As a bride or DJ, this list will serve you well and probably has a majority of what your guests probably want to hear.  And to make it even easier for you, we linked every single song title for easy buying power!  That was a huge pain by the way.  But, here it is!

The Top 150 Wedding Songs (as of 2010)

1999 Prince
Whole New World (Aladdin’s Theme)
Peabo Bryson
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg Temptations
All Shook Up Elvis Presley
All Summer Long
Kid Rock
Atlantic Starr
Always & Forever
At Last
Etta James
Atomic Dog
George Clinton
Baby Got Back
Sir Mixalot
Billie Jean
Boom Boom Pow
Black Eyed Peas
Boot Scootin’ Boogie
Brooks & Dunn
Faith Hill
Brick House
Brown Eyed Girl
Van Morrison
Bust A Move
Young MC
Cant Get Enough Of Your Love Baby
Barry White
Can’t Help Falling In Love
Elvis Presley
Kool& The Gang
Cha-Cha Slide
Chicken Dance
C’mon N’ Ride It
Quad City DJ’s
Come Fly With Me
Frank Sinatra
Come On Eileen
Dexys Midnight Runners
Copacabana (At The Copa)
Barry Manilow
Cotton Eye Joe
Crank Dat
Soulja Boy
Patsy Cline
Cupid Shuffle
Da Butt
Dancing Queen
Don’t Stop Believin’
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
Michael Jackson
Electric Slide
Marcia Griffiths
Endless Love
Lionel Richie
Fly Me To The Moon
Frank Sinatra
Kenny Loggins
Forever And Ever, Amen
Randy Travis
Friends In Low Places
Garth Brooks
Funky Cold Medina
Tone Loc
Lipps, Inc.
Get Down Tonight
KC & The Sunshine Band
Get Low
Lil John & The East Side Boyz
Get The Party Started
Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It
Will Smith
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)
C & C Music Factory
The Grease Megamix
John Travolta & Olivia Newton John
Here And Now
Luther Vandross
Hey Ya!
Hot In Herre
Hot, Hot, Hot
Buster Poindexter
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
James Taylor
I Feel Good
James Brown
I Gotta Feeling
Black Eyed Peas
I Like It, I Love It
Tim McGraw
I Saw Her Standing There
The Beatles
I Want You To Want Me
Cheap Trick
I Will Survive
Gloria Gaynor
Ice Ice Baby (Exclusive Version)
Vanilla Ice
I’m Yours
Jason Mraz
In Da Club
50 Cent
In the Mood
Glenn Miller Orchestra
It Had To Be You
Harry Connick Jr.
It Takes Two
Rob Base & DJ Easy Rock
It’s Five O’ Clock Somewhere
Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffet
It`s Raining Men
Weather Girls
It’s Your Love (with Faith Hill)
Tim McGraw & Faith Hill
Jump Around
House of Pain
Jump, Jive, An’ Wail
Brian Setzer Orchestra
Keep Your Hands To Yourself
Georgia Satellites
Kiss Kiss (Main Version) Chris Brown
Last Dance
Donna Summer
Let’s Get It On
Marvin Gaye
Let’s Stay Together
Al Green
Livin On A Prayer
Bon Jovi
Louie Louie
Love Me Tender
Elvis Presley
Love Shack
Los Del Rio
Jimmy Buffet
Melt With You
Modern English
Mony Mony
Billy Idol
Van Morrison
Mustang Sally
The Commitments
My Girl
The Temptations
Oh, Pretty Woman
Roy Orbison
Old Time Rock N Roll
Bob Seger
Open Arms
Paradise By The Dashboard Light
Play That Funky Music
Wild Cherry
Poker Face
Lady Gaga
Pour Some Sugar On Me
Def Leppard
Pride And Joy
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Pump Up The Jam
Push It
Salt n Pepa
Red, Red Wine
Aretha Franklin
Right Round
Flo Rida
Rock & Roll All Night
Rock Around The Clock
Bill Haley & The Comets
Rock This Town
Stray Cats
Earth, Wind & Fire
Justin Timberlake
(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty KC & The Sunshine Band
Shout (Part 1 & 2)
Isley Brothers
Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Soul Man (Live Version)
The Blue Brothers
Stand By Me
Ben E. King
Stayin Alive
Bee Gees
Clarence Carter
Super Freak
Rick James
Sweet Caroline
Niel Diamond
Sweet Home Alabama
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Tainted Love
Soft Cell
Take My Breath Away
Take On Me
That’s The Way I Like It
KC & The Sunshine Band
The Twist
Chubby Checker
The Way You Look Tonight
Frank Sinatra
Michael Jackson
(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life
Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
Travis Tritt
Twist & Shout
U Can’t Touch This
MC Hammer
Unchained Melody
The Righteous Brothers
Nat King Cole
Up Where We Belong
Joe Cocker
Walk Like An Egyptian
The Bangles
Walk This Way
Watermelon Crawl
Tracy Byrd
We Are Family
Sister Sledge
What A Wonderful World
Louis Armstrong
What I Like About You
The Romantics
When A Man Loves A Woman
Percy Sledge
Wild Thing
Tone Loc
Wonderful Tonight
Eric Clapton
Wooly Bully
Sam the Sham
The Village People
Usher w/ Lil John & Ludacris
You Are So Beautiful
Joe Cocker
You Dropped A Bomb On Me
The Gap Band
You Sexy Thing
Hot Chocolate
You Shook Me All Night Long
You’re The Inspiration

9 Major Wedding Scams

mad-brideWeddings should be a big day, but people fall prey to some of these very popular wedding scams.  Here are the ones that are the most popular scams and that are infuriating brides all over the world.

1.) Hear What I Say, Not What I Play

The wedding band switcheroo is unfortunately very common.  A band will hire studio musicians to record a quick demo or get a demo from another band.  You listen, you like them, you hire them.  And then the next thing you know, the band that plays at your wedding reception sounds just awful and not what you bought into.  Be sure where wedding bands are concerned that you get not only references, but if possible, an opportunity to see them play live at a local venue where you can go check them out for yourself and not just rely on studio magic.

2.) Bridal Registry Fiasco

registry-scan-gunIt seems easy. Grab a price gun, zap what you want and walk away.  The store documents what you scanned, tells your wedding guests and they buy it and as they buy it, it gets marked off the list as purchased.  Seems easy enough.  But in some cases, the store will quote the bride one price and then charge their guests and family something else.  This is a very common trick that bridal registries and stores will scam your guests with because there typically isn’t anyone watching them or keeping track of what prices they quoted.  Ask the store for a written policy, go to well known stores like Target or Outlet centers, or just ask for gift certificates and do it yourself.

3.) Something Used

Some bridal shops have decided that selling used dresses is a good idea.  While some brides nowadays are actually looking for used wedding dresses to save money, these shops are selling used dresses at a new dress cost and claiming that they are new.    While some dead giveaways are dirty trains, lipstick, hair, etc, the best way to avoid this scam is the same for most.  Get it in writing as to who the designer is, the model of the dress, size of the dress and especially what alterations are guaranteed and included.  When you pick up your dress, cross check it.

4.) Chauffeured Stretch Limo Lie

ghetto-caddyThe scam is really surprisingly prevalent in the tons of various limo agencies that are out there.  They use limo photos of vehicles that they don’t even own.  You request a stretch limo and you get a Black Cadillac or worse that they don’t show.  The fix?  Make sure that the contract specifically says what you’re getting.  If you want a 20 seat Hummer limo, make sure that it says “20 seat Hummer limo” and not just “large limo”.    Make sure the contract also reflects the date the service is to be provided, the time frame you’ll be using the service, arrival time, address of both the church and the bride, the reception and anything else that you can think of.   As for the vehicle switch, physically go and inspect the vehicle on a weekday around lunch time when the vehicle will actually be there and inspect it.  Is it nasty and smelly? Does it have torn and stained seats?   The most important thing is to verify that it’s even there at all.  If there’s a specific one you want, that would also be a good time to snag that license plate number.  As for the no-show limo, check their references and your local Better Business Bureau for any lodged complaints.

5.) Wedding Planner Flim Flam

This one is specifically for wedding vendors to watch out for.  Here’s an example of how this works with someone like a wedding planner.  A supposed bride will call from abroad (Europe, France, etc.) and call a legitimate wedding planner to set up their wedding in the states.  She sends a cashiers check to pay for the services, but it’s for $3000 more than what was agreed on.  The check clears the bank with no problem.   The wedding planner is told to then transfer the $3000 to a wedding band or caterer that they want to use.   No red flags yet because a wedding planner paying another vendor on behalf of the bride is common for the industry.  The money gets forwarded to the band and then the bank realizes a couple of weeks later that the check is a fraud.  Guess where the money gets taken back from?  The wedding planners bank account.  So if you’re a wedding planner or any wedding vendor that practices this, watch out for this one.  Check out more details on this scam here.

film-canister6.) You’re Not Ansel Adams!

Wedding photography is unfortunately a huge industry plagued with scammers.  You hire that big name photographer that you’ve always wanted to shoot your wedding and they send out someone else.  Sometimes it’s even a nightmare to get the photos from them after multiple calls and emails, which is outrageous when you pay them up front.  Again, it’s all about what you get in writing.  Make sure the contract indicates items such as who is going to be shooting the wedding, how many photos you get, how many albums you get, if you retain the negatives, etc..  Don’t mess around with this because you can’t re-enact this moment of your life.   Well, you can, but it probably won’t be the same.

7.) It Must Not Have Bloomed Yet

You hire a wedding florist to do the bouquet, centerpieces, etc.  and the expensive imported flowers are replaced with not-so-expensive flowers and 12 flowers per centerpiece mysteriously becomes 10.  The solution?  Are you seeing a trend here lovely Bride?  Get it in writing.  What exactly you get from type of flowers, how many centerpieces, how many flowers are in that centerpiece, what exactly is included in the centerpiece down to the little plastic plastic fork placecard holder.

8.) Diamonds Are Us

diamond-closeup-80-karatThe bride takes the diamond ring in to be cleaned and when she gets it back, it just doesn’t look the same. It has flaws or cracks in it and is obviously not the same diamond.  When she goes back, what do you think she hears?  Everything short of “you’re crazy” and “you’re mistaken, but that IS your diamond. ”  How do you protect yourself?  Believe it or not, the original jeweler can etch a serial number into the diamond girdle.  You can then have the jeweler doing the cleaning write down the serial number onto the invoice.  That way they have documented what they received and can’t switch it out.  Alternately, you can also bring your diamond grading certificate so that you can match the flaws originally documented with what you’re getting back.

9.) Hide and Seek

Anyone paying for a wedding should understand that there could be some unforeseen expenses that happen.  They always do.  But don’t get bamboozled with ridiculous fees that you get blindsided by such as one report from a bride on Blogger Brides that documented being charged a whopping $35 per gallon for fruit punch!  I’m sorry, excuse me?!  You can avoid things like this by keeping what the venue supplies to a minimum and taking away those opportunities to be gorged.  And be sure to watch out for cake cutting fees, cork fees, plate splitting fees and other nonsense fees that they figure out a way to rob you for.  Make sure that it’s clear between you, the wedding planner, your family, and anyone that may ask the venue staff for anything to try and do it themselves first that is  outside of what you’ve already discussed beforehand with the venue.

bride-and-groomAs you can see, there is a common thread in avoiding these scams and most all of them are “get it in writing”.  Everything down the dirtiest detail needs to be documented and signed off on.  This is your big wedding day.  It’s not enough to just choose a wedding professional from a wedding vendor directory.

You must do your homework and make sure they’re licensed, don’t have any complaints against them in the BBB, and that you get everything that you’re asking for.  It’s well known that the wedding industry is littered with overpriced expenses, scammers, and wedding vendors waiting to pray on your wallet like a vampire bat at a blood drive.  But it’s your day, not theirs, so watch your purse strings and protect yourself at every corner.

Reality TV Always Ends in Divorce

kate-gosselin-wedding-ringWedding rings aren’t cheap and they signify something a tad more important than just being jewelry.  While Jon Gosselin is off partying with Lindsay Lohan’s father in the Hamptons for some reason, his wife Kate has put her ring back on.  Apparently Kate is trying to keep herself together and her kids heads on straight.  She is the only glue in these kids lives, so why she’s still wearing the ring is a mystery.

On the flip side, LeeAnn Rimes who was caught in a scandalous affair with costar Eddie Cibrian has separated from her husband and has decided to finally take her wedding band off.  As a result, Cibrian’s wife has apparently decided to take a marital break also since the affair was uncovered by the press.

While divorce seems to be the hip new trend in Hollywood, many people have begun to notice that when you invite cameras into your home, divorce is closely behind.  Just ask Jon and Kate (Jon and Kate Plus Eight), Hulk Hogan (Hogan Knows Best), Nick and Jessica (Newlyweds), Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro (Til Death Do Us Part), Britney and Kevin (Chaotic), Travis and Shanna (Meet The Barkers), Whitney and Bobby (Being Bobby Brown), and Danny and Gretchen (Breaking Bonaduce).  There are very few marriages that have withstood the glare of the lights and walked away unscathed.  Hail Snoop!

While Americans have an insatiable appetite for reality television that invades the lives of interesting characters, at what cost is enough too much?  Is it necessary that we see how celebrities live, what they eat, what brand of toilet paper they use, and to see every argument and failure?  Is it to prove to ourselves that they are just like us by watching them fail in various aspects of their lives?  Is it to live vicariously through them by following them on shopping sprees, drinking binges and temper tantrums?  What is the fascination that keeps the ratings skyrocketing and ruining lives and marriages one after the other?  While to some degree TV and movie stars are “asking for it” and give up their privacy to some extent when they sign on for the job, where is the line to be drawn and will we ever be able to draw it?

Weddings and Ipods Don’t Mix

ipod-weddingsOk, I’m about over it.  I’ve heard multiple suggestions on multiple budget wedding tip articles (even including ones posted here) about various ways to cut corners during the wedding ceremony.  And ALL of them, not just some of them, but ALL of them put the wedding music on the list as things you should cut corners on.  And ALL of them threw out the suggestion of using an Ipod instead of a band or DJ.  Let me tell you how bad of an idea that is on all accounts.

While I’m sure there are some stories of success using this method, they are few and far between and their expectations were very low to start with.   As a professional vocalist and also the owner of a Georgia DJ company, you probably would guess that I’m very biased and shouldn’t even be allowed to talk about it, but let’s get real.  Nothing can match the personal touch of a wedding band or wedding DJ when it comes to managing the flow and feel of the wedding reception.

There’s a great video posted on Youtube that is the perfect reason as to why this is a bad idea.  You can watch it here.  Now granted, this wedding is primarily a disaster from the beginning because there was apparently no rehearsal or planning with a dash of total disorganization. But the use of the Ipod run by friends and family as your MC’s/sound/videographers, etc is just a bad idea.  Bands and DJ’s handle most of the announcing, music, and everything is thought out in advance.

Do you really want to take the chance of your cousin starting up “Shook Me All Night Long” during the Daddy/Daughter dance?  If you want memories that last a lifetime, that’s definitely the way to do it.   You can find affordable DJ’s (and even bands) for under a grand without even looking hard.   Now granted, you take a chance if you get too low on your pricing, but doing your homework and using directories of wedding vendors will give you multiple options. I’m sure there are dozens of horror stories from Ipod weddings and I can insure you that you do not want to be one of them.

Please share your disaster (or even success stories) here for all to see.

Wedding Vendors Get Free Exposure

wedding-photographerWedding vendors from every walk of profession including wedding photographers, caterers, florists, DJ’s, bands and others got a free handout from the television show Get Married.  The Lifetime TV show opened its doors wide for wedding professionals to post free listings on their website at http://www.getmarried.com/advertise-with-us.

Since the launch of the free listings, vendors have filled the areas quickly and by the thousands.  If your business is related to the wedding industry, take adavantage of the limited free offer to get listed and seen by literally thousands of brides.  Get Married has not indicated when the promotion will end, but this is a coup for any wedding business interested in getting on one of the most popular wedding websites on the web.

Top 12 Strangest Wedding Rings

Wedding rings should be a big investment, but most of these are not.  I personally could not begin to imagine wearing any of these (except one) and you’ll soon see why as I show you

The 12 Strangest Wedding Rings

#12 – USB Wedding Rings
The concept is that the couple will join the rings together and swap data.  Maybe love notes or grocery lists?  The funny thing to me is the guy in the background of the ad biting his lip like he’s saying, “Yeah, yeah, baby. Blang blang.”


#11 -Engraving Nightmare
When you only have a small band of precious metal but so much to say, look no further than this atrocity.


#10 – Cryptic Decoder Ring

No need to wait to try and decipher what your wife is trying to tell you. Start off with this remake of the Little Orphan Annie decoder ring and don’t forget to drink your Ovaltine.


# 9 – Serial Killer

This ring is for geeks that have been down since DOS days. Not that the serial connector isn’t still being used anymore, but for real?


#8 – Mini Cup?
I have no idea what this would be used for other than for illegal drug usage or a quick shot of whiskey and it probably couldn’t even do either of those well.


#7 – Binary Ring
Easily the coolest ring on the list and the only one I might even consider wearing.  This ring is binary code for a personal 20 character message that you choose.  Strange, but actually neat.


#6 – Cat 5
What is it with computer rings?  This ethernet ring may be cool if you could actually get ethernet access only when you were together.  That would be quirky.


#5 – The Maya Angelou?
Is this supposed to be an ode to “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”? If it is, that’s not a very warm and cuddly matrimonial moment. Hey, I know why people trapped in marriage whine!


#4 – Nuts and Bolts
While the concept is obvious, it’s the action involved in putting them together that makes it inappropriate.


#3 – Intertwined
The ring looks very cool, but it looks ridiculous when separated and is probably very uncomfortable when they’re not together.


#2 – Heat Activated
Your anniversary date is programmed inside the ring and the concept is that the wedding ring gets hotter the closer that you get to the date.  Just how hot it gets is unknown and to me, this just seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen.


And here we are folks!

The winner of the strangest wedding ring award.

#1 – Pokey
I’ve got nothing.  I don’t even know how you would wear this thing.


And that’s it. The 12 strangest wedding rings. Do you have ones to share that I didn’t post here? Post them!